A bit over a week ago I woke up to thick fog. I don’t usually go out to take pictures in bad weather, but this time the fog looked rather interesting so I decided to see what I could get.
Almost directly opposite our house is what remains of the V. Everit Macy property. When I say what remains I don’t mean to imply that it’s an abandoned ruin. Far from it. There’s still a lot of land (about 60 acres I believe) and the old house still stands. I had some difficulty finding a picture of it online and since the house is still occupied and I didn’t feel like wandering around on private property to get a picture of it, I had to be satisfied with the above scan from Mary Cheever’s book: “The changing landscape: a history of Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough“.
According to the book:
In 1896, V. (for Valentine) Everit Macy bought several large tracts of land just north and west of Walter Law’s Briarcliff Farms. Macy, then in his mid-twenties, was the son of an official of the Standard Oil Company, a descendant of prosperous Nantucket whalers, and nephew of a founder of R.H. Macy & Company. He and his bride, Edith Carpenter, set up housekeeping in their newly built Tudor-style stone and stucco mansion set on the highest hill of their estate, overlooking the Hudson. They named it Chilmark, after the Macy family’s ancestral home in England. The Macy’s property, added to over the following quarter of a century, amounted to some 300 acres bounded, roughly, by Old Briarcliff and Pleasantville roads on the east, Croton Avenue to the north and Holbrook and Scarborough roads on the south and west, with some lots on its western border within the village of Ossining. The old gate house, now missing its porte-cochere, still stands at the corner of Holbrook and Scarborough roads. The mansion was surrounded by gently sloping lawns planted with shade trees and shrubbery, meadows and woodlands. Great stone barns housed Guernsey cows, givers of prize winning milk, and Hampshire Down sheep. There was a greenhouse for the gardens, a carriage house with apartments over it for the help, a chicken house, a stable of spirited ponies, a polo field (the Holbrook School Football field), squash courts, a swimming pool, two tennis courts and a small but challenging (par 27) nine-hole golf course.