Who Lived and Worked at Roseland Cottage
In 1844, successful New York City silk merchant Henry Chandler Bowen married Lucy Maria Tappan, daughter of Lewis Tappan. The young couple took up residence in Brooklyn Heights. Lucy gave birth to their first child the following year. Roseland Cottage, their “simple country cottage” in Woodstock, Connecticut, was completed in 1846 and was the Bowens’ summer home for the next fifty years.
Lucy and Henry had ten children before she died of childbirth complications in 1863. Henry married Ellen Holt in 1865 and they had one son. After Ellen’s death, Roseland Cottage became a year round residence for the second generation. Henry and Lucy’s granddaughter, Constance Holt, was the last of their descendants to live in the home.
Many people were hired for essential positions to keep the Bowens’ multi-generational household running smoothly over the years. These included Jane Stuart, who held many domestic service roles, and Governess Edna Dean Proctor.
Henry Chandler Bowen
Henry Chandler Bowen was born in rural Woodstock, Connecticut, in 1813. He moved to New York City when he was twenty to work for successful merchants Lewis and Arthur Tappan. At the end of his clerkship for the Tappan brothers, Bowen and another employee started a dry goods business (Bowen & McNamee) specializing in silks, fine ribbons, laces, and trims. By 1844, their new venture was a success. Once established financially, thirty-year-old Henry married nineteen-year-old Lucy Maria, the daughter of his former employer Lewis Tappan. Their first child was born in 1845, the same year they began construction of Roseland Cottage as a summer home in Woodstock. Lucy had ten children with Henry before she died of childbirth complications in 1863. Two and a half years later, Henry married Ellen Holt and their only son was born in 1868. Bowen, a founder and publisher of the New York weekly newspaper “The Independent,” an abolitionist and reformer, and an entrepreneur, died in 1896.