Historical Rest Haven
Our restoration efforts at Rest Haven, Inc., are focused on preserving the Adult Home Residence at Rest Haven, founded in 1923 as a home for blind women. New information has come to light about Helen Keller's involvement in the operation of Rest Haven and that she was more involved in its operations. As a member trustee for the American Foundation for the Blind, one of Helen's responsibilities was to oversee Rest Haven Inc. We believe it is of the utmost importance to rehabilitate this historical site to preserve its history and legacy.
The Rest Haven Legacy
In 1921, M.C. Migel started the American Foundation for the Blind(AFB) with $7,000. He is the founder and first president for the AFB. In 1923, the Migel family purchased the building with its five acres from the McKendrick estate for about $1,000. In 1924, Migel conveyed this property to Rest Haven, Inc. Many local names were attached to this creation of Rest Haven. The facility was personally designed and decoracted for the purpose of bringing adult blind women to the area for a period of two weeks. In 1944, Rest Haven Inc conveyed title of the property to the American Foundation for the Blind. On June 1 1968, Helen Keller died. On November 1968, the Lantz family purchased the property but never modified the property in any way. In 1986, the Lantz family sold the property to Arhc of Orange County, Newburgh New York. The property served as the first office location for Ahrc of Orange County. In April 2016, HRR Corp, the buyer, learned about the history of Helen Keller. On September 13 2016, HRR Corp purchased the property from Ahrc of Orange County. They began this crusade to preserve and renovate the property back to its original condition. On Decemeber 29 2016, after a visit from NYS Historical Society, the property owner was notified that the location is up for nomination as an historical site.
In addition, Mr. M.C. Migel owned other property nearby including the Roscoe House on Lake Road to Mansion Ridge Golf Course (formerly known as Mansion Estate and Family). The library of Congress has files on its website showing the areas M.C. Migel owned. We have also verified that Helen Keller did sleep at Mansion Estate and Family as a guest of the Migel family.