at the Front Door
On August 9, 1654, Governor Peter Stuyvesant gave a
patent certifying ownership of this land to Abraham Riker. The Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead was
built in about 1656, according to the
Historic American Buildings Survey. Major additions to the original
Dutch farmhouse were made by Abraham Lent, a Riker descendant, about 1729. The house remained in
possession of the Riker-Lent family until the 20th century, when it passed
to William Gooth, who had been the personal secretary to the last Riker who
owned the house. Gooth
rented the house out to various tenants during the mid-1900's, with the
stipulation that nothing about the property could be changed.
Michael Smith has lived in the house since the 1960's. In
1975, he bought the property, the house and its contents from William Gooth. Beginning in
1980, he and his wife, Marion Duckworth Smith, began the present restoration.
The Riker Family graveyard in the rear contains 132 marked graves of the
Rikers and the Lents. The exiled Irish Catholic patriot, Dr. William J. MacNeven, husband of Jane Riker, is buried here. Also buried here is
Catherine Ann Tone, wife of Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1848 Irish revolt.
were planned and created by Michael and Marion Smith. Marion, a professional
photographer, has used the scenery as the subject and inspiration for her
best-selling book, "The Romantic
about The Smiths and their Refurbishment of the Riker House