The history of Gardner Farm Inn dates back to the 1700’s
when Stephen Van Rensselaer deeded a tract of land in Rensselaerwyck, then Brunswick, now a part of Troy, to Asa Gardner. Gardner and his wife Helen made their livelihood on the fertile soils of Rensselaer County. Asa Gardner died in 1821; Helen sold the farm, which changed hands twice before being purchased by John Sampson in 1836.
John Sampson was a prominent business man in New York City
of the firm of Tisdale & Sampson, hardware dealers. In 1836 he retired from active business and came to Troy and bought the old Gardner farm on the Brunswick road, which was one of the handsomest residences in the vicinity.
Sampson was successful in his business and accumulated a comfortable property, leaving a good estate for those days at his death. He died in the city of New York, March 2, 1844; his widow survived him until November, 1868.
Upon her death, son Albert Augustus Sampson modernized the family homestead, bringing the kitchen from the basement to the main level, adding a new formal dining room, bedrooms and servants quarters. While the original house was built in the Federal style, the modernization included aspects of Greek Revival and Italianate style, popular in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Early on, a tunnel was dug under the Brunswick Road to the Poestenkill River, directing fresh water to a cistern in the basement. This fresh water was used for cooking and bathing, a luxury at the time. Though undocumented, old Gardner Farm was believed to be a safe house on the Underground Railroad, with the tunnel being used to help enslaved fugitives while on their journey to freedom. Later the tunnel was used again, to help smuggle alcohol during Prohibition.
The property remained a single family home. In the 1960’s, it was purchased by Herbert Fadeley, then President and Chairman of Troy Savings Bank. The Fadeley’s raised their family here until 1986 when they sold the home to ARC of Rensselaer County as a home for people with disabilities. The ARC maintained the residence until 2015 when it was purchased by John Hughes,
and the old Gardner Farm was reborn as Gardner Farm Inn.