In 1797, William Bailey (one of the first judges and assemblymen in the region) built a modest house on this site in Plattsburgh, a settlement founded in 1785. William’s father, Colonel John Bailey, bought the house and later gave it to his daughter Elizabeth, who married James Kent, a local judge. In 1810, the Kents sold it to Henry and Betsey Delord, and in 1811, the Delords rebuilt the house essentially as it is seen today. It is thought to be the oldest existing house in Plattsburgh. Born in France in 1764, Henry Delord came to the Plattsburgh area as an immigrant from the French West Indies in 1796. During the War of 1812, Plattsburgh was a center of American military activity, and the northern Lake Champlain region in general was known for a great deal of cross-border smuggling. Henry Delord and his partner William Bailey were among the few merchants willing to extend credit to General Macomb’s ill-paid troops, allowing them to purchase provisions. They were never repaid. In September 1814, as a powerful British army advanced on Plattsburgh, many citizens, including the Delords, fled the town. By September 11, Plattsburgh had been occupied north of the Saranac River, and the British were preparing for their assault on the American defenses. Given its location by the mouth of the Saranac River with its expansive view of the bay and lake, the house was chosen as the British headquarters. The house remained in the family until 1913 and has operated as the Kent-Delord House Museum since 1928.
Here is the Gold Parlor! Family portraits in the Gold Parlor include: Betsey Delord, Henry Delord, Frances Henrietta Delord, age 5, and Frances Henrietta Delord Webb and Henry Livingston Webb’s wedding portraits. Click on the photo to find out more!