Alexander Hamilton's 'The Grange': His Last Home Before the Duel

Hamilton, the first secretary of the U.S. Treasury, commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a Federal-style country home on the Hamilton family's 32-acre estate in 1801. After moving in upon its completion in 1802, the family called the house "The Grange," after the ancestral home of Hamilton's father in Scotland.

Hamilton lived at The Grange for just two years. On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr  shot him in that infamous duel. Hamilton died on July 12, 213 years ago today. [Photos: Alexander Hamilton Lived Here Until the Infamous Duel]

During Hamilton's short time at The Grange, he and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton,entertained friends, colleagues and leaders in the house and its surrounding gardens, according to the NPS. But it wasn't close to Hamilton's law office — it took him about 90 minutes by carriage to commute to work in Lower Manhattan.

After Hamilton's death, Elizabeth owned the house until 1833. The Grange was later acquired by St. Luke's Church in 1889, the same year the church moved the entire house from West 143rd Street to West 141st Street and Convent Avenue. The church also used The Grange as a temporary chapel, according to the NPS.

This photo, taken between 1889 and 1892, shows that St. Luke's Church temporarily used The Grange as a chapel. (Image credit: Hamilton Grange National Memorial/NPS)

In 1924, the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society acquired The Grange, with the mission of re-establishing it as a historic site and museum, according to the NPS. But almost four decades later, in 1962, the house changed hands again. This time, the NPS took control of the house, and the U.S. Congress named it the Hamilton Grange as a National Memorial, according to the NPS.

In 2008, the NPS moved the house to its third location at St. Nicholas Park in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem. The public can visit The Grange for a free NPS tour, where guides delve into the life of Hamilton and his family, showing artifacts such as a silver wine cooler given to Hamilton by George Washington.

The NPS moved the Hamilton Grange National Memorial about two blocks during the weekend of June 7, 2008. (Image credit: NPS)

Original article on Live Science.

Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.