New Castle Trivia, 2-22-19

Question: By the late 1800s, New Castle’s agriculture became less profitable, and more and more local farm owners became inclined to sell and move out. There were also potential buyers—affluent New York City businessmen seeking to acquire country estates. These homeowners, who often located their mansions on high ground with long vistas, were familiarly given this nickname.

Answer: Hilltoppers

Historic Photo: Around 1898, NYC banker George MacKay bought a large farm near the crest of the hill on Whippoorwill Road, where it crosses from New Castle into North Castle. It was the original homestead of the Quinbys, who were among the town’s original Quaker settlers. McKay transformed the farmhouse into a rambling, shingle-style summer home for himself, his wife, and their four sons and two daughters. He also built or adapted many of the other buildings on the property to create After Glow Farm, a complex that was at once a gentleman’s estate and a working farm.

Learn more by visiting the NCHS’s core exhibition, The Story of New Castle, at the Horace Greeley House, Tues-Wed-Thurs-Sat, from 1 pm – 4 pm.

New Castle Trivia, in collaboration with the Town of New Castle eNewsletter.