Roseland Cottage

Woodstock Hill

Woodstock Hill, James J. Sawyer (1818-1888), Woodstock, Connecticut, 1859.

The artist James J. Sawyer grew up in northeast Connecticut, close to Woodstock. He and Henry Bowen became acquainted after Sawyer moved to New York to train as an artist and find clients. Although Sawyer made a decent living in New York, mostly painting copies of old family portraits, he eventually returned to Connecticut. This view, taken from Woodstock Hill overlooking Roseland Cottage with Elmwood Hall (a boarding house catering to summer visitors) behind it, may have been commissioned by Bowen, or it may have been a gift. It’s a wonderful document showing not only the Cottage, but the buildings and agricultural fields that surrounded it in 1859.