Burn Brae Mansion sits on over 20 wooded acres at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. The grounds are lush with streams, open fields and walking trails, one of which leads to the historic Glen Spey Cemetery, final resting place of the original owners.
Nearby activities include Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and Woodstock Museum, Monticello Racetrack and Casino, national historic sites, river rafting, hiking, golfing, skiing, shopping, crafts, antiques and flea markets.
Spending the night at Burn Brae Mansion is a unique and memorable experience for all ages and interests. Packages include a home-cooked dinner and full breakfast including fresh-baked bread and eggs from our own chickens. Overnight guests are also invited to take a guided tour of the mansion, including the Attic of Curiosities. Tours are exclusive to our overnight guests. The Inn is BYOB.
There are accommodations available in either the Mansion, open year-round, or the Stables Motel, open April through December.
Burn Brae Mansion offers a totally unique paranormal experience. Gather your friends for an authentic, private paranormal investigation. Your group will work side-by-side with expert paranormal researchers and have access to state-of-the-art ghost hunting equipment. Your investigation and the results will be filmed and edited into a professional video that will be yours to keep.
The Singer Suite sits atop a magnificent spiral staircase and boasts three beautifully decorated bedrooms, one with an adjoining bath, off a private hallway, with two recently renovated bathrooms at either end. A splendid Victorian sitting room is shared by guests of the suite and can either be locked off or opened to include guests of the MacKenzie Suite for groups traveling together.
The MacKenzie Suite is accessible from the grand staircase in the heart of the house and features three bedrooms and one bath on two levels. A spectacular master bedroom overlooks the front yard through original stained glass windows with two quaint bedrooms on the third floor, and a newly renovated Victorian bath at the foot of the carved staircase.
The Stables Motel, a 12-room motor lodge that was converted from the original stables, features accommodations for two, three or four guests per room, each with private bath and country decor.
Burn Brae Mansion History
Burn Brae Mansion was built in 1907 by Margaret Ross MacKenzie Elkin as part of the estate of George Ross MackKenzie, third president of the Singer Sewing Machine company, who made his fortune as confidant and advisor to Isaac Merritt Singer, the company’s founder.
Upon George’s death in 1892, with an estate valued at $3.5 million, seven of his children built elaborate summer mansions in Glen Spey. Margaret and her husband Charles Elkin built Burn Brae Mansion as the last family mansion and one of only three still surviving. It is believed that the house was designed by prominent architect Henry J. Hardenberg, who worked on a number of projects for Singer executives.
Margaret continued her father’s tradition of donating to many charities, and she enjoyed throwing lavish parties. She outlived several of her children, as did her parents, including her daughter Elsey, named for her grandmother, who died at 9; her namesake Margaret; Charles Jr. who died at 34; and grandbaby Levi, who died upon birth.
Charles Elkin was an engineer and inventor and held several patents including the Elkin Hose Clamp and for the mouthpieces on pipes and cigars. He also had a spring water bottling works behind the mansion near the woods. He was an accomplished organist.
Burn Brae Mansion has had five owners since the Elkins, and over the years it has served as a boarding house, a tea room during prohibition, and a bed and breakfast. The current owners, Mike and Pat Fraysse, have lovingly restored the character of the home and brought back many of the original elements. They currently operate the house as a bed and breakfast, along with a 12-room motel on the site of the former horse stables.
At least the last two owners – whose combined ownership spans more than four decades – and their guests, have reported unexplained occurrences, such as doors opening and slamming, children’s voices, balls bouncing, and the apparitions of a woman in white, a man in turn of the century clothing, and a more modern man in overalls. Visitors also often report the sounds of animals when no animals are present and the distinct sound of an organ playing, when there is no organ in the house.
More recently, an elderly couple in their 90s, the Hapijs, both died in the house. Guests say that they can still see them from the front yard playing chess by the big window, hear his classical music and smell her daily baking.