- Grant Recipient
- 1424 County Route 10, Westport, NY
- 44.262223, -73.528265
Meadowmount School of Music
1886 – 1916
FORMER HOME OF SUFFRAGIST,
WAR CORRESPONDENT, LABOR
LAWYER. BECAME MEADOWMOUNT
SCHOOL OF MUSIC IN 1944.
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2017
This is the former home of Inez Milholland (1886-1916) who was a suffragist, war correspondent, and labor lawyer. In 1944, the Milholland family home was transformed into the Galamian School of Music at Meadowmount. It has since become the Meadowmount School of Music.
Endlessly touted as “singularly beautiful” and said to be “made of the fibre that cannot give up,” the Sun published an article on December 17, 1916 that detailed Inez Milholland’s “life devoted to [the] poor and oppressed.” This passion for equality was said to have begun when she was a child and would never hesitate to play with the children that came from poor families, and if her fellow aristocratic playmates refused to interact with them, Inez simply retorted, “All right for you.” Her tenacity continued to be a defining factor throughout her subsequent schooling years, and teachers in both England and Germany “found in the brilliant Inez a problem such as they had never encountered before.” Though they claimed she was a genius, Inez was reportedly “too much for them,” and when she eventually went on to Vassar for college, her vivacious personality only seemed to grow.
In college, the Sun reported that she was captain of the field hockey team and a record breaker for the track and field team, all while attending classes and graduating with honors. Inez’s time in college was also marked by her involvement with the suffrage movement, where she fought against the president of Vassar for the right to hold parades and meetings on campus. Having been denied the right to host anything on campus, Inez found a way around the restrictions by holding the first meeting for women’s suffrage at Vassar in a nearby cemetery. After graduating, Inez decided that she wanted to pursue a law degree, and the Sun stated that she tried her best to get accepted to an Ivy League school but was denied based on gender. She instead received her degree from New York University, and as a lawyer, proceeded to represent those arrested for issues related to the fight for more equality, such as those arrested for picketing outside factories.
The strength and conviction that Inez held for her beliefs stemmed from the way her parents were said to have raised her. An article from Time by Joanna Scutts on July 11, 2016 states that she was “raised with both money and firm progressive principles,” with the money affording her and her family the luxury of multiple homes in both New York and Europe. Her father, John Milholland, had invented the pneumatic tube used in post offices, and Miraculous Teacher: Ivan Galamian and the Meadowmount Experience (1993) states the tube’s success allowed him to build a home in the Adirondacks. This “grand stone-and-wood lodge” had ten bedrooms and a fireplace large enough to “have roasted an entire deer.” While the house served the Milholland family well, the Meadowmount School of Music website states that the lodge sat vacant for years until Ivan Galamian obtained the land.
The school of music’s website states that not much is known of Ivan’s early life due to his private and quiet demeanor, but he is known to have come to the United States from Paris in 1937. Ivan had formerly fled Russia after Vladimir Lenin took power and fled again from France as tensions began to grow before the onset of World War II. After coming to New York, Ivan is said to have fallen in love with the white birch trees because they reminded him of Russia, and after he married his wife, Judith, he revealed to her that he had always wanted to open a music school, with the Adirondacks being the perfect area. The school was to be a “total immersion in the study of string instruments,” and the secluded location of the Milholland lodge was the perfect place to have students practice away from distractions. First opened in 1944, the school only increased in size and reputation over the years, bringing in world renowned guest instructors and helping to train students such as Michael Rabin, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma.
An article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on August 5, 1985 states that the summer of musical training “has always been…eight weeks of hard work,” and the students spend their time practicing, attending private lessons and master classes, and rehearsing for concerts. The lodge and its properties have changed over time since it was first built for the Milhollands as necessary repairs and expansions have been made. One thing that Judith Galamian noted in the article, however, was that “Papa Milholland” still seems to hang around, stating that she had heard his footsteps up and down hallways and in the dining room as he wanders his former home.
As of 2019, a marker stands next to the site of her family home in Wesport, and a second marker in nearby Lewis had been erected to memorialize her burial site.