Located north of the City of Newburgh in Balmville, New York once stood the now lost Victorian estate of the Delano family. Warren Delano, Jr.(1809-1898), Franklin Roosevelt’s maternal grandfather, had made a fortune in China’s opium trade before purchasing 60-acres in 1851 of Hudson River property where he would establish his family estate named “Algonac,” an Algonquin inspired name meaning “hill and river.”
Delano would enlist the help of architects, Andrew Jackson Downing and Calvert Vaux to enlarge the property’s two-story brick house. Downing and Vaux transformed the house into an impressive Italianate country estate covered with fawn-colored stucco and crowned with a three-story tower. On the lawns were planted spruces, hemlocks, oaks, beeches, exotic trees, and flowering shrubs from China. Overlooking the grounds from the house’s balcony, an observer stated that it seemed “as though the green lawns might almost reach into the water.”
It was at the Delano estate that Franklin Roosevelt’s mother, Sara Ann Delano was born in 1854. After Franklin was born in 1882, he would make frequent visits to his grandfather’s estate.
In 1898, Warren Delano died at Algonac and the house remained with his family until 1916 when a fire tragically destroyed the historic estate. In the years since, the property has been subdivided and developed with modern residences, leaving virtually no trace of its historic past.