gomez mill house



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The Armstrong Family - Residents from 1835-1904


The Armstrong family lived at Mill House longest. Colonel William Armstrong, a native of Scotland, came to America with the British Army during the Revolution, and stayed on. He bought land in the Orange County area, as did his son Edward. Edward became a farmer and vestry man in Marlboro’s Episcopal Church. Many of the family are buried in this cemetery. Edward’s four sons, William Henry, Gouverneur, John and David Maitland followed suit.

While the family lived in the large mansion known as the Danskammer down by the Hudson, William Henry Armstrong, called "Uncle Harry" by the family, brought his southern bride to live at the “old Acker farm” during the Civil War. Harry and his Mattie added the kitchen addition and vowed to stay out of the terrible war that had brother fighting brother. Their beloved child, Emily, met with an unfortunate accident and drowned in the creek at the age of five. Her little dog, Twist, lived on and a marble plaque in the wall her father and uncle probably built honors the dog whom the little girl loved so dearly.

David Maitland Armstrong (1836-1918), the youngest of the four boys, married Helen Nelson, a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant and niece of Governor Hamilton Fish. David Maitland was admitted to the bar, but gave up law to study art in Paris and Rome, becoming a specialist in stained glass windows — as did his daughter — and examples of their work can be seen in many of New York’s churches as well as the Episcopal church in Marlboro.

The Armstrong family are noted as painters, writers and poets as well as makers of stain glass windows.

William Henry (Uncle Harry) Armstrong’s (here 1862—1904), talented younger brother, David Maitland Armstrong, painted his child in front of the fireplace at the family’s grand house down the road at the Danskammer.

Our “Harry” and Mattie lost their five year old child, Emily, in a drowning accident here at Mill House. In the children’s room, in front of the fireplace, we too, have a pull horse and Dutch delft tile. We don’t have a picture of Emily and we felt that her first cousin in the painting must resemble her. Our visiting children liked this tribute to Emily.

Then we learned that this is not of cousin Helen or Margaret, but a portrait of his son, Edward!

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