“Right near you in Wallkill,” my friend said, about a year ago. “We used to go to events there—concerts and crafts sales. Quality crafts. Really beautiful grounds.”
Then, last spring, we got a postcard in the mail from the School of Practical Philosophy at 846 Borden Circle, in Wallkill, New York. It announced the Philosophy Works Introductory Course beginning on April 12, 2022. I was intrigued, but I didn’t get around to looking at the website (www.philosophyworks.org/wallkill) until June. My Zoom schedule being full, I wasn’t as interested in a course as I was in the place itself.
Finally, on a Friday afternoon, we found our way to the site after several wrong turns. As far as we could see, nobody was around. We parked near a stately house and followed the noise of a weed whacker to where a man was clearing off the stone patio behind the house.
He turned off his machine, introduced himself, and proceeded to give us an abridged history of the organization and the Borden estate.
Perhaps some folks in the senior category remember Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden Milk?
(https://bordenestate.com/) John G. Borden, son of Gail Borden, the inventor of condensed milk, chose the site in Wallkill for his Home Farm in the 1880s. His daughter, Marion, took over running the business after his death in 1891. Under her auspices, the Queen Anne-Tudor style mansion was built. She was a great benefactor to the area, funding the library, portions of local school buildings, and other projects.
To learn more about the Bordens, go to this link:
The Borden Estate/Philosophy Works site is delightfully peaceful. We have visited twice so far and no one has chased us away.