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