Hyde Hall

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 Pownal, Vermont on 6 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); Georgina Clarke (1824-1830); 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

 

hydeandshriek

Severe summer storms impact operations

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Early last Saturday evening a strong cluster of thunderstorm cells passed through the area. At Hyde Hall we suffered power outages and damage from large branches of maple trees falling on the south lawn, the road leading to the visitor center at Tin Top and other areas of the grounds.  The mansion and Tin Top suffered no damage although power was not restored to Tin Top until Tuesday afternoon. We were not able to conduct tours on Sunday but operated tours from the Kent Administrative Center on Monday and Tuesday.

A wedding reception was in full swing at the time, the guests were able to shelter in the mansion during the worst of the storm. Generators were quickly brought on line and soon the party was in full swing. Memories of this wedding will be with the couple and guests for years to come.

Thanks go out to the Glimmerglass State Park crew and the power company for the cleanup.

We look forward to welcoming you to Hyde Hall.

John Bower, Marketing Manager

 

Click on any image to open gallery in slideshow view.  Images by John Bower, Hyde Hall.

 
 
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