Grey Towers NHS: The Grounds

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Grey Towers NHL►

Grey Towers NHS is in Milford, Pennsylvania. Gifford Pinchot, first director of the United States Forest Service and governor of Pennsylvania, grew up here. Pinchot’s father James bought the land in 1875 and moved the family there from New York City.

James Pinchot regretted the impact his wallpaper business had on the forests. He suggested to his Yale-bound son Gifford that he become a forester. Gifford did study forestry and made a lifelong career of conservation. He and his friend Theodore Roosevelt convinced Congress to establish the United States Forest Service in 1905.

Pinchot served as the USFS Director until 1910 until he had a falling out with Taft, Roosevelt’s successor. He married Cornelia Bryce in 1914 and they moved in to the Milford estate. He served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania in the 1920s. His son Gifford Bryce Pinchot donated the Grey Towers estate to the US Forestry Service in 1960 to be used as a center for conservation. President Kennedy established the Pinchot Institute for Conservation at the Grey Towers NHS in 1963.

The Grounds►

When James Pinchot first built Grey Towers, the land was devoid of trees. He set about landscaping and reforesting the estate. He planted 100 trees. Later, Cornelia created an allee framed by Black Locust trees leading up to the mansion.

You can walk the half-mile Tree Trail which meanders around 31 varieties, identified by signs. The brochure to accompany this walk can be downloaded here. Another half-mile trail, the Forest Discovery Trail, explores a grove of Hemlock and White Pine planted for the Yale Forestry School. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk to pedestrians.

Grey Towers Posts►

Location: 151 Grey Towers Dr Drive, Milford, PA 18337
Designation: National Historic Site
Date Designated/Established: May 23, 1963
Date of my visit: December 11, 2020

2 thoughts on “Grey Towers NHS: The Grounds

  1. Thanks for continuing to preserve the legacy of Gifford Pinchot who was instrumental in preservation of many of the public lands we are able to enjoy today, which would not have otherwise been the case.

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