Created By: Marist College
Welcome to the Fern Tor walking tour of the Fern Tor Nature Preserve located on the north end of Marist Colleges campus. Today, Fern Tor is a 12 or 13-acre nature preserve on the North end of Campus that stretches from the St. Ann’s parking lot to Quiet Cove Park in Poughkeepsie and encompasses the land between the Hudson River and Route Nine. Many different people had owned the land before Marist college purchased the property in 1997, but all of them have changed the property in ways that still can be seen today. This walking tour will take approximately 15 mins and will have some minor changes in elevation. There are clean trails but no may be unstable ground, so remember to watch your step and pay attention to where you are going.
There were a few owners of the property before Marist acquired it, but the most important is Thomas Newbold and his family. At this auction, Thomas Newbold purchased the property for $10,000 in 1861. He and his descendants would own the property until 1946 The Newbold family was a prosperous New York City family that made enough money in a variety of business venture ranging from real estate to banking to shipping.
The Newbold family would spend their summers in their new house on Fern Tor. There are no photographs of this house on record, so it is unclear what the house looked like exactly. There was speculation that the house never was built. However, a resident's named Mary Reilly was able to show a former president of the college Richard Foy the location of the main house’s foundation. Along with their main house, the Newbold family also built formal gardens, greenhouses, and a human-made pond that remains to this day. During this time he also constructed the carriage house that would later become the Saint Ann’s hermitage after Marist purchased the property 1997. The main house was demolished sometime after the Newbold sold their property. Its original location was where the old carriage trails level off and bend around to match the level of the house. The Newbold Family would own the property for 101 years from 1861 to 1946 when they sold their land to Charles Chlanda who would play an important role in dividing up the land into smaller parcels.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Fern Tor Tour