Rutherford Stuyvesant Estate

Abandoned

In the rolling hills of Allamuchy NJ, once stood this expansive mansion on an enormous piece of property. The farmland below was called Tranquility Farms, and it and the mansion were home to the Rutherford-Stuyvesants, direct descendants of Peter Stuyvesant, of New York City Historical fame.  Visitors passed the farmland and came to an impressive gate, which led them up the hill to this mansion.

One thing: if you can’t handle profanities or really explicit descriptions of weird sex acts, you might want close your browser now. Ok.

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The 50+ room  mansion, built in the 1700s, burned to the ground in the 50s, was bulldozed in the 60s, and in the 70s became state property as a part of Allamuchy State Park. There, time and weather, and bored country kids with spray paint,  were not kind to the outbuildings and remaining architecture. One gentleman, with an axe to grind with Eminem, someone named Palmer, and a host of other characters, quickly took to covering every surface with his grievances.

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Not one orifice, body fluid, zoo animal, genital, sex act, family member, etc, were spared in his diatribe. His canvases were varied; walls, windows, ceilings, carpets, cabinets, boats, beds, barns., steps, shutters, shitters.  Some of his work can also be seen in the Hackettstown Slaughterhouse, only a few miles away, but its not nearly as prolific.

 

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That’s my Mom on the SS Mother F-er.

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My favorite building was an old red farmhouse with dormers and a cupola on top. Often, shiny black turkey vultures could be seen watching the countryside from the peak, or sometimes the chimney. This building was mostly spared the profane paint job- on the outside anyway. The inside was full of the mysterious artist’s ire about many celebrities, and people he knew in real life.

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Heckel and Jeckyl.

Over the years of visiting, the buildings started mysteriously catching fire and burning down, eventually leaving not much but a shed and the beautiful red building.

And then on one April evening in 2017, That too burned to the ground.

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I was able to visit one last time, just two days after the fire. I had gotten a new car and was taking it for a ride. The smoke curled around all that was left of the red building; a brick fireplace, a couple charred beams. No more were the insults to Palmer, Kerry, or Mrs. K. Standing there, smelling char as the sun went down and the crickets came up, I felt strangely not alone. I looked up to see one turkey vulture sentinel, unimpressed by the loss he or she was surveying. I have no doubt his companion was nearby doing the same.

 

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