Why are ruins so fascinating? Do we expect to see the ghosts of the people who lived or worked there to suddenly appear? I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m fascinated by ruins. There’s something sad and creepy and symbolic about beautiful places that have been abandoned.
There’s almost a fairytale set of ruins hidden on the side of a mountain in Putnam County, NY, in the Hudson Highlands State Park Reserve. Known as the Cornish Estate Ruins, after the second owners and first inhabitants of the estate and mansion, these ruins are easily accessible along a short trail, off of Rt 9W.
In 1917, seeking an escape from New York City, Edward J. and Selina Cornish purchased the 650 acre estate from a diamond merchant Sigmud Stern. Sadly, Stern had been building the estate to share with his wife, Dove. When she died in 1915, just three years after construction had begun, he lost interest in the place, and started looking for a buyer.
Together they furnished a grand estate, which consisting of a mansion, swimming pool, sunken gardens, an outdoor theater, stables and barns for livestock, and other outbuildings.
The couple lived in the mansion for 20 years, frequently filling the mansion with their friends, before dying within two weeks of one another. The mansion was not lived in regularly after that. In 1958, the mansion burned down, leaving the ruins we can see today.
Today those ruins are overgrown; soon the forest will succeed in reclaiming these fairytale ruins.
Looking for other daytrip ideas within the area? Check out the following articles!
- Five Locks Walk at the D&H Canal
- Foundry Park
- Hudson Highlands State Park (Cornish Ruins Hike)
- Madam Brett Park
- Minnewaska State Park Preserve Rainbow Falls Hike
- Sojourner Truth Driving Tour
- Shawangunk Scenic Drive
- Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Site
- Widow Jane Mine
Or head to New York Daytrip Destinations to find other great things to see and do in New York!
|Someone fancies themselves an artist! This graffiti was on one of the ruins.|