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Tours Daily through Oct. 31

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Severe summer storms impact operations

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Early last Saturday evening a strong cluster of thunderstorm cells passed through the area. At Hyde Hall we suffered power outages and damage from large branches of maple trees falling on the south lawn, the road leading to the visitor center at Tin Top and other areas of the grounds.  The mansion and Tin Top suffered no damage although power was not restored to Tin Top until Tuesday afternoon. We were not able to conduct tours on Sunday but operated tours from the Kent Administrative Center on Monday and Tuesday.

A wedding reception was in full swing at the time, the guests were able to shelter in the mansion during the worst of the storm. Generators were quickly brought on line and soon the party was in full swing. Memories of this wedding will be with the couple and guests for years to come.

Thanks go out to the Glimmerglass State Park crew and the power company for the cleanup.

We look forward to welcoming you to Hyde Hall.

John Bower, Marketing Manager

 

Click on any image to open gallery in slideshow view.  Images by John Bower, Hyde Hall.

South View from Hyde Hall – Before & After

In preparation of our special events this spring and our tour and events season soon to follow, we have been hard at work on some landscape improvements at Hyde Hall.

In the fall of 2015, we spoke with Rich Sheckells, manager of Glimmerglass State Park about removing dead trees from the lakeshore area.  His crew cut these down in late February and our wonderful groundskeeper, Jenny Trahan, worked hard to trim the locust shoots.  Here are our before and after photos!

Lake Shore area prior to removal of dead trees.
Lake Shore area prior to removal of dead trees.

 

Shoreline View, late March, following tree removal and clearing of locust shoots.
Shoreline View, late March, following tree removal and clearing of locust shoots.

We thank the Gipson Family of Unadilla for getting the ball rolling on beautifying the grounds here.  We have benefited in so many ways from the generous support of everyone who recognizes Hyde Hall as an extraordinary place!

 

Winter at Hyde Hall

winter lakeThe winter landscape of this beautiful estate holds many surprises. With temperatures that have fluctuated throughout the season, the lake has gone from liquid to frozen and back more than a few times.  One of the most interesting moments was when we had ice on the lake followed by a day of milder temperatures with rain—and we watched the water flowing over the surface of the icy under-layers. It is an ever changing view, but always stunning.

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Even though the mansion is closed at present, the preparation for our upcoming season at Hyde Hall continues. During the coldest of our weeks, one very dedicated employee, Genevieve, worked diligently outdoors to remove locust shoots to maintain the appearance of the grounds—in spite of admonitions from her concerned manager. We appreciate her commitment and hard work in helping to keep our grounds in shape all year long!

 

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In addition to our staff and volunteers, we have had a few other guests this winter as well. During the cold and blustery weeks of February, we were visited by two bald eagles, one adult and one immature. They were seen sitting on a tree branch near the water and captured on film by John Bower, Hyde Hall’s Marketing and Outreach Manager. A few days later, we were visited by a trio of deer, resting together in the morning sunshine. They didn’t seem to mind the cold.

 

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The winter landscape here has a certain allure—it is peaceful, solemn, and breathtaking, and always a bit different from one day to the next. We will enjoy watching the season slowly begin to transition to spring over these next weeks as we prepare for all the activity that will follow in 2016. We hope you will join us for a visit!

The Oldest Covered Bridge in New York State

In the early days of roadways, bridges were typically constructed out of wood, which was plentiful, inexpensive and a fitting structural material.  Exposed wooden bridges would deteriorate quickly (10-15 years) from exposure to the elements, so to enable a more durable and long-lasting structure, bridges were built with a cover, in most cases including both a roof and sides.  Most covered bridges have been replaced to accommodate today’s vehicles and modern traffic.  There are only about 1600 original covered bridges remaining in the world today, and one of them was built as part of the Hyde Hall estate – officially the oldest covered bridge in NY.

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Hyde Hall’s covered bridge, built by George Clarke in 1823, is the oldest covered bridge in New York State. It is 53 feet long and one lane wide and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998. It can be seen on the grounds of Glimmerglass State Park, which borders Hyde Hall and was once part of the great Clarke estate. It crosses Shadow Brook and is for pedestrians only. The bridge form is known as a Burr Arch.

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In addition to protection from the elements, for pedestrians, drivers and the structure itself, it is thought that covered bridges helped keep animals calmer when crossing rivers and streams, which helped to reduce damage to the structure as well.

For more information about covered bridges and where to find them, visit the following websites:

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