Miller’s Folly Utica’s Haunted Mansion ~ The Haunts And Legends Of New York
Steeped in history and legends, New York is filled with stories of the forgotten, eerie and the weird that influence us everyday. Hidden in the heart of Utica are lie the the four historic Rutger Mansions and among them, one of the most legendary and iconic buildings in New York, the haunted Miller-Conkling-Kernan Mansion.
Lite 98.7's Eric Meier has teamed up with Folklorist P.W. Creighton to explore the haunts and legends of New York. Through their travels into the dark and often overlooked spaces they will bring these historic sites back to life and make some unexpected discoveries along the way.
In this episode Phil guides the explorers to the downtown Utica at Rutger Park to explore Utica's grandest mansion of the 1800's, a place where Senators, Civil War Generals and even the President of the United States came to visit and helped shape the nation. A place that still experiences the haunting echoes of that past today.
Judge Morris Miller originally purchased the property that is today known as Rutger Park in the early 1820's and constructed the stone wall that now faces Rutger Street and he began the foundation of what would become the Miller-Conkling-Kernan Mansion which is today referred to as Rutger Mansion #3. After his death, his son Rutger-Bleeker Miller completed the home in 1830. At the time the home was known as Miller's Folly because it was so far away from the thriving Bagg's Square area that would become downtown Utica in 1832. The mansion was constructed in what was then a 'no man's land' area that was largely uninhabited.
The Miller's Folly Mansion was constructed in such a way that 'no expense was spared' in its construction. This thinking was not only present in the design of the home but also in all of the details with the 'Terrestrial Zones' wallpaper in the dinning room and the elaborate molded doorknobs found throughout the house.
Roscoe Conkling took ownership of the home and in 1852 when he returned to Utica formally the mansion began to see many renowned guests due to Senator Conkling's connections. Over the years some of the more notable guests were President Chester Arthur, Garret Smith the abolitionist, Elizabeth Hamilton, Civil War Generals Sherman, Booker and Grant, Samuel FB Morse and many more.
Today, under the care of the Landmarks Society of Utica the Rutger Mansions are in restoration however, this has led to many new stories today as workers and volunteers see fleeting shadows, strange lights, hear voices and even ringing bells in the mansions leading many to say the mansions are not just ghost stories but are truly haunted.
Rutger Park Investigation Extra 1 - The Pricey Wall Paper
#3 Rutger Park once was home to some of the most expensive wall paper in the world.
Rutger Park Investigation Extra 2 - Underground Railroad Tunnels
During our Rutger Park investigation we learned that the mansion known as Munn's Castle may have been a station on the Underground Railroad with a tunnel to a nearby church.
Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist
Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.