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A Self-Guided Tour of Sparta

Historic Sparta Walking Tours are conducted throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall. The tours are guided by Dr. Alan M. Stahl, Sparta historian, resident and president of Jug Tavern of Sparta, Inc., who details the history of the Jug Tavern as well as Sparta's homes and residents over the past 200 years. Check the Calendar for a schedule of Walking Tours and details.

You can take a Self-Guided Tour of the homes of Sparta below, beginning at the Jug Tavern, on the corner of Rockledge Avenue at Revolutionary Road, one block west of Route 9 and the Arcadian Shopping Center.

(Click on photographs to open an enlarged view in a new window.)

74 Revolutionary Road. The Jug Tavern, or Davis-Garrison House, is believed to be the oldest surviving structure in the Village of Ossining. The northern half of the house was probably built by Peter Davis soon after his marriage in January 1758. Peter died before 1795, but his widow owned the house at least until 1810. By 1830, the house was owned by Nathaniel and Annie Garrison. Nathaniel died in 1843, but Annie lived there until her death in 1869 at the age of 99.

It is not clear how the Davis-Garrison House got the name "Jug Tavern," but Nathaniel Garrison may have sold liquor by the jug, without benefit of a license, as there is no record of a tavern license having been granted to any occupant of the house. Mrs. William Mowatt sold the house to the Town of Ossining and the Ossining Restoration Committee in 1975, and the deed was transferred to the non-profit corporation Jug Tavern of Sparta Inc. in 1976. This house was rebuilt in 1884 and renovated from 1975 to 1991. It was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

64 Revolutionary Road.
Built in 1840, this was the home of E. Agate in 1862.

 60 Revolutionary Road.
This shingle house was originally clapboard and was one of the earliest houses in Sparta. The porch and peaked dormer were probably added in about 1850. Built in 1770, this was the home of the Hunt, Fowler, LeFevre, and Acker descendants.

 58 Revolutionary Road.
This house was built in 1840 by Peter Fowler for his daughter, Almyra, who married Isaac Still.

 54 Revolutionary Road. Bungalow built in 1900. (not pictured).

 

52 Revolutionary Road.
This Second Empire house was built in 1861.

 

            3 Still Court. 1896

 

5 Still Court.
This farmhouse was built after the Civil War and has a small center chimney that was designed for a stovepipe, not a fireplace.

 

 

12 Still Court. Built in 1900.

 10 Still Court. This Greek-revival farmhouse was built in about 1870 by Isaac Still.
  8 Still Court. Built in 1840 by Isaac Still.
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76 Revolutionary Road. This house was built in 1870 and is still owned by the builder's decendents.  

Along Sparta Brook beyond this house is the site of the mustard mill owned by Rhodes and Kemeys, operated from 1796 to 1820.

 

 

14 Rockledge Avenue. Also known as the "Captain's Cottage", this brown shingled, gable-ended farmhouse was probably built before 1820 of clapboard construction. It was owned by Captain Lew Brady, an African-American fisherman, in the 1860s and '70s.

On the hill above the cottage is the site of "Rockledge", the estate of C. S. Arnold that was built in 1900 and destroyed by fire in 1925.

 

8 Rockledge Avenue. This gray shingled house was built in about 1870, and was shown on the 1872 map as the home of Bates. There must have been an earlier house on the lot, because "Hunt's house" was used as a point of reference in the 1836 deed transferring the lot on which 4 and 6 Rockledge were later built.

 

6 Rockledge Avenue. This purple stucco, most recently a restaurant called "Dudley's", was built in about 1840, and was occupied by a member of the Bird family in 1862, by E. Cuatt in 1867, and by the Foster family by 1872.

The house was owned by a gardener to the Vanderlips in 1919, who refused to sell his house to them because he had overheard their plans to renovate Sparta and hoped to hold out for a better price. The house is believed to have been a speak-easy during Prohibition.

 

4 Rockledge Avenue. This clapboard house is believed to have been built in 1848. It was apparently a rental house until 1869. A Mrs. Bouton or Boughton lived in the house before 1864. She may have been the widow of Jarvis Bouton, who died in Sparta in 1853. Slater, of the Cypher & Slater firm (next door at 2 Rockledge), lived in the house in 1864-67. This property and 6 Rockledge were a single lot with two houses, occupied by two Foster sisters, until the lot was subdivided in 1898.  

 
2 Rockledge Avenue. This white-painted brick house was built as a warehouse in about 1820. A large opening in the front, probably to allow horse-drawn carts to enter and exit, has been bricked in. A merchantile firm, Cypher & Slater, occupied the building in the 1860s and '70s, and a grocery store was on the ground floor (and possibly a brothel on the upper floors) at the turn of the century. The house now contains five apartments.

 

12 Liberty Street. This brick house with a Georgian-style curved front consists of the original square structure on the right-hand side, built in 1789 of Flemish bond construction, and the addition that was built during the Vanderlip restoration of Sparta between 1919 and 1922. The house was the Union Hotel, owned by Thomas Sherwood, in the 1860s and '70s, and the Washington Inn in 1895. The local lore is that George Washington once slept there.

Sparta residents once got their water from a well in front of the house, at the intersection of Liberty Street and Rockledge Avenue. This was the site of the village well until about 1920.

 

8 Liberty Street. This gray shingled house appears on the 1820 map of Sparta, and was probably built between 1795 and 1800 by Captain Delanoy, master of one of the packet vessels sailing between Sparta and New York City. The house is of pegged-frame construction.

 

 

4 Liberty Street. This gray shingled house of classic revival style was built between 1830 and 1840, probably of clapboard construction. The sun porch was added later. The house was owned by William Jones in 1862.

 

 

2 Liberty Street. This white clapboard house of Federal design was built by Thomas Agate, sometime prior to 1821. The family had lived in Sparta as early as 1795. The wrought-iron fence came from the grounds of the Custom House (now the Museum of the American Indian) at the foot of Broadway in Manhattan.

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South of Sparta Park
is vacant and overgrown land that was once the site of two of the earliest houses in Sparta. Closer to the river was the home of J. Delaney. Just below Hudson Street was the home of Edward Sherwood (1830-1913), who was listed as a mason in the 1862 Sparta census. The house was demolished in 1984.

Across the railroad tracks from Sparta Park is Sparta Dock, which originally was a peninsula called White Point. The Village of Ossining bought the dock and the parkland in 1975. The village recently received a grant of federal funds to build a footbridge across the tracks, and to develop Sparta Dock as a public park. Early industry in Sparta included a brick kiln near Sparta Dock during the 1820s. North of Sparta Park were lime kilns that operated from about 1839 until 1920, where marble from the quarry was burned to make builders' lime. North of the lime kilns was a copper mine from about 1820 to 1860. Edward Kemeys was the president of the Westchester Copper Mine Company.

 

 

2 Hudson Steet. The original house on this lot was built in 1820 in the Second Empire style.

 


7 Liberty Street.
This white clapboard house was built before 1820, and the chimneys are original. The front door and porch were moved from the street to the side of the house for privacy, and the house was apparently encased in a new exterior structure, in about 1920. The house was owned by C. Roscoe from 1837 to 1877.

  9 Liberty Street. This house, built in 1855, was moved from across the street and was turned sideways during the Vanderlip renovation project in 1920.

 

11 Liberty Street. This stucco house was built before 1820 and has been extensively altered since then. The building was a hotel called the "Branch House," owned by A. Vanderhoff, in the 1860s and 1870s. It was the grocery and general store of Edward Storms at the turn of the century.

  13 Liberty Street. Built 1984. Site of 1800s privy excavated in 1986.
 17 Liberty Street. 1930 Sears Roebuck catalogue house.

 

 

23 Liberty Street. 1900

 

 

27 Liberty Street. 1900

 329 Spring Street. This farmhouse was built in about 1800, probably of clapboard. The porch and a wing were added later.
  327 Spring Street. 1900 modernized Victorian.

 

 

325 Spring Street. This white clapboard farmhouse is typical of the "carpenter Gothic" style of the Victorian period.

  321 Spring Street. This stucco house probably encompasses some of the structure of the Sparta School, which was built in 1840 and provided elementary-level education for more than 50 years. Across the street was the entrance to the marble quarry, which provided the marble used to build Sing Sing Prison in 1825.
 
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6 Fairview Place.
This house, ordered from Sears, Roebuck, was built in 1900.

14 Fairview Place. This house was built in 1900. 

19 Fairview Place.
This house, ordered from Montgomery Ward, was built in 1932.
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15 Fairview Place.
This house was built in 1900

11 Fairview Place.
This stone house was built in 1887 as the Sparta or Calvary Chapel, a mission house of the Sing-Sing Presbyterian Church. The chapel closed in 1918 and became a private home in 1923.
Stone Quarry:
This rolling field at the foot of Fairview Place marks the area where marble and limestone were once quarried until the 1920s.
338 Spring Street.
This white shingled Federal house was built in the 1830s by Bray Prince, an African-American. The south end of the house (at the right) was added later.

1 Rockledge Avenue.
The original center portion of this brick house, built in 1784, is of Flemish bond construction. The owner, Josiah Rhodes, operated a mustard mill, in partnership with William Kemeys, on Sparta Brook from at least as early as 1797. Rhodes died in 1807.

Legend has it that the house served as George Washington's headquarters while he stayed at the hotel across the street at 12 Liberty Street. The left and right wings were added in 1921 by Vanderlip's contractor, William Crawford. Andrew Lyon, a weaver, lived in the house during the 1860s and '70s, and Harry Hopkins of the Franklin Roosevelt administration lived there from 1932 to 1936.

 
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Last Updated: 08/25/20013