Roseland Cottage

My Bedroom for the Presidents

Grace traveled extensively throughout Europe between 1871 and 1895. When at home, she supported her step-mother, Ellen, as hostess for the family’s entertaining. She continued to live at the Bowen home in Brooklyn Heights and to spend summers at Roseland Cottage. According to family tradition, when the presidents and others stayed with the Bowens in Woodstock, Grace gave up her room to the visiting dignitary. Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison are said to have stayed there. A family anecdote describes this door knocker as positioned on Grace’s bedroom door to teach her young nieces and nephews to knock and perhaps prevent them from bursting in to see Aunt Grace when the room was occupied by a president.