Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Edification value  2/5
Entertainment value  3/5
Should you go?  2/5
Time spent 48 minutes
Best thing I saw or learned Bartow-Pell Mansion, Sitting Room

The broad array of games:  deck of cards, dice, checkers, arrayed around the upstairs sitting room. Makes me appreciate our sophisticated modern timekillers like Settlers of Catan and  Pandemic.

Bartow-Pell Mansion, The Bronx, New YorkLong ago (1654) and far away (under an oak tree on what is now the frontier of the Bronx), a, Englishman named Thomas Pell signed a treaty with the local Siwanoy/ Lenape Indian tribe.  He gained ownership of either 9,166 acres (City of New York, Friends of Pelham Bay Park, other reputable sources) or 50,000 acres (Bartow-Pell Mansion printout, Wikipedia) of land. While his descendants sold off the massive holding over time, in 1836 Robert Bartow, scion of the Bartow-Pell family, bought back part of the original estate and started building a fine country house and working farm on it.  In 1842, he and his wife Maria Lorillard Bartow, their seven kids, and assorted Irish servants moved out from the filth and hubbub of New York City.  The family resided there for over 40 years.

Like all of the country retreats I’ve visited, the family’s fortunes ebbed, and the expanding City eventually caught up with the Bartow-Pell Mansion. Mostly. Today the house stands in the heart of Pelham Bay Park (in fact, the City bought the house and land as it was creating the park), the only survivor of what used to be a string of mansions in the area. Continue reading “Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum”