Continuing the Legacy of Green Chimneys Founder Samuel B. Ross

March 1, 2018

New York’s human services world has lost a truly unique educator and advocate for children and animals. Green Chimneys Founder Dr. Samuel B. Ross, Jr. died peacefully at the home of his son on February 28, 2018, at the age of 89. Known to many by his childhood nickname, “Rollo,” Dr. Ross leaves a remarkable imprint on the lives of hundreds of children and families.

Inspired by his own boarding school experiences and a genuine devotion to animals, Rollo established the Green Chimneys School for Little Folk in 1947 – at just 19 years old – on a small dairy farm in Brewster, New York.

In the decades that followed, Rollo developed Green Chimneys from a small private school into a renowned child care agency and special education school offering innovative education and therapeutic programs and services for children and adolescents. And the farm grew right along with the school, as children learned a great deal in the responsibilities of day-to-day life on a farm. His wife, Myra, was with him every step of the way, joining his vision upon their marriage in 1954. The Rosses also raised their three children at Green Chimneys; each one learning and working alongside the children enrolled.

By the mid-70s, a high proportion of Green Chimneys’ students were children with special needs students referred by the New York State school districts. A Residential Treatment Center was also created to care for emotionally disturbed and learning disabled children referred from social services departments and public schools around New York State. The Green Chimneys farm took on new importance as the student population evolved and animals increasingly took on the role of ‘therapist’. Animal-assisted activities became central to the Green Chimneys approach to early intervention for children with emotional and mental health issues. Around this time, the farm opened to the community-at-large and later added a renowned wildlife rescue and rehabilitation program. Green Chimneys has remained a popular public organization with diverse programs serving generations in the surrounding community.

Join us in continuing Rollo’s legacy, and make
a difference in the lives of children and animals.


Gifts to Green Chimneys in loving memory of Rollo may be made via:

  • Online via PayPal >
  • Credit card by calling Jennifer at 845.279.2995 x116
  • Or by check made payable to “Friends of Green Chimneys” and sent to “Friends of Green Chimneys, 400 Doansburg Road, Brewster, New York 10509.” Please note “IMO Rollo” on the “for” field of the check.


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