The history of Wilderstein begins in 1852 with Thomas Holy Suckley’s purchase of the river front site, then a sheep meadow of the adjacent late 18th-century estate, Wildercliff. Suckley’s fortune had been secured through the family export trade and real estate investments. He was a descendant of the Beekman and Livingston families whose estate houses were prominent landmarks in this region of the Hudson River Valley from the 17th through the late 19th centuries.
Through 1991 three generations of Suckleys occupied Wilderstein, amassing personal and ancestral effects that attest to the lively social history of the estate, its family and their relationship to the Hudson Valley. The books, letters, photographs, furniture, paintings, art objects and china – some ordinary and some exquisite – are intriguing to the scholar and the casual visitor alike.