shot of the pantry inside the mansion


Prominent American families and their households could not run as efficiently, or on the scale of High Society entertaining, without the help of a full complement of domestic servants and employees that worked on their estates.

Decorative flourish

Mills Mansion Kitchen Area

When the Mills family lived at Staatsburgh during the autumn season, they would generally have around twenty-four domestic servants who would tend to the house and assist the family in any way needed. This consisted of a butler, a housekeeper, footmen, a variety of maids, a night watchman, a “useful man,” laundresses, coachmen, and chauffeurs.

Typical for staff of Gilded Age households, male servants and high-ranking female servants, such as a lady’s maid were addressed by their surnames, and rest of the staff were addressed by their first names. The main domestic servants, the butler, housekeeper, and chef had “Mr.” or “Mrs.” included in their title as well.

To learn more about how the other half lived at Staatsburgh, come see the new interactive Servant exhibit and take the new Servant tour.