Harvest Festival

September 23, 2023
29 Warburton Ave. Yonkers, NY 10701

Harvest Festival

Saturday, September 23, 2023
12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

This event has been moved indoors due to the weather.

Step back in time to the late 18th century! This free family-friendly outdoor festival will feature costumed reenactors and hands-on activities.

September was the time of year when tenant farmers on the Philipse Manor would harvest their wheat and start to bring it to the Philipse grist mills for assessment and grinding into flour. September was also apple harvest time in the Philipse orchards. Try your hand at grinding grain in a stone mill, grinding up apples for cider in a cider press, and other hands-on activities. Meet military and civilian reenactors, including General George Washington and his horse Nelson, members of Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment and the First Rhode Island Regiment, colonial era craftsmen, and more. Play colonial-era games and learn more about the history of Westchester County before and during the American Revolution.

Festival coincides with Yonkers RiverFest, featuring music, shopping, and food. Spend the day!

Sponsored in part by the Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall.

Featured Historic Reenactors:

John Koopman III and Bear portraying General George Washington and his horse Nelson.
The Living History Company, portraying Black and African American soldiers of the American Revolution.
Tom Hunt, demonstrating historic broom making.
Erik Paul, demonstrating 18th century joinery and woodwork.

Hands-On Activities

Sugar & Spice History

with Sarah Wassberg Johnson at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30 PM, in the Gothic Chamber

We associate pumpkin spice with the fall, but did you know that the desire for spices drove European exploration of the world? And that sugar was reserved for the super-rich until the development of sugar plantations in the Caribbean? Learn about the spice trade and sugar trade and try your hand at using a mortar and pestle to grind your own sugar and spice mix to take home! Try grinding whole cinnamon, cloves, allspice, black pepper, and sugar, then use a nutmeg grater to add some whole nutmeg.

Milling History

with Sarah Wassberg Johnson & Michael Lord at 1:30, 3:30 PM, in the Gothic Chamber

Philipse Manor was home to hundreds of European tenant farmers all growing wheat for export to the sugar islands. The Philipse family had two mills in Westchester - the Upper Mill at Sleepy Hollow, and the Lower Mills here in Yonkers. Both were run by enslaved millers. Learn why Frederick Philipse I chose to use enslaved millers, learn how gristmills work, and try your hand at grinding grain in a stone quern!

Cider Pressing

with the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall, ongoing outdoors

September is apple harvest season and the orchards at Philipse Manor Hall would have been put to good use by the Philipse family. Stored whole apples, dried apples, and especially apple cider were important fall and winter treats. Fresh cider was consumed quickly. Any leftovers were turned into hard cider or cider vinegar. Try your hand at grinding apples in our small cider press!

Historical Games

with John Farrell, all day on the back lawn

People in the 18th century worked hard, but they also spent long winter nights at play. Try your hand at historical outdoor and tabletop games like quoits, ninepins, graces, Nine Men’s Morris, mancala, and more. Fun for all ages!


Partners in History

Check out the booths for these great local organizations to learn more about their missions.

Friends of Philipse Manor Hall

Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

Friends of Odell House/Rochambeau Headquarters

Yonkers Historical Society/Sherwood House Museum

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