Monday, October 21, 2013

Grey Towers National Historic Site - Gifford Pinchot

While here in the Pocono’s we visited Grey Towers National Historic site.  It was the summer home of the Pinchot family. For two decades the family enjoyed many summers at Grey Towers entertaining family and friends. One of the sons of James and Cornelia was Gifford. Grifford was named head of the newly formed United States Forest Service, by his friend Teddy Roosevelt.

       Gifford was governor of Pennsylvania for two terms.  Gifford attributed much of his success to his wife Cornelia. During the 1920’s and 30’s she ran unsuccessfully for Congress three times.  This was very early for a woman in US politics. One interesting story about Gifford told by his son was about a family dog. The dog was a Labrador Retriever. He could not be broke of some of his bad habits, like tearing up furniture. Gifford had a friend that was a warden in a prison in western Pennsylvania. So one day he sent or took the dog to the prison. So his son told the story about the dog and would say his father “sent the dog to life in prison”.  

   Grey Towers is located in Milford Pennsylvania, along the Delaware River.  It is Located just a short distance from Port Jarvis New York and just across the river from New Jersey.  In 1963 Gifford Bryce Pinchot, the son of Gifford and Cornelia, donated Grey Towers and donated 102 acres to the USDA Forest Service.  On September 24, 1963 President John F. Kennedy dedicated the site to the American public. President Kennedy arrived on the lawn of Grey Towers by helicopter for the ceremony.

    The cost of a guided tour of the mansion is $8.00, $7.00 for seniors.  With a golden age passport it is $3.50. But only admits the holder of the pass with a discount.  We were told the golden age passport works a little different at forest service sites like this one, admitting only the pass holder. But both Linda and I have a golden age passport, so we both received the half price discount.
This room off the library was used by Gifford Pinchot when he was governor. This was his office when spending time away from Harrisburg.   
 Part of the Library
 One of the sitting rooms. Note the designs above the doors. They are painted, it is called trope l oeil that creates an optical illusion, or French "to fool the eye".
 More tromp l oeil painting
 This is one of the large legs on the table above. Note the faux finish marble on the walls and also the baseboard. Also note the massive table leg. It is one of four on the table above.  
 That is all painted around the mirror
 In the main emtry to the home. Note the owl has a squirrel  in his talons.
The story of the finger bowl.
This is a dinning table. Can seat about 30 around the table. The food is floated in wooden bowls.  The bowl of fruit being sent to Bob
 A beautiful arched ceiling with a very old wisteria vine planted by Cornelia in the 20's.
A stump carving on the way into GreyTowers
 The view from the Mansion.
You never know what treasures a small town may hold.
Thanks for following along.


  1. Thanks for the tour. Being from Pennsylvania, we tend not to see the things in our own state. Great pictures. :-)

  2. What a cool place! We've been to so many historical sites in Pennsylvania but not this one. Your great descriptions and pictures have put it to the top of the list of places we must see!

  3. It pays to have friends in high places! Interesting tour.