Welcome to Staatsburgh State Historic Site's blog! Learn more about the Gilded Age home of Ruth and Ogden Mills!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Summer at Knebworth House

During summer, is not unheard of for wealthy or even middle class families to rent a home for the season.  But could you imagine renting this house?  Well, in 1909, that is exactly what Ruth & Ogden Mills did.

Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, England

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A 1901 Epidemic at Staatsburgh

In this time of COVID-19, it is instructive to note that the world has been plagued (if you will) with epidemics throughout history. The Gilded Age was no exception. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as in past centuries, waves of yellow fever, smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid fever, polio and scarlet fever brought fear and death.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Hidden Treasures of the Collection: Vichy Water

One of the reasons that we initially created this blog was to be able to focus on items in Staatsburgh's collections that are tucked away, harder to see, or not highlighted on the standard house tour. The house has so many items in it, that it is impossible to cover it all on a tour. The "Hidden Treasures of the Collection" essay series provides a closer look at some of the lesser-known, yet interesting objects throughout the house and estate. This essay examines the high-end (non-alcoholic) beverage of choice for European elites, also found in Staatsburgh's pantry.

A 1975 photograph of the butler's pantry showing the Vichy bottle cabinet.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dining on the Titanic - Part III

Parts I and II of the Dining on the Titanic blog began by saying that we talk a lot about the Titanic at Staatsburgh. Staatsburgh’s owners, Ruth and Ogden Mills, planned to sail on the ship’s second voyage, one the doomed liner was never to make. The people who traveled first-class on the Titanic included people in the Millses’ social circle, as well as Mrs. Mills’ cousin, John Jacob Astor. The Millses’ connection to the Titanic led us to create “Tales of the Titanic,” a themed tour that we offer each spring. The Titanic has also been a theme for some of the talks at our Tea and Talk series. This 3-part Dining on the Titanic blog essay reproduces the 2016 Tea Talk of the same title.

As in Parts I and II, this essay will start with acknowledging the primary source for the Tea Talk, the delightful book, Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner, by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley. Featuring sound scholarship, good writing, and beautiful illustrations, the book is a great read.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dining on the Titanic - Part II

Dining on the Titanic Part I began by saying that we talk a lot about the Titanic at Staatsburgh. Staatsburgh’s owners, Ruth and Ogden Mills, planned to sail on the ship’s second voyage, one the doomed liner was never to make. The people who traveled first-class on the Titanic included people in the Millses’ social circle, as well as Mrs. Mills’ cousin, John Jacob Astor IV. The Millses’ connection to the Titanic led us to create “Tales of the Titanic,” a themed tour that we offer each spring. The Titanic has also been a theme for some of the talks at our Tea and Talk series. This 3-part Dining on the Titanic blog essay series reproduces one of the Tea Talks: “Dining on the Titanic.”

The primary source for the Tea Talk was the delightful book, Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner, by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley. Featuring sound scholarship, good writing, and beautiful illustrations, the book is a great read.