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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 117, July 1890 [newspaper clipping]

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Identifier: DX01025843

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 117, July 1890 [newspaper clipping]

Description: Newspaper clipping regarding Fonthill Castle.

Transcription:

[top of article missing]

Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent le Paul, and occupied by the “Academy of Mount St. Vincent on the Hudson.”

To reach it you take the train of the New York Central at the Grand Central Depot, and after a half hour’s trip get out at the Mount St. Vincent station. Passing the station house and disregarding a sign which tells you that the grounds are private you enter a gateway and find yourself on a broad walk which, leading over a bridge spanning the railway track, conducts you to the academy itself.

The grounds are very beautiful. The estate is something over fifty acres in extent, and the trees have, been most carefully preserved. The wide-spreading green lawns are at this time picked out with white daisies and yellow buttercups, while here and there a flower bed serves to give a more brilliant dash of color. As you walk up the flagged pathway you see on the right a statue of St. Joseph and beyond it Fonthill Castle.

The first Mount St. Vincent was built on the site known as McGowan’s Pass, now 109th street and Fifth avenue, and a part of Central Park.

[wood engraving of Fonthill Castle]

THE CASTLE

The land occupied by the old academy being included in that set aside for Central Park, it was found necessary to hunt up a new location. Edwin Forrest, the actor, had purchased an estate of some fifty odd acres of land on the Hudson, and had built Fonthill Castle. This structure is of gray granite in the Norman style, and is believed to have been modeled largely on that other Fonthill Castle in England built by [William] Beckford, the eccentric genius who wrote “Vathek.” Mr. Forrest was not particularly fond of Fonthill, and when the then Superior of the Sisters of Charity called on him the sale of the estate was concluded in a short time, the price being $100,000. On the transfer of the title Mr. Forrest presented his check for $5,000 as his donation to the academy. Formal possession of the estate was taken on February 2, 1857, when a statue of the Immaculate Queen of Heaven was placed in position on the ground. The first mass was said in an upper room of the castle on the Feast of the Visitation that year, and the corner stone of the new academy was laid on September 8, 1857, by Archbishop Hughes.

[handwritten by Gunn]

July, 1890.

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1890-07

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper
Page

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Books and reading
Railroads
Travel
Flowers
Central Park (New York, N.Y.)
Charity
Religion

Permalink:
http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/187044

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