The History of The
In 1905, with the help
of Father H. Havens Richards, SJ, St. Ann's Hermitage was
the first building in Poughkeepsie bought by the Marist Brothers.
It had been the homestead of the Mac Pherson family. Brother
Zepheriny, FMS, purchased this estate from its owner, Mrs.
Goodwin of New York City. The property which was at that time
a mile outside the city of Poughkeepsie included some 35 acres
north of the Waterworks Road and sold for $9,000. Some accounts
state that a large part of the price came, with the agreement
of his sister, from Brother Zepheriny's patrimony. There is
no specific statement to that effect in the official records,
but two extracts from the deliberations of the General Council
of the Brothers at that time shed some light on the subject
(cf. minutes of the council Feb 15, 1905.) For more details
see Go to the Land I Will Show You, p.96 by Leonard
This building was used
as a Provincial House until the early fifties. In addition
to the provincial administration, it usually housed about
75 to 130 scholastics. There was a chapel with a pipe organ
where daily Mass was celebrated by a Jesuit from St. Andrew's.
The provincial tailors who made the cassocks for all the brothers
in the province, as well as their young brother assistants,
lived there with the director, a cook and several young brothers
who helped in the print shop, garden and laundry. A farmer
who took care of the cows and pigs, and two farmers who maintained
an extensive vegetable garden and greenhouse across from St.
Peter's, also resided in the Hermitage. There was also an
infirmary that housed anywhere from five to thirteen brothers
needing medical attention.
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