Roseland Cottage, Woodstock

Roseland Cottage, also known as Henry C. Bowen House or as Bowen Cottage, is a historic house located on Route 169 in Woodstock, Connecticut. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992. It is described as one of the best-preserved and best-documented Gothic summer houses in the nation, with virtually intact interior decorations.

It is now owned by Historic New England, a non-profit organization that preserves the historical value of the house and operates it as a museum.

Roseland Cottage was built in 1846 in the Gothic Revival style as the summer home of Henry Chandler Bowen and family. The entire complex, with a boxwood parterre garden, an icehouse, garden house, carriage barn, and the nation's oldest surviving indoor bowling alley, reflects the principles of writer and designer Andrew Jackson Downing. In his widely popular books, Downing stressed practicality along with the picturesque, and offered detailed instructions on room function, sanitation, and landscaping.

Beginning in 1870, the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the United States were held at Roseland Cottage. Four United States Presidents visited Bowen's summer home as his guests and speakers for these celebrations: Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley. Other prominent visitors included Henry Ward Beecher, Julia Ward Howe, Oliver Wendell Holmes and John C. Fremont.
Today the house remains in excellent historic condition, with original Gothic furniture and embossed Lincrusta Walton wall decoration. The house, known locally as The Pink House, is currently painted coral pink, and located on Woodstock Hill Common. Roseland's parterre garden contain twenty-one flowerbeds with more than 4,000 annuals bordered in boxwood, in their original 1850 pattern, and now form part of Connecticut's Historic Gardens.

The house is a contributing property within NRHP-listed Woodstock Hill Historic District.
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Roseland Cottage Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
71 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Living in the area for over 20 years and finally getting to this beautiful cottage. The Pink House tour was enjoyed very much. We wanted to see more of the beautiful grounds and home, so we even...  more »
  • The tour of this historic home is enjoyable and informative. The barn is not to be missed too. The grounds are beautifully manicured. In the summer, there are occasional concerts on the grounds...  more »
  • Very interesting house complete with it's own bowling alley. The first floor is very dimly lit, so if you have problems with low light, this may not be the best property to visit for you. Very...  more »
Google
  • This was unbelievably beautiful. A unique house with historic furnishings (many original). It's probably the finest Gothic Revival I've ever seen. Maybe the finest standing. Everything is unique and gorgeous. A must see.
  • I recently went to the garden party at the pink house with my friend. We both loved it. It’s worth a trip to take a tour of this beautiful home.
  • Grounds will be beautiful as they were just being prepared for season. Would expect it to be lovely as they finish tidying gardens. Display gallery was sparse and we did not go in to the house as it was too long a wait for next tour. We did notice that the tours of the inside of the house was pretty quick.
  • We stopped in because entry was free and it's a reasonably short drive. Normally entrance fees are 10 bucks per person. IMO I don't think it's worth the entrance fee although I did not see the interior of the house. Pros: the grounds and exterior of the house were in good shape and had some nice photo ops. You can access everything for free except for the interior of the house. Cons: they do not allow self guided tours of the main attraction that being the interior of the house. They have a tour once per hour so that means you may have to wait a long time just to get a look at the interior. The tour group we observed was small maybe 15 people so you may have to wait a few hours if the place is busy. We asked why they didn't allow self guided tours. The reasoning we received from the staff was they had valuable artifacts to protect. We asked why they don't use methods like roping off and sensors so people can self guide. They had no answer. Apparently they did say we only have 1 property where self guided tours are allowed. So we have noted the company's name and website showing all the properties they have for touring and we will avoid them in the future due to our experience here.
  • Awesome place! Pretty piece of history. Interesting! Check it out, and take the tour!

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