Grey Towers was the home of Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the
US Forest Service and Pennsylvania Governor for two terms. Grey
Towers was completed in 1886 by Gifford's father, James Pinchot,
a wealthy wallpaper merchant. Civic minded and
a supporter of the arts, James and his wife, Mary, connected themselves
with many influential people, among them Richard Morris Hunt, a
leading architect of the era. Hunt designed their summer home to
utilize both local materials and reflect the French heritage of
the Pinchot family, who first settled in Milford in 1818. For two
decades the Pinchots and their children enjoyed numerous summers
at Grey Towers, entertaining guests for afternoon teas and dinner
parties. Here James, disturbed by destructive logging practices
then prevalent in the country, encouraged his eldest son, Gifford
Pinchot, to consider a career in forestry.
1963, Gifford Bryce Pinchot, son of Gifford and Cornelia, donated
Grey Towers and 102 acres to the US Forest Service, the federal
agency founded by his father and which now administers the site.
The US Forest Service works with numerous partners to carry on the Pinchot legacy by delivering public programs, interpretive tours and conservation education programs. Today, conferences and seminars at the estate
bring together a diversity of leading conservation and environmental
thinkers to help guide the future of natural resource conservation.