Staatsburgh State Historic Site“What You See….and What You Don’t See”

October Thursdays & Sundays, & Columbus Day

Staatsburg, N.Y. (9/24/20) — This autumn, Staatsburgh State Historic Site will offer several opportunities to enjoy the fall foliage and a stunning landscape along the Hudson River, while learning a little of the area’s history. Free guided landscape tours on the Gilded Age estate’s beautiful grounds overlooking the river will occur on Thursdays, Sundays and on Columbus Day.

The tour, entitled “What You See… and What You Don’t See,” will show how Staatsburgh’s landscape architect designed a glorious setting that showcased the good life in the Gilded Age, while deliberately using landscape elements to hide the technology and labor that made a turn-of-the-century estate run. Using historic photos of the grounds, the tour will show what visitors would have seen more than100 years ago, but also step behind the curtain to show what was hidden from them.

The tour will be offered on October 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25 and 29 at 10 a.m. On October 12, Columbus Day, the tour will be offered at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is no charge for the tour, but visitors must register in advance. To make reservations, visit our Eventbrite page at Attendance will be limited to aid in social distancing.

The tour is about one mile of mostly level terrain, with some uphill walking. The program, including the walk, discussion, and looking at historic photos, will take about 1½ hours.

Staatsburgh follows all NYS Department of Health guidelines for safety during the COVID 19 pandemic. Masks and social distancing will be required of all tour participants until these guidelines are lifted.

“On this guided walk, we will ask you to imagine being a guest of Ruth Livingston Mills, attending one of her very exclusive weekend parties at Staatsburgh,” says site educator, Don Fraser. “On a beautiful afternoon, you as a guest might stroll along the Hudson, or sail the river on the Mills’ yacht, or take a carriage drive. The grounds would present you with stunning vistas and lovely gardens, but tucked out of view, the estate staff would be shoveling coal, generating electricity, laundering piles of clothes and linens, and tending to animals; and all of that would be invisible to you, unless you really searched. Imagine being among the staff who had to perform these labors, out of view of family and guests: the experience of the estate would be very different for workers, although a position at Staatsburgh was considered an excellent job.”

Staatsburgh State Historic Site and the Ogden Mills & Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park are located on Old Post Road in Staatsburg, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. The historic site is one of 6 sites and 15 parks administered by the Taconic Region of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For more information, call 845-889-8851, or visit Staatsburgh’s website at, their Facebook at, and blog at Staatsburgh’s events are listed at

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which were visited by a record 77 million people in 2019. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. The free New York State Parks Explorer mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. To download, visit: Google Play Store, NY State Parks Explorer App or Apple Store, NY State Parks Explorer App.


Contact: Donald Fraser | | (845) 889-8851 ext. 338