Coldengham Preservation & Historical Society

Colden Mansion

The History of the Coldens and the Colden Mansion   March 16, 2014

Mission Statement

To raise public awareness and promote the appreciation of the history and legacy of Cadwallader Colden, Lieutenant Governor of Provincial New York, and family.
To develop the Colden Mansion Ruins site into a heritage park through preservation of the natural and build environment including Colden Mansion ruins, Colden Family Cemetery and Colden Canal.

Photo compliments of William and John Crabtree of Montgomery

Meetings, Minutes and Society Information        

* Casino Information - Town of Montgomery    NEW UPDATED


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Please read. Urgent!

“…A Country life in many respects is very proper for these amusements while what is called nature in a strict sense is more open to our observation & while our thoughts are not drawn off by the unnatural pursuits of the busy part of mankind.   A man that has for sometime been tossed upon the Dunghill of mens Passions gratifies all his senses greedily with the quiet & innocent pleasures that Nature freely offers in every step that he treds in the woods & fields…”
—Cadwallader Colden, in a 1728 letter to William Douglass, his fellow physician and scientist, from the Cadwallader Colden Papers, vol. 1, p. 270f (the New-York Historical Society, 1917)

To our friends and associates and all people interested in the Colden family legacy: the future of a large portion of the Colden family lands in the town of Montgomery is at stake, particularly the setting of the Colden family cemetery. If preserving the environment where the Coldens lived and died, where they farmed and studied and wrote and drew, and where they and their loved ones were buried and where they rest in peace today… if any or all of that is important to you, then please read this and act upon it.

One of the proposed sites for a casino in the state of New York is right the middle of Cadwallader Colden’s 1719 land patent. The land purchase will closely surround 3 sides of the Colden family cemetery. Its proximity to the site of Cadwallader Colden’s original home clearly indicates that the land his family farmed and the countryside they explored, including his daughter Jane, the first woman botanist in America, not to mention visiting scientists, will be lost forever. 

The New York Gaming Commission is in the process of choosing the sites they will approve from among the proposals they have received. We are in the midst of an effort to prevent this from happening to the Colden family lands, not least of which to the environment of the cemetery.

If you agree with us that destroying an irreplaceable historic site by paving it over with a 24/7 source of noise, lights, traffic and whatever else comes with gambling facilities is not in the best interest of the community or the state, please write or speak up. There are two ways you can help.

First is to let the New York Gaming Commission know how you feel. The Commission is holding a hearing on Tuesday, September 23, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, New York, at which the public may speak. It will be streamed live and archived at

If writing is more your style, the Commission is accepting written comments both at the September 23 event and up to seven days following the event.
"Statements received beyond seven days will not be included in the formal record. All submissions should clearly identify the submitter’s name, and affiliation, if any.”

Written statements should be sent to the commissioners via Gail Thorpe at  List the names of the commissioners at the top of the body of the message, and she’ll get it to them.
The members of The New York Gaming Commission Board:
Mark Gearan, Chair
John A. Crotty
Peter J. Moschetti, Jr.
John J. Poklemba
Barry Sample
Todd R. Snyder.

The second thing you can do is write the Town of Montgomery Planning Board. Let them know how important you feel the Colden legacy is. If you are a descendant, tell them that, too.
They can be contacted via Suzanne Hadden at Ask her to forward your letter to Fred Reichle, Chairman and the Town of Montgomery Planning Board. They will be accepting correspondence on this matter until October.

Thank you for your help!

Copyright © 2010 Colden Preservation & Historical Society

Harold Van Aken
8 Malloy rd.
Wallkill, NY 12589

Phone: 845-895-3321
Email Contact: 


Visitors since November 24, 2010