Restoration efforts are ongoing.
“We are very excited to have the chandeliers in the formal dining room completely restored,” said Jonathan Maney, executive director of Hyde Hall Inc. “These chandeliers are typical of the innovations of George Clarke. He was really ahead of his time. These chandeliers burn five parts alcohol and one part turpentine. In a time when most people of his station were burning whale oil, this is pretty significant.”
Maney said he was able to find a local artisan who had the knowledge to restore the pair of ornate lighting fixtures in the formal dining room.
“I always look for local people to use when we have something that needs to be restored,” Maney said. “We have a wonderful community of artisans here who are very talented.”
Because Hyde Hall stayed in the Clarke family until it was acquired by a public trust and the New York State Parks in 1963, much of the original contents of the house are available for study and accession. According to Maney, there are more than 100 boxes of documentation that George Clarke, the builder of Hyde Hall, kept as records of his estate.
“Our purpose here is to make Hyde Hall a destination,” Maney said. “We are interpreting the history of New York, and the history of the United States, through the lives of the Clarke family. It is a personal way to see history and, as we restore the mansion, we are able to show how real people lived during the early days of the country.”
With events such as the Mother’s Day Tea, Maney said he and and the board of directors hope to make connections to the community that will last for future generations.