My World Tuesday: Harkness Memorial State Park from the Inside

From Harkness Memorial Park, June 12, 2011

From Harkness Memorial Park, June 12, 2011

From Harkness Memorial Park, June 12, 2011

From Harkness Memorial Park, June 12, 2011

From Harkness Memorial Park, June 12, 2011

Della and I had a look inside Eolia, the mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut, last weekend. Once the summer retreat of the fourth richest family in the United States, Harkness is now a well-dressed ward of the state and the site of many weddings (for a mere $4,450) and other fancy functions.

The Harknesses actually gave John D. Rockefeller a leg up when that gentleman began dabbling in oil.  Mr. Rockefeller borrowed money from the Harknesses to drill for oil--twice because he was unsuccessful the first time.  (Never heard of Harkness before?  I guess not everybody needs to brag....)

 The Harknesses bought the 42-room Roman Renaissance Classical Revival-style in 1907. It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. The lawn rolls down to Long Island Sound; the whole place is so peaceful and out-of-this-world timeless that being there is like stepping into paradise. (Wikipedia offers an aerial view here.)  The view of one of the gardens above is seen through a window on the back stairs that leads to the servants' quarters.  Not a bad place to work back in the day!

Comments

  1. the 1st 3 pics are breathtaking!!

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  2. What an incredible place and very interesting as well! Breathtaking captures they are indeed, Sandy! No, not a bad place to work at all!! Hope your day goes well!

    Sylvia

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  3. Anonymous10:41 AM

    Wow - what lovely architecture!

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  4. It's very inviting and elegant. http://looseleafnotes.com

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  5. beautiful place...

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  6. What a joint. I wouldn't mind spending some time here.

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  7. The arching windows make wonderful frames from which to see the lush gardens and lawns. The bedroom has a simple grace that I find very appealing.

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  8. What a beautiful place. That would be a great spot for a wedding for people who could afford it.

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  9. Not a bad place to work then nor today.
    What a nice peaceful place.
    hmmmm

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  10. Beautiful! It's fun to see how the wealthy live, isn't it? Or used to live, in this case.

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  11. What a beautiful place! :)

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  12. imagine living among such grandeur
    downton abbey anyone?

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  13. Wow, what a beautiful place and your pictures are wonderful Sandy.

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  14. I love looking through old mansions like that. What I can't imagine though is how they lived their life on a day to day basis. I guess the more informal life was upstairs and the formal downstairs. The whole thing is fascinating.

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  15. WoW! That place looks amazing. The artwork on the ceiling is pretty impressive. Who wouldn't want to be wedded in a place like that?

    Excellent photos.

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

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  16. I have been to many concerts on the lawn but have never been inside the mansion! It is lovely!

    Carolina Mts

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  17. Your header of the turtles makes me think of what I almost wrote, Letting alive, a custom in Singapore when people release animals.

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  18. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Lovely images..
    Wish my wedding took place here..
    I like the history of this mansion...Thanks for the info!
    Though, the interiors of this historic revival triggers scary thoughts, the outbound quintals are amazing and breath-taking! So much you help us learn..!

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  19. Wow! Grand interiors! Thanks for taking us.

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  20. What a beautiful place!!

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  21. Stunning photos and I love the third one.

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  22. Really nice images of the inside of the Harkness Memorial State Park, lovely architecture indeed.

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  23. I always wondered what Harkness was about. And I never got there when I lived in CT. Maybe the next time I visit my daughter we will go there (and Thimble Isl; the list is getting long). After looking at these photos, I want to go.

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