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, March 01, 2017

More About Hawkswood, Also Known as the Marshall Mansion, Colonial Hotel, and Colonial Inn


A spectacular mansion known as Hawkswood once stood on Pelham Neck overlooking Long Island Sound and City Island.  Hawkswood was built in the 1820s by Elisha W. King.  King was a successful and wealthy New York City lawyer who practiced with Peter W. Radcliff in a law office at 27 Beekman Street in Manhattan.  King also served as a City Alderman for more than twenty years.  King also served as a member of the New York State Assembly (1813-14). 

Late in his life in about the 1820s, Elisha King built his lavish mansion in Pelham on Pelham Neck (today's Rodman's Neck) opposite City Island.  King reportedly purchased nearby High Island in 1829 and quarried stones from the island which he used in the construction of a foundation for his country mansion.  

Hawkswood faced the Long Island Sound.  Its grounds were nearly as lovely as the mansion itself.  In the 1881 edition of Bolton's History of Westchester County, Bolton noted that the "grounds, containing a great variety of choice trees, were laid out by the celebrated gardener, Andre Parmenteer." Bolton, C.W., ed., The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester, From Its First Settlement To the Present Time Carefully Revised by its Author By the Late Rev. Robert Bolton, Vol. II, p. 71 (NY, NY: Chas. F. Roper, 1881).  King built his mansion on a lovely little knoll that looked over the waters of the Sound and City Island.  Once his mansion was built, King retired there and lived in it until his death in 1836.  Following King's death, his Pelham estate was sold.



"VIEW FROM COLONIAL INN.  CITY ISLAND, N. Y."
Postcard View Looking from Hawkswood in About 1917.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog article reproduces an advertisement published in 1853 offering the Hawkswood estate for sale.  The advertisement is significant for a number of reasons.  It reveals how much it cost King to build the mansion.  It reaffirms that Martin Euclid Thompson was the architect and builder of the mansion and that famed landscape architect AndrĂ© Parmentier laid out the grounds.  

Hawkswood clearly was a lavish and stunning master work designed by Martin Euclid Thomson, about whom I have written before.  See Fri., Feb. 14, 2014:  Martin Euclid Thompson, the Architect of the Pelham Mansion Known as Hawkswood and the Marshall Mansion.  According to the advertisement, it cost $30,000 to build the Hawkswood mansion.  That would be roughly the equivalent of about $1.31 million in today's dollars.

I never have written about the famed landscape architect, AndrĂ© Joseph Ghislain Parmentier, who laid out the grounds of the estate.  Parmentier was born July 3, 1780 in Enghien, Belgium.  He and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1821 and lived in Brooklyn.  He was an active and successful horticulturalist who created a magnificent garden of ornamental trees and shrubs and greenhouse plants that he sold from "The Horticultural and Botanic Garden of Brooklyn."  

In 1828, Parmentier published an important horticultural catalog entitled "Periodical catalogue of fruit & ornamental trees and shrubs, green-house plants, etc.. Cultivated and for sale at The Horticultural and Botanic Garden of Brooklyn, corner of the Jamaica and Flatbush roads, about 2 miles from the city of New-York."  The publication included a plan and description of his famed Brooklyn garden and likely caught the attention of Elisha W. King who hired Parmentier to lay out the grounds of his new estate.

The advertisement published in 1853 makes brief reference to Parmentier's work on the estate.  It says "The surrounding lawn, consisting of about twelve acres was laid out and planned with American and European ornamental trees of every description, by the late Andrew Parmentier."

The advertisement also sheds light on some of the grounds and outbuildings associated with the mansion.  According to its text:  "The Farm House, Barns, and all necessary outbuildings, built in the best manner, are in complete order, and are conveniently near the house, being effectually screened by ornamental shrubbery.  The farm consists of about 60 acres of the richest land, and walled in by stone fences.  --  The waters of Long Island Sound surround the estate on three sides, presenting some of the finest views in America, and affording an excellent opportunity for yachting, fishing, &c."

An image of the advertisement appears immediately below.  It is followed by a transcription of its text to facilitate search and a bibliographic reference with link to the source.




1853 Advertisement Offering Hawkswood Estate for Sale.
Source:  FOR SALE [Advertisement], Morning Courier and New-York
Enquirer, Apr. 4, 1853, Vol. XLVIII, No. 8047, p. 5, col. 7.  NOTE:
Click on Image to Enlarge.

"FOR SALE.
-----
COUNTRY SEAT FOR SALE -- THE ELEGANT residence of the late ELISHA W. KING, known as Hawkswood, situated in Pelham, Westchester County, New York.  The mansion was designed and erected by the eminent architect, Martin E. Thompson, Esq., at a cost of $30,000.  The surrounding lawn, consisting of about twelve acres was laid out and planned with American and European ornamental trees of every description, by the late Andrew Parmentier.  The Farm House, Barns, and all necessary outbuildings, built in the best manner, are in complete order, and are conveniently near the house, being effectually screened by ornamental shrubbery.  The farm consists of about 60 acres of the richest land, and walled in by stone fences.  --  The waters of Long Island Sound surround the estate on three sides, presenting some of the finest views in America, and affording an excellent opportunity for yachting, fishing, &c.  There are few, if any country seats in the United States, more beautifully located, elegant, and altogether desirable in every respect, than Hawkswood, the immediate neighborhood being exclusively occupied by the country seats of some of the first families in the State.  The access to the city is easy and frequent; a steamboat landing and a station of the Boston, New Haven and New York Railroad being within a distance of three miles, and a new track will soon be laid, to pass within three quarters of a mile of the premises.  For further particulars apply to

P. V. KING, 41 South street,
J. B. KING, Brooklyn,
B. W. BONNEY, 38 Wall street
Or to E. H. LUDLOW, 11 Wall st.

ap4 2taw1m     (B698)"

Source:  FOR SALE [Advertisement], Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, Apr. 4, 1853, Vol. XLVIII, No. 8047, p. 5, col. 7.



"G. Kotzenberg's 'Colonial Inn' City Island, New York"
A Post Card View of Hawkswood On Pelham Neck,
Overlooking City Island.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

I have written about the Hawkswood / Marshall Mansion on other occasions.  Below are a few linked examples.

Thu., Jan. 14, 2016:  1846 Notice of Executor's Sale of the Estate of Elisha W. King Who Owned Estate in Pelham.

Tue., May 19, 2015:  Advertisements for Two Nineteenth Century Sales of Large Properties on Rodman's Neck in the Town of Pelham.

Fri., Feb. 14, 2014:  Martin Euclid Thompson, the Architect of the Pelham Mansion Known as Hawkswood and the Marshall Mansion.

Mon., Feb. 10, 2014:  Hawkswood, Also Known as the Marshall Mansion, Colonial Hotel and Colonial Inn, Once Stood in Pelham Near City Island.

Thu., Feb. 13, 2014:  More Information About Elisha W. King, the Builder and Original Owner of Hawkswood

Wed., Apr. 5, 2006:  "Hawkswood", Later Known as the Marshall Mansion on Rodman's Neck in Pelham

Thu., Jun. 28, 2007:  19th Century Notice of Executor's Sale of "Hawkswood" After Death of Elisha W. King

Fri., May 07, 2010:  Image of Hawkswood Published in 1831

Thu., June 28, 2007:  19th Century Notice of Executor's Sale of "Hawkswood" After Death of Elisha W. King

Mon., Apr. 26, 2010:  Public Service Commission Couldn't Find Marshall's Corners in 1909.

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