Staatsburg, N.Y. (7/5/22) — This summer, Staatsburgh State Historic Site is offering guided landscape walks on the Gilded Age estate’s beautiful grounds overlooking the Hudson River. The program, entitled “What You See… and What You Don’t See,” shows 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 reveal what visitors would have seen at the turn of the 20th Century, but also step behind the curtain to show what was hidden from them.
The tour will be offered on July 15, 16, 29 and 30 at 10:00 a.m. The cost is $5 per person (age 12 and under free). Advance reservations are encouraged: www.bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS
The tour will be 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. The event will be canceled in the event of heavy rain or excessive heat. Visitors may also enjoy a picnic along the Hudson River or a guided tour of the site’s Gilded Age mansion (which can also be reserved at www.bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS )
“On this guided walk, you’ll be able to imagine what it would be like to be a guest of Ruth Livingston Mills for one of her very exclusive parties at Staatsburgh,” says site educator, Don Fraser: “On a beautiful afternoon, you 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, laundering piles of cloths and linens, or tending to animals, and all that would be invisible to you.”
Staatsburgh was the autumn home of Ruth Livingston Mills, a prominent figure in New York Society, and her husband, industrialist and philanthropist Ogden Mills. The mansion was redesigned by the famous architect Stanford White in 1895 and decorated in the styles of 17th and 18th century France. In this lavish setting, Ruth Livingston Mills hosted parties for the elite of Gilded Age Society. Guests included people such as her cousin John Jacob Astor, her neighbors Fredrick and Louise Vanderbilt, and her twin daughters’ close friend Alice Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest daughter.
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 websites at Parks.NY.gov, Facebook, and Blogger. Staatsburgh’s events are listed at Parks.NY.gov/Events.
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 78.4 million people in 2021. 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, visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
Photo: Staatsburgh - Drone1 by Chris Rickard
Contact: Donald Fraser | Donald.Fraser@parks.ny.gov | (845) 889-8851 ext. 338