John Brown Farm State Historic Site

  • John Brown Road
    Lake Placid

Tour the last home and burial site of the famed abolitionist. Open year-round, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.

John Brown, the famous abolitionist of Civil War days, first came to Essex County in 1849, when he acquired 244 acres of land from Gerrit Smith. Smith had been offering land to free blacks in various areas of the state to encourage them to homestead. Brown did not stay long in Essex County. In 1855, he joined some of his sons who were homesteading in Kansas and carried on his fight against pro-slavery forces there. He made sporadic visits to his family and farm in the following years while planning his ill-fated raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. After his trial and execution in 1859 in Virginia, Brown's second wife, Mary, accompanied his body back to Essex County. His body lay in state and under guard during an evening's rest in the Elizabethtown Court House. His grave and the simple farmhouse where he lived are preserved as a memorial and New York State Historic Site.

There are hiking trails on the property.