The Soldiers’ Home was located in Bath,
Steuben County which won the honor with
its inducement of 220 acres of a working
farm, proximity to rail road and river, the
services of the Davenport Institute for
Orphaned Girls and $6,000 cash. Elmira,
Penn Yan and Watkins had also hoped for
the honor.

On June 13, 1877, the GAR semi-annual
encampment was held in Bath to coincide
with the cornerstone laying ceremony. No
fewer than 20,000 people attended
including twenty reporters. Key Speakers
were  the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher
and Corporal James Tanner. On April 8,
1878, the Grand Army of the Republic
Soldiers’ Home of the State of New York
was transferred to the state and renamed
the New York State Soldiers’ and Sailors’

On Christmas Day, 1878, the first 25 Civil
War veterans admitted to the Soldiers'
Home sat down to a banquet.  Billed as the
greatest event of the year 1879 in the
Conhocton Valley, the formal opening of
the New York State Soldiers’ and Sailors’
Home took place on January 23, 1879. The
G.A.R. held its 13th Dep’t Encampment also
to coincide with the opening. Such notables
present were General James McQuade,
General Wm. F. Rogers (Department
Commander), The Honorable William Prior
Letchworth of Buffalo, Past Commanders
John C. Robinson and Henry A. Barnum.
General Henry W. Slocum, and the
Letchworth Rifles under the command of
Captain Abram B. Lawrence, of Warsaw
were also present.

With a peak population of 2,100veterans in
1907, by 1911,over 14,000 veterans had been
admitted to the Soldiers' Home. Past
President US Grant, Governor Theodore
Roosevelt and Robert Kennedy were
among the many notables to visit the
Soldiers' Home.

This 7 x 8.5, 200 page book containing 150
b/w photos, details the Bath Soldiers' Home
from its inception in 1863 to the Grand
Army of the Republic raising the $100,000
needed to build the Home in 1877; right up
to the recording-breaking ECHO-TAPS of
From Soldiers' Home to Medical Center
by Rob't E. Yott
A chronological history of the 128 year history of
The New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home
The New York State Soldiers’ and Sailors’
Home was established in 1879 by the Grand
Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), Dep’t of
New York. When this veteran organization
unsuccessfully petitioned State legislature
for funds, the G.A.R. appealed to the
citizens of New York State, reminding them
of the sacrifices suffered by their veterans.
New York State had contributed 445,758 of
the 2,690,401 soldiers who answered the call
to defend our country. The citizens of New
York responded generously, pledging and
donating over $70,000 in just under a year.