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Catalog Data

Clark family  Search this
Landscape architect:
Reynolds, Marcus T.  Search this
Van Dyke, James  Search this
Hardenburgh, Henry  Search this
Landscape designer:
Fleming, Bryant  Search this
Lake & Valley Garden Club  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Archival materials
Fernleigh (Cooperstown, New York)
United States of America -- New York -- Otsego County -- Otsego -- Cooperstown
Scope and Contents:
The file includes 9 35mm slides, worksheets, photocopies of printed information about the garden, and photocopies of photographs of the garden from the New York State Historical Association library.
Fernleigh, the country home of the Clark family since the 19th century, is situated along both sides of the Susquehanna River, linked by a footbridge. The house, only part of which remains, was a Second Empire stone mansion designed by New Jersey architect James Van Dyke and built in 1869. The original garden was located to the south of the mansion and included a servants' house and Turkish bath. In 1923 Stephen Clark commissioned Marcus T. Reynolds to design new gardens for Fernleigh. Reynolds incorporated his love for Italian villas into the plans. When they were completed in 1929, the new Fernleigh gardens had terraces, balustrades, a fountain, and a swimming pool, which was placed on the site of the original garden. The garden architecture included a wrought-iron casino, pavilions, iron trellises, and bird cages. Reynolds' design centered the mansion, servants' house, and Turkish bath around the swimming pool and terraces. Period photographs show that the property was used extensively for lawn parties, fairs, and other recreational activities. Reynolds was reponsible for the terraced plan for the garden, while Bryant Fleming, a landscape design professor at Cornell, drew up the planting plans. Planted beds are evident in the period photographs. Today, only a portion of the Fernleigh mansion remains. The Turkish bath is gone and the swimming pool has been replaced with grass. The wrought-iron casino and fountain still stand. Containers of large topiaries are placed in the garden during the summer months. Planted beds are not used, although some permanent plantings exist.
Persons associated with the garden include: the Clark family (owners, 1869 to date); James Van Dyke (architect, 1868); Henry Hardenburgh (architect, 1870s); Marcus T. Reynolds (architect and landscape architect, 1923-1929); Bryant Fleming (landscape designer, 1920s); and Christi Vadnais (artist od mural in pavilion, 1995).
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Gardens -- New York -- Cooperstown.  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
AAG.GCA, File NY650
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / New York
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens