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Hyde Hall 2016 Gala Honorees

DSC_0004_004Christopher F. Ohrstrom founded Historic Paints, a short-lived but much admired purveyor of hand-ground, hand-made finishes that ended up on the walls of historic sites such as Monticello’s Dome Room. He also co-founded, with Steve Larson, Adelphi Paper Hangings, a thriving world-class atelier in Sharon Springs, New York that is patronized by leading architects, interior designers, museums, and historic sites for its authentic reproductions of 18th– and 19th-century hand-blocked wallpapers. In 2001 Ohrstrom launched Falmouth Heritage Renewal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Jamaican port town of Falmouth, which, he told Architectural Digest, possesses “the Caribbean’s largest concentration of Georgian Colonial architecture.” Coincidentally, Falmouth has Hyde Hall connections, since it was where George Clarke, the builder of Hyde Hall, spent part of his childhood. At Falmouth, as elsewhere, Ohrstrom sees history as a springboard to the future—and that preservation means far more than simply stabilizing old buildings, whether they are modest or grand.

Ohrstrom also is the longtime chairman of the board of trustees of World Monuments Fund, the influential New York City-based nonprofit that is dedicated to protecting, funding, and conserving endangered cultural-heritage sites, from the 1907 Moseley Road bath-house complex in Birmingham, England, to the 7,000-year-old Dalieh public space in Beirut, Lebanon.

Photo Steve Larson DSC_9998 1200pxSteven E. Larson: After launching Adelphi Paper Hangings with Ohrstrom in 1999, Larson focused on formulating the paints and refining the printing techniques for simple block-printed papers. Since then he has investigated, researched, and reproduced traditional flocked papers and plain varnished papers as well as patterns with both irisé print and irisé ground colors. Adelphi Paper Hangings’s A-list commissions include the creation of custom-made wall coverings for the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House in Washington, D.C.; Olana in Hudson, New York; Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville; Sir John Soane’s Museum in London; Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, England; James Buchanan’s Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. The firm also counts interior designers Thomas Jayne and Michael S. Smith, and architect Gil Schafer.

Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke portrait by Charles Cromwell Ingham

Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall's first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 — 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814.
Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall’s first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 — 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814.

 

Commissioned in 1835 from the artist Charles Cromwell Ingham, this portrait of Hyde Hall’s first chatelaine, Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke (circa 1780 – 1850), is an idealized image of her as a young woman, arguably around the time she married George the Builder in 1814. (It belongs to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.)

Daughter of one of George Washington’s aides and once described as “beautiful and reckless,” Ann married, in 1801, Richard Fenimore Cooper, an elder brother of the famous novelist; he died in 1813 when she was pregnant with their fifth child. Or was she? Gossips certainly believed Alfred Cooper Clarke, as that child was known, was actually the son of George Clarke of Hyde Hall, whom Ann married about a year after Alfred’s birth.

As Wayne Franklin, a biographer of James Fenimore Cooper has written, “Ann was carrying on more-or-less openly” with George Clarke during the final years of her first marriage. Clarke was married too, with a wife back in England, Elizabeth “Eliza” Rochfort (ca. 1768 – 1861), an Irish beauty whose mental condition had deteriorated profoundly by 1818. No divorce documents have ever been found dissolving the marriage of Eliza and George, and even George’s father back in England referred to her as his son’s wife and treated her accordingly.

Nevertheless, George Clarke and the widow Cooper married in Albany on 14 August 1814, with the “sanction of the House of Assembly and the American law.” Was it bigamy? Or merely a lucky legal loophole? The Clarkes had four children: George Hyde Clarke (born and died 1815); Anna Clarke (1817-1899); George Hyde Clarke (1822-1889); and Arthur Clarke (born and died 1826).

As letters in the Clarke family papers at Cornell University attest, George Clarke’s children by Eliza Rochfort considered their American half-siblings to be illegitimate interlopers.

Leadership Otsego 2016 Graduation at Hyde Hall

On Wednesday evening, September 21, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted their Celebratory Reception and Certificate Presentation for Leadership Otsego at Hyde Hall.  Twenty regional business and community leaders participated in the 2016 Program, a course that is developed each year to unite individuals from diverse fields and backgrounds to enhance leadership skills, to learn more about the community in which they live and work, and to motivate them to community service and business leadership.

The full program from the evening is available here.  

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host events like this.  Thank you to all those who participate in the Leadership Otsego program and to those who spend the evening with us to present certificates, including Senator James Seward, Assemblyman William Magee, Assemblyman Peter Lopez, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz and others (listed on the full program above).

Below are photos from the event.  Click any image to open up image carousel with identification titles.

October 2016 Dates for Hyde and Shriek!

Hyde & Shriek! Candlelight Ghost Tours at Hyde Hall

This candlelight tour visits all places in the Mansion where ghostly manifestations have been reported over 150 years; including those identified byGhosthunters(c) in their Halloween 2013 special; aired on October 30; 2013 on the SyFy network. $20 per person; reservations required – contact 607-547-5098. Tricks and treats for Halloween!

Four tour time slots are available: 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, 7:30pm

 

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