I’ve written a post about Cooperstown before, but when my Aunt from Dallas came to visit, we took a little trip out to the town to visit some attractions there. We first decided to stop at the historic and haunted Hyde Hall. The Hall has so much history, I loved soaking it all in. The tour guides are also completely invested in it, making the tour that much better and enjoyable, and one is even from England, traveling to the area because he loved the original Hyde Hall located in England.
Hyde Hall is a stunning reminder of a bygone American era, when powerful English families established vast estates in their former colonies. The house itself is considered the finest example of neoclassic country mansions anywhere in the United States. Thought to be haunted for over a century, some of the haunted sightings and hearings include:
◊ A widow’s curse?
◊ Deaths at Hyde Hall
◊ Stories of secret tunnels
◊ A “woman in white” in the nursery
◊ The piano in the Drawing Room “plays tirelessly”
◊ A ghostly mayday message on the radio, heard by the craftsman who spent 10 years working alone in the house!
Before New York State took over the Hall calling it a historic site, time had taken a serious toll on the mansion and its grounds. There were no plans and no funds to preserve the structure, and the threat of demolition was very real. The Friends of Hyde Hall was formed in 1964 to save the house and help maintain it for the public’s use and enjoyment. It was immediately accepted on the National Register of Historic Places and subsequently declared a National Historic Landmark, the only such designation in Otsego County. In 1988 the Friends acquired a 30-year renewable lease on Hyde Hall and its immediate environs as well as responsibility for its restoration and management.
The Hall is currently under restoration processes, but they have acquired a great many original artifacts to the mansion to display for guests. Most of the main rooms are renovated, while the second floor and bedrooms are still under construction. The Hall is gorgeous, and to be honest, because it’s not completely restored, I think it gives it more character. You can truly feel how amazing, grand and fabulous the mansion once was. You can hear and feel the echoes of its past ghosts and visitors throughout the halls, in the sitting room, and looking out onto the balcony from the master bedroom. It’s honestly palpable the feeling you get when you enter into the house. The dust on the shelves, the old carpets and the faded paintings and cloudy glass make it all the more special and characteristic to me. It shows that at one point, the place was a spectacle and the most beautiful, richest, and extravagant structure in the area, and I love it.