These historic ruins in Franny Reese State Park were the estate of Charles H. Roberts. Roberts was a dentist in Poughkeepsie who became very successful after creating his own mixture that destroyed the exposed nerves of teeth and made for a painless dentistry experience. Roberts also profited through investment in paper mills, railroads, and more and in 1866, acquired property west of the Hudson River where he developed a lavish Hudson River estate with two mansions, a carriage house, greenhouse, worker’s quarters, and dance hall. Roberts retired in 1868 and spent time on the estate pursuing agriculture and horticulture.
In 1909, Charles H. Roberts died and his children fought over the estate before the court determined that the property belonged to sisters Franny and Grace Roberts. By 1958, both sisters had died and the estate was in disrepair because they didn’t have the means to maintain the mansion and other buildings.
Over the next few decades, Cedar Glen would lay abandoned and deteriorate to ruin. In 2003, Scenic Hudson purchased the property and created Franny Reese State Park, in honor of Franny, who had been a Scenic Hudson founder.