Danhein Gatehouse

Danhein main house

I received E-Mail that said

DANHEIN - former 2,500 acre estate of C.F. Deitrich, the Bavarian style gatehouse is very impressive, unfortunately it is all you can see because it is a private residence. it is located on route 44 and Franklin Avenue, in Millbrook.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I've been doing research on the web and discovered that "Danhein" castle is probably also known as Millbrook Estate. I am making this assumption because I, too, saw the impressive gatehouse and was told by locals that the property was formerly the Hitchcock family estate and now the Deitrich family home. I also read that the Mellon's had once owned this property but I have not yet found another reference to this fact.

This residence was rented by Timothy Leary in the 60's and has been mentioned in several articles and books by or about Leary. I was so abruptly told by at least two different locals that this property was a "private residence" and I didn't understand their rudeness. They probably want to keep the Leary crowd away.

This site is 3-5 miles from Wing's Castle and from some of my research, I wouldn't be suprised to find similar properties (estate, possibly castle-style) in this area.

{{Castlefinder note!}}
I stopped by and took the picture of the gatehouse in January of 1999. I received the picture of the main house later. As I understand it, this is a private residence. Please do not bother anyone there.

Later, I received E-Mail that said: I did spot some inaccuracies in your listing for DANHEIN CASTLE in Millbrook, New York, where I live.

The correct name is "Daheim", which is from the German "Da Heim" meaning "the home place". In 1889 Charles F. Dieterich ( not "Deitrich") (1836-1927) started buying up small farm holdings adjacent to the village of Millbrook, eventually accumulating over 2000 acres in all. He was the founder of a company which eventually evolved into Union Carbide.

With his great wealth Dieterich decided to recreate a bit of his native Bavaria in New York. He surrounded his land with 9 miles of page wire fencing and imported many species of wildlife native to Germany such as European brown hare, roe deer, red deer, partridge, etc. The bulk of his castle building was done in the 1890's, chiefly the picturesque stone gatehouse and the bowling alley, the enormous castle-like barn & stable complex, and the stone bridges. His main house was in the Queen Anne/Victorian style, made of wood not stone. For his son he built "The Bungalow" on the property, a misleading name if ever there was one as the elegant formal rooms have 20' gold leafed ceilings and would look well in Windsor Castle itself.

When Charles Dieterich died in 1927, aged 91, the estate passed to his son, Alfred Elliot, then 48. For health reasons Alfred was living in California and eventually sold it after a few years to a local syndicate, "Millbrook Partners". The syndicate sold it in 1935 to the partnership of Walter C. Teagle, chairman of the board of Standard Oil, Gerard Winston, and several other un-named parties. Eventually the estate was purchased by Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock (of the Mellon clan) and ownership eventually was settled on one of her sons, Thomas, who owns it to this day.

Timothy Leary did reside in the main house for many years during the 1960's, having been befriended by the Hitchcock sons while at college. He was a relatively quiet and benign presence in the community until some local political leaders on the make (G. Gordon Liddey of Watergate infamy) began using him for political advantage. Eventually, tiring of the controversy, Mrs. Hitchcock gave him the boot.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

In Reference to the Millbrook Estate the unknown partners were Frank (Buddy) Brown who set up the farm for the Hitchcock family. In the 1960's Mr Brown owned Briar Cliff Farms in Pine plains New York. This was a set of 5 farms of which Millbrook was one. Briar Cliff Farms comprised of over 25,000 acres. My father Johnny Kozlow and Buddy Brown set up Millbrook as a small cattle ranch. They put 3 railroad tank cars in the giant multi leval barn to mix the feed, and did various other things to make it a profitable investment. I think the barn had large walls made of Italian marble. There was also a small waterfall on the property. The bowling alley was not a 10 pin alley but a smaller version of the game.

Later, I received e-Mail that said:

I believe the current owner is John Foreman, author and architectural historian, of the book, The Vanderbilts and the Gilded Age, Architectural Aspirations, 1879-1901. His co-author, Robbe Pierce Stimson, also of the book , Hudson River Villas, ( no longer in print) lives in the German-style gatehouse.

On 1-15-09, I received e-mail that said:

I need to correct you reguarding ownership of this property. I have spent many years, and am very friendly with the owners. John foreman is not the owner.

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Main house picture courtesy of Phil Bilzor. Gatehouse Photo copyright © 1999 - James B. Dupont.