2. Wethersfield Estate
Photo courtesy Dutchess Tourism
Wethersfield is a 1,200 acre estate that sits at 1,200 feet above sea level, the highest point in the region, offering views to the Catskills and the Berkshires. A Georgian-style colonial brick house and formal gardens at Wethersfield welcome visitors, to the estate, which is now run by the non-profit Wethersfield Foundation. The last owner of the estate, Chauncey Devereux Stillman, the grandson of the president of the financial firm that became Citigroup, formed the Wethersfield Foundation at around thirty years old in 1937, a testament to his foresight on how the property could be offered for the public to enjoy in the future. He would live until 1989, after which the Wethersfield Estate was opened to the public.
The architectural critic Henry Hope Reed called the three acre formal garden “the finest classical garden in the United States built in the second half of the twentieth century.” An additional 7-acre “Wilderness Garden” contrasts the formal garden. The estate also contains an impressive collection of painting, furniture and sculpture. A carriage house contains 22 historic carriages, acquired and restored by Stillman, which were used for daily rides on the estate’s twenty miles of carriage trails. The farm at Wethersfield, which is still active, is considered “one of the first farms in the county to practice soil and water conservation” according to the Wethersfield website.
The horse, carriage, and hiking trails are open from mid-April to mid-November, while the house museum and gardens are open from June to September.
The Wethersfield Estate is located at 257 Pugsley Hill Road, Amenia NY, 12501, ten miles northeast of Millbrook.
Also check out Dutchess County’s 2018 Digital Destination Guide.