Near Wantage in Sussex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Inn Transformed 1910 ~ 1923
A Change of Plans
~ Twin brothers, John and Anthony Kuser, purchased the High Point Inn and the surrounding 1,700-acre property in 1910. After operating the Inn for one summer, John sold his interest to Anthony and his wife, Susie Dryden Kuser. They remodeled the Inn, tearing down a third of the structure and transforming it into a Colonial Revival-style mansion. They also inherited an additional 8,000 acres of the ridgetop from Susie's father, John Dryden, U.S. Senator and founder of the Prudential Insurance Company.
Private Refuge to Public Park
~ For over a decade, the almost 10,000-acre estate was the home of Kuser vacations and became a regional landmark. The Kusers also began to welcome the public, allowing others to enjoy the natural beauty of the estate. Ultimately, the Kusers decided that the mountaintop tract should continue to be open to everyone who wanted to enjoy it. They donated their estate to the State of New Jersey to create a public park and High Point Park opened in 1923, becoming one of the first state parks in New Jersey.
A Monument to Veterans
~ Five years
[Photo caption reads] Colonel Anthony Kuser, on the right, with members of the High Point Park Commission and other dignitaries, poses with a model of the future High Point Monument.
A Dramatic Transformation
The transformation from Adirondack-style inn to Colonial Revival-style mansion was so dramatic that rumors that the original High Point Inn building burned down still persist today.
To accomplish it, a crew of thirty-six carpenters working with electricians, gas-fitters, plumbers, masons, and decorators, demolished the southern third of the Inn and remodeled what remained.
When complete, the basement housed a kitchen, servants' dining room, bathrooms, and utility rooms. On the main floor were living, dining, and billiard rooms with stone fireplaces, as well as a breakfast room, library, coat and gun room, and pantry. There were eleven bedrooms and six baths on the second floor, and servants' rooms and baths were on the third floor.
Erected by New Jersey State Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture Charity & Public Work • Parks & Recreational Areas • War, World I. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 41° 19.061′ N, 74° 40.141′ W. Marker is near Wantage, New Jersey, in Sussex County. Marker is in High Point State Park, on the former location of the mansion/inn. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1480 NY Route 23 (Park Office address), Sussex NJ 07461, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Heart of the Park 1923 ~ 1950 (here, next to this marker); The High Point Inn 1890 ~ 1910 (here, next to this marker); Life of the Inn & Mansion 1890 ~ 1996 (here, next to this marker); High Point: An Early Haven for Sightseers & Sportsmen (a few steps from this marker); The Gift of a State Park (a few steps from this marker); Public Parks: Refuge & Recreation for All (a few steps from this marker); The Kuser Lodge: An Inn, A Mansion, A Museum (a few steps from this marker); To the South (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wantage.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker replaced the Public Parks: Refuge & Recreation for All marker
Also see . . . High Point State Park Overview. (Submitted on July 16, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 82 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2022, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.