The John Jay Potting Sheds

The John Jay Potting Sheds (HMGED)

Location: Katonah, NY 10536 Westchester County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 15.045', W 73° 39.524'

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John Jay Homestead

After the American Civil War, the nation experienced tremendous economic growth in agriculture and industry. In the 1870s, the refrigerator car was introduced, and farmers expanded their market opportunities. Farming became big business. Between 1865 and 1890, retail trade in flowers, or floriculture, began to expand. After 1890, the industry boomed, and by 1929, New York State led the nation in flower and plant production. Located 50 miles north of New York City and near rail lines, the Jay farm was ideally situated to exploit the opportunity of this expanding market.

Floriculture in the Northeast required the construction of greenhouses and other structures to shelter plantings during the harsh months of the year. The Jay farm had been growing plants in small shelters called "hotbeds" since 1832. A small glass-paned house, or "hothouse," was built in 1833. By 1890, John Jay II decided to commercialize the operation. He built two potting sheds to service the farm's 1860 greenhouse.

A Utilitarian Space
The potting sheds provided a workspace in which gardeners could set seeds, work with cuttings, and store tools. At the Jay farm, the flowers and bedding plants grown from cuttings included coleus, fuchsia, and geraniums. Flowers grown from seed included stocks, cornflowers, wallflowers, cineraria, zinnias, hollyhocks, geraniums, columbine, and Dutchman's pipe. The Jay greenhouse contained violets, carnations, calla lilies, roses, chrysanthemums, lilies, hydrangeas, and smilax. Vegetables, including lettuce and cauliflower, were started in the greenhouses. Later they were moved to hotbeds for forcing or were transplanted to outdoor beds in the spring.
Placed ByFriends of the Jay Homestead
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 10:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 612375 N 4567460
Decimal Degrees41.25075000, -73.65873333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 15.045', W 73° 39.524'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 15' 2.70" N, 73° 39' 31.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)914, 917
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 400 Jay St, Katonah NY 10536, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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