Her Victorian house, Montrest, overlooks the Hudson Highlands
How many people have looked up to Elizabeth “Libby” Todd Healy’s iconic Victorian house, Montrest, on Lane Gate Road in Cold Spring and wondered what it was like up close? The answer is at hand for those who attend The Chapel Restoration lawn party benefit on Saturday, June 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 and are tax-deductible.
The party will be held on what was once a grass tennis court. “Too difficult to maintain,” said Todd Healy, “and better used for croquet and parties!” Guests are asked to RSVP by May 26 to 845-265-5537, or with checks to The Chapel Restoration, P.O. Box 43, Cold Spring, NY 10516-0043. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
In 1983 Todd Healy took ownership of the property, which had been acquired by her great grandfather, Aaron Healy. After the death of her husband in 1987, she moved back into her childhood home. The house features gracious rooms and wide verandas with sweeping views of the Highlands. To the south, on the site of the former kitchen garden, is a community garden recently established with the help of other members of the Philipstown Garden Club. Below is a wide meadow where horses roam.
Aaron Healy acquired the farmland, 26 acres, in 1867 and built a house on it the following year. His son, Frank, inherited in 1898 what was by then a fully functioning farm, not only supplying produce to be enjoyed during the summer months but shipping it to the family’s winter residence in Brooklyn. Frank Healy acquired more land and added a third story to Montrest, yet another cottage and an elaborate water system.
The Catskill Aqueduct with its huge stone siphon-house came through in 1913, bisecting the property. Six years later, Frank’s daughter, Elizabeth, age 27, became the owner and the following year married Gordon B. Todd (the parents of Libby Todd Healy).
A conservation easement with Hudson Highlands Land Trust protects the property from development. Todd Healy was a long time chapel board member and is now on its advisory board.