Adam Stennett. Millbrook. 2008. Spray-paint on Brooks Brothers t-shirts, pvc pipe, astro turf, military footlocker, 36 x 22 x 86 inches assembled
MILLBROOK is a village in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The population was 1,429 at the 2000 census. It is considered one of the wealthiest towns in the State of New York and is often thought of as a rural and more low-key version of The Hamptons.
A large estate in Millbrook became the headquarters and psychedelic research commune for Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass) after they were both fired from their positions as respected professors at Harvard for their expanding research into psychedelics. Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an icon of 1960s counterculture, Leary is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD.
Leary's activities interested siblings Peggy, Billy and Tommy Hitchcock, heirs to the Mellon fortune, who in 1963 helped Leary and his associates acquire the use of a rambling mansion on an estate in the town of Millbrook (near Poughkeepsie, New York), where they continued their experiments. Leary later wrote: "We saw ourselves as anthropologists from the twenty-first century inhabiting a time module set somewhere in the dark ages of the 1960s. On this space colony we were attempting to create a new paganism and a new dedication to life as art." (Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream (1998) by Jay Stevens, p. 208)
Later, the Millbrook estate was described as "the headquarters of Leary and gang for the better part of five years, a period filled with endless parties, epiphanies and breakdowns, emotional dramas of all sizes, and numerous raids and arrests, many of them led by the local assistant district attorney, G. Gordon Liddy. Others contest this characterization of the Millbrook estate; for instance, in his book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe portrays Leary as only interested in research, and not using psychedelics merely for recreational purposes. According to "The Crypt Trip" chapter of Wolfe's book, when Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters visited the residence, the Pranksters did not even see Leary, who was engaged in a three-day trip. According to Wolfe, Leary's group even refused to give the Pranksters acid.