John Foreman, author of Old Houses in Millbrook, died on Monday, April 4 at a hospice in Bethlehem, Pa. His daughter Jazzy was at his side.
For the first few years of The Millbrook Independent John wrote a series on the old houses of Millbrook which were collected, re-edited and published by TMI as Old Houses in Millbrook in 2012. There were two editions, a hard cover book and a softcover version. Both have sold out. John also wrote Vanderbilts and the Guilded Age, Architectural Aspirations 1879-1903 published by St. Martin Press in 1991. John was a frequent contributor to New York Social Diary, an on-line blog run by David Patrick Columbia.
John was born in 1945 and grew up in Cross River, N.Y., went to the University of Wisconsin and lived in New York, Tuxedo and in the main house on Daheim, the Hitchcock estate. He had unusual sort of tenancy. He could live there provided he undertook its restoration and preservation. How he managed this formidable task might take a book to write, but he did it and the 38 room mansion, while not modernized in any sense of the word, is still standing and liveable.
He is survived by his ex-wife, Randy Foreman, who lives in the village, a sister, Brenda Foreman, his daughter Jasmine Foreman Kozero and a granddaughter, Lily.
John’s interest in the Guilded Age and its leading families and houses was a life-long passion. He was an authority on both the town houses of New York and the country houses of the Guided Age of which Daheim is a good example. He was particularly proud of his columns in the New York Social Diary which provided him with a loyal readership. He rode to hounds with both The Millbrook Hunt and Rombout.