Althought most prominently remembered as the first Chief Justice of the United States, John Jay fulfilled many roles and deserves recognition as one of America’s pre-eminent Founding Fathers. His public career stretched from 1774 to 1801, the formative years of our nation. He held more jobs than any of his contemporaries. A compelling case can be made that he literally shaped the United States during negotiations with England to end the Revolutionary War, when he won agreement setting the western boundary at the Mississippi River.
When Jay finally retired in the summer of 1801, after completing a second term as governor of New York, he settled down to the life of a gentleman farmer. Today, Jay’s retirement home (parts of which date back to 1787) is a National Historic Landmark. The house and the surrounding grounds are maintained by the state of New York as the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site.
When John Jay lived here, the farm comprised more than 700 acres; approximately 62 acres remain today as part of the state historic site.The grounds are open to the public, at no charge, during daylight hours, and that is where you will hunt for this cache. Within view of the cache are two rows of magnificent, century-old beech trees flanking what was the original entrance drive, now a walking path.
The historic house is open for hour-long tours on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday, and by appointment on other days. ($7 adults, $5 seniors and students.) Days and hours may be reduced during the winter months. For more about John Jay and the historic house, check the Website of the Friends of the John Jay Homestead at www.johnjayhomestead.org
Because the site was used as a working farm by John Jay and his descendents from the 1790s to the 1940s, the cache initially was stocked with a collection of farm animals. Although the first-to-find reward -- a pre-paid pass good for one adult admission to the house -- has been claimed, do consider taking the tour. Depending on when you visit, your guide may turn out to be one-half of the Old Bet caching team.
(August 2010 Update: Based on the suggestions made by two recent finders, we have upped the terrain rating one-half point to 1.5. The cache is not handicapped accessible. As you approach, your GPSr may direct your to the cache via a route that is blocked by a thicket of sticker bushes. Press on and you will see a path to the cache that does not involve pain and suffering. That last few yards may be a tad challenging for the geotots.)
(OPRHP Permit JJ-1 has been issued for this cache.)