Peter Wing is an eccentric man. Forty years ago, he and his wife claimed the high corner of his father’s dairy farm and started building a home. Today… they’re still building.
Wing’s Castle, located in Millbrook, New York is a home like no other. With inspiration from local agriculture buildings and architectural references borrowed from Gothic churches, Asian pagodas, medieval castles and the free form Art Nouveau towers of Antonio Gaudi, Peter Wing has created, one stone at a time, an architectural masterpiece (if not only in his own mind) among the rolling hills of Dutchess County.
This past Thursday, Annmarie and I joined the entire Fivecat Studio crew for a bus tour guided by the New Castle Historical Society. It was a great day of interesting people and inspiring places.
Following the tour of Wing’s Castle personally guided by Peter Wing himself, we headed to Charlotte’s restaurant for an early lunch and some relaxing sunbathing in their blooming flower garden.
Then back on the motor coach, and off to the global headquarters of Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders for a tour of the factory floor personally guided by founder and CEO, John Harney. I wonder is Mr. Harney ever met Peter Wing. I think they’d hit it off. John is another very interesting character.
Half informative narrative, half sales pitch (being an entrepreneur myself, there’s a part of me that enjoyed the sales pitch more), the tour lead us through the tea blending bays, past the packing machines (they make Rube Goldberg’s contraptions look simple and straight forward) and between the tall mountains of labeled cartons ready for shipping around the world.
A quick trip around the corner, we ended the day at Harney’s & Sons’ tasting room and gift shop in Millerton. After a quick sip of fine tea (yum), we had free time for a leisurely stroll up the hill and through the village. Millerton may be a place we return to take in the antiques and artisan shops.
The ride home is always quiet, as we rest our eyes and enjoy the view through the bus windows. Joe the driver did a stellar job navigating the small country byways and muddy parking lots.
We appreciate the kindness of all the members on the trip. It was clear that most of the people on the tour were veterans of Historical Society events. Being “interlopers”, as the tour leader referred to us with a smile, our crew felt a bit out of place when we left Chappaqua early Thursday morning. By the end of the day, we made several new friends and felt welcomed by all.
The fall NCHS tour will be out to Oyster Bay and a visit to Sagamore Hill, home of Theodore Roosevelt.
We can’t wait!