Through the effort of volunteers and New York State Parks, the remains of a 1920's luxury estate have been partially uncovered on the grounds of Golden Hill State Park in Barker, N.Y.
The estate once belonged to Robert Newell who owned a former shirt factory in Medina. Before the Great Depression, the estate was the sight of large banquets and outings. Things changed after the Great Depression when the estate, with its scenic location on Lake Ontario, was rented out. In the 1940's, it was sold to the Bethesda Full Gospel Church of Tonawanda. New York State bought the property in 1962 to add to Golden Hill State Park.
Once lavishly covered with large flower gardens and a unique fish pond surrounded by stone frog fountains, the property became so overgrown that even Golden Hill State Park workers had no idea it was on the property.
After some artifacts were discovered, an intensive effort to clear the property was launched by volunteers and the park last year. It resulted in revealing some of the estate's old splendor that had not been seen for decades - including ornate floors, mosaic walls, and remnants of the fish pond and gardens.
Renee Campbell, Golden Hill State Park Manager, has been collecting and cataloging the artifacts so a NYS historian can examine them.
It is estimated that the estate included five acres of property, but only a portion (three acres) has been cleared. More volunteers are needed to help during an effort on May 6th called "I Love My Park Day."
NYS Parks is planning on putting up historic markers at the site but more pictures and information about the estate is needed from the public.
To volunteer or supply information, please call Golden Hill State Park at (716) 795-3885.
7 Eyewitness New Reporter Ed Reilly visited the estate site today and shows us what it looks like in his reports