You may be asking, what is Wilderstein?
It’s a 19th-century Queen Anne style country house on the beautiful Hudson River in Rhinebeck. It has 35 rooms. It used to be the home of Margaret Suckley. Also known as Daisy. She died in 1991 and left the home to the Wilderstein preservation. She was third generation of the Suckley family. They purchased the home in 1852. Daisy was the last member the family to own it. She never married and didn’t have children. The house is now a national historic landmark. What’s most fascinating about Daisy is her friendship with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was his sixth cousin and neighbor. She was one of the four women with FDR in his Georgia house when he died in 1945. She gifted him his beloved Scottish terrier, Fala. If you tour the home of Eleanor and Franklin, just down the road, you’ll see a lot of love for Fala. I have heard rumors over the years about a trunk full of letters between them that were found under her bed after she passed. There were and they are the highlight of a book.
It’s called, “Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley.”
They would take long drives together. She’d accompany him at the White House. She even revealed in one of her diary notes that he said, “that there was no one else with whom he could be so completely himself.” They believe FDR shared some of his most intimate thoughts with Daisy during his presidency. He instructed her to burn some. They worked together on his solo spot called Top cottage. He built it at the eastern most end of his estate on land purchased in 1937. He called it “the nicest Hill in Dutchess County.” FDR imagined Top Cottage as a place where he could return to private life after his second term as president. He was then elected to an unprecedented third term in 1940. It became his escape retreat. Much of his time there spent with Daisy. You can tour “Top Cottage” as well. May- October.
Aside from it’s part in history, the home is magnificent. The property is a wonderful place to stroll around with your family. It’s pet friendly. Maybe take the family for a picnic. They do hold events throughout the year and its a great place to hold a wedding. I visited to see their holiday decorations. Each year a group of volunteers decorate the interior. Take a look at a few highlights.
The holiday tours continue:
Saturday December 23rd
Tuesday December 26th
Wednesday December 27th.
1-4pm. You can take a tour and visit the museum gift shop.
Wilderstein will reopen May-October 2018.
Tours will then be Thursday-Sunday, Noon-4pm.
Admission $11 adults, $10 students/seniors, children under 12 free. Last tour begins at 3:30 PM.
You can check their events calendar at http://wilderstein.org/explore/calendar/
Take in some holiday cheer this holiday season. Don’t forget to add Wilderstein to your “must visit” in 2018. Maybe Sean, Cooper and I will see you there in the Spring having a picnic. Look at the view!!!!!
Happy Holidays!!!! Oh the address is, 330 Morton Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572, New York!
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