In 1959, vandals broke into the Van Slyke Castle and set it ablaze. Van Slyke Castle was abandoned and became part of the Ramapo Mountain State Forest in the 1980s.

The Van Slyke Castle was erected in 1910 by William Porter, a New York stockbroker. During the time, the location was known as Fox Hill, and the home Porter erected there was initially called “Foxcroft”. The mansion’s ruins are all that remain now. The Van Slyke Castle’s great walls and archways are still maintained in stone and brick, and many routes will lead hikers up and through what’s left of it.

Porter was killed in a vehicle accident in 1911 while returning home after a European trip with his wife, Ruth. Ruth inherited the estate and married a man called Warren Van Slyke, which gave rise to the mansion’s second and final name. After Van Slyke died in 1925, she remained alone at the estate until her death in 1940.

Van Slyke Castle was eventually acquired in 1949 by a couple who resold it two years later to Suzanne S. Christie. She quickly abandoned it. Nobody knows why she went, although it’s assumed that it was the outcome of a nasty divorce.

Vandals stormed inside the mansion and set it on fire in 1959. All remains are the stone walls, beams, and thick-walled furnace of what was once a magnificent mountaintop home. In the 1980s, the land and damaged home were confiscated and became part of the Ramapo Mountain State Forest. As a result, park visitors may now visit and explore the abandoned castle.

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