Village Historian
Kathleen Christensen

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845-534-4200 x9

Hours: 9am-1pm,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Historic Village Homes & Places


Matthiessen Park & Matthiessen Hall

Erard Adolph Matthiessen was born in Hamburg Germany in 1825. His ancestors who lived on an island near Denmark were Whale hunters.

Mattheissen HallHe married Adele Gignoux and they had ten children  coming to America in the early 1850s. A deed of 1863 describes a sixteen acre tract in Cornwall containing a large house which was purchased from William J. Davidson.

The Matthiessen’s were called Sugar People since they were associated with a sugar refinery in Chicago where they spent their winters.

The village mansion was approached by a winding road on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River entering from Idlewild Avenue, passing a gate house that still exists today. Other roads led to the barns, a stable, carriage house, wagon shed, ice house and green house.

The villagers were allowed to use Spruce Street and Pine street for sports activities.

Erard, known as EAM, became very immersed in the Village’s improvement by first purchasing the former library building, equipping it, sponsoring free public lectures and donating the facility to churches and schools for their fairs.

While establishing his estate in the village, he purchased land on the Mountain which was on Deer Hill Road, built a house and by 1892 the family had settled into their new home.

To enhance the Village he did not sell his first home but created a school for boys teaching them mechanical arts and the girls sewing and cooking. These classes were held in the manor house.

His next interest was building houses to be rented for reasonable prices. The first five cottages were so successful that he built ten larger houses on Pine and Spruce Streets. Those houses were well built by Mead and Taft and William H. Garrison.

The larger homes had balconies above the porches, Fireplaces, hardwood floors, modern plumbing and heating.

Called Matthiessen Park, it was the first housing development in the Village.


258 Mountain Road

Cherry Croft, home of author Amelia Barr, 258 Mountain Road
On National Register of Historic Places

Photographer David Mathies

Cornwall School District #4 (rear and front)
21 Idlewild Avenue
now apartments
Cornwall School District  - 21 Idlewild Avenue
Cornwall Collegiate School, Hudson Street

Cornwall Collegiate School, Hudson Street
(Gold Cure)
6 Columbus Ave. current apartment building

Ephraim Thompson House, 12 Idlewild Avenue, mansard style Approximate construction date - 1865

Idlewild Avenue

J.Dunn House, 359 Hudson Street, rare example of Civil War period house-extensive gingerbread, later became a duplex