Mary Williamson Averell

Mary Williamson Averell

Born Jul 22, 1851

Mary Williamson Averell, the wife of E. H. Harriman. She was tutored at home and completed her education at a finishing school with the “…expectation that one day she would become a fine wife and mother for some young man of equal or greater social standing than the Averells. ” Mary’s father, William J. Averell was a successful New York banker and president of the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mary Williamson Averell.


1851 Birth Born in 1851.


1901 50 Years Old In 1901, her daughter Mary, as a 19-year-old New York City debutante, formed the Junior League.
1909 58 Years Old By the turn of the century, lumbering and quarries were beginning to encroach on the tranquility of the region. When, in 1909, the state of New York acquired a parcel of land at Bear Mountain to build a new prison, Harriman approached New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes with a proposal to extend the Palisades Interstate Park with a donation of thousands of acres and one million dollars as an endowment for its management if the governor would agree to locate the prison somewhere else. … Read More
1910 59 Years Old In 1910, Mary donated 10,000 acres (40 km²) of the Arden estate to the State of New York, leading to the creation of Harriman State Park as an extension of the Palisades Interstate Park, along with the one million dollar endowment for its management. … Read More


1913 62 Years Old …  In 1913, she created the E. H. Harriman Award in her late husband's honor to recognize outstanding achievements in railway safety; the award is still presented on an annual basis today. … Read More
1929 78 Years Old She received the Pugsley Gold Medal in 1929 " for her services in the establishment of the Palisades Interstate Park."
1932 81 Years Old Died in 1932.
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