Old postcard courtesy of Eric shows intact LaFarge Mansion
The original Lafarge Mansion was a building built on eastern shore of Perch Lake but was destroyed (Some accounts say that it was of wooden construction, but most describe it as gray stone with wide verandas. There are also some accounts which say that Joseph Bonaparte built this Perch Lake mansion while others that state that Lafarge himself did). The above mansion was built in 1833 by John Frederick Lafarge , a Frenchman from New Orleans who made his fortune in the West India trade.
Remains of the Lafarge Mansion, Route 180
After La Farge decided to move his holding backs to New York City he sold the house to a Catholic bishop in 1838 and this building was used a seminary (St. Vincent de Paul's Seminary). The seminary later moved to New York City and has since become Fordham University and the mansion later was used as a summer residence of Archbishop Hughes of New York. But it was allowed to run down and it was torn down except for one wing, which still remains (see picture above).
One account mentions that when the stone part of the mansion was demolished the stone (likely crushed of course) was used for a base for Route 180.
Another account writes that: "The one across from the farm has an underground tunnel to the big high house across the road, next to the barn. It was part of the underground railroad. The cellar has collapsed onto the tunnel."
Comment: Eric, who lived there as a kid, writes: "The original mansion had 40 (one article says 42 - M.) rooms. The wing we lived in had only a few rooms. I visited the house in the 1970's when it was still standing but empty. The ceilings were 13 feet high and the windows were long, almost to the floor, and the walls were 4 feet thick. One could sit in the window seats. The windows were framed in wood and there were shutters inside."
This text and photos taken from Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern NY website .