Staatsburg State Historic Site: A Glimpse into the Lives of Ogden and Ruth Livingston Mills

A white house with a large portico on a hill

Located along the Hudson River, the Staatsburg State Historic Site is a magnificent Gilded Era estate now open to the public. Touring it offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Ogden and Ruth Livingston Mills. The couple, both prominent members of New York society, lived in the grand mansion and hosted a number of high-profile visitors during their time at the mansion.

Ogden Mills was a powerful banker and politician, who made his money through the banking and railroad industries. Ruth Livingston Mills was an American philanthropist and socialite, known for her support of charities, especially those related to education and healthcare. The couple entertained some of the most influential figures of the day, including the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, and the Morgans.

A stunning example of 19th-century Beaux-Arts architecture, the Ogden and Ruth built Staatsburg State Historic Site between 1895 and 1898. New York now runs the site as a house museum, maintaining the historic mansion carefully to preserve its original features.

More About Staatsburg State Historic Site

Architect Stanford White designed the 65-room house, which includes numerous unique design elements such as a massive portico, balustrades and large verandas. And 14 bathrooms! The house also features a number of unique interior fixtures, such as hand-painted murals and stained glass windows. The grounds feature manicured lawns, gardens and a large swimming pool, which was a popular destination for the socialites of the time. White designed the house around an existing 25-room Greek Revival mansion.

It is worth noting that the Mills stayed at Staatsburgh mainly during the fall season between mid-September and the Christmas holidays. During this time, they hosted house parties, balls, and dinners. The rest of the year they visited their other four homes in New York City, Paris, Newport RI and San Simeon CA (San Simeon is a small coastal town located on the central California coast best known for its proximity to Hearst Castle, the former estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.)

Today, the Staatsburg State Historic Site is open to the public. The mansion contains many of the Mills family’s original antiques and artwork, including furniture and tapestries. Additionally, artifacts and memorabilia that are representative of the family’s history in the area fill the home. The site is a wonderful example of the extravagant lifestyle enjoyed by the elite of the Gilded Age, and is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of New York society and the Gilded Age mansions along the Hudson River.

Know Before You Go

The Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills State Park offers miles of river trails, an expansive picnic area as well as the Staatsburgh Mansion and the surrounding grounds, which includes landscaped gardens. Visitors can tour the mansion and explore the grounds, which offer a variety of activities, including hiking trails, fishing, kayaking and bird watching.

Tours by reservation only. Click for tour reservations.

Getting there: 75 Mills Mansion Drive, US-1, Staatsburg, NY 
Hours: April – October Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Easter; November 1 – Thanksgiving, closed. Friday after Thanksgiving — December 31, Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed December 24 and 25; open every day December 26 – 31. January – March, Thursday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: Staatsburg

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