Miramonte

Annandale-on-Hudson, Dutchess County, New York

Built in 1865, for Edwin Bartlett (1796-1867) and his wife Caroline Eliza Harrod (1808-1893). Located between Annandale-on-Hudson and Barrytown-on-Hudson, the former estate is now part of the Bard College campus. Today, only the ruins of the Bartlett's stable complex remain....

This house is best associated with...

Robert Livingston Tillotson

Robert L. Tillotson, of Rhinebeck; Secretary of State for New York

1788-1878

Emily Gouverneur

Mrs Emily (Gouverneur) Tillotson

1798-1833

Edwin Bartlett

Edwin Bartlett, of New York; Co-Founder of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company

1796-1867

Caroline Eliza Harrod

Mrs Caroline Eliza (Harrod) Bartlett; died without children

1808-1893

Andrew Christian Zabriskie

Captain Andrew C. Zabriskie, of New York

1853-1916

Frances Hunter

Mrs Frances (Hunter) Zabriskie

1866-1951

In 1680, Colonel Pieter Schuyler (1657-1724), 22nd Colonial Governor of New York and the first Mayor of Albany, purchased the land along the river at Cruger’s Island, including most of Red Hook. In 1720, he sold the stretch of land directly along the riverfront of his property to Barent Van Benthuysen (1664-1723). His slaves cleared a plot along the road to Cruger’s Island on which he built "Van Benthuysen’s Castle". Over the years, the Van Benthuysen estate was gradually partitioned and sold off or lost in mortgage foreclosures by succeeding members of the family. Around about 1800, this part of the Benthuysen estate was purchased by William Allen (1776-1850), a grandson of Chief Justice William Allen (1704-1780), the founder of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Allen built a substantial house on his new estate, near to Montgomery Place, and lived there with his wife (and cousin) Maria Cornelia Verplanck (1785-1825). Mrs Allen was the eldest daughter of Guilian Verplanck (1751-1799), Speaker of the New York State Assembly, President of the Bank of New York and then the largest landowner in Dutchess County.

In about 1825, the Allens sold the property to Robert Livingston Tillotson (1786-1878), Secretary of State of New York and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He lived there with his wife Emily Gouverneur and in 1830 there were shown to be nineteen people living in the mansion, suggesting they had thirteen servants. Tillotson returned to nearby Rhinebeck in 1862 and sold the property to the Bartletts in early 1864.

The Bartletts, formerly of Rockwood Hall

In 1860, the Edwin Bartlett sold Rockwood Hall for $100,000 to William Henry Aspinwall (1807-1875) with whom Bartlett had co-founded the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. The venture had been deemed highly speculative, but its success vastly increased Bartlett's already substantial fortune. His wife, Caroline, was a niece of Thomas Boylston Adams, son of the 2nd President of the United States and brother of John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, with whom Caroline regularly corresponded.

On purchasing the Tillotson property, the Bartletts renamed their new home "Miramonte" and made plans to build a large new mansion with stables and landscaped grounds. The property of 160-acres consisted of meadows and woodland with oak, elm, maple, beech, ash, hickory, and tulip poplar trees. In 1865, the Bartletts employed the architects Calvert Vaux (1824-1895) and Frederick Clarke Withers (1828-1901) to carry out the work. Vaux periodically sent Alfred Janson Bloor to oversee the construction of the large stables with servants living quarters attached.

Captain Zabriskie and Blithewood

Edwin Bartlett died at Miramonte in 1867 and his wife continued to live there until her death in 1893. They are buried together in a stone mausoleum designed by Withers that is still found opposite Bard Hall. The Bartletts had no children of their own so Miramonte was passed to Mary Agnes Pomeroy (1841-1909), the widow of Mr Bartlett's celebrated nephew, General William Francis Bartlett (1840-1876). Mary mortgaged the property to Emma Forster before selling it in 1901 to Captain Andrew Christian Zabriskie (1853-1916) of neighbouring Blithewood. At that time, The New York Times reported:
Capt A. C. Zabriskie has bought from Mrs. Mary Agnes Bartlett the estate known as Miramonte at Barrytown-on-Hudson consisting of about 160 acres. The property adjoins on the north the old Bard and ... estates, which Capt. Zabriskie recently purchased. These properties will be thrown into one and a new house erected thereon this Summer.
The Bartlett house was presumably demolished later that year. In 1936, Captain Zabriskie's widow, Frances Hunter (1866-1951), passed legal title to the overall estate of Blithewood to her only son, Christian Andrew Zabriskie. On her death in 1951, Christian donated the 825-acre estate to Bard College.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 22/11/2018 and last updated on 11/07/2020.
Miramonte, an 18th century mansion at Annandale, New York.

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