This historic house in Albany, New York was built in 1787 by Isaac Packard for Philip Kiliaen van Rensselaer, a wealthy merchant of the powerful Van Rensselaer family. Packard replaced an older house with this new Georgian-style home. Van Rensselaer would move his family into the house and build up the surrounding area into a 1000-acre farm. In 1824, when Solomon Van Rensselaer owned the house, he hosted the Marquis de LaFayette at Cherry Hill during his return tour to the United States
Murder at Cherry Hill
Jesse Strang, a drifter from Putnam County was in a bar when he met Elsie Whipple, the daughter of Abraham Lansing and Elsie Van Rensselaer. Elsie was already married to John Whipple, but Strang fell in love with her and took a job as a handyman at Cherry Hill. Elsie fell for Jesse and soon conspired to kill her husband and run away with him. After a failed attempt at poisoning Whipple, Elsie convinced her lover to shoot him. On May 7, 1827, Jesse Strang shot and killed John Whipple and quickly ran to a local store in hopes of having an alibi, but after returning to the scene of the crime, the police quickly realized that he was still a suspect and detained him. Out of fear and in hopes of getting a lighter sentence, Strang confessed and blamed Elsie for orchestrating the crime. Elsie was incarcerated and each was tried. Strang was pronounced guilty and hanged, but Elsie was pronounced not-guilty and let go.