“Washington’s Headquarters” (Miller House), White Plains

One of Westchester’s oldest historical landmarks stands in peril in White Plains. The colonial home of Elijah and Ann Miller, presently a Westchester County Historic Site, is prominent for having briefly hosted George Washington at the time of the 1776 Battle of White Plains. Another White Plains house, the Jacob Purdy House, has been documented as Washington’s primary headquarters during nearby battles in 1776 and 1778. Nevertheless the c. 1738/1770 Miller House is listed with the Purdy house on the National Register of Historic Places.

ABOVE: The Miller House as it appeared c. 1886 (History of Westchester County, ed. Scharf)

The County website lists extremely limited hours of operation for the Miller House. The building has been left to nearly fall into serious disrepair by the county executive, who has taken a hard-line stance on this kind of government spending, and legislators who have over-ridden the executive veto in order to provide funding for the house and to relocate it to a site with better public access.

Until then, the Miller House looks a little forlorn with a ragged green tarp hanging off its roof, and fenced off from curious visitors.

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15 Responses to “Washington’s Headquarters” (Miller House), White Plains

  1. Deanna says:

    I’ve reached out to find out more regarding the status of Washingtons headquarters. It is a place that our family visited year after year since we lived on Westview Ave. I was told someone would get back to me, it’s been 5 months.

    What can we do to keep this place alive?

    • HV-Rob says:

      Several interested parties would like it to be reopened. It seems clear that the house cannot accommodate large groups in its current location, and must be moved. Some folks are really against relocation even though it would benefit the house. Other groups are debating a suitable new location. A problem is available land, and also agreeing on which site is best.

  2. Ilse Hoffmann says:

    I am the Secretary of the Steuben Society of America and was District Council Chair of the Society in Valhalla in the seventies and eighties. If I remember correctly, the Purdy House was moved uphill under the guidance of the White Plains Historical Society (Renoda Hoffmann and others instrumental in this effort). I will check my Steuben News records and get back to you about some specifics. I am wondering whether there is room next to Purdy House for the Miller House. We have an interest in thos as Steuben visited Washington there for one day .

  3. Please sign the Petition to send to Rob Astorino to Save the Miller House.

  4. Denis P. O'Meara says:

    The George Washington Headquarters is an important piece of history. Delays mean fewer school children have the opportunity to learn from the site and lost tourism dollars.

  5. Susan Murphy says:

    Do you have a contact person at the county Executive’s Office? I have a number of people who would like to voice their opinion. Please let me know what we can do to help.

  6. Maura Doern Danko says:

    I find the building very compelling – I have an interest in coordinating art projects at the site; it would be a great resource for artistic/historic intersection. Would you know where I might find a contact information to pursue this?

  7. Laurane Carnevale says:

    I visited the Miller House yesterday, hoping the TV series “Turn” might have kindled interest in this historic site. To my utter dismay, it was in shambles. My young son & I spent 2 joyous summers in the late 1990s when The Miller House was appropriately transformed into Westchester County’s “George Washington’s Headquarters Sumer Camp”. Under the direction of the knowledgable & creative Revolutionary War re-enactor John Wright, the children enjoyed outstanding hands-on experience of authentic colonial living. How can we revive this invaluable resource of living history for our children & ourselves?

  8. EBEN TURNURE says:

    I believe the Miller House should be moved to the property near the Kensico Dam.Isn’t it the reason to save these historical homes to teach future generations the history of this great country.At the Kensico Dam there’s more parking and accessiblety to the house.How much property did Elijah Miller own?Did it go as far north to the Dam?

  9. Rosemary Barrett says:

    My grandparents Charles Kaiser and Julia Kaiser owned George Washington Headquarters in the early nineteen hundreds. I have documentation that they sold it in 1917. I have a poignant picture of my Grandparents in front of the headquarters. My father George Washington Kaiser was born in the home in 1911. Obviously, named after George Washington. Since we have family history there and for posterity we are hoping that it can be restored.
    Rosemary Barrett Kaiser

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