This Georgian Estate in Chester Is a Landmark in Equestrian History

On eight acres in Orange County, this historic Georgian estate is the home of a famed stallion and many priceless murals.

This Orange County property dates back almost as far as the birth of our nation on eight gorgeous acres in Chester. The 1794 Georgian estate, which has history related to horse racing that is featured in a Hudson Valley museum, is new on the market with Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty for $1.5 million.

georgian estate

Set against a panoramic backdrop of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Glenmere Lake, the sweeping lawn and estate are accessed via a long driveway and formal entrance. A grand center hall foyer opens to a formal dining room and expansive sitting room that leads to a veranda enclosed with white railing and balusters.

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The six-bedroom, five-bath brick home spotlights a detailed den that features a priceless series of original murals from 1879 painted and signed by John Ferguson Weir, who was the fine arts director at Yale University from 1869 to 1913. The invaluable paintings depict the setting of the Hudson River Valley as well as the natural surrounding land that includes a gristmill and the original farm from the 19th century.

georgian estate

Weir was a frequent visitor to the Chester estate in the late 1800s when it was the home of his brother, Colonel Henry Cary Weir, who was the holder of a congressional medal for his service in the Civil War. The main part of the house is said to have been built immediately after the Civil War as a present for Colonel Weir’s bride. The house expanded in the 1870s with the addition of a Victorian tower.

Along with the Georgian estate’s artistic and architectural history, the property has a significant role in the development of horse racing as a sport in the United States. Once a 19th-century farm, the land on which the brick home sits was owned by Jonas Seely, whose son, Jonas Seely Jr., bred the first Hambletonian stallion in 1849. The stallion is a famed American racehorse trotter and a founding sire of the Standardbred horse breed. Today, nearly all American trotters and pacers can be traced to one or more of Hambletonian’s descendants.

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To add to this storied past, the first Hambletonian stallion, registered as Hambletonian 10, made his premiere at the Orange County Fair in Goshen and was later inducted into the Immortals category at Goshen’s Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Currently, the Georgian estate in Chester is listed by MaryBeth O’Hara of Nyack-based Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty, who describes the property as “rich in history.”

“Formal in its grandeur yet lending comfort in perfectly proportioned rooms, this house has amazing flow for entertaining on a small scale or large gatherings,” she notes. “A large, enclosed garden, expansive slate patio, and separate outdoor fireplace beckon for evenings spent under the stars.”

The surrounding Chester area includes the Goshen Historic Track, LEGOLAND New York, the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, the Shawangunk Wine Trail, and many other Hudson Valley restaurants, distilleries, and destinations that make Orange County an ever-entertaining community.

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The Georgian estate is located at 6 Silvertail Road in Chester.

Related: This Light and Bright Hurley Home Is a Historic Property

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