Riverby (John Burroughs Estate)
Backstory and Context
Naturalist John Burroughs is a beloved figure in the Hudson River Valley. Burroughs, the author of numerous books, lived in the rustic cabin Slabsides, which is a well-known site among residents of the Hudson River Valley. Less well-known, perhaps, is Burroughs’s estate known as Riverby, located on the west bank of the river.
Riverby includes not only the large home that was Burroughs’s primary residence, but the bark-covered study that was a precursor to the more famous Slabsides. The study is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The estate is also home to a building that Burroughs’s son lived in for a time as well as other buildings.
It was in the study that Burroughs wrote Fresh Fields, Signs and Seasons, Indoor Studies, and Riverby. The study is believed to be largely the way that Burroughs left it at the time of his death. While Riverby is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the buildings on the estate have been divided among Burroughs’s heirs and the public is discouraged from visiting the site.
Slabsides, which is located one mile from Riverby, is open to the public on two weekends a year. Slabsides is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.