During a typical April, history buffs and travelers alike have explored the Staatsburgh State Historic Site and its commemoration of the famed sinking of the Titanic. The Beaux-Arts Mills Mansion’s halls were well trodden; through its annual Tales of the Titanic, visitors toured living quarters, a dining room, and moody grand staircase which resembled the ship’s interior.
Although the mansion is currently closed, Staatsburgh will memorialize the history of the Titanic with virtual and limited-attendance outdoor programs. On April 9 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., trivia buffs of all ages can play an online version of Titanic Quiz Night, with five themed rounds on the ship’s history. If you don’t sink and place at top three, you’ll receive a special prize.
In addition, the site will host four socially distant, in-person programs about Staatsburgh’s connection to the Titanic (April 18, 23, 25, 30). Visitors can view reproductions of items from the famed ship at the mansion’s front portico.
Staatsburgh is one of countless estates built during the American Gilded Age (1876–1917). In 1890, Ruth and Ogden Mills acquired the land and remodeled the 1832 Greek Revival-style home into a Beaux-Arts mansion. Its flat roof, symmetrical design, and neoclassical details are tell-tale signs of the architectural movement. Ruth Livingston Mills’ great-grandfather was the third governor of New York; Ogden Mills eventually became the United States Secretary of Treasury under Herbert Hoover.
Ruth Mills’ cousin, John Jacob Astor, was one of the 1,500 passengers who perished from the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, during its maiden voyage. Ruth and Ogden Mills had tickets to sail on the ship — fortunately, it was for its second journey.