There’s something alluring about abandoned places, even if we know their history. Our mind’s eye tries to imagine what they were like when they were in use.
One of my favourite places for a road trip, preferably in the autumn, is the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York. There are numerous old estates dotted up and down the river, many of them preserved and open to visitors.
This photo was taken at Montgomery Place, an early 19th-century estate owned by the Livingston family. The estate is on the National Register of Historic Places, with a Federal-style mansion, gardens, orchards, outbuildings and winding paths through the oldest oak forest in the Valley.
Unfortunately the day we arrived for a tour all the power was out, so we couldn’t go inside, but we were able to wander around the property, and deep in the woods we came across this abandoned old power station. There are waterfalls on the property which the owners used to generate their own power for a time.
The mansion is evocative of a more genteel time period, while the grounds are wild and haunting, at least in the fall. The estate has a wide terrace and rolling lawns that overlook the Hudson River, so you can imagine the wonderful parties that must have taken place when the weather was fine.
You can find more information about Montgomery Place and several of the other Hudson River Valley estates open to visitors on the Historic Hudson Valley website. It’s the perfect area to enjoy fall colours, charming small towns, great farm markets, history, and even a wide variety of Halloween-season events!