Villa Terrace, built on the grounds of what had been Union Garden, was the home of Jefferson Gardner who began occupancy there around 1868. Later the residence was named Elm Mount when it was the home of Edgar Ketchum Betts. Later still it became the Troy County Day School, and after that bought by the LaSalle Institute which renamed it Notre Dame Hall. It then passed from the LaSalle Institute to the Catholic Central High School.

—Jefferson Gardner has purchased the property called the “Union Garden,” south east of the village. It contains eight acres of highly cultivated land. Mr. Gardner intends to remove the old house front, and make a gate lodge of it, and will erect a fine residence on the site of the old building.
Troy Whig. April 19, 1867: 4 col 3.

Detail showing Villa Terrace and surrounding area cropped from
Bevan, John. Map of [the Village of] Lansingburgh, Rensselaer County, New York. New York: J. Bevan, 1872.(North at left of image)

Jefferson Gardner returned yesterday from a business trip to Illinois and Iowa.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. August 14, 1880: 3 col 3.

A reunion of the family of Jefferson Gardner occurred at the family residence, at the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, Christmas evening. There were thirty of the family in attendance.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. December 27, 1886: 3 col 4.

Joseph Hillman said yesterday that in accumulating material for his forthcoming history of Methodism in this city, it was found that no cut was accessible of the first Methodist church building, which stood on the site of the State street church. Mr. Hillman remembered how the building looked and caused a sketch to be made, as it remained in his memory. The sketch was taken to Mrs. Jefferson Gardner, more than eighty years old, and whose father was 100 years of age when he died. Mrs. Gardner’s mind is still clear, and she distinctly recollected the old church. She pronounced the sketch an accurate representation. She remembered that there were two doors and three windows in the front, four windows on each side and two steps leading to the front entrances. Mrs. Archibald, mother of J. C. Archibald, remembered the building, and pronounced the cut an accurate reproduction of the old church. The records of the church showed an order for the painting of a fence around the church. From these fact Mr. Hillman has been able to get, with much pains, a correct likeness of the old church, which will appear in the history.
Troy Daily Times. January 21, 1888: 2 col 5.

Detail showing Villa Terrace cropped and edited from Burleigh, L. R. Lansingburgh, N. Y. First Ward 9th to 15th Sts. Second Ward, 15th to 18th Sts. Troy, N.Y.: Burleigh Litho, 1891.

Death of Mrs. Jefferson Gardner.

Mary Ann Gardner, widow of Jefferson Gardner, died last Friday at the old Gardner homestead, at the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, aged 86 years. Mrs. Gardner had resided in this village for the past thirty years, having moved here with her husband in 1862, Mr. Gardner dying here some four years ago. Deceased was beloved by all with whom she came in contact, and universal regret is the expression of her many friends. Her charities were numerous and generous, and her disposition was to make others happy. The surviving children are: Mrs. William S. Earl and Mrs. James H. Nichols, of Troy, Mrs. John D. Benedict, Mrs. E. K. Betts and J. Wright Gardner, of Lansingburgh, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, of Orange, N. J., and Richard H. Gardner, of New York. Mrs. and Mrs. Betts are at present in Europe.
The funeral was largely attended from the residence on Tuesday morning and the interment was in Oakwood.
Lansingburgh Courier. June 2, 1892: 3 col 3.

—A lawn party for the benefit of the Fresh Air Fund will be held at Elm-Mont, head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, to-morrow from 5 to 9 p. m. Admission will be: Adults, ten cents; children, five sents. There will be music, croquet, and lawn tennis, with candy, ice cream, cake and summer beverages for sale. The lawn party will be under the management of Miss Ethel Betts, president; Miss Maysie Parks, secretary; Miss Daisy Morrison, treasurer; Miss Ida Baxter, Miss Nannie Buffington, Miss Sarah Cook, Miss Margaret Cook, Miss Fannie Dauchy, Miss Lela Gibson, Miss Hattie Hartwell, Miss Satie Holbrook, Miss Bessie McMurray, Miss Antoinette McMurray, Miss Louise Pine, Miss Bessie Snyder, Miss Lucy Van Kirk and Miss Minnie Wallick. In case of storm the entertainment will be postponed to Saturday evening. The party will be, as it deserves to be, one of the events of the season.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Times. June 27, 1895: 2 col 5.


Helping the Fresh Air Fund—A Brilliant Lawn Party
The Fresh Air Fund is meeting substantion recogniation, and commendable interest is manifested in this most noble charity. Thousands of poor children have already been benefitted by the Fund, and that the excellent work may continue through the present heated term liberal contributions are necessary. […]
One of the most elaborate lawn parties ever given in the interest of the Fund was that of last evening at Elm-mont, the residence of Edgar K. Betts at the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, Lansingburgh. With handsome grounds and elaborate decorations the scene was remarkable for its beauty. From the gateway, surrounded with shrubbery, lanterns and torches lined the roadway leading up into the grounds, and in all more than 500 lanterns were used about the place. Near a large fountain were arranged candy and flower stands in a little pine grove, and here a pretty sight was presented. Lanterns were hung in the trees, and with other decorations were tastefully arranged. The residence was finely decorated with lanterns and brilliantly illuminated, and on the porch was stationed a band which discoursed sweet music during the hours of the party—from 5 until 9 o’clock. The arrangement of the tennis court, on which was served the ice cream, was delightful. From a large pole in the centre of the court ropes were string to the sides and filled with varicolored lanterns. The entire arrangement of the decorations and other details was charming and attracted the hearty admiration of the guests, who numbered during the evening about 400. The young ladies who had the management of the event in charge deserve the highest praise for the success of the party, for which they labored unceasingly. The net proceeds were $101.14.
Troy Daily Times. June 29, 1895: 2 col 4.


The Record of Deaths—Decease of the Venerable Jefferson Gardner
Jefferson Gardner, one of the oldest residents of this vicinity, died at his residence at the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, Lansingburgh, at 2 o’clock this morning. Mr. Gardner had long been ill, from mortification of the toe, which resulted in blood poisoning, causing his death. He was born in Dutchess county, New York, April 17, 1802, and came to this city when a boy, beginning life as a butcher’s boy, and he worked his way up until he succeeded to the business, for several years keeping a meat stall in the old market opposite St. Paul’s church. Still later he removed to the old North market, on Federal street. He was married to Mary Ann Wright June 13, 1824, the union resulting in eight children, seven of whom are now living. Mr. Gardner is one of the founders of machine collar-manufacturing in this city. In 1840 he engaged in the collar business with John W. White, at No. 345 River street, under the firm name of Gardner & White, but in the following year the firm was dissolved, Mr. Gardner continuing the business at No. 25 King street. In 1848 he engaged in the manufacture of shirt bosoms with William S. Earl. In 1852 an agent of the Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine company came to this city with the intention of introducing the machines into the collar manufactories here. But all were skeptical except Mr. Gardner, who procured several machines, which proved in every way satisfactory. Mr. Gardner secured a half-interest in the sale of the machines in Rensselaer county, retaining the management of the business until 1855. Mr. Gardner was a zealous member of the Methodist church, having been one of the founders of the North Second street church in 1831. He is survived by a widow, two sons, Richard H. and J. Wright Gardner, and five daughters, Mrs. Williams S. Earl, Mrs. John D. Benedict, Mrs. E. K. Betts, Mrs. Le Grand Benedict and Mrs. James H. Nichols. Mr. Gardner is the second person deceased since May 1 whose name appeared in the first issue of the Troy directory in 1829, the other being Abijah Holcomb of Green Island.
Troy Times. June 2, 1888: 3 col 5.

A Desirable Home.

J. B. WINSLOW & CO. offer the Jefferson Gardner homestead, consisting of a modern dwelling, barn, carriage-house, hennery, etc., with 2 acres of land filled with choice fruit and shade trees situated at the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth street, Lansingburgh. High ground, pure air and extensive view. Property cost $18,000; will sell for $8,000 to close the estate. Photograph at our office. Apply to J. H. WINSLOW & CO., 13 State street, Troy, N. Y.
Troy Daily Times. May 29, 1890: 3 col 8.

—The premises recently purchased by E. K. Betts and formerly known as the Jefferson Gardner residence will be entirely repaired. Plans have been drawn by Engineer Baermann of Troy, and contracts for the mason and plumbing work have been awarded. When completed the premises will be among the finest in the village.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. August 15, 1890: 3 col 6.

On Seventh Avenue.

[One Hundred] Sixteenth street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, and the latter avenue in front of E. K. Betts’s residence present a much more favorable appearance than for some years before. The new trees set out by Mr. Betts have put forth considerable foliage, the walks are graded and every particular seems to herald the existence of a beautiful spot in the near future. The stone work of the new laboratory was finished yesterday, and a handsome building will soon be complete.
Troy Daily Times. May 23, 1896: 4 col 3.

—The funeral services of Edgar Ketchum Betts, who died Sunday night at Seattle, Wash., will be held Monday at 1 p. m. at the residence, Elm Mount, head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth Street, Lansingburgh. The services will be conducted by the readers of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. The remains left Seattle Tuesday night and are expected to arrive in this city by Sunday. They are accompanied by Mrs. Betts, who was at Seattle when her husband died, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Barnhisel, son-in-law and daughter of Mr. Betts. Anson G. and Arthur W. Betts, sons, will meet the party on the way and return with them to this city. At a special meeting of the Board of Education of Lansingburgh Tuesday night resolutions of respect on the death of Mr. Betts were adopted.
“Obituary.” Troy Daily Times. November 20, 1908: 4 col 5.

—The funeral of Edgar Ketchum Betts was held this afternoon from the residence, Elm Mount, at the head of Sixteenth Street, Lansingburgh. The body arrived in Troy yesterday afternoon from Seattle, state of Washington, where a week ago last Sunday night Mr. Betts died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Walter B. Barnhisel. The services this afternoon at the house were conducted by Fred W. Sim and Mrs. C. W. Crockett, readers of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Selections were rendered by a chorus of twelve vocalists with Thomas Empett leader. The committal service at the grave was conducted by Rev. James Caird of the Church of the Ascension. The pall bearers were Henry Wheeler, William F. Gurley, Paul Cook, John H. Peck, Charles W. Parks, Edward H. Leonard, James M. Snyder and William Barker. The carriers were George H. Williams, Wallace Burdick, John Clempson, George Bristol, Marcus Burdick and Charles Holmes, all employees of Earl & Wilson. There were many beautiful floral tributes. The various organizations to which Mr. Betts belonged were represented at the funeral. The following from the Executive Committee of the Troy Week Committee, of which he was a member, attended; Chairman Cornelius F. Burns, Mayor Elias P. Mann, J. H. Caldwell, Frank E. Howe, W. H. Anderson and Secretary Samuel E. Hutton. Bert E. Lyon, who was Vice Chairman of the Troy Week Committee, was unable to attend because of illness. The employees of the Earl & Wilson factory were taken to the residence of Mr. Betts to view the remains this morning in a special train of seven coaches, which left the Union Station at 10 o’clock. The employees, numbering about 400, were in charge of Superintendent James M. Snyder and each wore a white rose. When the station was reached the men formed an aisle and stood with uncovered heads while the ladies entered through the aisle into the coaches. The same ceremony was observed in alighting from the train at the Betts residence. The special train was in charge of conductor Stevens.
Troy Times. November 23, 1908: 5 col 3.


At the head of [One Hundred] Sixteenth Street (North.) About 10 acres of land, with elegant residence and outbuildings.
Comeskey & Moriar,

Troy Times. June 10, 1913: 5 col 4.

Country Day School’s New Home
Building Which Has Been Transferred as Memorial to Edgar K. Betts.
Troy Times. May 7, 1928: 5 cols 2-4. (Cropped from scan by

Country Day School Opens

The Troy Country Day School opened today in its new buildings, the former Betts homestead in Lansingburgh, which was a gift to the school last spring. About 70 pupils were on hand for the first sessions and were addressed by Headmaster Cornelius B. Boocock, who urged cooperation with and interest in school affairs.
Troy Times. September 24, 1928: 12 col 6.


Principal States Important Announcement Will Be Made Shortly; Advantages of Site Noted.

Times Record. November 9, 1936: 12 col 8.

Catholic High Negotiating For Purchase Of Notre Dame Hall.

Times Record. July 17, 1952: 1.

Old stone gateposts at 116th Street and Seventh Avenue – a remnant of the Gardner-Betts mansion? From Google Street View. September 2016.