Page 54


was reconstructed, but a 1915 powder accident made it completely uninhabitable. Henry Belin du Pont bought it from the DuPont Company in 1922. In the 1920s and 1930s, Mary du Pont Laird and her son, Walter William Winder “Chick” Laird Jr. (for whom she bought the house), took up some of the floorboards to reuse at Lower Louviers. In 1974 the property was deeded to the Hagley Foundation.

Rokeby ROKEBY, 1836, New Castle County, Delaware OWNERS: DuPont Company; T. Coleman du Pont; Alice du Pont Wilson Buck; Dorcas Van Dyke Farquhar ARCHITECT: Unknown Private residence Hagley (Jacob Broom) House HAGLEY (JACOB BROOM) HOUSE, ca. 1794, 1823, New Castle County, Delaware OWNERS: Jacob Broom; John Hirons; DuPont Company; Irene S. du Pont; Mariana du Pont and her husband, Henry Harper Silliman ARCHITECT: Robeson Lea Perot (renovations, 1896); Victorine and Samuel Homsey (renovations, 1937–38); Albert Kruse (renovations, 1952–53). Builder: James Smyth (ca. 1900) Private residence This house was built for Jacob Broom, a signer of the U.S. Constitution. In 1823 E. I. du Pont bought the house and rented it to family members. His daughter Eleuthera and her husband, Thomas Mackie Smith, occupied the house from 1839 to 1873, and Francis G. du Pont and his wife, Elise Wigfall Simons, lived there from 1874 to 1919. They made considerable changes between 1879 and 1893, including the addition of a conservatory with balconies and the transformation of the grapery into a billiard room and the grain-storage builing into a chemical laboratory with an astronomical observatory. In 1887 the house became one of the first to be electrified in Delaware. After Elise’s death in 1919, the DuPont Company took over the property. In 1933 Irene S. du Pont, one of Francis G.’s children, bought it for her daughter Mariana, who stripped off most of the late 19thcentury additions. The Homseys built a caretaker’s cottage in 1937–38. Hagley is still family owned.

Rokeby, named after an 1812 Sir Walter Scott poem, was built for Gabrielle Josephine du Pont at the time of her marriage to William Breck. The floor plan was based on Upper Louviers, where Gabrielle had been living at the time of her marriage. A mistake in measurement made the house smaller than intended. The Brecks lived at Rokeby until they moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1859. Gabrielle’s first cousin Charles I. du Pont Jr. took on the house about the time of his marriage to his second cousin Mary Sophie du Pont in 1862. A succession of his relations lived there in the 19th century, including his sister Mary Van Dyke du Pont, who died there in 1909. T. Coleman du Pont then bought Rokeby. E. Paul du Pont and his wife, Jean Kane Foulke, lived in the house while their home, the Second Office, was being readied. Rokeby was given to T. Coleman’s daughter Alice on her marriage to Paul E. Wilson in 1912. Wilson died in World War I, and Alice lived at Rokeby after her marriage to C. Douglass Buck in 1921, until they moved to Buena Vista in 1930. In the early 1930s, Henry Belin du Pont and his wife rented Rokeby while their Okie-designed house was being built on the Red Clay Creek. Dorcas Van Dyke Buck, Alice and C. Douglass Buck’s daughter, was given the house in 1943. She enlarged it and lived there with her husband Donald Farquhar until 1978. It is still in the family.

SWAMP HALL, ca. 1800?, 1864, New Castle County, Delaware OWNERS: DuPont Company; Alfred I. du Pont ARCHITECT: Unknown Demolished 1910

— 203 —

The du Ponts: Houses and Gardens in the Brandywine  

No American family dominated a single state longer than the du Ponts of Delaware. French immigrants who arrived in America January 1, 1800,...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you