Olin Dows


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Incidents connected with Ferncliff." It was bought by William Astor in 1858, the present house being built in 1860 from plans by Griffith Thomas. The grounds were laid out by Charles Augustus Ehlers and his son Louis, who is seen above the bridge talking to Mr. and Mrs. Astor (1870). He was for many years Superintendent of "Ferncliff." In the background the tennis building, designed by McKim, Mead and White, is almost finished (1904). Above it the "Mary Powell," famous Hudson River Day Line boat, can be seen. A socially conscious modern painter draws the Italian workmen as they go home. At the right Colonel John Jacob Astor's first car (1901) is helped up the hill by a farm team." At the right, a scene from 1920: "The Decoration Day Parade goes by the Sherwood House built for Henry DeLamater about 1840... It is a particularly happy example of Victorian domestic wood Gothic. The foreground porch railing comes from the Johnston house."(Captions from: "Murals in the Rhinebeck Post Office") The painter is said to be Henry Billings. Billings was chosen to execute four murals as part of the WPA's Fine Arts project, among them the 1939 mural at Wappinger's Falls. From 1936 to 1941, Billings taught at Bard College. Mural commissioned for Rhinebeck, NY post office by WPA Section of Fine Arts Art in Public Buildings Program, photographed by C.B. Ross and Edward Campeau.