Staatsburgh State Historic Site

Staatsburgh State Historic Site Staatsburgh State Historic Site was the elegant country home of Ruth & Ogden Mills. View our Blog!! http://eepurl.com/bbDoB1
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Reservations are required: www.bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS
Visit our bookeo page to find available tour times. www.staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com

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A full house for last night's author event! 📚Thank you to Susan Stessin-Cohn for an engaging presentation last night on ...
11/03/2023

A full house for last night's author event! 📚

Thank you to Susan Stessin-Cohn for an engaging presentation last night on the newest 2nd edition of her book "In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York's Hudson River Valley." Susan presented new research and historical findings, discussing the long history of slavery in the Hudson Valley and those who escaped bo***ge for freedom, including records of "run-aways" from the hamlet of Staatsburg.

Pick up a copy of "In Defiance" for sale in our gift shop - re-opening November 24 for "A Gilded Age Christmas"

Thank you also to the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project for providing refreshments! 🍪☕

Our curator recently visited The Vedder Research Library to do some research and discovered this amazing photograph of S...
11/02/2023

Our curator recently visited The Vedder Research Library to do some research and discovered this amazing photograph of Staatsburgh from April 1896. Staatsburgh was remodeled in 1895-1896 and when this photograph was taken, work was nearing completion. This photo is proof that there are still new discoveries out there that will teach us more about Staatsburgh's history!

Photo: Vedder Research Library, Greene County Historical Society

Happy Halloween 🎃🍬For kids and the young-at-heart, Halloween 1919 was a cause for celebration. The Great War was over, t...
10/31/2023

Happy Halloween 🎃🍬

For kids and the young-at-heart, Halloween 1919 was a cause for celebration. The Great War was over, the Spanish Flu was subsiding, and the country was about to enter the Roaring 20s!

In our final essay of "Hallowe'en in the Time of War and Pandemic," "Part IV: Hallowe’en in Peace and Recovery" take a look at Halloween festivities in this new era of American history: http://staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com/2020/10/halloween-in-time-of-war-and-pandemic_31.html

Thanks for joining us, and thanks to our wonderful volunteer Carol Kohan for her fabulous research!

Who is excited for the second season of HBO's The Gilded Age?!?  The episode was released today and we can't wait to see...
10/29/2023

Who is excited for the second season of HBO's The Gilded Age?!? The episode was released today and we can't wait to see what happens! Enjoy this look behind the scenes at some of the themes of the new season!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rIttG2w5x4

Old traditions, new beginnings. Enjoy a first behind-the-scenes look at Season 2, premiering October 29th on .ABOUT HBOHBO is home ...

Final tours of the season! 📣This is the final week of mansion tours of Staatsburgh. We will close Monday, October 30 for...
10/25/2023

Final tours of the season! 📣

This is the final week of mansion tours of Staatsburgh. We will close Monday, October 30 for three weeks to decorate the mansion for "A Gilded Age Christmas" - opening November 24.

Make your reservations today at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS before its too late!

"There will be heaps and heaps of fun even if the parties are restricted to family affairs." Sound familiar? 😷This week,...
10/24/2023

"There will be heaps and heaps of fun even if the parties are restricted to family affairs." Sound familiar? 😷

This week, we remember Hallowe’en during the Spanish Flu of 1918! Our four-part series "Hallowe'en in the Time of War and Pandemic" has traced the spooky holiday through the frivolity of the Gilded Age and its important role during World War One.

Now, Part III brings us closer to our own modern-times with ghosts and ghouls during a worldwide pandemic: http://staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com/2020/10/halloween-in-time-of-war-and-pandemic_30.html

Meet Ruth Mills, in person! (kinda) 👻This weekend is the last weekend of the St. James' Church Historic Graveyard Tours....
10/19/2023

Meet Ruth Mills, in person! (kinda) 👻

This weekend is the last weekend of the St. James' Church Historic Graveyard Tours. Our own volunteer Faith Ray is portraying Staatsburgh's Ruth Livingston Mills, alongside our Historic Site Assistant Zachary Veith as Nathaniel Pendleton (of Hamilton fame). The annual October lantern tours bring audiences through nearby St. James' 200-year old historic church graveyard, with reenactors in period costume portraying notable residents.

Faith delivers an outstanding performance as Ruth Mills, discussing her impressive family tree (also buried at St. James) and her asperations to become Queen of New York during the Gilded Age. To meet Ruth yourself, get your tickets today at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-james-historic-graveyard-tours-2023-tickets-709456803397?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=ebdsshcopyurl

Beware one drink too many! 🍸🍸It was the custom of the wealthy in Gilded Age New York to pay New Year’s Day calls on one ...
10/19/2023

Beware one drink too many! 🍸🍸

It was the custom of the wealthy in Gilded Age New York to pay New Year’s Day calls on one another. They would ride their carriages up and down 5th Ave, call on their friends, have a warming drink in front of the fireplace and then move on to the next call.

James Gordon Bennett, Jr. was the wealthy son of the founder of the "New York Herald" newspaper and engaged to socialite Caroline May. On New Year’s Day, 1877 he arrived at the May’s mansion to pay his New Year’s call. Unfortunately, he had already paid quite a few calls on his way and had a few too many 'warming drinks' in front of the fireplace ...

But what happened next will shock audiences in 2023 as it did in 1877. Join us this month for our "Gilded Age Scandals" tour - and learn all the intrigue and bad behavior that didn't make it into the history books!

Reservations required at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

Follow in historical footsteps this weekend 👟The Mills' daughter, Gladys, was married to Henry Carnegie Phipps in the ne...
10/18/2023

Follow in historical footsteps this weekend 👟

The Mills' daughter, Gladys, was married to Henry Carnegie Phipps in the nearby St. Margaret's Church in the hamlet of Staatsburg. Their December 7, 1907 wedding was to be one of the weddings of the year, with a "who's who" of New York society on the guest-list, including; J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, the Vanderbilts, former-Vice President Levi Morton, and the Pulitzer family. That day, the guests departed their private train car and walked along West Market Street (below) towards the neo-Gothic church.

Join us for a walking tour of the Staatsburg village this weekend to follow in those Gilded Age footsteps and learn more about the connection between the Staatsburgh mansion and the Staatsburg village!

This tour is free, but reservations are required at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

Private Jack O'Lantern, reporting for duty! 🎃Welcome back to "Hallowe'en in the Time of War and Pandemic" - our four-par...
10/17/2023

Private Jack O'Lantern, reporting for duty! 🎃

Welcome back to "Hallowe'en in the Time of War and Pandemic" - our four-part series on the most ghoulish of seasons. Last week, author Carol Kohan showed us how Halloween was deep-rooted in American culture during the Gilded Age. But would its prominence weaken as the nation was called to war in 1917?

Found out in "Part II: Hallowe’en Goes to War" - http://staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com/2020/10/halloween-in-time-of-war-and-pandemic_24.html

We were thrilled to have blue skies and no rain at the 36th Annual Gathering of Old Cars!  It was a great day and we are...
10/16/2023

We were thrilled to have blue skies and no rain at the 36th Annual Gathering of Old Cars! It was a great day and we are thankful for all of the amazing volunteers who helped make it happen.

The great lawn is filling up with cars and we are getting ready for the 36th Gathering of Old Cars!  The skies are blue ...
10/15/2023

The great lawn is filling up with cars and we are getting ready for the 36th Gathering of Old Cars! The skies are blue but it’s chilly!

Today Jell-O is usually consumed by young children or at college parties, it is not haute cuisine.  Yet in the Gilded Ag...
10/14/2023

Today Jell-O is usually consumed by young children or at college parties, it is not haute cuisine. Yet in the Gilded Age, gelatin desserts were consumed by royalty and wealthy families alike. Skilled chefs showed off their gelatin desserts as a centerpiece and the highlight of a multi course meal. The process of making gelatin and then creating a molded elaborate dessert took at least a full day. Only the wealthiest households could afford a kitchen staff devoted to the endeavor.

It may look fancy, but does it taste good? That is up to individual taste, but I'm giving it a hard pass.

Photo: Image from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

On this day, October 13, 1920, Ruth Livingston Mills passed away 💐While Staatsburgh was typically the autumn retreat for...
10/13/2023

On this day, October 13, 1920, Ruth Livingston Mills passed away 💐

While Staatsburgh was typically the autumn retreat for the Millses, Ruth was in Europe with her daughter who just gave birth to a son 5 days earlier. In residence at her Paris mansion, Mrs. Mills’ death was not expected. In fact, the day before her death, she was trying on gowns from Parisian couturiers.

Upon announcing her death, "The New York Times" reported, “Since the death of Mrs. William Astor no leader of New York society has more nearly approached the position of social arbiter than Mrs. Mills. Her characteristics as a hostess never altered." Mr. Mills accompanied his wife's body back to New York on October 24. According to family tradition, he filled the state room that held her casket with flowers.

Today, Ruth’s legacy can be found in her descendants, the preservation of her Staatsburgh mansion, and the surrounding park that bears her name. Staatsburgh continues to interpret her life and activities a century after her death and will continue to share her privileged and interesting lifestyle with the public for years to come.

In recent years, historic sites and museums across the Hudson Valley have taken a closer look at the region’s long histo...
10/12/2023

In recent years, historic sites and museums across the Hudson Valley have taken a closer look at the region’s long history of slavery.

As part of Staatsburgh’s research into its own history of slavery, we will be hosting an author event and book signing with historian Susan Stessin-Cohn, co-author of "In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735–1831" on November 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Stessin-Cohn will discuss her research into newspaper notices promising rewards for runaway enslaved persons. The stories these newspaper notices tell, together with the stories of hundreds of other enslaved persons who ran for their freedom, shed light on the lives of enslaved persons held in the Hudson Valley.

This program is FREE, but reservations are required: https://Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS.

Refreshments provided by our co-hosts Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project. Copies of “In Defiance” will be available for purchase.

Spooky season is here! 🧛🍬By the Gilded Age, Halloween had captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans from coast t...
10/10/2023

Spooky season is here! 🧛🍬

By the Gilded Age, Halloween had captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans from coast to coast; in cities, towns and countryside. To celebrate this most spellbinding holiday, all month long we'll be sharing our four-part series "Hallowe’en in the Time of War and Pandemic" written by our own volunteer Carol Kohan.

This week, "Part I: Gilded Hallowe’en," we'll be looking at Halloween festivities - jack-o'-lanterns, costumes, even some romance - during the Gilded Age: http://staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com/2020/10/halloween-in-time-of-war-and-pandemic.html

Happy Indigenous People's Day!Native American residents have called the Hudson Valley home for thousands of years. From ...
10/09/2023

Happy Indigenous People's Day!

Native American residents have called the Hudson Valley home for thousands of years. From our friends at Scenic Hudson, honor the ongoing impact that Lenape, Mohican, and other Native American peoples have left on the valley by learning more about our region’s Indigenous names through this quiz: https://www.scenichudson.org/viewfinder/quiz-the-hudson-valleys-indigenous-heritage/

Staatsburgh State Historic Site will be open today, Monday, October 9, from 11am-5pm (last tour at 4pm).

[Edward Moran’s "Henrik Hudson Entering New York Harbor, September 11, 1609" (1892)]

Vive La France! 🥐🚗As we count down the days until next week's Gathering of Old Cars at Staatsburgh, we have been enjoyin...
10/08/2023

Vive La France! 🥐🚗

As we count down the days until next week's Gathering of Old Cars at Staatsburgh, we have been enjoying a - showcasing the cars and trucks that made Staatsburgh run 100 years ago!

This week, we're driving along the famous Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. Muhlbacher, a well-known French coachmaker, produced this blueprint for Ogden Mills at an unknown time.

Muhlbacher's coach was perhaps built for a 1905 Renault Type VC Limousine. The swooping hood and curved-bottoms of the passenger doors match the blueprint. While today Renault is seen as an affordable car for many Europeans, at the turn of the century the French automaker was selling to the upper classes of the emerging car market with its engineering billed as "the highest quality." The Renault Type V chassis alone cost 16,500 Francs in 1905 (a coach by Muhlbacher would cost extra, of course).

By 1907, Renault became the best selling foreign brand in New York.

That does it for ! Want to learn more about Staatsburgh's automobiles, visit our blog: http://staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com/2020/11/dude-wheres-ogdens-cars.html. And don't forget our "Gathering of the Old Cars" next Sunday, October 15 from 11am - 4pm

Does your name mean something special to you?For enslaved people, names given to them by their enslavers had tremendous ...
10/06/2023

Does your name mean something special to you?

For enslaved people, names given to them by their enslavers had tremendous power. This is a 1794 advertisement for a self-emancipated person (a "run-away" slave), Plato, formerly-enslaved by Staatsburgh's founder, Morgan Lewis. His classical name, Plato, was meant to both isolate him from his native African heritage and distinguish him as outside White society.

Learn more about Plato's flight for freedom this Monday during our "Slavery, Segregation & Staatsburgh" program! Join us on Monday, October 9 at 11am for a conversation about Staatsburgh's new research into our history of slavery and race.

This program is FREE, but reservations are required at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

Plus, don't miss our "In Defiance" author event and book signing with historian Susan Stessin-Cohn. The Historian for the Town of New Paltz will discuss her research into similar newspaper notices posted by Hudson Valley enslavers. Sign-up for this November 2 program at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

Happy Indigenous People's Weekend! 🍂Staatsburgh State Historic Site will be open for tours on Indigenous People's Day, M...
10/05/2023

Happy Indigenous People's Weekend! 🍂

Staatsburgh State Historic Site will be open for tours on Indigenous People's Day, Monday, October 9 from 11am-5pm (last tour at 4pm). Make your reservations today at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

[Image courtesy of the Native American Youth and Family Center]

Boo! 👻 Have you ever heard of a silver ghost?Welcome back to   - our weekly celebration of Staatsburgh automobiles as we...
10/01/2023

Boo! 👻 Have you ever heard of a silver ghost?

Welcome back to - our weekly celebration of Staatsburgh automobiles as we count down to our annual car show on Sunday, October 15! 🚗🚙🚐

October means ghosts 👻, but today we're talking about the Millses' Rolls Royce Silver Ghost limousine. The Silver Ghost model was called "the best car in the world" in 1907 and has gained legendary status alongside the Volkswagen Beetle or Mini Cooper.

In fact, Ogden Mills owned two Silver Ghosts! His second Rolls Royce, chassis , was built in October, 1918 for delivery after the war. A photograph of Mr. Mills' chauffeur, Joseph Wiseman, picking up the car on Long Island in 1919, appears below. Common for high-end cars of that era, the chassis and "coach," or the actual body of the automobile, were built by different companies. 165BW had a Hooper coach. Hooper were the royal coachbuilders and often built for Daimler as well.

As the chauffeur, Wiseman earned $250 a month. He was responsible for the maintenance of all the automobiles and garages, in addition to his driving duties. His family was allowed to accompany him when working at the Millses' properties in NYC and Newport, even sometime to Millbrae and Paris! Today, he is buried nearby the Millses in St. James' Graveyard.

The ultimate fate of either Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts is unknown to us.

Can you imagine New York Harbor today without the Statue of Liberty? 🗽That was almost the case in 1885! While the statue...
09/26/2023

Can you imagine New York Harbor today without the Statue of Liberty? 🗽

That was almost the case in 1885! While the statue was a gift from the people of France, American citizens were asked to pay for the base. Much of the $250,000 needed was raised by the Union League Club (of which Ogden Mills was a member) and private events at venues like the Academy of Music (which Ruth Mills attended in 1883). But, the wealthy Gilded Age society donors were still $100,000 short!

Joseph Pulitzer put out a call - but to who? Find out during our "The REAL Gilded Age" tour this Friday. Reserve your ticket today at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

["Unveiling of the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" (1886) by Edward Moran.]

Take a Sunday drive with us!Last week, we kicked off our   series - counting down the weeks till our annual Gathering of...
09/24/2023

Take a Sunday drive with us!

Last week, we kicked off our series - counting down the weeks till our annual Gathering of Old Cars on Sunday, October 15 - with the Model T. Today, we're being chauffeured in a Packard Touring Car.

Gabriel Leeuw Jr., the son of Staatsburgh's electrician Gabriel Leeuw Sr., performed odd jobs around the estate and worked with the family's cars. He can be seen posing with them in the photo below. At first glances this may look like the Model T, but this automobile has in-fact been identified as a 1910s-era Packard. The first clue is the spokes - notice the 10 spokes in the front wheel instead of 12. Yet the key is the hubcaps. According to a local car expert, Packard hubcaps have a distinctive shape from the teens to the 1930s. If this photo was in color, he states, the hubcaps would be a distinctive red!

Interestingly, Leeuw appears to be dressed as a chauffeur. It is unknown if the Mills had an official chauffeur at this time, so it is likely this may have been the younger Leeuw's job. However, we know he didn't stay in Staatsburg for long and began looking for jobs elsewhere.

Join us next week for another 🚗🚙🚐 and don't forget next month's Gather of Old Cars!

Happy First Day of Fall! 🍂For the Mills family, the fall season meant their annual return to Staatsburgh. After spending...
09/23/2023

Happy First Day of Fall! 🍂

For the Mills family, the fall season meant their annual return to Staatsburgh. After spending the summer in Newport, Rhode Island, Ruth and Ogden Mills would journey to her ancestral home in the Hudson Valley for entertainment both indoors and out - horseback riding, golfing, playing tennis, etc. - before retreating to Manhattan for the later winter season.

Newspapers from the era would announce the Mills family's arrival - typically a few days before the official start of autumn. In 1904, it was announced "Ogden Mills and family arrived from Newport to Staatsburg" on September 13th. By 1908, the Millses were joined by their newly-married daughters, Gladys and Beatrice, and their husbands, upon their arrival to Staatsburgh on September 14, 1908. The train was the most common transport from one location to another; yet, in 1902, Ruth and Ogden arrived on their charted steam yacht "Felicia" on September 18, 1902.

What does the return of fall mean to you?

[📸 Chris Rickard]

The site and the Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh were delighted and excited to celebrate the successful conclusion of ou...
09/22/2023

The site and the Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh were delighted and excited to celebrate the successful conclusion of our project to create gorgeous, historically-accurate facsimile draperies for all eight of the mansion's Library windows, made in stunning patterned silk damask, with hand-crafted tie-backs and lovely decorative trims. 14 talented sewing volunteers contributed 417 hours, and 50,000 hand-stiches to the construction of these beautiful new draperies that restore the room to its historic grandeur! The site and Friends are very grateful to Parks & Trails New York for awarding funds for this very significant project! Come see the finished product on a tour this fall!

09/20/2023

If you visited the mansion this summer, you probably saw an area near the public entrance marked as a turtle nesting zone. Well….

Will you be dining upstairs in the marble Dining Room or downstairs scrubbing the cooking pots in the scullery? 🧹🧼Within...
09/19/2023

Will you be dining upstairs in the marble Dining Room or downstairs scrubbing the cooking pots in the scullery? 🧹🧼

Within the gilded walls of Staatsburgh, it was a world of upstairs / downstairs. You are either entering as the elite, New York society guest conversing in the Drawing Room; or you are the European-born servant dusting the Ming Dynasty vases or beating the Turkish rugs in the early hours. The social entertaining, the priceless collections inside, and every single detail at Staatsburgh was reliant upon an army of European-born servants.

Learn about their lives and duties on this month's "A Life in Service" tour. Led by a costumed guide, this 90-minute tour takes guests behind the curtain to explore the bustling throng of employees cleaning, cooking, and catering to every need or whim of the guests – in the service of perfection.

Reservations required at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

[📸 Household staff of Curraghmore House, County Waterford, Ireland, c.1905. Courtesy of National Library of Ireland.]

One month away from our Gathering of Old Cars! 🚗🚙🚐Until then, we'll be enjoying a weekly   - showcasing the cars and tru...
09/17/2023

One month away from our Gathering of Old Cars! 🚗🚙🚐

Until then, we'll be enjoying a weekly - showcasing the cars and trucks that made Staatsburgh run 100 years ago!

Our first is the Ford Model T. Like most American garages at the turn of the century, the earliest automobile in the Staatsburgh archives is (likely) a Ford Model T (there is debate that the car may actually be a Packard). Perhaps not exactly what you were expecting from one of the Gilded Age's wealthiest couple. But, there’s no proof the Mills owned this car.

The photograph below shows the automobile being driven by Gabriel Leeuw Jr., the son of the Millses’ electrical engineer. As with many of these early cars, it is difficult to determine exactly what year this Model T is - however, it is strikingly similar to Ford 'Touring' models (two rows of seating) from 1909-1915.

Join us next week for another highlighting another Staatsburgh automobile. And don't forget our "Gathering of the Old Cars" next month on Sunday, October 15 from 11am - 4pm

In shows like "Downton Abbey" and "The Gilded Age," we see the future of young ladies depending on the man they will mar...
09/16/2023

In shows like "Downton Abbey" and "The Gilded Age," we see the future of young ladies depending on the man they will marry. But not Peggy Scott! ✍️

Not trapped by the social expectations of the upper-class, Scott could aspire to be a writer. Although she faced many other struggles and all of the prejudices that came with being a Black woman, she showed ambition to have a career outside of the home.

Her portrayal on "The Gilded Age" highlights a very important part of the Gilded Age that is often overlooked. Peggy’s father was a successful businessman in Brooklyn, her mother a talented pianist, and they are solidly middle class. We see them living in a fine home, employing staff, and always impeccably dressed. At this time there were Black communities full of people born without enslavement as a reality and these communities had professionals among them: lawyers, publishers, politicians, scientists, and pharmacists like Peggy Scott’s father on the show.

Learn about the REAL Black community of the Gilded Age and so much more on our upcoming "The REAL Gilded Age" theme tour this weekend. Make your reservations at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

[📸 Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO]

Great fun was had, tracing the round-the-world journey of Nellie Bly, through 19th-century magic lantern slides, even if...
09/10/2023

Great fun was had, tracing the round-the-world journey of Nellie Bly, through 19th-century magic lantern slides, even if the weather did not favor our outdoor plans.
Elliott & Schlemowitz, Magic Lanternists
Nellie Bly

Happy Grandparents Day! 👵👴Today we're celebrating Staatsburgh's own "Grandma Grundy" - Margaret Lewis Livingston - a maj...
09/10/2023

Happy Grandparents Day! 👵👴

Today we're celebrating Staatsburgh's own "Grandma Grundy" - Margaret Lewis Livingston - a major force during Staatsburgh's early years.

Born at the Livingston family estate Clermont in 1780, the only child of Morgan and Gertrude Lewis, Margaret was destined to be the matriarch of Staatsburgh. Her marriage to Maturin Livingston in 1798 resulted in twelve children - including Ruth Mills' father, Maturin Livingston Jr.! Three generations of the family, as well as enslaved and employed servants, lived at Staatsburgh for decades. Her daughter, Julia Livingston, described her mother as "the center round which everything revolved" at Staatsburgh.

After the original Staatsburgh mansion burnt in 1832, Margaret and her father wasted little time rebuilding their home. In fact, Margaret's daughter, Julia, claims it was her mother who drew up the plans for the new mansion! Margert Livingston's influence can be seen beyond the household, with the physical transition of the Staatsburgh landscape. Following Morgan Lewis' death in 1844, Margaret and Maturin began transitioning the estate from an agricultural enterprise to a thoroughbred stud farm - creating a more aristocratic image of Staatsburgh. In the 1850s, Margaret Livingston won a court battle mandating the new railroad track be laid through a canal on her property, to better hide the noisy train. Today, the trains still travel through that inconspicuous canal as you enter the park.

"Grandma Grundy" was creating the image of Staatsburgh as a wealthy, English estate long before her granddaughter, Ruth Mills, took possession of the property in the 1880s!

Exciting local history event! 🗣️“Networks of Slavery: How Bo***ge Shaped Hudson River Valley Culture" lecture by Dr. Nic...
09/09/2023

Exciting local history event! 🗣️

“Networks of Slavery: How Bo***ge Shaped Hudson River Valley Culture" lecture by Dr. Nicole Saffold Maskiell on Thursday, September 28, at 7PM.

Dr. Maskiell's book, "Bound by Bo***ge," is a fresh-look at the elite Hudson Valley networks of Dutch families and businesses that developed and strengthened around enslavement. Her research into the wealth of the Livingston family through the slave trade and enslaved labor, and how all peoples - enslavers and enslaved - were connected together through the institution of slavery, has been enlightening in our own understandings here at Staatsburgh!

More information and sign-up at the link below:

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2023 Handel-Krom Lecture in Hudson River Valley History, which will be held as both an in-person AND virtual event, is now officially open. The program “Networks of Slavery: How Bo***ge Shaped Hudson River Valley Culture," will be given by Dr. Nicole Saffold Maskiell on Thursday, September 28, at 7PM. The event will take place in the Nelly Goletti Theatre at Marist College and live on Zoom. Pre-registration is required for in-person AND virtual attendees!

In order to register, please visit the following link, click the "Registration" button at the top of the page, and complete the information form on the next screen.

Register at: http://maristconnect.marist.edu/handelkrom2023

The Handel-Krom Lecture in Hudson River Valley History was established through the generosity of community leaders Shirley and Bernard Handel and Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert A. Krom, US Army, Retired, to promote knowledge of, and appreciation for, the rich history of this unique and important region of America.

SUMMER SALE! For a limited time, we are offering subscription discounts on our journal of regional studies, The Hudson River Valley Review. Our two-year subscriptions (four issues) are available to new subscribers for $30 and our one-year subscriptions (two issues) are available for $15 (a $5 savings off of each subscription). To subscribe, visit https://www.hudsonrivervalley.org/subscriptions and enter "SUMMER SALE" in the "Comments" section. Sign-up today to start a subscription with our upcoming Autumn 2023 issue. The Review also makes a great gift!

Looks like you've found your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! 🌈Staatsburgh is open for tours all weekend long. Res...
09/08/2023

Looks like you've found your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! 🌈

Staatsburgh is open for tours all weekend long. Reserve your spot today at Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS

Thanks Park Manager Matt Canning for this amazing picture!

Anything Fogg can do, I can do better! 📖For our final installment of our Nellie Bly series - celebrating the career of G...
09/07/2023

Anything Fogg can do, I can do better! 📖

For our final installment of our Nellie Bly series - celebrating the career of Gilded Age journalist Nellie Bly - we have finally reached her most famous adventure.

Inspired by Jules Verne's fictitious protagonist Phileas Fogg and his trip “Around the World in 80 Days,” (published 15 years earlier) Bly set out to make the trip a reality for the first time in history. But her editor, Joseph Pulitzer, was skeptical. Reflecting the sentiments of a Victorian male, he insisted she be escorted by a man and suggested she would pack too much luggage - going as far to imply a man would be better for such a feat. Bly replied "“Start the man, and I’ll start the same day for some other newspaper and beat him.”!

Before setting off, Bly needed to prepare. She had Ghormleys 5th Avenue dressmaker make her (now iconic) sturdy traveling gown. She also picked up a handheld satchel that would carry all of her supplies for the journey - to the shock of many men (including her editor) at the time and to the delight of the fiercely self-reliant Bly.

On November 19, 1889, Nellie Bly set off on her around the world race from Hoboken, New Jersey - having never been to sea, speaking only English, and sufferings from severe headaches.

How did she fare? What adventures would Nellie Bly have in her travels? And just what was in that satchel? Find out on September 9 at our program "Nellie Bly Around the World in 72 Days." Award-winning magic lanternists, Dawn Elliott and Joel Schlemowitz will transport their audience across the globe using a turn of the century projector (and just a little magic) just like how audiences in the Gilded Age learned of Bly's exploits. Tickets and more information at NellieBly72.Eventbrite.com.

We'll see you there!

[📸 "Round the World with Nellie Bly" board game, 1890]
[📸 Magic lantern slides showing Bly's travels around the world]

Wine and books: what could be better? 🥂📚The Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh will be hosting a book talk and signing with...
09/05/2023

Wine and books: what could be better? 🥂📚

The Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh will be hosting a book talk and signing with Phillip James Dodd, author of "An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City" on September 10 at 2:00.

The Gilded Age, also referred to as the American Renaissance, is an era associated with unparalleled growth and cultural change. To flaunt their newly-acquired wealth, the newly-minted millionaires along New York City’s Fifth Avenue needed an architecture dripping in embellishment and historical reference fit for the era. Set among the splendor of Staatsburgh’s formal dining room, Dodd will discuss a selection of Beaux-Arts landmark as well as the patrons and architects that designed them, drawing in the influences on the development of the Millses’ own country mansion and the modern television adaptation of "The Gilded Age."

A wine reception and book-signing will follow the program; copies of "An American Renaissance" will be available for sale.

Reservations are required! Purchase your tickets today at:

Book talk and signing with Phillip J. Dodd, author of "An American Renaissance" hosted in Staatsburgh's Dining Room

"Ogden Mills Locked Us Out!" 🍪Happy Labor Day - celebrating the American labor movement and the contribution of workers ...
09/04/2023

"Ogden Mills Locked Us Out!" 🍪

Happy Labor Day - celebrating the American labor movement and the contribution of workers to the modern United States. Recently, Staatsburgh acquired our own piece of labor movement history - a historic 1935 photograph showing men and women picketing outside the Millses' NYC mansion!

But who were they? What were they protesting against? And what does this have to do with Oreos? In honor of , read our new blog post "Thuggery, Intimidation and General Foul Play: O.L. Mills v. Organized Labor" to find out:

Who are these men and women picketing? What are they upset about? Like all great mysteries, it started with a clue. In this case, a photogr...

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75 Mills Mansion Drive Rd 1
Staatsburg, NY
12580

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Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

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From January through late April, Staatsburgh is open for special tours and programs only, but due to COVID-19 all programs have been suspended indefinitely. Special Theme Tours: $10 Adults, $8 Students/Seniors Gilded Age Tea & Talk Series: $35/person

Beginning TBD through Saturday, October 31, 2020, Staatsburgh will be open for tours from Thursday - Sunday, 11am-5pm (Last tour at 4pm). View our Blog!! www.staatsburghstatehistoricsite.blogspot.com Join our mailing list! http://eepurl.com/bbDoB1

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ENTERTAINING AT HYDE PARK Continued...

The second evening a dinner party was held for about fourteen people. Worcester described the dinner "protocol":

all the dinner parties in those days were run by the hostess, who, when she talked to the person on her left, so did you. Then when she would swing to talk to the other [side] you would swing, too. Usually the conversation was limited to the two people who sat on either side of you, unless the party was small enough so that she could make it a general conversation. General conversation wasn't usual for a dinner party. It was full of protocol, so to speak. You did what everybody else did.

In the diary of Florence Adele Sloane, the Vanderbilts' niece, Miss Sloane refers to the conversational mode of society, its hostesses, and its men as limited in their ideas and conversation. She laments the possibility of marrying within society and leaving behind the stimulating conversation with other sorts of men whom she had met since her debut in society.

I love to meet new people . . . who are totally different from society men. If I marry a society man, it will narrow my life down to that set tremendously, and I will probably be very little thrown in with the sort of people whom I thoroughly enjoy talking to. I like discussions and good arguments. I like talking of books and a hundred other things, and I would miss it fearfully if I would not have it.

Eleanor Worcester's recollections continue after dinner as the ladies moved to the Living Room and were joined shortly by the men for music, a game of charades, and a little dancing. Each guest took a turn at the piano. Frederick invited some of his guests into the Den for quiet conversation and perhaps a game of Bridge. At other points in the weekend, Mrs. Worcester also remembered being invited into the Reception Room and into Louise's bedroom to sit and talk with her hostess. During the day when Frederick was not with his guests, he was often in his office handling the business of the estate. Louise, then age seventy-nine, did not join her guests on the grounds, but they would meet her on the terrace for conversation.

The country house weekend that Eleanor Worcester describes at Hyde Park in 1923 was remarkably similar in form to the weekends that had undoubtedly been hosted there since the turn of the century. Miss Sloane attended a similar house party at the neighboring Mills estate, noting in her diary:

I have decided after all to go to Mrs. Mills this week. . . . She has a dance Friday night and a golf tournament on Saturday. I am sure a few days of that life will be great fun, and I am looking forward to it.

The Millses often hosted golf tournaments and many Hudson Valley families golfed in Staatsburg. Harrington in Munsey's Magazine also notes the summertime pursuits of Hudson River families:

The principal amusements of the Knickerbocker at his Hudson home are golf, yachting, and driving. . . Often he comes up from the city on his own yacht, and reaches a club station or his own pier in the twilight.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site National Park Service

To be continued...

Photo of Florence Adele Sloane - bing.com
Photo of Staatsburgh - Staatsburgh State Historic
Site
NPS Photo of Steinway Piano
Louise Vanderbilt's Will continued...

Thirteenth: I give an bequeath to Beatrice Eileen Forbes, daughter of Lord and Lady Granard, my large single pearl with diamond.
(Beatrice was the daughter of Bernard Arthur William Patrick Hastings Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard and Beatrice Mills, daughter of Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills. She had three godmothers which included the Duchess of Norfolk, her maternal grandmother Ruth Mills, and Mrs. Frederick Vanderbilt. Because Staatsburgh was only 5 miles away from the Vanderbilt’s country estate, the two families were close friends.
Staatsburgh State Historic Site

Fourteenth: I give an bequeath to my friend Mabel Gerry my pair of emerald hat pins and my scent bottle set with yellow topaz and diamonds.
(Mabel was the daughter of Elbridge T. Gerry, who came from the Geolet family on his mother's side and from the Gerrys on his father's side, both very prominent families. He became one of the wealthiest landowners in New York City and was said to be worth $26 million. He had a collection of over 30,000 law books and when he built his mansion in New York City he told the architect, Richard Morris Hunt, that he wanted space in the library to be able to hold all of those books. He also lived in a large cottage in Newport RI, called "Seaverge" and at his wife's estate "Aknusti". When his wife died he continued to live in New York City and in Newport. While commercial invasion put an end to many of New York City's grand Fifth Avenue mansion, Gerry continued to maintain the mansion in New York City, even though by then he was surrounded by skyscrapers. When he died in 1927, his New York City mansion was demolished and developed upon. His Newport mansion also came down and the land became subdivided.)
Ancestry

Fifteenth: I give and bequeath to my friend Ruth Hawkes Wales, widow of Edward Howe Wales, as a token of my regard, the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
(Ruth was the wife of Edward Wales, who was a member of the firm of Post, Wales & Co. from 1881 to 1895. He held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange from 1881 to 1897 and retired from active business in 1895 with his move to Hyde Park. He was in the Naval Reserve Force in World War I and was made chief of Naval censorship. He was an enthusiastic yachtsman, golfer, and ice boater and was head of the Hyde Park Ice Yacht Club. He lived on the Hyde Park Estate of the Vanderbilt's in a house built for him. The Wales' only daughter Ruth married Henry Francis du Pont of Winterthur, DE, in 1916 at St. James Church in Hyde Park.)

Staatsburgh State Historic Site

Photo - Countess Granard and Lady Eileen Forbes Staatsburgh State Historic Site
Photo - Mable Gerry and husband from Ancestry
Photo - Wales House, NPS
- Explore more:
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburgh (Dutchess County)
Scenic Hudson has over 45 parks and preserves for you to enjoy. Still, we also like sharing fun outdoor destinations belonging to our partners.
Winter doesn’t *quite* feel underway in the Hudson Valley until we get that first downfall of snow. And no childhood here is complete without sledding at least once down the long, sweeping hill behind Staatsburgh! Waiting spectators can appreciate the setting with views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. You might even borrow a sled a time or two to relive winters past.
https://www.scenichudson.org/explore-the-valley/outdoor-adventures/adventure/staatsburgh-state-historic-site/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=outdooradventures
📷: via Instagram
It's beginning to look a lot like... ♩ ♪ ♫

Season's greetings from Mills Mansion at Staatsburgh State Historic Site! Built in 1895 and designed by Stanford White of McKim Mead, & White, this once country home of Ogden Mills overlooks the Hudson River. The estate is an example of the elegant properties built by America's industrialists during the Gilded Age (1876-1917).

Did you know?
Saratoga Associates performed complete design services through construction administration for the East Portico Repair and Restoration at the Mansion.
Which of these Hudson Valley happenings will you check out this week?

https://hvmag.com/things-to-do/this-week/

Visit Nyack Museum Village ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixirs Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Staatsburgh State Historic Site Frank Marquette
Sparkling!

Unit is clean and ready to go for tomorrow’s event at Staatsburgh State Historic Site “A Gathering of Old Cars.”

Great events these past couple days at West Road Elementary’s Color Run in Dutchess County and down in Orange County, Town of Monroe Food Truck Festival.

Sal and Tony really know how to throw an event. Thank you for having us!!

Now, back at it … see you guys tomorrow 😏
Job alert! Part-time Visitor Services, Retail and Reception position at Staatsburgh State Historic Site just listed on the GHHN job board!

Check out all of the listings here: http://www.greaterhudson.org/job-listings.html
Staatsburgh was the name of the Gilded Age estate of Ruth and Ogden Mills, who resided at this autumn retreat and entertained lavishly. The estate at Staatsburgh State Historic Site features a magnificent view of the river, a designed landscape, and many outbuildings. This summer, the site is offering many ways to enjoy the spectacular landscape through free, outdoor programs. Find out more at Staatsburgh.eventbrite.com.

📸 by Chris Rickard
Have you explored the lush gardens and pristine landscapes found along the Hudson River? This collection of tours showcases the immense beauty and fascinating histories of Dutchess County’s “Great Estates.” A walk through these sites is a walk through the region’s storied past, including the American Revolution, the Gilded Age, and World War II. Many outdoor events will also be held at certain places. On the lineup are Clermont State Historic Site, Wilderstein Historic Site, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Locust Grove Estate, Mount Gulian Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. https://dutchesstourism.com/greatestatesgardens

via Hudson Valley Magazine: https://bit.ly/3gY0HXn
The Staatsburgh State Historic Site will host a conversation about Morgan Lewis, founder of the Staatsburgh estate, on Saturday, July 3rd.
Have you experienced these one-of-a-kind Hudson Valley destinations?

https://hvmag.com/things-to-do/hudson-valley-hidden-outdoor-gems/

Olana State Historic Site Scenic Hudson Home of FDR National Historic Site Staatsburgh State Historic Site Hike the Hudson Valley Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Inc. Friends of Clermont