Untermyer Gardens is an obscure gem. I learned about them when I started looking into walking trails accessible by public transportion. Untermyer lies along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. It was mentioned on the map so we decided to check it out and we were very pleased.
Samuel Untermyer was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. When his father died the rest of the family moved to New York. He studied law and was a corporate lawyer. He was a big advocate of stock market regulations, government ownership of railroads and legal reforms. He was also an active Zionist and President of Keren Hayesod. He bought the 150 acre estate from Samuel Tilden and developed magnificent gardens and was quite knowledgeable about horticulture. At one time the gardens at his estate was nationally famous.
Untermyer’s history is interesting. He was a corporate lawyer who became more involved with public welfare as time moved on. He was a Democrat and also helped establish the Federal Reserve System. We never heard about him until I looked at the Croton Aqueduct Map. Makes me sad we don’t learn things like this in school but out of most people I know, I’m one of the few who really likes history.
Untermyer’s wife, Minnie was progressive as well. She supported the women’s rights movement and offered Samuel’s legal expertise and financial support to groups supporting women’s right to vote. She was also a big supporter for the arts.
We took Metro North to Greystone in Yonkers. You’ll need to map the walk from the train to the Croton Aqueduct Trail. We got a little lost and asked a lady where it was and she had no clue. Hooray for smartphones.
We entered through the back entrance which unfortunately hasn’t been preserved and in ruins. It was once a big massive estate. It makes me sad knowing the estate he gifted to New York wasn’t preserved but at least we have some of it. I can only imagine what it would have looked like with the mansion.
The Hudson River Valley is one of our favorite train rides. It’s so pretty, tranquil and historic. We always look forward to our jaunts up the Hudson.
15 thoughts on “Untermyer Gardens: A Hidden Gem in Yonkers”
Wow.. What a find!
it is really nice. And you right about that we do not read these in school 🙂
this place looks gorgeous ! How come it’s still a hidden gem ?:-)
we couldn’t believe our eyes! it’s beautiful! untermyer seemed like a cool guy too especially for back then. he isn’t known at all in our school books 😦 it’s not touristy and not many locals know about it. if it wasn’t for the old croton aqueduct trail map we never would have learned about it. there’s a small preservation group that takes care of it. it’s our favorite garden. the croton trail is pretty cool. it connects a lot of towns along the hudson river so we take metro north to one town and we’ll walk 5-10 miles. eat at a restaurant and go home. near tarrytown, we take the trail to go to rockefeller state park. depending which town we start at – it can be 20-40 min. from grand central station. we hate the train ride home. standing for an hour after walking a few miles really hurts (the train going to Brooklyn we don’t get a seat). nice way to explore about 2 hours from where we live so not too far to see some trees.
I can understand why it’s your favourite garden, it’s so pretty ! There are so many hidden places, only known by a few people. It’s so nice when you manage to stumble upon them 🙂
Interesting history behind a beautiful garden 🙂
I know I really wish they taught stuff like this in school. Such a shame, we knew nothing about him but now we do.
Great photos! The park looks like I remember when I use to hang out there as a teenager in the mid 70’s. Brought back a lot of great memories. .
Thank You! It’s such a beautiful place.
What a beautiful place and great photos! Thanks for sharing. Bye. Kamila
This is a grreat post