Roseland Cottage

The Presidents’ Room

The Bowen family called this room The Presidents’ Room in honor of the three presidents who stayed at Roseland Cottage and slept in this room: Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and William McKinley. This was an excellent guest room. Open windows provided a cooling cross-breeze, the front windows offered an excellent view of the parterre garden, and the best staff quarters at Roseland Cottage connect to this room through the door on the left. Anyone traveling with the President would be comfortable staying in the staff room.

We also associate this room with the Bowen daughters Mary, Grace, and Alice. We believe this was their room during summers in Woodstock. All three Bowen daughters attended Miss Porter’s School, a well-known girls’ academy in Farmington, Connecticut. It served a similar purpose for the daughters as Yale did for the sons: life-long social connections were made there. The room would have been papered when the girls were at Roseland Cottage. It was probably painted pink in the twentieth century, perhaps by Constance Holt. While some now associate pink with girls, that association started in the early twentieth century. In fact, when colors were first associated with gender, pink was often thought of as a strong, masculine color, and blue was thought to be more delicate, and appropriate for girls.