LORENZO (State Historic Site, Cazenovia, New York)
John Lincklaen arrived in the United States in 1790 carrying a letter of introduction from Dutch banker Peter Stadnitski to Theophilus de Cazenove at the Holland Land Company's headquarters in Philadelphia. Stadnitski was a family friend, and his firm was a principal investor in the Holland Land Company.
When Lincklaen reached the shore of Cazenovia Lake in October 1792, he no doubt saw the site of his future in terms of high adventure. He wrote in his journal, ''situation superbÉfine land,'' as he completed his survey of the Holland Land Company's holdings. He returned the following spring as the Holland Land Company's agent charged with selling the tract. Lincklaen envisioned a ''great commercial city in the wilderness.''
By 1803 the prospering land agent began to envision a home situated on a low rise at the south end of the Cazenovia Lake with expansive, unobstructed views to the north. The plan for the mansion may have been developed by master builder, the eminent Albany architect, Philip Hooker. Building plans accelerated in March 1807 when Lincklaen's house on the lakeshore caught fire and burned to the ground. Lorenzo's masonry structure was begun with the spring thaw in 1807 and completed eighteen months later. Lincklaen strove to make his home fireproof by utilizing brick on both the interior partitions and exterior walls. Two inch thick plaster ceilings complemented the brick walls and fireplaces lined with sheet iron. Lincklaen and his family moved into the mansion on October 8, 1808.
In 1816, the post war economy was booming, land values were high and the Holland Land Company decided it was time to get out of the retail land business. It offered to sell remaining unsold lands to Lincklaen or place them on the market, making the land agent's share nearly worthless. Accepting what must have seemed the lesser evil, Lincklaen incurred a nearly quarter million dollar debt, an overwhelming amount in early 19th century. Construction of the Erie Canal began the next year, worsening Lincklaen's prospects. Most landholders held their property by land contracts, and so they had no equity in the lots on which they lived. The potential of the Erie Canal hastened the opening to markets of much cheaper land further west. Many contract holders picked up their belongings and headed west, abandoning their farms to Lincklaen. By 1820 Lincklaen had reclaimed thousands of acres but found few customers for the now overpriced land. Declining health and sinking fortunes compelled him to leave Lorenzo for the Cazenovia home of his brother in law during the last months of his life.
With Lincklaen's death in the winter of 1822, Mrs. Lincklaen placed Lorenzo on the market. but there were no buyers. A year later she sold the mansion for $100 to her youngest brother, Jonathan Ledyard, who had just inherited the debt ridden land business. Mrs. Lincklaen, together with Jonathan's growing family, returned to the mansion, but the arrangement was short lived. By 1826 Mrs. Lincklaen had prevailed upon her brother to sell back the mansion together with the western half of the farm, again for $100. Ledyard set out to build his own house, The Meadows, on the eastern half of the property. Mrs. Lincklaen, her niece Helen Ann Ledyard and her husband's nephew, often away at school, stayed on at Lorenzo.
After several revisions of her will, Mrs. Lincklaen named her nephew, Lincklaen Ledyard, Jonathan's eldest son, as her heir. A provision was made that he marry someone whom she approved, and young Ledyard won the hand of Helen Clarissa Seymour, his second cousin. At the same time he reversed his name to Ledyard Lincklaen to ensure continuation of the family surname. The younger Lincklaens moved into Lorenzo with Mrs. Lincklaen and the now widowed Helen Ann Ledyard Krumbhaar, and set about refurbishing the mansion.
With Ledyard Lincklaen's untimely death at age 44, in 1864, the nature of the mansion's occupancy began to change. Plans for further household improvements, including installation of gas lighting, were abandoned. Helen Clarissa and her only child, Helen Krumbhaar Lincklaen, occupied the mansion until the younger Helen's marriage to lawyer and politician Charles Stebbins Fairchild in 1871. After that time Lorenzo became primarily a summer residence. Helen Clarissa usually spent winters with her daughter's household. In the late 1870s she spent two years in Europe with the Fairchilds, during which time distant cousins from Michigan rented the mansion in the summer months.
By the time Helen Clarissa died in 1894, the Fairchilds had begun another round of renovations to the mansion and outbuildings. The original carriage house was razed, and the matching stables were moved to the outer edge of the grounds. On the site of the old stables a new, grander structure, designed by Utica architect John Constable, was built in 1892. A companion building containing a potting shed and icehouse also was added. Constable also designed a Colonial Revival front stoop in 1895 to replace a Victorian Italianate version built by Ledyard Lincklaen thirty six years earlier. A telephone was added in 1895. In 1899 ''Church Cottage'' was built for the estate manager, Gardner Church. The availability of Village water in 1905 prompted further kitchen renovations and installation of bathrooms. Early 20th century improvements included electricity, a glass enclosed porch, new wallpapers, drapes and carpets. Finally, a new paint scheme, a custard body with reddish brown trim, replaced the timeworn gray on gray.
When Mrs. Fairchild died in 1931 the property was willed to her first cousin, Jane Ledyard Remington, who moved into Lorenzo with her husband, Eliphalet, a retired civil engineer. They continued improvements to the mechanical systems and added furnishings to the already well furnished mansion. The Remingtons were strictly summer residents, wintering in North Carolina. After Eliphalet's death in 1938, maintenance of the estate waned. In the early 1940s Jane's brother, George Strawbridge Ledyard, Jr. and his wife, Annie Keast, retired to Cazenovia and assisted in the management of Lorenzo. Along with their bachelor son, John Denyse Ledyard, they lived in South Cottage on the estate.
Following Mrs. Remington death in 1953, a New York bank held the estate in trust while the nine heirs worked out a plan to divide the estate. It was agreed George Ledyard, one of the heirs, would be granted life residency at the mansion. In the meantime, the condition of the house and outbuildings continued to decline. Heirs also had agreed to keep the estate intact, and in the mid 1960s an agreement was reached with the newly formed New York State Historic Trust that, upon George Ledyard's death, Lorenzo would be purchased by the trust and the property's contents would be donated. George Ledyard died on October 27, 1967, at the age of 92. The New York State Historic Trust took title to Lorenzo and its property in March 1968 and began a new chapter in the preservation of a rare ''find,'' an architecturally significant building with an intact collection of furnishings and records. John Denyse had been granted lifetime residency at South Cottage; his death in 1970 ended five generations of Lincklaen/Ledyard occupancy of Lorenzo.
John Lincklaen (1768 - 1822)
was born in Amsterdam, Holland to Anthony Quiryn and Gertrude Hoeven Lincklaen. Schooled in Switzerland, he was orphaned at a young age, after which he entered the Dutch Navy. Lincklaen arrived in the United States in 1790 to work for the Holland Land Company. Lincklaen played an active role in the development of Cazenovia and the surrounding area, overseeing construction in Cazenovia of the Presbyterian Church and the first courthouse for the newly formed Madison County. He opened the Third Great Western Turnpike Road Company, commonly known as the Cherry Valley Turnpike, in 1811.
Helen Ledyard Lincklaen (1777 - 1847)
was the daughter of Benjamin and Catherine Forman Ledyard of Middletown Point, New Jersey and later Aurora, New York. Helen married John Lincklaen on February 22, 1797. Construction of Lorenzo began in the spring of 1807, and the family moved to the property on October 8, 1808. The couple had no children, but took in various relatives' children. Their ''adopted'' children included Mrs. Lincklaen's youngest brother, Jonathan Denise Ledyard; her niece, Helen Ann Ledyard; and Mr. Lincklaen's nephew, Lambertus Wolters. Helen Ann arrived at Lorenzo in 1815 following the death of her mother. Lambertus was the son of Gerrit and Ann Lincklaen Wolters, John's only sibling.
Jonathan Denise Ledyard (1793 - 1874)
was the youngest son of Benjamin and Catherine Forman Ledyard. Upon the death of his parents he came to live with the Lincklaens in Cazenovia. Jonathan attended Union College in Schenectady, New York, and on October 26, 1819 married Jane Strawbridge. Jane was born in 1793 to John and Hannah Evans Strawbridge of Philadelphia and had a sizable dowry in the form of land in Pennsylvania. Jonathan and Jane had six children. In 1827 they moved into their newly built home, The Meadows, which was almost an exact duplicate of Lorenzo, being just slightly smaller. Jane died at age 62 on February 4, 1855. Following John Lincklaen's death in 1822, Jonathan inherited the land business. Despite economic hardships, he succeeded not only in meeting the company's obligations, but also made a moderate profit. Investing in industrial and other land projects, Ledyard was one of the chief creditors of the Cazenovia community.
Lincklaen Ledyard (1820 - 1864)
was the oldest of Jonathan Denise and Jane Strawbridge Ledyard's six children. In 1828 he enrolled at Cazenovia Seminary and later attended Union College. When he inherited Lorenzo in 1847 there were stipulations to his inheritance that did not appear in the official document, such as legal reversal of his name in 1844 to Ledyard Lincklaen in an effort to preserve the surname. He married Helen Clarissa Seymour, on December 7, 1843. They had one child, Helen Krumbhaar Lincklaen. Ledyard Lincklaen was active in the family business affairs and community building efforts. In 1847 the Cazenovia and Chittenango Plank Road Company was chartered with him as president. Ledyard Lincklaen's interests also extended to issues of public beautification. He promoted roadside cleanup and the installation of adornments such as signposts, water troughs, footpaths and roadside tree lines. Interested in cultural pursuits, he collaborated with his father in opening Cazenovia's first opera house.
Helen Clarissa Seymour Lincklaen (1818 - 1894)
was born March 1, 1818 to Henry and Mary Ledyard Forman Seymour in Pompey Hill, New York. She and her husband, Ledyard Lincklaen, were second cousins; her grandmother and his grandfather were brother and sister. Horatio Seymour, the Civil War era governor of New York State, was her brother. Helen Clarissa owned Lorenzo until her death June 3, 1894 at the age of 76.
Helen Krumbhaar Lincklaen Fairchild (1845 - 1931)
On June 1, 1871 she married her second cousin, Charles Stebbins Fairchild. He was a practicing lawyer with a successful political career. Mrs. Fairchild was always known as a gracious hostess, and during Charles' political career she was the subject of a feature article in the fashionable lady's magazine Harper's Bazaar. Helen's interest in her family's heritage led her to gather documents and objects related to Lorenzo, and also edit and organize notes and ledgers from the previous occupants. She published the book, ''The Journals of John Lincklaen'' in 1897. The Fairchilds were active in the local chapter of the Anti-Suffrage movement. Helen Fairchild inherited Lorenzo upon the death of her mother in 1894. Her interest in the family's history and preservation of her ancestral home, collections and records are primary reasons that Lorenzo is a museum today. Having no children, she left the estate to her cousin, Jane Ledyard Remington.
Charles Stebbins Fairchild (1842 - 1924)
He received his law degree at Harvard and was admitted to the bar in 1865. In 1871 he married Helen Krumbhaar Lincklaen. He served in New York's Attorney General's office, and later practiced law in New York City. He was appointed U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Grover Cleveland's first administration. At the end of this term, Fairchild entered the banking and investment business, and continued to be active in the Democratic Party before retiring in 1912. After leaving public life, Fairchild engaged in such gentlemanly hobbies as pleasure driving, scientific farming, and golf. In 1895 he allowed the Cazenovia Golf Club to build one of the earliest golf courses in Central New York on Lorenzo property. At the time of his death, Fairchild was still serving as a director of the local Cazenovia bank and a warden of St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
Eliphalet Remington (1861 - 1938)
was born September 26, 1861 to Samuel and Flora Carver Remington in Ilion, New York. He was the grandson of the founder of the Remington Arms Company. Eliphalet attended Columbia School of Mines. Before marrying Jane Strawbridge Ledyard in 1889, Eliphalet had many adventures as a rancher and cowboy in Kansas and Argentina. After marrying, he began his career as a civil engineer in Chicago and New York City. In 1906, Eliphalet journeyed to California to assist in reconstruction work after the San Francisco earthquake. During World War I he was associated with his brother Franklin's shipbuilding company, the Foundation Company of New York. Remington was involved in numerous building projects in Cazenovia, including the construction of South Cottage on the Lorenzo property and remodeling of the Lincklaen House. In later years Eliphalet became interested in model shipbuilding.
Jane Strawbridge Ledyard Remington (1863 - 1953)
She grew up in The Meadows, the mansion built by her grandfather, Jonathan Denise Ledyard. On January 23, 1889 she married Eliphalet Remington. The Remingtons enjoyed the outdoor life and took frequent camping trips. They were active in the local Anti-Suffrage movement. Jane was also interested in the preservation of her family's heritage. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the New York Historical Society. Mr. Remington was retired when they inherited Lorenzo in 1931. The couple had no children. Upon her death on December 15, 1953 at the age of 90, Jane left her estate undivided among nine heirs.
George Strawbridge Ledyard, Jr. (1875 - 1967)
On September 28, 1900 he married Annie Best Keast. He served in the Spanish American War and was a stockbroker in New York City. The couple retired to Cazenovia in the early 1940s where he assisted his sister, Jane Remington, in the management of Lorenzo. Along with their bachelor son, John Denyse Ledyard, they lived in South Cottage on the estate. Following his sister's death in 1953, George was one of nine relatives to inherit an equal share in her estate. It was agreed he would have life residency at Lorenzo.