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Backstory and Context
Boscobel was constructed between 1804 and 1808 to be the home of States Dyckman. Dyckman was the descendant of some of the area's earliest Dutch settlers and managed to retain his fortune despite being a Loyalist and working for the British Army during the American Revolution. Boscobel is the only house museum in the Hudson River Valley that was built by a British Loyalist.
After working in London for a number of years, Dyckman returned to the United States in 1803 and began planning his home. During his time in England, Dyckman associated with many wealthy Britons and was perhaps inspired by the homes he visited there. He also acquired numerous furnishings and and decorative objects that he had shipped home. Construction on Boscobel began shortly after his return in 1803.
At the time of Dyckman's death in 1806, only the foundation of the home was in place. His wife, Elizabeth, completed construction of the home and lived there until her death in 1823.
Boscobel remained in the Dyckman family until 1920, and in the ensuing years, the home faced demolition on numerous occasions. After the Veterans' Administration built a hospital on the property, demolition of the mansion was imminent until it was saved by a group called Friends of Boscobel. Lila Acheson Wallace, a co-founder of Reader's Digest, donated $50,000 for the home's preservation and relocation to a new site.
The restored home opened to the public in 1961. It underwent another restoration in 1977 to make it more as it appeared in Dyckman's plans. Boscobel is regarded as having one of the nation's finest collections of furnishings and art from the Federal period and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.