AN ONGOING LEGACY

OVER A CENTURY OF HISTORY

ARCHIVE

THE POETS GARDEN

Republished from the 1970 Original Commemorative Booklet as part of the 2018 Arrow Park 70th Anniversary Historical Archive. Also available as a pdf-download.

 

HOW ARROW PARK CAME TO BE

The Schuyler Schieffelin Mansion and A Workers Union

The lodge at Arrow Park was commissioned and built in 1909 by Julia Cooper and Schuyler Schieffelin. Bowen Bancroft Smith was the architect. The mansion was intentionally situated so it appears to grow right out of a bowl shaped hollow on the side of a very steep valley.

Schieffelin and Cooper prior to moving to Monroe were living in Tuxedo Park. Rumor has it that Schieffelin, a great friend of Harriman became angry when Harriman was denied the purchase of a house in Tuxedo Park. In solidarity to his friend, Schieffelin bought 600 acres from Mr. Harriman and began construction on this wonderful estate. The mansion itself resembled an Italian Villa. It's interior architecture included numerous artistic features, design elements and ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement that were prevalent in the day.

In 1948 the estate was sold to AROW Farms, Inc. – (American Russian Organized Workers) a group of Slavic Workers  from the Boroughs of New York City and Newark. They had been looking for a place of rest and recreation for themselves and their children in the countryside. As it turned out, the Schieffelin property was deemed the ideal spot. With hiking trails, gardens, a large lodge and lake, it proved to be the perfect location for what would become Arrow Park. It's closeness to New York and New Jersey, where most of the workers and tradesman lived their daily lives, made the location convenient for weekend and summer vacations. They had sold 2000 stock certificates for $100.00 a piece and with the $200,000 they raised formed a committee to find an appropriate property near New York City. These funds were used to secure the purchase of the property.

Attendance was popular and the Park soon grew into a lively social club with the bungalows, lodge, beach and large dance pavilion. The initial investors all volunteered their time to run the park and facilities. Many even built houses close by so that they could enjoy the park during their retirement. The park was large enough to have community gardens, cultural events, dances and concerts of all varieties.

Many of today's shareholders of Arrow Park are related to those original founders – many are the children and grandchildren of those original investors. While the times have changed, and second and third generations of families have spread throughout America (and indeed throughout the world) Arrow Park has remained. And, it remains relatively "untouched" by the growth of contemporary live in America. It remains "a world away" from the rigors and stress of daily life – which is precisely what it was intended to be as far back as when it was originally built for the Schieffelin family in 1909.

Additional information regarding the Arrow Park mansion from publications, Architectural Record, July-December 1016 and Concrete 1917. The building was created from stone quarried directly on the property and the extensive use of concrete/cement – which was considered extremely progressive for residence construction in the early 1900s.

PLEASE NOTE: We are in the process of preparing additional information regarding the social, cultural and community activities of Arrow Park throughout the years. If you have any materials you would like to contribute to the website project (photographs, flyers, pamphlets, video, etc.) please feel invited to contact the webmaster of the Arrow Park website directly.

POSTCARD FROM THE 60s