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An Escape for New York’s Gilded Age Society Now Makes for a Tranquil Household House

Listing of the Day

Location: Fishkill, New York

Price: $4.385 million

Known as Willow Lake Farm, this historic compound in New York’s Hudson River Valley offers a grand 1924 stone house, a 5-acre spring-fed swimming lake and three guest houses.

“This property is steeped in local history,” said listing agent Sandra Park, of Coldwell Banker Realty. It was developed from farmland in Fishkill, about 60 miles north of New York City, into the Knickerbocker Lodge “as a retreat for the city elite” in the late 1800s by Henry DuBois Van Wyck, the first mayor of Fishkill, New York.

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When it burned down in the early 1900s, “Willow Lake Farm arose from the ashes,” she said. The stone underneath the slate patio is from the original Knickerbocker Lodge and the wrought-iron rails from the lodge were also repurposed.

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Some of the guesthouses are two-family homes, for a total of five residential units, all of which have their own kitchens, Park said. With a total of more than 10,000 square feet of interior space, the property “can accommodate 20-plus people comfortably.”

The guesthouses and the main residence are “all in impeccably maintained condition,” she said. The owners, who have been there about 20 years, added central air conditioning to the upper level of the main house and “completely updated the kitchen and the entertainment area.”

“The accessibility is amazing for this property—both the location,” which is close to the city of Beacon and the village of Cold Spring, “and the connectivity,” she said. “They have Wi-Fi stations all over this property.”

In the main house, the living room has a fireplace and two walk-outs to the patio, and this main level also holds the dining room, which also has a fireplace, the renovated kitchen and an office.

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There are five bedrooms upstairs, including the primary suite, according to the listing. It features a dressing room, a study with a wood-burning fireplace and lake views.

Other architectural details include a slate roof, original leaded glass windows and oak floors, American chestnut wood details, window seats, and arched windows and doorways.

The property also holds a writer’s retreat known as Tree Tops and a building known as the Hen House. It has a coop, a greenhouse and a workshop that could be converted back to a four-stall barn for horses, Park said.

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“You’re in a bubble when you go there,” she said. “There is a peace and overall tranquility at that property that really envelops you when you’re there. It is truly bucolic, very Norman Rockwell. It’s got a really good vibe.”


The 4,560-square-foot main house has five bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two partial bathrooms. It sits on a 105-acre plot of land.


Amenities include a spring fed 5-acre swimming lake, detached two- and three-car garages, four wood-burning fireplaces, carriage trails in and out of the woods, screened gazebos, streams and waterfalls, an outdoor bar and stone entry pillars.

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Neighborhood Notes 

It’s less than 20 minutes to Stewart International Airport and 15 minutes to Beacon and Cold Spring, both of which have vibrant restaurant and shopping scenes as well as commuter train stations, Park said.

Agent: Sandra Park, Coldwell Banker Realty

View the original listing. 

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