Stony Ford Estate
Please note: I update this page as I have time and gather more information. I could spend hours at the local library researching only to find a shred of evidence. Thank you to the local community that has contributed historical accounts and documents.
Stony Ford kind of romances you at first sight, doesn’t it? We looked at a lot of country houses, and I admit to online stalking Stony Ford for three years before finally looking at it. When we walked in the hall, Stony Ford romanced us as well, and we knew at first sight this was going to be our home. The house is a former mansion which has had a wing removed taking the size down to its current 5,200 square feet (not including the basement). The entire house needs renovations. We do most of the work ourselves, but work with contractors from time to time. We know what we’re good at and when we’re in over our head! Bringing this American house back to its former glory is our lifelong goal.
Stony Ford is a Greek Revival home located in the Hudson Valley about an hour north of the George Washington Bridge. We don’t know the exact date it was built, but we guess around 1850.
The Sutton Years: 1802 – 1863
Louis Sutton owned the Excelsior House, aka, Stony Ford and ran it as a hotel and horse track. Below is a newspaper ad I found saying what to expect during your visit to Excelsior House.
Noted below: THE BAR IS STOCKED.
The Backman Years: 1864 – 1900
In 1864 Charles Backman purchased the house and expanded it, pretty close to what you see today. Some features have been removed Backman added, and we would like to restore it back to the 1864 version of the house. Backman was clearly a man of good taste and we appreciate his refined and elegant aesthetic.
Backman was a liqueur merchant from Brooklyn. He was a bachelor and seemed to be a very private person. His interest was in breeding horses – the best horses. During my research, I’ve found the most information about the house because of Backman’s fame and prestigious guest list. There were a few books and newspaper articles that have given us clues as to what the 700 acre Mansion and horse farm looked like.
J. Howard Ford Years: 1900 – 1915
Les and Fred Years: 1953 – 2009
The house was in pretty bad shape in 1953 when the previous owners, Fred and Les purchased it. They made many amazing updates (like hand made storm windows that we still use today).