Locust Grove Estate                                                                 2683 South Road (Route 9)                                    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Locust Grove Estate 2683 South Road (Route 9) Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Locust Grove: A National Historic Landmark

2683 South Road (Route 9)

Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

(845) 454-4500

http://www.lgny.org

https://www.lgny.org/

Open: Seasonal-See Below

Visitor Information: The gardens and grounds are open year round from 8:00am to dusk, weather permitting.

House Tours: Offered May through November, daily from 10:00am-5:00pm and weekends in April & December. Groups tours by appointment.

Visitor Center: Open January through March, weekdays from 10:00am-5:00pm. April through December daily from 10:00am-5:00pm.

Fee: Adults $12.00/Children (6-18) $6.00

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48443-d263920-Reviews-Locust_Grove_Estate-Poughkeepsie_New_York.html?m=19905

The Locus Grove Estate

Overlooking the Hudson River, the 180 acre Locust Grove Estate includes an Italianate villa designed in 1851 by architect Alexander Jackson Davis for artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse.

The Locus Grove additions of the tower and back rooms

The estate, with miles of carriage roads, landscaped grounds, historic gardens and Hudson River views, was preserved as a museum and nature preserve by the Young family, whose collection of art and antiques is exhibited in the mansion’s 25 rooms.

Entering Locus Grove for the Christmas holidays

I have visited the house twice for Christmas with the mansions elaborate but tasteful displays and once in the last fall when the foliage was in full peak. The house is an interesting example of turn of the century architecture and innovation of both the Morse and Young family’s love of Locust Grove. Each added their own touch to the house.

The Library right off the main hallway entrance used to be the original Dining Room when the Morse’s owned the house

The Christmas tree in the Library

The Parlor across the hall from the Library

A closer look at the Christmas tree

During the Christmas holiday season, the house is beautifully decorated both inside and out for the holidays, with a formal tree in the back Living room, smaller trees and garland around the house on the first floor and smaller trees with presents in the bedrooms and in the Billiards room.

The Library at Locust Grove for the holidays

One of the rooms set for Afternoon Tea

One of the back offices

When the Young’s moved into the house, they needed more room for entertaining so they added the larger dining room (The Morse’s added the Tower to the home). So the old Dining Room became one of the reception rooms and a library. Some of the smaller rooms were used for social occasions so the first floor was reconfigured.

The Living Room in the Tower addition of the home

The mirror in the Living Room was the last thing left by the Morses

The larger Living Room held the most beautiful Christmas tree with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River from the back window. The room is elaborately decorated for the holidays and the volunteers created a very festive decor for the room. I do not know if the family would have decorated this much but still the halls were decked perfectly.

The Dining Room was set for an formal Christmas lunch with the family’s best china, crystal and silver and had displays of fruits and desserts that would have been served during the holidays. The Morse family spent their holidays in New York City so it would have been the Young’s who spent their holidays here.

The Dining Room set for Christmas lunch

The Christmas tree in the Dining Room

The Butler’s Pantry for the Dining Room

The upstairs to the bedrooms

The house had been added onto twice from the small cottage that had been built by the second owners, the Montgomery family. The back tower and wings were built by the Morse family and the formal dining room by the Young’s for their growing family.

The bedrooms were nicely decorated and the rooms had lots of Christmas decorations that you would not ordinarily see in a bedroom. Each room had its own Christmas tree.

The Master Bedroom with a breakfast nook overlooking the Hudson River

The paintings above the bed are of the Young family

The modern bathroom with hot and cold running water

The Young’s son lived in this room until he died

The Young’s daughter lived in this room until her death

The guest rooms were also nicely decorated

The dollhouse in the guest bedroom

Another guestroom

Guest room

The tour guide told us that the second floor Billiards Room was once a very popular and engaging room in the house for everyone visiting. There was always a lot of action going on in this room.

The Second Floor Billiards Room

The Christmas decorations in the Billiards Room

Our last stop on the second floor was the modern bathroom which was considered extremely innovative for its day. This was the most modern approach to plumbing.

The upstairs bathroom

The last stop on the tour was the downstairs Servants Quarters which were also decorated for the holidays. It showed what the Servants of the household would have been doing on a daily basis to help keep the house running.

The Servants kitchen

The kitchen table in the Servants Quarters

The Servants Dining Room

Our tour guide, Ethel, did a nice job interpreting how each family would have used the house and for what occasions. The Young’s lived here full time until the last owner, Annette, died in 1975 and the Morse family used it as a summer retreat until Samuel Morse died in 1872.

locust-grove-ii.jpg

The view from the back of Locust Grove to the Hudson River during the early fall

The view to the Hudson River from the back of the house during Christmas 2022

The house is tastefully furnished both in turn of the last century decor and some more modern pieces. The grounds in the spring and summer months are in full bloom and in the fall awash with colors from the trees.

Also, don’t miss visiting the small museum of Samuel Morris’s paintings and his development of the telegraph system, where the patents is where most of the family fortune came from. Mr. Morse was an artist, educator and inventor and his life’s work is displayed in the galleries.

The Morse Family

Morse Museum: Samuel Morse family in the early Colonies

Samuel Morse with his career in portrait painting

Samuel Morse’s Portraits

Samuel Morse’s inventions and innovations with the telegraph

Samuel Morse’s innovations

The History of Locust Grove:

Locust Grove has an interesting history. The estate was first owned by Henry Livingston Jr. when he purchased the property from his father in 1771. The estate was such named because of the black locust trees that grew on the property. After his death, the estate was sold to John and Isabella Montgomery who built the original cottage on the estate. Mr. Livingston’s home had been torn down by this point.

The main house at Locust Grove is a villa in the Italianate style designed in 1850. Morse had recalled the elegant villas that he had visited years earlier in the Italian countryside and he sketched towers, windows and floor plans. Construction on the villa, sited on a dramatic bluff overlooking the Hudson River began in 1851 and was completed the following year.

He continued to expand the cottage and the gardens during his time and the family continued to use the house as a summer retreat and living in the winters in their brownstone in Gramercy Park. After Mr. Morse’s death, the family used the house occasionally and then sold it to one of their renters, the Young family.

William and Martha Young added modern amenities to the house like central heat and running water and updated the bathrooms. They added the new dining room and guest bedrooms in the new North Wing of the house. They also brought with the many family heirlooms and their decorative art collection which is still on display in the house.

After their deaths, the Young’s children, Annette and Ennis worked to preserved and restore their family’s homes in here, in New Haven, New York City and Ulster County. After the death of her brother in 1953, Annette Young continued to live at Locust Grove and began donating to museums the art, land and historic houses she inherited so that they would be protected. When she died in 1975, she established a not-for-profit foundation to ensure that Locust Grove with its collections and archives would be protected. The house is now available for touring and for weddings.

(Locust Grove History and Wiki: I give both organizations full credit for this information)

Location: Locust Grove is located on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY, two miles south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge or 11 miles north of Interstate 84.

Locus Grove Gift Shop

Disclaimer: this information is taken from the Locust Grove Historic pamphlet. The site is very interesting and should be added to your list of ‘must sees’ in the area. Please call the site for more information.

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