The Horace Greeley House was the country home of the Greeley family from 1864 until 1873. It is one of three homes that the Greeleys owned in Chappaqua. Mr. Greeley was the editor and publisher of the New York Tribune, and most of the time he lived in New York City.

A Dining Room Scene
A Dining Room Scene

The Main Floor consists of three primary rooms. The Front Parlor was used for formal entertaining and receiving guests. Over the handsome fireplace, there is a print which shows the Greeley family in 1872, the year that Greeley ran for president. The Dining Room, painted in a bright shade of red, overlooked Greeley’s Farm. On one wall a print shows Greeley’s campaign slogan, “Yours for Universal amnesty and impartial suffrage.” The Music Room is one of the rooms in the portion added by the Greeleys. Music was important to the Greeley family. This room includes a box pianoforte similar to the one belonging to the Greeleys. One portion of the current Research Room served at the Butler’s Pantry.

The Upper Floor also consists of three primary historic rooms. When Greeley enlarged the house, he altered and modernized the second floor, transforming it from Federal to Victorian style. He raised the ceilings and put in tall windows, including the French doors leading to the balcony. The Family Parlor was a more private sitting room than the downstairs parlor. In this room are displayed many items connected to Greeley’s professional career and political activities. The Girls’ Bedroom, shared by Gabrielle and Ida, is a bright and airy room, opening out onto the balcony through the three French doors. Today we use this room for special exhibitions. The Master Bedroom is where Mary Greeley spent much of her time. The only photograph we have of her hangs on the wall by the door to the stairway. As in the dining room, the back wall is where the original house ended, and it contained two windows overlooking the farm. The Maid’s Room is now for use by the staff.

The Meeting Room behind the bedroom is part of the new section of the house and is a large room used for meetings and special exhibitions. This section of the house was added in the 1950s when the house was used as a gift shop.

The Kitchen at the Horace Greeley House
The Kitchen at the Horace Greeley House

The Ground Floor consists of a Kitchen and Laundry Room. In the Kitchen we show several utilitarian objects such as a spinning wheel and yarn winder which belonged to Greeley’s mother, and many other objects that one would find in a Victorian kitchen. The Laundry Room is currently used for storage.

The grounds, which are handicapped accessible, contain period Perennial and Herb Gardens.

More about the Greeley House Historic Gardens:
This garden was created by Lauren Fischer for her Girl Scout Gold Award project in the Summer of 2019.

In the 1800s, many homes had several gardens, each which served a different purpose:

Kitchen gardens were used for the house’s cooking, and were usually kept near the kitchen. By growing their own vegetables and herbs at home, people had easier access to a wide range of food, such as mint and parsley. Intended for a similar purpose, medicinal gardens included herbs that were able to treat a wide variety of ailments. For instance, feverfew could treat headaches and fever, and marigolds could be made into a poultice to help prevent infections. Ornamental gardens were designed to look beautiful, just as they are today. Some of the flowers planted were different, however. Two of these included in the Greeley House garden are phlox and hollyhock; in the mid 1800s, hollyhock was considered somewhat old­fashioned, and would have been planted in what was known as a “grandmother’s garden”.

At the Greeley House, several beds have been planted to reflect what gardens of the 1800s looked like and what plants they included, though these beds are not grouped by purpose. Plants include lavender, yarrow, sunflowers, horehound, dill, and others, along with the plants listed above.