The Wilderstein Historic Site is located at 330 Morton Road in Rhinebeck, New York. The Wilderstein Historic Site was originally purchased by Thomas Holy Suckley in 1852. Up until Suckley purchased the land, it was used as a sheep meadow. Suckley purchased the riverfront property in order to build a mansion on it. Suckley chose the name Wilderstein, which means "wild stone'' in German, because of a nearby Native American petroglyph.
Designed by John Warren Ritch, the original Italianate villa was enlarged and remodeled by Robert Bowne Suckley, Thomas Suckley's son, and his wife in 1888. Architect Arnout Cannon transformed the two-story villa into a Queen Anne-style country house. At this time, a third floor was added as was a multi-gabled attic. In addition, a five-story circular tower was added to the structure. A veranda and a porte-cochere were also added during this transformation.
The interior design was done by Joseph Burr Tiffany, and the rooms on the ground floor feature the contrasting styles of the aesthetic movement and the historic revival. The grounds at the Wilderstein Historic Site contain sheltered garden seats and rustic gazebos. Out buildings include a turreted carriage house, a potting shed, a gate lodge, and more. There is a network of walkways, drives, and trails that are adorned with ornamental shrubs and specimen trees.
The Wilderstein Historic Site is home to several items that reflect the social history of the estate and the surrounding area. There are letters, furniture, photographs, china, and art objects to interest visitors.
The Wilderstein Historic Site is open for touring May to October. Tours begin at 12:00pm and end at 4:00pm. The last tour of the day begins at 3:30pm. Tours are only offered Thursday through Sunday. The house is also open for touring on Thanksgiving weekend and on weekends in December. Admission is $10 per adult and $9 per student or senior. Children under the age of 12 receive free admission.
The trails at the Wilderstein Historic Site are open from 9:00am to dusk year round. There is no fee to walk the trails or the grounds. Visitors who would like to walk the trails can park in the parking area off of Morton Road near the Wilderstein's Gate Lodge.
Group tours are available for groups up to 50 people. Group tours can be scheduled to take place during the regular season's hours or outside of the standard hours. It is recommended that groups reserve an hour for touring the mansion and at least a half of an hour to visit the gift shop or walk the grounds.
Groups can also request to have afternoon tea, cocktails, lunch, or dinner in the 1889 Gate Lodge. A wine and cheese tasting is $14 per person. Lunch is $16 per person. Afternoon tea is $20 per person, and dinner is $30 per person.
In the 1980s, the Wilderstein was established as a non-profit historic site. The purpose of the site is to enrich the lives of others by providing them with a cultural destination. Additional information about the Wilderstein Historic Site can be obtained by calling 845-876-4818.