100 years ago in The Saratogian: Sept. 13 – New York News

Thursday, Sept. 13, 1917

A fire early this morning destroys the Roseben Inn at Saratoga Lake, better known to most locals as the Schuyler Mansion and, as The Saratogian puts it, a “Place of Mystery.”

Today’s front-page report debunks some legends about the house. It did not, as many people believed, date back to pre-Revolutionary times, and people never holed up in the neighboring chapel surrounded by hostile Indians. Nor was there an underground passage linking the tunnel to the mansion.

However, the mansion’s “vague air of mystery,” which “has always made it the subject of interested and awed speculation,” has some basis in a “bona fide tragedy” that reads “like a romance of Nathaniel Hawthorne.”

The Schuyler Mansion was built in 1853 by Robert Schuyler, the grandson of Revolutionary hero Philip Schuyler, for his daughter and her husband, an Episcopal clergyman. Schuyler and his wife occupied the house when ill health forced their daughter to leave the area.


Robert Schuyler fled the country soon afterward, after he was accused of embezzlement and issuing fraudulent stock in the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. His wife Lucinda stayed on at the mansion for a time, but eventually joined her husband in Europe, where he died in 1855.

Lucinda Schuyler smuggled Robert’s body back to the U.S. in a metal box that supposedly contained a piano. The widow “feared, with good reason, that if she brought the body to America and placed it in an accessible cemetery, the grave would be opened and the body desecrated,” a reporter…

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