|Van Slyke Castle
|The history of Van Slyke Castle revolves largely around Ruth A. Coles and her
husbands. Coles was a nurse who had the good fortune to care for Charles E.
Halliwell, a captain of industry in New York. She became his second wife in the
fall of 1906. He died a year later leaving her one and a half million dollars, a
large fortune in those days. In 1909, she married William Porter, a stockbroker
and close friend of her former husband. At that time, Porter was building a
house on Fox Mountain above Le Grande Lake, which he called "Foxcroft".
Porter died in an automobile accident two years later before he could realize
his development of the former Rogers' tract. In 1913, Cole married her third
husband, Warren C Van Slyke, an attorney. He was an assistant to the chief of
naval intelligence in World War 1, and later argued the claims resulting from
the sinking of the Lusitania. They lived near Jamaica, Long Island. After Mr.
Van Slyke's death in 1925, his widow lived year around at Foxcroft. She died in
1940 at the age of 63. Foxcroft was left to her family who promptly sold it. In
the early 1950's it became involved in a bitter divorce and was not used.
Vandals soon broke in and finally torched the mansion in 1959.
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