Grey Towers, located in Milford, Pennsylvania, was originally the summer estate of the James Pinchot family and later the primary home of Gifford Pinchot, America’s first forester and founder of the USDA Forest Service.
Grey Towers was built in 1886 by James and Mary Pinchot as a summer retreat. It was James who first recognized the reckless destruction of natural resources that was overtaking the nation in the 19th century. James encouraged his eldest son Gifford to consider a career in forestry, thus introducing the idea of conservation to America.
Gifford Pinchot went on to establish and serve as the first Chief of the US Forest Service, and he was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. Between family, friends and political associates, Grey Towers was always bustling with activity and was central to advancing the Pinchots’ social, political and conservation ideals. In 1963 the Pinchot family donated Grey Towers and its surrounding 102 acres to the US Forest Service.
See the video below of President John F. Kennedy dedicating The Pinchot Institute at Grey Towers in Milford, PA, September 24, 1963.