The Jay Estate in Rye is the childhood home of one of our nation's greatest Founding Fathers, John Jay.
In the News - The Rye Record, May 2017
"A Jewel in Our Backyard"
The Jay Estate, A Jewel In Our Backyard by Caitlin Monaghan
This year, the Jay Heritage Center proudly celebrates its 25th anniversary. The deed to preserve and protect the integrity of its namesake property, The Jay Estate, the boyhood home of Founding Father John Jay, was signed on August 20, 1992. Thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers, the generosity of many donors, Federal funds from Hurricane Sandy, thoughtful collaboration with partners (New York State Parks and Westchester County Parks own most of the property), and several prestigious grants, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is undergoing a renaissance, committing itself to bringing back the property’s landscape to its full splendor.
While the Center only owns 1.5 acres of the 23-acre property — including the 1838 Greek Revival Mansion, Carriage House (the Visitors Center), and their associated footprints of land — they were unanimously awarded stewardship of the surrounding 21.5 acres by New York State and County officials in 2013. At that time, the Center was entrusted with the decision-making, as well as sole responsibility for fundraising so as to create a cohesive garden and educational experience for the community to enjoy, with an important nod to the land’s extensive ecological and cultural history that goes back thousands of years. JHC receives no annual tax dollars from Rye, the County or State, and yet operates the park for the benefit of the public. Read more here
Grounds Open Dusk to Dawn
Hours and Park Rules
The grounds of the Jay Estate are open dawn to dusk every day. As a public park, we invite visitors to stroll through and experience this historic treasure. Our main office is in the 1907 Van Norden Carriage House. It is open March through December, Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and there are restrooms within. Stop in to learn more about the site from our helpful staff or volunteer docents or schedule a tour. See some of the artifacts that tell the narrative of this place and its residents going back thousands of years.
Help Us Preserve Our Park By Observing These Rules:
There are no parking fees. Visitors are requested to park in the free lot provided.
Please carry out anything you bring in to keep our grounds clean and beautiful and protect the wildlife that also live here.
We welcome dogs on leash – in fact there were kennels on the property for many years! We ask however that you clean up after your dog and carry out any refuse please. Note that our neighbor Marshlands Conservancy does not permit dogs – please respect their different rules.
There is no smoking permitted in the park.
Photos for personal use are permitted but commercial photography for profit requires an advance permit and there are fees. Contact our office at (914) 698-9275 for further details.
Sun., June 25, 2-5pm
Sunday Tours - Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary!
The Jay Estate in Rye is where one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, John Jay (1745-1829), a jurist, anti-slavery advocate, diplomat, Chief Justice, and two term Governor of New York State grew up as a young man. Thanks to the efforts of owners who cherished the property and community advocates who saved it, this sylvan and historic 23 acre oasis, once part of an expansive 400 acre farm, still boasts a magnificent view to Long Island Sound and is now open to the public. For visitors, it provides a rare and truly breathtaking window into our past and a glimpse of the horizons and opportunities that Jay and his descendants saw for our new country.
Join us for a docent led tour of the 1838 Jay Mansion. See the ongoing restoration efforts of this Greek Revival masterpiece, the only one of its kind open to the public in the lower Hudson Valley. Commissioned by Jay’s eldest son, Peter Augustus, it sits atop the footprint of John Jay’s childhood home and reincorporated into it are original chestnut timbers, shutters and nails from the 1745 farmhouse that James Fenimore Cooper named “The Locusts.” Visitors can literally see the layers of history being uncovered here by artisans in the preservation process.
Tues., July 4, 8:30am - 3pm
Independence Day Ride
Celebrate the red, white and blue by doing something green – get out and bike! We are proud to be hosting the Westchester Cycle Club‘s Independence Day Ride this July 4th. WCC is a non-profit whose purpose is to educate the public about safety and the benefits of bicycle riding, to promote community awareness and enjoyment of cycling through organized bicycling events, tours, lectures, demonstrations and other bicycling activities for members as well as for the general public, and to promote bicycle use, and development of cycling facilities as a non-polluting, non-congesting, quiet means of recreation and transportation.
WCC welcomes all levels of riders to sign up but pre-registration is required. Learn more at https://www.westchestercycleclub.org/
Thank You to Our Partners!
The Jay Heritage Center recognizes the organizational growth and synergies formed through our partnerships with the following organizations.