We are quite lucky in the Hudson Valley to be surrounded by so much rich history. I remember learning about historic events while in elementary school (shout out to Brinckerhoff) and getting the opportunity to visit many of the sites we were learning about here in the area.

A recent announcement from two Dutchess County historic sites has indicated that a price hike will soon come to admission rates for both general admission and yearly park passes.

Photo Credit: John Joy
Photo Credit: John Joy

Hudson Valley Historic Sites Announce Fee Increases

On March 31st, an announcement from the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site indicated that visitors will see an increase in admission cost beginning May 1st.

Beginning May 1, 2024, the fees to tour the FDR Home or Vanderbilt Mansion will increase from $10 to $15 per individual 16 years and older.

Currently, those 15 years old and younger are granted free admission to the parks, and that will stay the same. Admission costs for 16+ will increase by $5.

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site/Facebook
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site/Facebook

Along with the single admission prices, there is a new 'yearly park specific pass' that includes admission to FDR and Vanderbilt for $45, which includes the cardholder and three additional guests entry.

SEE ALSO: Heartbreak at Hyde Park's Vanderbilt Mansion

A note was included in the announcement to alert visitors that the increase will not change any National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes (Annual, Senior, Access, 4th Grade, Military Annual, Military Lifetime).

Why The Increase At These Hudson Valley Historic Sites?

According to both sites, the increase in entrance fees will help protect park resources, allowing the parks to 'address preservation needs of the homes, which is critical to ensuring the continued enjoyment and long-term preservation of these significant sites.

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For many national parks, 80% of fees improve the park in which they are collected, while 20% is distributed throughout the National Park System.

At both Vanderbilt and FDR, 100% of fees go back into the park to address/improve safety, security, public programming, landscape, buildings, structures, and preservation or historic objects.

Photo Credit: John Joy
Photo Credit: John Joy

You can learn more here about 'your dollars at work' and also get more information about the fees, hours, and park events at Vanderbilt and FDR, respectively.

Have You Been To FDR's Cousin's House in Rhinebeck, NY?

Some may only know about FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt but there were other family members who played a role in the Hudson Valley.

Thomas Suckley and his wife Catherine Murray Bowne created history in Dutchess County, NY. Their estate called "Wilderstein" was designed in the 1800's. 

According to Wilderstein.org, the meaning behind the name of their estate means "wild man's stone". This was in reference to "an Indian petroglyph on the property, a reminder of the cultural heritage that preceded European settlement of the region."

By the late 1800's, the son of Thomas and Catherine (Robert Bowne Suckley) along with his wife, Elizabeth Philips Montgomery decided to add onto the estate.

This "Queen Anne style mansion" is also known for its beautiful views, lush landscape and large property. There were three generations of the Suckley family members that lived at Wilderstein. 

Who was related to FDR?

Margaret Suckley was not only just a cousin of FDR but they spent quality time together. She traveled with FDR during his presidency and gifted him his black Scottish terrier dog, Fala.
Margaret also helped FDR form his library located in Hyde Park, NY.

Some would also say that she was a "confidante" to him as well. Margaret was with FDR when he passed away in Georgia. She died at the Wilderstein estate in 1991 at 100 years old.

Margaret was the last resident to live at Wilderstein. 

Wilderstein is also known as "the Hudson Valley's most important example of Victorian architecture."

Gallery Credit: Allison Kay

Vanderbilt Mansion Gatehouse

The original Vanderbilt Mansion gatehouse in Hyde Park, New York could be yours.

Gallery Credit: Karolyi

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