Old Post Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
(formerly known as Mills Mansion), is an
elegant example of the great estates built by America's
financial and industrial leaders during the Gilded
Age. This period, also known as the American Renaissance,
lasted approximately from 1876 to 1917, and was marked
by America's rapid economic growth and emergence as
a world power.
Ogden Mill's father, Darius
Ogden Mills, established the family fortune in California
in the decades following the Gold Rush, by investing
in the banks, railroads and other businesses associated
with the gold and silver mines of California and Nevada.
Ogden Mills, like his father, became a noted financier
and philanthropist, and a director of many charitable
Mills, his wife, was a member of the Livingston family,
prominent landowners in the Hudson Valley since the
seventeenth century. The 1,600 acre estate at Staatsburg
was purchased in 1792 by Mrs. Mills's great-grandfather,
Morgan Lewis. Lewis was married to Gertrude Livingston
of Clermont. Lewis was quartermaster general of the
northern Continental Army during the American Revolution.
In 1804, he became the third governor of New York.
During the War of 1812, he served as quartermaster
general of the United States Army.
In 1895, Mr. and Mrs.
Mills commissioned the prestigious New York City architectural
firm of McKim, Mead and White to remodel and enlarge
their Staatsburg home. At its completion in 1896,
the house was transformed into a Beaux Arts mansion
of sixty-five rooms and fourteen bathrooms. Its exterior
was embellished with balustrades, pilasters, floral
swags and a massive portico. The rooms were furnished
with elaborately carved and gilded furniture, fine
oriental rugs, silk fabrics and a collection of art
objects from Europe, ancient Greece and the Far East.
The completed mansion retained many architectural
features of the earlier Livingston home, and so preserved
its memory. Pride in family heritage was also demonstrated
in the prominent display of portraits of Mrs. Mills's
ancestors. It is this combination of a taste for European
grandeur with a reverence for American heritage that
makes Staatsburg a quintessential American Renaissance
The Millses used their
Staatsburg residence primarily in the fall, as a setting
for numerous house parties, balls and dinners. On the
estate grounds and the Hudson River, the family and
their guests enjoyed golf, tennis, horseback riding,
yachting, ice skating, and ice boating. From midwinter
through the summer, the Millses resided and entertained
at their other homes in New York City, Paris, Newport,
and Millbrae, California.
Livingston Mills died in 1920. Upon Ogden Mills's
death in 1929, the house passed to the couple's son,
Ogden Livingston Mills. Active in Republican politics,
Ogden L. Mills served as Secretary of the Treasury
during the Hoover administration. After his death
in 1937, the house reverted to his sister Gladys Mills
Phipps. The following year Mrs. Phipps gave the mansion
and 192 acres to the State of New York as a memorial
to her parents.
Staatsburg is a New York
State Historic Site located within the boundaries
of Mills-Norris State Park. In 1938, the house and
192 acres were given to the State of New York by Gladys
Mills Phipps, daughter of Ruth and Ogden Mills. Tours
of the mansion are offered from mid April thru Labor
Day on Wednesdays thru Saturdays from 10 to 5, Labor
Day thru October on Wednesdays thru Sundays from 12
to 5, with special programs and hours at Christmas.
Margaret Lewis Norrie
State Park was donated to the state in 1934 by sister
of Mrs. Norrie. In 1933 a Civilian Conservation Corps
(CCC) camp was established at the park. CCC projects
in the park include construction of the road system,
parking lots, the railroad underpass and the Norrie
Inn (now the DCC Environmental Museum).
Staatsburg is open
from the beginning of April through Labor Day on Wednesdays
to Saturdays from 10am until 5pm, Sundays noon to
5pm. It is open Labor Day until the last Sunday in
October on Wednesdays to Sundays noon until 5pm.
and exact opening dates may vary from season to season.
Phone ahead for current hours and information regarding
The mansion is open by
Guided Tours only. Last tour starts at 4:30pm daily.
The park and grounds are
open daily until dusk.
Restoration In Progress
Visitors to Staatsburg
will notice that the restoration of the mansion and
its environs to their turn-of-the-century appearance
is underway. Ongoing work on the estate wall is directed
at restoring the wall's structural integrity and original
appearance. A landscape report funded by the Friends
of Mills Mansion will provide guidance for future
work on other areas of the estate grounds.
Restoration of the exterior
of the mansion will require the removal of the gray
gunite finish and the replacement of the deteriorated
cornice and many precast decorative elements. When
completed, the mansion's exterior will be faced with
white stucco, as it was originally.
Ongoing interior restoration
work will include the repainting of walls, the cleaning
of marble and wooden surfaces, the conservation of
the mansion's collections, and the reproduction of
the site's extraordinary turn-of-the-century furnishing
fabrics. Recognizing the importance of these fabrics
to the overall interpretation of the site, the Friends
have taken a leadership role in identifying and securing
the funds necessary for the reproduction and have
established a special Textile Reproduction Fund.
Restoration efforts at
Staatsburg are expected to continue for many years.
Site staff is knowledgeable about ongoing work and
will be happy to answer visitor's questions. Financial
support for restoration work is provided by the Office
of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and
the Friends of Mills Mansion. Donations to support
restoration work may be sent to the Friends of Mills
Friends of Mills Mansion
The Friends of Mills Mansion
was organized in 1988 to support the educational and
preservation goals of Mills Mansion. Funds raised
by the Friends have been used to purchase reproduction
fabrics and trims, acquire objects for the Butler's
Pantry, produce school curriculum materials, purchase
research materials and support the work of landscape
and curatorial consultants.
Membership in the Friends
of Mills Mansion is open to all interested in the
preservation of the site. Information regarding membership
may be obtained by writing:
of Mills Mansion
PO Box 416
Staatsburg, NY 12580