BY LANDY ERLICK
While the Jay family’s ancestral home in Rye was not deeded to Peter Augustus Jay until September of 1822, Peter and his family were already spending many of their summers at the country residence by 1814. We have considerable insight into their household activities through the account book of Peter’s wife, Mary Rutherfurd. (To learn more about the ledger, see: https://jaycenter.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/200-years-later-invoices-icehouses/)
Mary often hosted dinner parties and events both at home in New York City and here in Rye. Her entries detail numerous market purchases for the guests – items range from gooseberries to macaroons to calve’s head. In a letter to her first cousin, Mary seems eager to entertain her relatives, writing that she “could make [her aunt’s] time pass very agreeably for a fortnight at least” (Memorials of Peter A. Jay, 117).