Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills State Historic Site and Park
Old Post Road, Staatsburg, Dutchess County, NY


Directions:

Taconic State Parkway north; exit at Route 115 (Salt Point Turnpike); head south and turn right onto Route 41 (Netherwood Road); pass by Route 16 and Route 9G and turn right onto Route 9 north; turn left onto Old Post Road; go past the Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park, pass by the Dinsmore Golf Club, and turn left into the mansion entrance.


History:

1792 -- Revolutionary War Colonel Morgan Lewis buys the land.

1795 -- Colonel Lewis builds a two-story brick house here on 342 acres of land.

1804-1807 -- Colonel Lewis serves as New York's third governor.

1812 -- during the War of 1812 Colonel Lewis served as Quartermaster General of the Army.

c. 1814 -- he added wings on the north and south sides.

1832 --the house burns down. Lewis builds a larger, 25 room Greek Revival mansion for his wife, Gertrude, the sister of Robert R. Livingston, Jr. of Clermont and Chancellor of New York. At one time the Livingston family owned more than one million acres of land in the Hudson Valley.

1855 -- one of the most notable romantic era gardens (built according to the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing) established here at the romantic Hoyt House (or The Point). (The Hoyt House has not been restored.)

1882 -- Darius Ogden Mills (1825-1910), later father of Ogden Mills, marries Ruth Livingston Mills, great-granddaughter of the original property owner and daughter of Maturin and Ruth Baylies Livingston. Mr. Mills earned his fortune in banking, railroads and metal mines.

1890 -- Ruth L. Mills inherits Staatsburgh.

1895 -- Ruth Livingston Mills, wife of financier and philanthropist Ogden Mills, hires Stanford White to redesign the main house. He added two wings to the north and south. (Randall 1995:118) They built a 65 room, 14 bath Beaux Arts mansion. The estate had two tennis couarts, a squash court, an iceboat, and extensive riding and hiking trails. Mr. Mills raised Jersey cows as a hobby.

The Livingstons gave their daughter Geraldine and her husband Lydig Hoyt, The Point.

The Millses' daughter, Gladys Mills Phipps, was an avid golfer, skater and horsewoman. Adjacent to the estate was a nine-hole gold course developed jointly with neighboring land owners.

1920 -- Ruth Livingston Mills dies.

1929 -- Ogden Mills dies, leaviang a $50 million dollar fortune.

1937 -- Ogden L. Mills (secretary of the Treasury under President Hoover), only son of Ruth and Ogden Sr., gives the estate to New York State.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
just a brief stop
* = plant found in bloom, 9/21/03


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Maclura pomifera (osage orange)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

Shrubs:
Forsythia sp. (golden bells)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)

Herbs:
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Trifolium repens (white clover) *

Grasses:
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)