Cherry Hill was constructed in 1787 by Philip van Rensselaer (“Cherry Hill (Albany, New York)” 2015). Philip van Rensselaer worked primarily as an importer of West Indian goods such as cloth and metalware. Rensselaer would often accept farm and forest products in return for his goods. During the Revolutionary war van Rensselaer proved himself to be a valuable liaison in the supply side of the war efforts. He was eventually appointed to storekeeper by General Phillip Schuyler. This meant that he would be placed in charge of ordinance and other important military supplies.
In 1787, van Rensselaer ordered for the current building that was standing on his farmland to be knocked down, and had a new one built in its place. This is the building that would later become known as Cherry Hill. The house was built in the Georgian style and features a Gambrel style roof (“Cherry Hill (Albany, New York)” 2015). A gambrel roof is a two sided roof that features two slopes with one of the slopes being more shallow and one of the slopes being rather steep (“Gambrel” 2016).
Over the years the house and its property remained under possession of the Rensselaer family and its relatives. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries it was under the possession of Catherine Rankin and her daughter Emily. Catherine and Emily both worked and made efforts to preserve the house and what was left in it. After the death of Emily, she had written in her will that she wanted the property to be turned into a museum.
Today Cherry Hill contains a collection of more than 70,000 artifacts including books, diaries, documents, clothing and more. The museum is open to the public and offers tours, architecture hunts, and a behind the scenes look at the restoration process (“Historic Cherry Hill” 2016).