The 1807 Swart-Wilcox House is the oldest house in the City of Oneonta. This community house museum, chartered by the State of New York, is open every Sunday during the summer for informal tours and a Summer Sunday Series of programs focusing on topics of local interest. There is no charge for either the programs or the tour of this handicap accessible historic house. Group tours available upon request.
In 1807, Revolutionary War Soldier Lawrence Swart (1753-1841), built this German Palatine Vernacular house on the banks of the Susquehanna River on land which had been purchased from the Wallace Patent. He cleared his 230 acres and lived there with his family until 1841.
The land was sold to Peter Collier and Jared Goodyear who used this land to entice the railroad to come through Oneonta. In 1867, they sold the remaining 74 acres to Henry and Phoebe Wilcox for $9,000. They and their 3 children lived in the house for over 100 years, with the last member of the Wilcox family, Merton, dying in 1970 at age 92.
In 1972, the City of Oneonta bought the Wilcox house with the remaining 14.7 acres of land and used it as the focal point for the City’s 1976 Bicentennial Celebration.
In 1988, the Swart-Wilcox Steering Committee was given approval by the City Common Council to undertake the task of getting the house placed upon the Historic Register and raising money to restore the deteriorating structure.
In 1991, the Swart-Wilcox House was placed on the Historic Register.
In 1994, the SW House was officially dedicated after the first phrase of restoration was completed.
In 1999, the interior of the house was restored with the aid of a generous gift from Raymond Beecher, and the front parlor was dedicated to the memory of his wife, Catharine Shaffer Beecher.
In 2004, the NYS Education Deptartment granted the SW House a charter as a House Museum.
In 2007, the Swart-Wilcox House celebrated it’s 200th anniversary. It is the oldest house still standing in the City of Oneonta, and is an active community focal point as well as museum.
Or if you’d like, you could also become a Friend of Swart-Wilcox, whether or not you are local, your support is always welcome and appreciated