Wilderstein, Rhinebeck, NY – Historic House Tour

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Front view

We were in Claverack this past weekend, and on Sunday we decided to head to Rhinebeck for a tour of Wilderstein.  We have visited most of the historic homes in Dutchess and Columbia counties in the last twenty-five years, but somehow never got to this one.  It is a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon.

Wilderstein was built by Thomas Suckley (pronounced Sookley), a descendant of the Beekman and Livingston families, in 1852, as a much more modest Italianate house, then remodeled and greatly enlarged in 1888 in the Queen Anne style, by Thomas’ son Robert.

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Side view

The last occupant of the house, Margaret Suckley, known as Daisy, was a close friend and confidante of Franklin Roosevelt.  Whether there was a romantic involvement has never been confirmed, but she spent a great deal of time with him after he and Eleanor began living separately.  There is a wonderful interview in the introductory video that begins the tour, of Daisy and her sister Elizabeth, when Daisy was ninety-five, four years before her death.

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View of the Hudson from the house

The interior is fascinating in its ornateness, along with the Victorian preference for very dark rooms.  I took these photos of the entrance hall before we were informed that photography was not permitted:

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For more information and visiting hours, visit the website:


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