Just east of the Bronx Botanical Garden lies Paulding Avenue named for William Paulding, mayor of New York City in 1825.
Paulding was an honorable and well accomplished fellow.
Born in 1770 to a wealthy family, he went to law school and served as Brigadier General in the War of 1812.
The combination of wealth, law and military leads straight to the top and Paulding was no exception.
He served in Congress, later New York State government and by 1825 was appointed Mayor of our city.
In those days Mayors were appointed.
It wasn’t until 1834 Mayors began to be elected.
But back to Paulding.
As a member of high society he needed an aristocratic country house, a place where he could entertain heads of state.
So after he left office in 1838, he built a Gothic Revival Castle near Tarrytown overlooking the Hudson and called it the “Knoll.”
He died there in 1854, but the Knoll passed on to wealthy robber barons of that era.
One added a tower and changed the named to “Lyndhurst.”
Today it’s in the National Historic Trust and is used for movie sets and very fancy weddings.
The 1970 movie House of Dark Shadows was filmed here,
and the castle is pictured in the poster.
On the day we visited there was a wedding.
We were eating lunch on a bench as the bride arrived
and the photographers set up.
Then they walked over and asked us to leave so they could begin photography.
200 years later and high society remains very much the same.
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