Steepletop

Steepletop, a 650+-acre farmstead in Austerlitz, New York, served as the home and inspiration of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay for the last twenty-five years of her life. This National Historic Landmark features guided tours of the 1892 white clapboard farmhouse where Millay lived with her husband, Eugen Boissevain, and the writer’s cabin, in the midst of whispering pines, plants and flowers that she nurtured from the ruins of the original farm.

In addition to the inspiring grounds and gardens, many trails through the woods and field are open to visitors, including the poetry trail, which features many Millay poems and the family gravesite.

The Millay Society's mission is to illuminate the life and writings of Edna St. Vincent Millay and to preserve and interpret the character of Steepletop - her home and gardens - a place where nature inspires the creative spirit.

The Garden Conservancy has advised the Millay Society on restoration, management, and planning.

TIMELINE

2016
The formal Rose Garden is restored and the pergola in the "ruins" is rebuilt. The outdoor bar is currently under restoration, to be put back in its rightful place under the new pergola.

Steepletop is named a Literary Landmark as part of New York State's Pulitzer Prize Centennial Recognition.

2015
Restoration of The Kitchen Garden is completed.

2014
Tamarack Cottage is restored and opened as Steepletop's new Visitors Center. It includes a gift shop, exhibition gallery, and staff offices.

2012
Dining room restored and opened to house tours.

2010
Millay's home opens to the public for guided tours.

2006
New York State purchases 230 acres for state forest preserve. Proceeds of the sale constitute an endowment to implement the site’s transition into a public museum.

2004
The writer's cabin opens to the public.

2003
Established as a preservation garden of the Conservancy.

1972
Designated a National Historic Landmark.

1950
Millay dies , following her husband's death the previous year. Her sister, Norma, moves in and cares for the property until her death in 1986. Ownership passes to the Millay Society.

1927
With the guidance of landscape architect and actor, Harrison Dowd, garden making begins in earnest. Over 25 years, the farmhouse is increasingly surrounded by several different types and sizes of gardens.

1925
Millay and Boissevain buy the originally 435-acre Bailey Family Farm and name it Steepletop, after a pink-spired flower common in surrounding fields. The farmstead is enlarged to more than 600 acres over time.

For more information, visit millay.org.

Even you, Sweet Basil: even you,

Lemon Verbena: must exert yourselves

now and somewhat harden

Against untimely frost; I have hovered

you and covered you and kept going

smudges,

Until I am close to worn-out. Now, you

Go about it. I have other things to do.

Writing poetry, for instance. And I, too,

Live in this garden.

- Edna St.Vincent Millay from Steepletop (c. 1935)