Gathering of Old Cars at Staatsburgh

Mills Mansion Driveway (photo by Julie O’Connor)

During the 40-plus years that the Mills family was in residence at its 79-room Beaux Arts mansion on the grounds of what is now the Staatsburgh State Historic Site, its members must have seen some grand cars come up the driveway. After all, Ogden and Ruth Livingston Mills traveled in some pretty ritzy circles, and when they were in residence at Staatsburgh each autumn – from about September through the Christmas holidays each year – they entertained often, frequently having guests to stay. One can imagine hearing the crunch of gravel on the drive at Mills Mansion as their guests pulled up to the gleaming white edifice on a picture-perfect autumn day in a stylish motorcar, perhaps a Pierce-Arrow.

This Sunday, October 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors to the Staatsburgh State Historic Site can have their own classic car moment on the lawn outside the historic Mills Mansion, where the 26th annual Gathering of Old Cars will once again be held. Antique cars from every class and era will be displayed to advantage against the backdrop of the scenic autumn landscape enjoyed by the Millses when they lived at the great Hudson River estate.

Car clubs from throughout the Hudson Valley will attend the popular event, which goes on rain or shine. Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase from vendors.

During the Gathering of Old Cars, the 1895 Stanford White-designed Mills Mansion will be open for tours. The cost is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and free for children under age 12.

Mills Mansion is currently undergoing an extensive renovation in a yearlong project that will restore the original gleaming white façade to the building and repair some structural damage to the property. While the Mansion is still open for tours and safe to visit, it’s worth noting that it’s without wheelchair access until the work is complete.

The 26th annual Gathering of Old Cars will be held on the lawn outside the Mills Mansion at Staatsburgh State Historic Site on Sunday, October 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the car show is free. Tours of the Mansion are available at a cost of $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and free for children under age 12. Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located on Old Post Road in Staatsburgh, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. For more information call (845) 889-8851 or visit www.nysparks.com/historic-sites/25/details.aspx or www.facebook.com/staatsburghshs.

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