Beautifully situated across from the Woodstock town green is Roseland Cottage built in 1846 by Henry Bowen with its colorful array of flower gardens. A classic example of the Gothic Revival architecture that was just becoming popular in the mid 19th century characterized by a steep roof line crowned with ornamented chimney pots, intricately detailed gables overhanging diamond leaded window. The siding has always been painted in a vibrant coral pink that has given the cottage its popular name as the “Pink House.”
Henry Bowen grew up in Woodstock and built a successful dry goods business in New York City specializing in silks. He and his wife Lucy enjoyed summers away from the city and Roseland Cottage was their country house where they entertained friends and powerful political connections including four United States Presidents. Henry and Lucy Bowen had ten children and Woodstock with its rural atmosphere and Henry’s long family history rooted in the area was the perfect retreat from the summer heat and congestion of the city.
Joseph C. Wells was the architect commissioned by Bowen in 1845 to design the 6,000 square Foot Gothic Revival Cottage for his growing family. The layout and design were deeply influenced by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing who was a leading 19th Century landscape architect. The grounds include a garden house, carriage barn, an icehouse and aviary, but most notably an extensive 3,000 square foot boxwood parterre garden.
After 1850 when the Bowens began spending each summer in Woodstock, they planted the garden that graces the front of the cottage. It’s comprised of 600 yards of boxwood hedge surrounding twenty-one beds of spectacular annual and perennial flowers that have been a central feature of the cottage and Woodstock ever since.