The Riverside Seminary


Columbia County,

New York

By Capt. Franklin Ellis274


     A school was established at the Germantown railroad station in 1864.  The property was owned by Philip W. Rockefeller, and the school opened by his active efforts.  It was a favorite enterprise with him.  He had been away from this place for many years.  Returning, he carried out this idea, cherished for many years, lavishing his means freely upon the undertaking.

     Rev. H. R. Schermerhorn was the principal; Prof. Mattice was instructor in languages and mathematics; Miss Wood, preceptress and teacher of music and French; Miss Lucy Peary, teacher of English branches; Miss Vedder and Prof. Reynolds were also here for a time.

     The school continued four years.  A portion of the time there were sixty or seventy scholars, including boarders and day pupils.  The boarding department was steadily filled, and the general support of the school was good.

     Various circumstances combined to terminate the enterprise.  The failure of other citizens to invest their means in founding and enlarging the school, as it was expected they would, was, perhaps, the chief reason, though there were others.

     The school had a marked influence upon the young people of the town, and Mr. Rockefeller may well recall with pleasure the results of his efforts, notwithstanding the school closed so soon.

     Very many pupils obtained a far better education than they would have otherwise secured.  Several of the students of Riverside Seminary are already in positions of usefulness and honor.  Claudius Rockefeller, a lawyer, of Hudson; Dr. George Knickerbocker, and Winfred S. Lasher, civil engineer, now in the department at Albany, with many others, were educated here.

     After the school was abandoned, Mr. Rockefeller opened a hotel in the same building, which is quite successful as a summer resort.  The name, Mountain View House, is rightly given, facing, as it does, the grand scenery of the Catskill mountains.

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