The Jay Estate in Rye is the childhood home of one of our nation's greatest Founding Fathers, John Jay

More about the Jay Estate

Historic Preservation at the Jay Estate

25 Years of Preserving the Architecture of Democracy

The 1838 Jay Mansion has long been the centerpiece of Rye’s prized Boston Post Road Historic District. Columbia University architectural historian Andrew Dolkart called the house “one of the most important buildings of its type in the country.”

And for the last quarter of a century, preservation of this landmark and its intricate craftsmanship has been both a privilege and labor of love. Modeled on the temples of the Greeks and Romans, the structural components of the building pay tribute to the ideals of these ancient governments that inspired our Founding Fathers. Protecting and maintaining the “visual vocabulary” of democracy is a high priority for its guardian, the non-profit Jay Heritage Center (JHC). Funds generously donated by the public, private foundations and corporations get divided each year between rigorous protection of this American treasure and educational programs that explain the evolution of our shared heritage.

Understandably, just being watchful and proactive presents an ongoing challenge. Read more here

Upcoming Events

Sun, Sept. 10, 5:30pm

Rye's African American Cemetery

David Thomas, Founder of the Friends of the African American Cemetery, will give a talk about the current state of the efforts to preserve this National Historic Register site. This free event is co-sponsored by the Jay Heritage Center.The African American Cemetery is adjacent to the Greenwood Union Cemetery, located at 215 North Street in Rye. The one acre parcel was donated by the Halsted family 150 years ago with the condition that it “shall forever hereafter kept, held and used for the purpose of a cemetery or burial place for the colored inhabitants of the said Town of Rye, and its vicinity free and clear of any charge therefor…” 

Learn how ongoing genealogical research is expanding an understanding of the families that are buried there and their place in the narrative of Westchester’s history. Follow a journey to trace and link the Purdy family of Harrison and Rye to two generations of an emancipated family at the Jay Estate. Light refreshments will be served afterwards.

Friday, Sept. 22, 6:30pm

The Sea Is Not Full

Join us for a lively talk and Q & A with Charlie Doane, Cruising Editor of SAIL Magazine, the largest sailing magazine in the US as he shares chapters and personal experiences from his newest book, “The Sea is Not Full”. Charlie has also published articles in The New York Times, Yachting World and Cruising World, among many others. Many fans also follow his prize-winning blog WaveTrain.

Charlie has completed seven transatlantic voyages, including most recently a voyage from France to New England aboard his new boat Lunacy. His other voyages include singlehanded passages between New England and the Caribbean; several distance races, including the Newport-Bermuda Race, the Fastnet Race and the Sydney-Hobart Race. ​He is one of many accomplished sailors in the Jay family, including John Clarkson Jay, one of the founders of New York Yacht Club, who lived in Rye at the Jay Estate​​.

​The talk is free but seating is limited so advance registration is requested – please email jayheritagecenter@gmail.com or call (914) 698-9275

Sun. Sept. 24 11am - 3pm

Jay Day - Fall Family Festival

The Hudson River Valley Ramble and Jay Day are coming up soon! Over 1000 people will gather at the Jay Estate to celebrate American culture and traditions. Highlights include live music, book signings and activities with children’s authors, period dance performance, a farmers market, craft vendors, pony rides, a petting zoo, historical house tours and much more.

We’re over the moon happy to share news that #1 New York Times best-selling children’s book creator Robert Sabuda will be joining us this year at Jay Day. In addition to signing his gorgeous books, Robert will conduct a hands on art workshop for families at the Jay Estate. Also bringing her child friendly horticultural lessons from the New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Academy is Rye’s favorite school garden creator, Anne Mottola. Tickets are $40 per family and $10 per person.

Treat the kids to facepainting or dive into garden activities. We are grateful to Reeds, Inc. for providing ” the Best Sodas in the World, Naturally” for all our JAY DAY volunteers. Read more here

Thank You to Our Partners!

The Jay Heritage Center recognizes the organizational growth and synergies formed through our partnerships with the following organizations.

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