The Pandemic Sparks a Real-Estate Gold Rush in Upstate New York

In her late-career novel “Hudson River Bracketed,” Edith Wharton memorialized the landscape just north of New York City—the “precipitate plunge of many-tinted forest, the great sweep of the Hudson, and the cliffs on its other shore.” In Wharton’s time, upstate was where Manhattan’s wealthy migrated seasonally, taking trains to enormous homes like Wyndcliffe, in Rhinebeck—the stolid mansion of Wharton’s aunt, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, which is said to be the source of the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”—or the Mills family’s sixty-five-room Staatsburgh mansion, designed by McKim, Mead, and White and thought to be the inspiration for Bellomont in “The House of Mirth.” If they didn’t decamp to Beaux-Arts piles, they sought “the elaborate rusticity of an Adirondack camp,” as Wharton put it in that novel. For the gentry, leaving the city was practically compulsory, she wrote in “The Custom of the Country”: “In the early summer New York was

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