41 Comments on 1927 Castle, Ossining, NY

  1. 21 acres overlooking the Hudson River is the determining price factor for this house. Stylistically, it is all over the place-some nods towards the area’s Dutch heritage, a bit of French details, a little Arts & Crafts-eclectic overall. It was probably someone’s visionary “project” house during the 1920’s or it did some time as a religious monastery or convent. The house does not have a high value but the land certainly does, hence the steep price. Not my kind of home but there are some wonderful historic homes in places like Rhinebeck along the Hudson.




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    • I have a home in Rhinebeck! Glad to find someone else who know it…..




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    • It’s called ELDA (Elizabeth, Lucy, David, Abbott) and it belonged to my Great Grandfather, David T. Abercrombie. The castle was his wife’s vision. She was the architect.




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      • Oh how good it is to see these pictures of “the castle” again – way back in the 1950s my father had dominion over the neighboring “Major Bowes Retreat” located on Allapartus Road. The retreat is owned by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

        We used to hike from the main gate of the retreat – going into the woods – and go past the “Boy Scout Cabin” and on to the castle. The library was burned out at that time – I enjoyed looking at the inlaid Italian tiles that were in the cast iron stairs’ vertical risers. We enjoyed fishing in the damned pond too. Thanks & Enjoy!




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        • This castle is our “across the street” neighbor! We’re the current caretakers of Major Bowes Memorial Retreat on Allapartus Road. The retreat is still operational and owned by the Lutheran Church, although we are open to any groups who want to use our venue.




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  2. Castles?
    1 Castle Rd Piermont, NY 10968 495143
    40 Dicks Castle, Garrison NY 10524 3004079




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    • I’m going to post the 1st one, it’s pretty cool. Thanks! 🙂




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  3. Hey, I watched this place burn! Years ago…it was a Sunday afternoon and IIRC…we were dropping off a co-worker who lived right near the Tappan Zee and the road to her house was blocked by a lot of fire trucks. We ended up being stuck there for a while – couldn’t go forward or back – and after asking what was going on, some local people told us there was an old, empty castle on fire. So we all walked up this dirt road through the woods to watch it. I’m kinda surprised to see so much of the place still intact. That seemed like a hell of a blaze to me. I was curious about the history of the building back then, but nobody there seemed to know anything, and I never remembered to research it myself later. Since I know the exact address now, maybe I’ll see what I can find.

    And just for the heck of it, here are a few more Hudson Valley castles:

    Bannerman’s Castle (now ruins) on Pollipel Island
    http://www.tangento.net/BannermanCastle.jpg

    Lyndhurst in Tarrytown
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2660/3751189440_a39688ab03_z.jpg

    Fonthill Castle in Riverdale
    http://hcap.artstor.org/collect/cic-hcap/index/assoc/i142.dir/Fonthill%20Castle%20(general%20view),%20College%20of%20Mount%20Saint%20Vincent-medium.jpg

    Castle Rock in Garrison
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4d/CastleRockGarrison.jpg/800px-CastleRockGarrison.jpg

    Cat Rock in Garrison
    http://www.hvmag.com/Hudson-Valley-Magazine/August-2009/They-Are-Among-Us/CastleRock_013_13.jpg

    Wings Castle in Milbrook
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2632/4111972889_3fec7642f7.jpg

    Carrollcliffe in North Tarrytown
    http://static.weddingwire.com/static/vendor/1_5000/2927/thumbnails/600x600_1302272770740-BirdsEyeViewofEntireCastleProperty.jpg

    etc.




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    • Awesome castles! Interesting that you saw this place burn. Do you remember what year?




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      • I’m terrible with times (and dates and distances), so I don’t remember the exact year, but it had to be in the 1990s because that’s when I was working down there. I’m thinking early 90s, probably.




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    • This castle, known as “Harrick’s Castle” when I lived nearby, in the Town of Newcastle, NY, was built by David Abercrombie, (the east coast version of Levi Strauss). An outfitter for the new camping trend in the late 1800’s, his business went on to become Abercrombie & Fitch.

      The place fell into ruins on a number of occasions, and was burned and rebuilt several times. Supposedly, it was brought over from Scotland around 1900. You can see the roman numerals that marked the various wood beams for reconstruction. Presumably, the field stones were from local sources.

      Originally the castle was surrounded by 350 or more acres, and many small structures, grottoes, boat house, etc were to be found on the land, as well as a couple of ponds, (one with a diving board!)

      I hope the new owner’s treat it right and bring it back to life. But you would need to be a Donald Trump to really pull it off!




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    • Yes, I love Hempstead House, and the only reason I didn’t include it was its location. Interestingly, Hempstead House was built by Howard Gould, whose father owned Lyndhurst in Tarrytown. I guess growing up in such a place made Howard want to build a castle of his own.




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  4. This was the David T. Abercrombie house, as in Abercrombie and Fitch…built in 1927. It was called ELDA, using the initials of each of his kids. His wife designed it, he supervised the construction. Later was called Castle Harrick, and Harrick Scientific was there. Learned all this from 1977 Yonkers newspaper…I’ve been researching old Westchester estates.




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    • Wow, thank you so much for solving this mystery! Interesting, I never even know Abercrombie & Fitch was that old a company either.




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  5. My family owned this castle for awhile. I was too young to remember it. I don’t think we ever actuallly lived there. My parents would go for weekends and do a bunch of work and then vandals would destroy it when they went back to the city for the week. I think they finally gave up. The vandals won…




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    • Oh, that is so sad! That would be horrible to have put work into a place only to have it ruined by hooligans.




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  6. As Tami said above, we owned the castle from 1960 – 1963. It was already in ruins when we bought it and our dream was to restore it and make it our home but it was not to be. She’s right, everything we did to improve it was vandalized by local kids, including burning off the roof that we had just built along with all of the furniture, paneling, lumber, etc., we had stored in the locked attic. They shot at our dog, poured gasoline in our newly dug well, hung a live bird from the ceiling in the ballroom/living room and left it to die, which it did. Three years of this kind of thing and we gave up. Incidently, all of it’s outside stone walls and the ceiling were still intact when we sold it. It was the next owners that knocked down the 2 outside walls and turned what was the dining room into a patio.




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    • I’ve heard of renovation nightmares, but that is just horrible! I’m so sorry you all had to go through that. I wouldn’t have been able to last three years, it would have been too much for me.




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      • As the eldest daughter of the above quoted Bunny Garst (formerly Smith) I was ages 2-5 and I do remember the castle. Mostly I remember pushing the formerly quoted Tami Vaughan, in her then baby buggy. And woods, lots and lots of woods and our dog running around asking for someone to throw him a stick. I don’t remember much about the vandalism, but not the disappointment. Of course I didn’t know what was going on or why my parents were acting so strangely. Mostly, I didn’t understand why the place my parents told me would be my new home, couldn’t be. I read all the horrible news reports years later. Vandalism is a kind word for the crimes that were allowed to be committed there. My most favorite dream is being able to surprise my family by purchasing the castle myself and rebuilding it into the vision that they dreamed of.




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  7. My uncle rented this castle for two years or maybe less but this was when i was really young i remeber some memories i had with this castle im reaserching about this castle because a lot
    of people had told me that this castle was haunted but when i usually went to the house for the weekends it felt big and cozy with my whole family there but i was only 7 back then so who knew? I really enjoyed this castle even if it is haunted 🙂




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  8. Some of my friends and I rented this castle back in the summer of 2003. We were all summer interns at IBM at the time. The castle was owned by Beth Lamont (who was the wife of Corliss Lamont) back then. She told us that the roof and walls were destroyed during a chemical explosion of some sort when the castle was owned by Harrick Scientific. Needless to say, living there for the summer was quite an adventure! Lots of good memories!




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  9. I had the pleasure of being able to stay here for a week in 2005 when some friends of mine were renting part of it. All I can really remember is that there was a dungeon (an actual dungeon!) and that when you climb up that spiral staircase to the roof (which seemed to be repaired) the view was spectacular.




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  10. Sorry, the stairs in the 6th picture, not the spiral one. Also, none of the pictures I took there turned out -freaky I know- so thank you so much for sharing! Brought back memoires.




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  11. I lived walking distance from this place in the late 1940s. My parents called it “Jack’s Castle” and my mother told me it had belonged to the Abercrombie family. At that time, around 1947, it had already been burned. We used to walk over there and explore it. There were melted car tires and such lying around and it still stank of fire. My mother told me at one time they had considered turning it into a home for severely retarded children, and interviewed the neighbors, who apparently objected, afraid it would become a sort of zoo where the neighborhood children could go and stare at them! Ossining still attracts me. Maybe I will return to spend my old age there, but I think something smaller will serve me better than the castle. Our old house, very near by, just sold last month for $500,000.




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      • We lived on Croton Dam road, just a few houses up. I forget the number, but two years ago, while noodling around, i found it listed for sale for $500,000. not bad markup. My father bought it before 1944 and it was only a few years old then, having been designed by a famous architect whose name I don;t know. it was a large and quite modern house, and he had a studio with a pot-belly stove in back where he worked as an illustrator. I left when I was 3 1/2, to live in a succession of interesting, over two hundred year old houses in Pennsylvania. Old houses are a passion with me, but then, so is history in general. all the best. K




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        • Strange question, but I am doing some research on the area around Croton Dam Road in Ossining. My boyfriend and his friend are renting a house on that road. Some strange things have been happening there. Doors unlocking,locking, and closing on their own, along with creepy sounds in the night. I was wondering if there were any stories of hauntings or tragic events that have happened in the past. I am not normally a believer in these types of things, but the events happening are just to strange and creepy.




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          • As far as the castle goes, there was no end to the tragic events that happened when my family owned it from 1960 – 1963. According to the newspapers we were not the only owners run off by hooligans who did not want someone to take over their party palace. Granted, these are only my memories of the numerous stories told about the place at the time and not my personal memories.
            Mine were peaceful and fun filled as an active toddler from 2 to a 5 year old where there was no end of places to explore and play.




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  12. I was the caretaker at the time you were there Jeannie…I lived there with my 2 daughters…my youngest is in FIT now. how time flies! The castle is definitely beautiful, but just needed so much work…I left soon after 2003 as a lot of weird things kept happening plus vandalism…one night some one killed one of my dogs…too strange and dangerous to stay with 2 little girls…I visited a few years ago and it was very sad to see the state it is in…




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    • It wouldn’t surprise me if my Great Grandfather, DTA, was haunting the castle. We are
      All worried it might be torn down.




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  13. My Grandfather was a mason and was the superintendent in charge when it was built. We brought him back there when he was 94 to an estate sale. We met the current owner and he showed us around. My grandfather remembered everything about the construction and pointed out things like there’s a cistern between the turrets landing and the ceiling below to hold rainwater for future use and that the long living room with the fire place at one end had a sub floor with pipes used to warm the floor in the winter. The owner showed us the contents of a time capsule he found and my grandfather’s picture was there along with the construction crew and David Ambercrombie.




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    • That was such a great story, thanks for sharing! That must have been awesome, for your grandfather to be able to take a look at something he helped build and then be shown the photo.




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  14. I explored the building as a kid in the early 1960s before the large section was burned and the rubble of the floors and stairways were removed. We would climb up to the top of the tower. Once the section was burned and the metal steps on the outside removed I climbed up the outside using the stones of the walls until the next window or door was reachable. On top of the tower with its three foot walls was a hatch with its cover gone. We could hear water when we dropped stones in This room just below the top of the tower had only the entrance above and no windows or doors. From the tower room below there was water dripping from the ceiling. We explored the large grounds in its entirety and found a swimming pool, man made ponds with small stone buildings with a diving board on top. We also saw what looked to be an ore bucket, steel cable and rusted machinery




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  15. This home is very precious to me as it was my great grandfather’s home and my father was born there. If our family could buy it back, we certainly would. Something has to be done to save ELDA. I heard some time ago that it may be bought and turned into an Abercrombie museum… great idea.




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