Woodbury Historical Society

Rushmore Memorial Library


The Rushmore Library

The Gatehouse

Calendar of Events

Town History

Local History Files

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Meeting Minutes


Won't you consider becoming a member of the Historical Society? We can't do our work without your continued support! CLICK HERE to download the Woodbury Historical Society Membership and Donation form. Thank you!

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Historical Society

543 Route 32
PO Box 30
Highland Mills, NY 1093

The Gatehouse
224 Smith Clove Rd.
Highland Mills, NY 10930
(next to Falkirk
Golf Course)




The Gatehouse Committee

Dorothy Morris, Chairperson
Sandy Hawthorne • Earl Sandstrom • Fred Frahuashi
Fred Lindlaw
Bill Grimes • Arlene Mahar
• Rob Newman • Pete McGoldrick
June Menkens • Bobbie Slockbower
Linda Standish
Sheila McGoldrick • Dot Sandstrom • Millicent Treloar

The Proctor GatehouseTo appreciate the importance of the Gatehouse Committee, a brief history of the building is needed. In the early 1900's, many wealthy people saw Woodbury as a desirable location to build a vacation estate. Among the rich and famous who settled here was F.F. Proctor who earned the title of the “Dean of Vaudeville” and who devoted more than 50 years to the theatrical world. At the time of his death, Proctor owned approximately 53 theatres along the east coast. In 1912, Proctor built his estate, Proctoria, on 1142 acres of land in Central Valley. He constructed five large homes, various barns, and “The Gatehouse” which marked the impressive entrance to the estate. Following Proctor's death in 1929, the estate was put up for sale, finally being acquired by the United States Military Academy (West Point). All the buildings, except the Gatehouse and small Carriage House directly behind, were destroyed so the lands could be used for military and parachute maneuvers.

In 1973, the U.S. Government deeded the Gatehouse to the Town of Woodbury to be used for youth activities. Until the 1990's, the Parks Commission used the Gatehouse for small group activities and the Boy Scouts used The Carriage House. However, budget restraints made it impossible for the Parks Commission to make major renovations to the building and the fate of The Gatehouse was unclear.

In 1996, the Woodbury Town Board crafted an agreement by which the complex would be renovated by using only private funds. The Woodbury Historical Society, which was in need of additional space, and the Boy Scouts, who needed meeting rooms, worked jointly to achieve this goal. WHS will use The Gatehouse for a museum and for special children's projects. The Boy Scouts will use The Carriage House for their troop meetings.




Remembrance Garden Brick Drive
to benefit

The Gatehouse Committee continues to offer commemorative inscribed bricks to the public. We invite you to become a part of our Remembrance Garden at the Gatehouse. 

The bricks are available in two sizes, with or without a mini brick copy.  You can choose to remember a special individual, honor an event, or, dedicate a brick in memory of a loved one.  You decide.

You can order a brick today! Inscribed bricks will be purchased and placed on the Gatehouse property in our garden area. CLICK HERE to download a PDF order form. You can type directly into the form, then print it out and mail it with your donation check to the Woodbury Historical Society's Gatehouse Committe. Thank you!



Since 1996, the Gatehouse Committee has focused on renovation and restoration of this Tuscany style 1912 stone building.  Our final exterior restoration project was to replace the lantern which graced one of the pillars and marked the entrance to Proctoria. On the occasion of the 100thanniversary of the completion of the estate, we announced the “Light the Lantern” project/fundraiser.

As has been our practice since 1996, we make all renovations with donations, grants, and volunteers. The lantern project was conducted in this same manner and we are proud to announce—WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL!

Thanks to the generosity of many, we were able to raise the funds for this restoration project in only a few short months.  The lantern has been now been installed at the Gatehouse.  We invited all who supported this project and the Gatehouse to join us for a special dedication ceremony at our open house on October 21st. Our thanks to all who supported us and attended this wonderful event.



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