Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Hawkswood", Later Known as the Marshall Mansion on Rodman's Neck in Pelham

In the early 19th century, Elisha W. King was a distinguished New York City lawyer. He also served as an alderman and an assemblyman. In the 1820s, he built a lavish home in Pelham on Rodman's Neck opposite City Island. According to one source, King purchased nearby High Island in 1829 and quarried stones from the island "which he used in the construction of a foundation" for the mansion he built on Rodman's Neck. See Twomey, Bill, The Bronx, in Bits and Pieces, p. 83 (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc. 2003). King named his mansion and the estate on which it stood "Hawkswood".

Post Card View of Hawkswood Ca. 1918.

After building the home, King retired there and lived in it until his death. Levin Rothrock Marshall of Natchez, Mississippi acquired the grand home and the estate on which it stood from Elisha King's widow for $30,000. The structure became known as the "Marshall Mansion". Marshall was a wealthy financier who summered on the estate until the Civil War when he moved to the area and maintained both a townhouse in New York City and the Marshall Mansion in Pelham.

According to information provided by the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House, "Robert Bolton attributed the grounds of 'Hawkswood' to the Belgian-born Andre Parmentier, a celebrated gardener considered by Alexander Jackson Downing to be the first really important landscape practitioner 'of any note' in America. Although little of his work is actually documented, between 1825 and 1830, it is known that Parmentier planned gardens and supplied plant material for many New York area country houses."

The house later was converted and used as a hotel known as the "Colonial Hotel". In the 1880s the New York City Parks Department acquired the property for Pelham Bay Park.

Later the structure was used as a grand restaurant known as the "Colonial Inn". The post card view above shows the structure at that time. A book entitled "Great Georgian Houses of America" published in 1937 by the Architectural Relief Association featured the home.

New York City demolished the lovely structure in 1936 - 1937.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.


At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"New York City" didn't demolish the house. Megalomaniacal anti-preservationist Robert Moses did!


Post a Comment

<< Home