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Roseland Cottage, Woodstock

#8 of 23 in Historic Sites in Mystic Country
Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
71 reviews
  • 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 »
  • 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.
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