Around the Neighborhood – The Road to the Walter Law Mansion

Walter Law founded Briarcliff Manor, the village where I’ve lived for the past 23 years:

Walter William Law (November 13, 1837 – January 17, 1924) was a businessman and the founder of the 8,000-person village of Briarcliff Manor, New York. He was a vice president of furniture and carpet retailer W. & J. Sloane, and later founded the Briarcliff Lodge, the Briarcliff Table Water Company, Briarcliff Farms, and the Briarcliff Greenhouses. He founded or assisted in establishing several schools, churches, and parks in the village, and rebuilt its train station in 1906. In the early 1900s, Walter Law was the largest individual landholder in Westchester County.

Walter Law was born in Kidderminster, England, and was one of ten children of a carpet dealer. He relocated to the United States in 1859, where he lived until his death. Throughout his life, he was employed at various places, including at W. & J. Sloane, where he worked for 24 years. After retiring to a house on Scarborough Road in the small community of Whitson’s Corners, New York, he developed the surrounding farmland into a suburban village. Law died in 1924 in Summerville, South Carolina, during rest cure treatment. (Wikipedia).

The mansion is still in private hands so I couldn’t walk down to get a picture of it (although once when I was passing I saw a woman come out of the driveway and cross the road to pick up mail. She waved to me and I thought about asking her if it would be OK to take a few pictures. But I didn’t have the courage to do it), but the picture above shows the road down to it with its fairly awful statues. The entrance gate is guarded by the lions below and their twins (i.e. a pair of each).


The first picture was taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF-1 and and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42 f3.5-4.6 II, and the two lions with a Sony A6000 and Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM (I think).

Harley checks out the Henry Villard Monument

One of the more impressive sculptures in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It’s called The End of the Day’s Work

Henry Villard (born Ferdinand Heinrich Gustav Hilgard) grew up in a well-to-do family in Bavaria. He was a rebellious child, which his father tried to curb by sending him to military school. Then in 1853 and without his parents’ knowledge, he immigrated to the United States. To conceal his identity he changed his name to Villard. In the next few years he took a series of jobs at newspapers as he slowly made his way west. He got as far as Colorado and then took a job with a couple of New York papers following Abraham Lincoln’s campaign and eventual election. After the Civil War he took a series of correspondent jobs in Europe. Because he was fluent in German and English, he was hired as a negotiator of German interests in American railroad securities.

He acquired some German clients and traveled back to the United States. He went to Portland, Oregon, in 1874 and impressed with the natural wealth and transportation, he convinced his clients to invest in building a railroad. That railroad (with Henry Villard as president) eventually became the Northern Pacific Railway. Like many financiers, his interests changed and varied. He acquired the New York Evening Post and The Nation newspapers in 1881. He helped inventor, Thomas Edison merge his companies in the Edison General Electric Company, which became General Electric.

In later life, Villard became involved in philanthropic interests, giving large amounts of money to the University of Oregon, Harvard, Columbia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Villard’s monument was executed by Vienna-born sculptor Karl Bittner in 1904. Although trained in classical styles, Bittner began to drift toward more modern forms. The Villard Monument was sculpted in 1904, and it exhibits the beginnings of forms that, decades later, would evolve into Art Deco and Moderne. The monument depics a man with a sledgehammer (perhaps a reference to Villard’s position as president of the Northern Pacific Railway) looking towards the stars. (Stories in Stone New York. A field guide to New York City area Cemeteries and their residents by Douglas Keister).

The rear of the monument reads:

HENRY VILLARD

BORN

HEINRICH HILGARD

AT SPEIER

RHENISH BAVARIA

APRIL 10TH 1835

DIED AT

THORNWOOD DOBBS FERRY

ON HUDSON

NOVEMBER 12TH 1900

IN VIEW OF THIS SPOT

JOURNALIST

CIVIL WAR CORRESPONDENT

SOMETIME SECRETARY

OF THE

AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION

EARLY PROMOTER OF CIVIL SERVICE REFORM

COMPLETOR OF THE

NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD

FINANCIER

GENEROUS FRIEND

TO LEARNING SCIENCE AND THE ARTS

TO SUFFERING HUMANITY

HIS BOUNTY WAS BOUNDLESS

AS THE SEA

HIS LOVE AS DEEP

Taken with a Sony A6000 and Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM (I think).

On the River at Croton Landing – Stuff on the beach

Flotsam? Jetsam? I’m not sure what the distinction is. Nor do I know whether of not and of these objects fall into either category. To me it’s all just stuff on the beach.

I liked the color contrast between the dark ribbon-like material (I find myself wondering what it is) and the bright orange color of the piece of driftwood. I also liked the textures: the black stuff is almost (but not quite) smooth and shiny, while the driftwood is rough. An then there’s the textures of smooth stones, and the rougher looking sand.

Taken with an Olympus OM-D EM-10 and Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42 f3.5-4.6 II