Untermeyer Mansion

Milton Untermeyter, a NY stockbroker, built the mansion in the 1920’s. It was built in a French style and the property was home to many fruit trees. It was sold twice before it burnt down in 1968. The property was secured by a large iron fence, and it garnered the property the nickname “the Gate” because of the massive main gate. When a new owner tore down “the gate” a local resident rescued it and restored it.

I saw an article about this place in the Bergen Record. A Wayne man named John Konarski bought the property and intended to build a mansion on the property. The realtor showed him the property and casually remarked, “But there’s a ruins down at the bottom of the hill.” “Ruins?” asked Konarski? Upon seeing it, he decided he would buy it and rebuild Untermeyer Mansion.

I called Mr Konarski who said he expected the rebuilding to take 12 months, and perhaps 3/4 of a million dollars. He he will do some of the work himself, and will be involved in all aspects of the build.

uwindowsky

April 2006: Update: On a recent visit to check out whether the owner had rebuilt the Untermeyer mansion (he hadn’t) I noticed the Untermeyer boathouse by the lake. I park and got these quick pictures.

untermeyerboathouse

untermeyerboathouse5

untermeyerboathouse7

untermeyerboathouse13

untermeyerboathouse15

Just a quick note…if you haven’t been to the Untermeyer Castle/Lake yet, you may wish to go sooner as opposed to later. The whole area is a new development with upscale homes. At the end of Sawmill Rd. the is something resembling a cul de sac. (newly constructed). To the left are two paved roads heading up hill. The one on the left will ultimately bring you around to the remains of the house. There are no trespassing signs at the end of the paved portion of the road. I was hoping to run into someone to find out what the plans were for the old house but there was no one around. Someone has been clearing the foliage from the ruins and it looks somewhat different without the leafy cover. Based on the activity it appears that someone may have plans for renovating the old house. *shrug*

I went to the castle and am sorry to say it is almost gone. There is some construction gear in the area already they are chopping down trees and are getting ready to get rid of it. Anyway I would suggest that you get there VERY SOON. They have No trespassing sign on the road going up to the castle, But we bushwhacked up the hill and never saw them until we where leaving. The area was pretty dead there was some houses nearby that they where working on but not at the castle. The castle looks small But I could imagine how it looked back in the day. It must have been VERY nice house for it time. I think they are going to use the walls to rebuild it into a home. I wish I could buy it! But if anything GET TO THE SITE SOON!!!!

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gilbreth on September 27, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    Tom,
    I know we had some photos, some of the ‘mansion’ front door/driveway I think. I’ll ask my sister if she has any. I don’t have any in my collection.

    Reply

    • Posted by Gilbreth on September 27, 2015 at 9:36 PM

      BTW, I also remember the lovely tiling that was on the kitchen wall, it’s in the pile of rubble now, no doubt.

      Reply

  2. Mr. Gilbreth, I hope this note finds you well. Me and some friends went up Mountain Ave. and hiked to the ” Castle “, as we called it. Probably just after the fire in 1968 as we could still smell the fire. Flowers grew in the green houses which still had all the glass. The tower was still up and the spiral staircase was not rickety at all. It was so much fun to explore. I was wondering if you have any pictures of it before it burned? I can only imagine what it was like to live there. Joe Mines didn’t like us parking at the end of the road but he did let us sometimes. I could get to the castle from any direction and knew the woods like back of my hand. It was a beautiful hike and we camped out many times in the woods. My sister lives in Kinnelon and I visit often. If you don’t want to send me pictures maybe you could show me sometime. Would love to see them.
    best regards, Tom

    Reply

  3. Posted by Liz on July 24, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Anyone havea property layout showing where the ski area was going to be. I’d love to see it. I might be working on another “Skiing In New Jersey?” book. Would love to include more info about this.

    Reply

    • Posted by Gilbreth on July 26, 2010 at 11:21 AM

      I saw maps of the property and a layout of the proposed slopes, but they were lost after the principle owner died.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Liz on July 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Does anyone have any property maps showing where the ski area was going to be?

    Reply

  5. Posted by Gilbreth on June 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Hi,

    Years ago I was googling about an author named Untermeyer and one of the hits was Weird N.J.’s “Exploring the Gate” webpage.

    You could have knocked me over with a feather, because we owned the Untermeyer estate (dubbed “Spellbound”) between 1961 and ~1974.

    There were almost 700 acres, including the lake, the mountain beyond and other land that stretched northeast to near Rt. 23 along a gas pipeline. The original plan was to build a resort. I don’t know if Untermeyer originally owned all that land. The previous owner before us was Dr. Bender.

    There was a caretaker who lived in the mansion [castle] named Ted, who had a young boy named T.J. [Ted, jr.].Ted kept a German Shepherd [“King”] in a fenced area behind the house. Like most, the dog hated being cooped up and he’d be going nuts when we approached, so I’d let him out. He’s be running at full tilt around the estate for hours. Yup, Ted yelled at me.

    When I was about 15, I spent a few days and nights in the mansion, sleeping in the room upstairs to the right of the front door, with a beautiful balcony. I loved it. The large 1st floor room [the “Ballroom”] toward the tower was beautifully paneled in some fine dark wood and there was a huge, ornate old bar at the end of the room.

    The cellar was strange in that it seemed to be built on top of a gigantic, sloping rock.

    During some years, we were building mini-bikes and spent many Sundays roaring all over the place and on the pipeline. Riding on the snow-covered winter lake was fantastic.

    Swimming in the lake was awful I thought, you would sink down into ice-cold muck up to your hips, with huge bouncing spiders all over the surface.

    Some notes about the lay-out: From Sawmill Rd., going up the first lovely tree-lined driveway there was a lawn on the left, apple orchard on the right, then a chicken coop on the left, then a greenhouse, then finally the huge barn. Inside I found the International Harvester tractor which provided endless hours of fun.

    Amazing kind of junk up in the loft. We dragged out an old baby carriage , attached a rope to the tractor and I pulled a friend down the lawn in it. It collapsed, of course, and my friend went ass over tea-kettle.

    Coming out of the barn on that driveway ended at the second driveway, you’d turn left to go up to the mansion or turn right to go back down to Sawmill Rd. That stretch was lined with grape arbors on the right..

    Then, a third driveway which curved around the front of the mansion [and the other strange little house (servants quarters?) there], led down to Fred and Anne Heinken’s [sp?] Sawmill Pond estate. What great people.

    His barn next to the road [now a home, I believe] was filled with collector’s items and antiques.

    I was snooping around in there one day and found an abandoned 1955 NSU scooter. Fred gave it to us! It ran perfectly for years.

    So, continuing on Sawmill Rd., it curved to the right next to his pond, then crossed over the pipeline and then ended at Joe Mines’ property. He was a blaster and had a cellar room full of firecrackers and commercial aerial bombs. What a character. Was I a kid in a candy store!

    All told, we [kids] had a blast up there but the plans for the resort were ill-conceived. The taxes were terrible, and some shady partners brought into the deal [IMHO] may have been responsible for the mansion burning.

    Terrible, terrible shame. (>L<)

    The ownership was dissolved somehow, and I never did get a sensible answer to what really happened.

    Anyway, we still have some good memories of Untermeyer's Castle.

    Reply

  6. Posted by hyperionkp on October 19, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    How did you get in contact with Mr. Konarski?
    Do you know if he still owns the property?

    Reply

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