STAATSBURG — A new tour at Staatsburgh State Historic Site shows how it took a small army of servants to manage the 79-room Gilded Age mansion and the estate on the Hudson River. On this special tour, visitors will see the mansion through the servants' eyes, as they rose before dawn and toiled until after midnight.

The tour will be offered on June 15, 16 at 1 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 889-8851. The cost is $10; $8 for seniors and students; children under age 12 are admitted for free.

Called “A Life in Service,” the tour will include a look at the servants’ hall, a footman’s bedroom, and the office of the estate’s butler, who, like Mr. Carson of Downton Abbey, oversaw most of the house’s other domestic staff as they worked to provide unparalleled service and luxury for the Mills family and their frequent houseguests. The mansion’s rooms devoted to food preparation are shown, including the unrestored, tiled kitchen with its massive coal stove, where the Millses’ highest paid servant, the French chef, prepared multi-course, gourmet meals for society’s elite.

While Staatsburgh’s servants were well-provided for, servants elsewhere sometimes endured grim conditions, eating scanty meals and living in unheated attics. The tour at Staatsburgh will look at the advantages and sacrifices of being a servant, and why the world of employer and servant faded away after World War I.

Visitors interested in learning more about Staatsburgh’s servants can visit a new exhibit that features research on the lives and roles of the butler, the housekeeper, the chauffeur, the footmen and the chef. The exhibit also features interactive displays, including a chance to interview for a job and determine if you are qualified for service at Staatsburgh.

After enjoying the tour, visitors can picnic or stroll the tree-lined paths along the Hudson River, or hike the woodland trails in Mills and Norrie State Parks.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site and the Ogden Mills & Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park are located on Old Post Road in Staatsburg, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. For more information, call 889-8851, or visit https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/25/details.aspx,

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