FOLLOW HIGHWAY 9D a mile or so north from Cold Spring's village center and you'll come to an old gate on the east side of the road. This is the entrance to the former estate of Edward J. Cornish, a president of the National Lead Company who used this as his country home from 1917 until his death in 1938. The property has been left to ruin ever since. Today it is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, and the mansion's old entry drive links up to a vast network of hiking trails that thread their way over and around the highland peaks between the village of Cold Spring and the city of Beacon, about 10 miles to the north.

"Click on images to enlarge"

THOUGH the estate is today known for Edward Cornish, it appears that the property was initially developed in the first years of the twentieth century by a certain Sigmund Stern. More information on the estate can be found at Rob Yasinsac's page, in the book version of Hudson Valley Ruins, and in Patricia Edwards Clyne's fantastic book Hudson Valley Tails & Trails.

"Click on images to enlarge."

FROM THE GATE, the old drive leads up first to what remains of the residence. Fires and seven decades of neglect have left only the rusticated masonry facades of the house and barns behind. Great fireplaces and vast empty spaces still give a sense for how lavish this house must have been. Past the ruins of the mansion, the road winds along a brook spashing its way down toward the Hudson. Follow the road by the empty shell of an old greenhouse and across the Catskill Aqueduct to reach ruins of the estate's expansive barns. From here one can follow hiking trails back down toward the village of Cold Spring or up over the mountains to the city of Beacon.


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© T.E. Rinaldi, 2006