Please note: Due to COVID-19, indoor tours and some events have been suspended indefinitely at Mills Mansion. However, the park is open for outdoor recreation and programs. Check the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website or the Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh website for updates.
The Gilded Age in America was the time period from after the Civil War to around the turn of the century that saw a financial and industrial boom. During this time, many luxurious homes were built along the beautiful Hudson River, collectively called Millionaires’ Row. Many of these homes were built as a place for wealthy families to get away from the bustling city for a while. Mills Mansion, formally called Staatsburgh State Historic Site, was home to Ruth Livingston Mills and Ogden Mills during the autumn months. Both Ruth and Ogden came from prominent families, with Ogden’s family investing in railroads, banks and other ventures, including philanthropic efforts.
Ruth Livingston Mills inherited the Greek Revival style home in 1890. The Mills decided to renovate and expand it with the help of McKim, Mead and White, an architectural firm that also worked on the Vanderbilt Mansion. By 1896, the home was transformed into a Beaux-Arts mansion with 40 more rooms than it had before. The new home blended the two styles together.
Visitors can explore the home and the 192-acres of the historic site thanks to Gladys Mills Phipps, who donated it to New York State with almost everything left as it was. This creates a unique opportunity for visitors to be transported back to the Gilded Age as they take in the furnishings, art and decor the family collected from Europe, Asia and other regions. Tours of the home also allow visitors to gain an understanding of the people who made the place special, including the family, servants and others. While in-person tours on the mansion are currently unavailable, virtual tours and educational videos are available here. There are even special videos that take viewers to locations in the mansion that are not accessible on tour!
In the summer, Mills Mansion usually holds Music in the Park events featuring local music groups, alternating weeks with Vanderbilt Mansion. There is also an annual car show on the property. These community favorites will return when it is safe to hold such events again.
Although indoor tours of the home and some events are currently suspended due to the pandemic, Mills Mansion is offering a plethora of free programs this summer Thursday through Sunday. These include morning walking tours such as the Landscape Tour and History Hidden in the Woods: Guided Trail Hike, where participants will learn about aspects of the property that they would not be able to discover alone. In addition, Mills Mansion is holding Programs on the Portico, a series of outside presentations on a variety of topics including Staatsburgh’s Servants, Gilded Age Scandals, Staatsburgh and the Titanic and more. These free events require prior registration. Click here to sign up!
In addition to these events, The 192-acre property has abundant space for biking, hiking, picnicking and more. For example, a scenic hiking trail along the Hudson River connects the historic site to Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park. In the winter months, visitors enjoy snowshoeing and sledding on the hill by the mansion.
Mills Mansion is the perfect place to enjoy nature and take in the history of the Hudson Valley.
“A pleasant tour filled with historical and social information about the Livingston Mills family, the mansion, and the social life in the Hudson Valley during Gilded Age. Lovely and huge grounds with walking paths.”
—Gloria G., Trip Advisor
Take Amtrak to Mills Mansion
Enterprise offers a discount (use NYTRAIN) and will pick you up at either station to get your rental. Call the Poughkeepsie office today at 845-485-2222 or rent here.
Where to Stay in the Hudson Valley
Looking for a getaway opportunity? Spend the night and experience all the Hudson Valley has to offer. Take a look at these great hotel options—some offering exclusive New York By Rail discounts!