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Kykuit: Top Thing to Do in New York City

The next time you visit vibrant New York City, rent a car and get out in the countryside. There is so much within driving distance, such as “Kykuit,” John D. Rockefeller’s magnificent estate.

Learn about Ida Minerva Tarbell, an American writer, and investigative journalist, who influenced the break-up of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Corporation.

Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. Her father Franklin, was an independent oil producer and refiner in Pennsylvania. He was put out of business by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company’s anti-competitive, secret deals which raised rates on oil shipments for independent oil producers like him, allowing Rockefeller to buy 22 of his 26 competitors in Cleveland, Ohio. Rockefeller went on to subsume his competitors in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, becoming the largest oil refiner in the world.

Experiencing first-hand, the devastation of her family who steadfastly tried to stay independent and failed, Tarbell took on Rockefeller in her 1904 bestselling book, “The History of the Standard Oil Company.” Despite threats, she delved into private archives, public documents, and oral interviews to prove Standard Oil’s use of strong-arm tactics. Her research methodology even gave birth to a new form of journalism, “investigative reporting.” Public fury over the expose is credited with the breakup of Standard Oil, after the 1911 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the company was violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Tarbell wrote, “They had never played fair and that ruined their greatness for me.” New York University placed her book at number 5 on their list of the top 100 works of 20th-century American journalism.

At Kykuit, enjoy the Beaux Arts styled mansion and gardens spread across 250 acres overlooking the Hudson River and New York City’s skyline. See antique furnishings, priceless works of art, Chinese antiquities, European ceramics and the family’s collection of classic cars and horse-drawn carriages. New York is home to other historic estates and much more. Just enter the number of miles you want to drive and select what interests you, and voila – get a list of things to see and do on TravelMyHeart.

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