NORTH WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s an important local site you’ve probably never visited.
The home George Washington used during the Battle of White Plains in 1776.
Shuttered and neglected for decades, there’s now a plan to breath new life into this historic homestead, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.
It survived the Revolutionary War, but the ravages of time have taken a toll.
There are holes in the ceiling and insulation spilling out of the walls. There’s a display case covered in a thick layer of dust. There are cobwebs in every corner.
It’s sad state of affairs for such an important place in our local history — Gen. Washington’s headquarters for repeated visits during the American Revolution.
“Great things happened in this house and in this county, long before it became our responsibility to protect that history,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer told CBS2’s Aiello.
Latimer said 20 years after a budget crunch forced the closure, a $2 million plan is in place to rehab the Elijah Miller House in North White Plains. The idea is to restore it to its 18th century appearance and reopen it as a museum, with a new building that will serve as a visitor and education center.
“This is an original site. We don’t get many opportunities to preserve original sites and original artifacts,” County Legislator Margaret Cunzio said.
The most important Miller House artifacts are safely in storage, including the table where Gen. Washington dined, and the desk where he laid out his battle plans.
Cynthia Abbott Kauffman, a local resident and re-enactor, said this is where Washington strategized to win the Battle of White Plains.
“If the British had taken it, it would have let them have access to Albany and New England, and when we held this place here with the patriots’ force, they no longer had that ability,” Kauffman said.
This place that helped make Washington the father of our country will be reborn and reopened in the fall of 2019.
The site will also tell the story of the Miller family that owned the home. Elijah Miller and his two oldest sons all died while serving in the Continental Army.