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Untermeyer Park

In 1864 John T. Waring built a 100 room stone villa known as Greystone. Waring's fortune came from manufacturing hats in Yonkers in 1840. He was the head of the Waring Hat Manufactory. Waring, as President of the Village, administered the oath of allegiance to 60 men, Yonker's first volunteers for service in the Civil War.

Shortly after the Civil War, Samuel J. Tilden rose to prominence through his opposition to Radical Reconstruction. Tilden becamd chariman of the New York State Democratic Committee in 1866 and continued in this position until 1874. In 1871 he Tilden examined the bank accounts of the Tweed Ring and proved that the ring had stolen millions from the city. He launched a vigorous attack on the corrupt Tammany Hall, the Democratic machine in New York City led by William M. Tweed (who had swindled somewhere between $75 million to $200 million dollars from 1865 and 1871).

In 1874 he was elected governor of New York. In 1876 he ran for the Presidency as a Democrat against Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Tilden had actually won the election, but there was an electoral dispute that was compromised away by giving Hayes the presidency, giving the Democrats the end of Reconstruction (with the withdrawal of federal troops there), and giving Tilden the shaft.

During 1879 John Waring sold the estate, Greystone to Samuel J. Tilden. Tilden started altering the house and grounds. Tilden died at Greystone in 1866. $3 million of his $5-million estate went to help found the New York City Public Library.

Samuel Untermeyer bought the estate in 1899 and made the gardens one of the best in the area. Untermyer was born in 1858 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He received his LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1878. In 1912 he attained prominence by helping to curb financial excesses. He became a highly successful corporate lawyer. He was a delegate to six Democratic Conventions from 1904-1932. He served as attorney for Herman Bernstein's suit against Henry Ford for anti-semitism. He died in 1940 at his winter home in Palm Springs, California and is interned at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, N.Y.

The massive villa was bulldozed and St. Johns Riverside Hospital stands there now. Just beyond the hospital in the wood are the ruins of the old garden. These include "stone pediments, toppled logias, pieces of trellises, and parts of an old potting shed."

Visiting Untermeyer Park

The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Frequent concerts and performances are held at the park throughout the summer months.

Specifics on visiting Untermeyer Park were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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