Phelps Mansion Museum
191 Court St, Binghamton, NY 13901 - United States
Built in 1870 for Sherman D Phelps. The mansion was one of many in on Court St. The mansion was designed by notable architect Isaac G Perry. Today we serve as a historic house museum and keeping local history alive.
Judge Phelps died on November 13, 1878 of Fells Disease. He was laid in state on the first floor of the mansion, and later buried beside his second wife in the Spring Forest Cemetery. Following his death, Judge Phelps’ sons Robert Sherman and Arthur David lived in the house for a time. Arthur died on October 30, 1880 and Robert died on December 14, 1881. Robert’s widow Harriett “Hattie” Storey Taylor Phelps had lifetime use of the estate and lived in the mansion until her death in 1882.
The estate was passed on to Judge Phelps’ nieces and nephews, none of whom wanted to live in the house. The mansion sat empty for several years being maintained by Andrew Jackson, a freed slave who had served the family as carriage driver for many years.
In 1889 the mansion was sold to George Harry Lester, a local shoe manufacturer. Mr. Lester was in the process of purchasing land near Binghamton to develop Lestershire (now Johnson City) for the purpose of enlarging his factory. Due to financial difficulties, the mansion was sold at an auction. John Stewart Wells, the original contractor, purchased the mansion and rented it to the James Christopher Truman family. They lived in the home until about 1905 when Mr. Truman retired as the postmaster. In 1905 the home was again sold, and this time it was purchased as the new home for the Monday Afternoon Club. The club owned the property until it was transferred to the Phelps Mansion Museum to be operated as a historic house museum.
Visitors to the Phelps Mansion Museum will learn about the history of the Phelps family here in Binghamton as well as the Monday Afternoon Club , a womens civic organization that owned the house from 1905 until 1986 when the organization became known as the Phelps Mansion Foundation. Today we are a NYS historic house museum offering public tours, programming and many special events all year long.
Tour times are every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last tour at 4:30 p.m.
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