Stanford White, photo by George Cox ca. 1892How is Stanton House Inn related to a brilliant man murdered in Madison Square Garden by the jealous husband of a previous lover?

 

Read on to learn all the details of:
  • Stanton House Inn’s property
  • the illustrious people connected to its past
  • the very public murder that rocked early 1900s New York high society, and led to the Trial of the Century
You can read even more Greenwich history on our blog.

Early History of European Settlement of Greenwich

Greenwich and neighboring Stamford were founded in 1640. The area in which Stanton House Inn is located was not settled until 1672. What is now downtown Greenwich was originally called Horseneck due to the pastureland used by settlers to graze their horses. The area remained rural for much of its existence.

First Construction of the Seaman-Brush House

Stanton House Inn was built on land granted to the Reverend Richard Sackett while he was Pastor of the Second Congregational Church in 1717. The family kept the land for 150 years, and in 1840, Mr. John Sackett built the original structure on its present location.

 

The Seaman-Brush house was originally in the Neo-Federalist style, with a large central hallway and two large, symmetrical rooms on either side. You can still see the original layout most clearly in the Library and Living Room at the front of the House.

 

We named the Sackett Suite in honor of the Sackett family.

The Gay 90s and Early 20th Century in Greenwich, Connecticut

With the construction of the railroad, Greenwich changed its name from Horseneck to avoid sounding too provincial.
It became a getaway for wealthy families from New York City, such as the Rockefellers.

 

Watch this video by the Greenwich Historical Society to learn about some of the major wealthy families that made their fortunes and built summer homes in Greenwich in the 1890s.

 

 

Mary A. (Sackette) Seaman and her husband Charles H. Seaman lived in what would become the Stanton House Inn until 1899.
Edward & Susie A. Brush then purchased the house and enlarged it to its present size and appearance.

 

 

The Brush family contributed much to the area and to the Town of Greenwich in particular. Some major Greenwich institutions, such as:
All felt the fine touch of Edward Brush.

Stanford White

For the 1900s renovation, the Brush family chose noted architect Stanford White to supervise the work.
The New York Times described Stanford White, partner of the famed architectural firm, McKim, Mead, and White, as the impulsive creative genius, always in a hurry but completely assured in his ideas.

 

Stanford White is most famous for his public buildings in New York City and other East Coast cities. And yet he also designed over a hundred private residences, which includes some of the great shingle-style mansions of Long Island and New England.

 

And that list includes Stanton House Inn.

 

The Trial of the Century

Shortly after the completion of the Seaman-Brush house (the official name of Stanton House Inn), Stanford White was murdered by a very wealthy yet disturbed man.

 

Ironically, Harry Kendall Thaw shot Stanford White at Madison Square Garden, another building he had designed.

 

Mr Thaw shot Mr White at point-blank range for an affair with his then wife, Evelyn Nesbit. At the time of his death, the affair, which began when Nesbit was 16 years old and White was 47, had long-since ended.

 

Decades later, Harry Thaw was supposedly so disgusted by the cookie-cutter pink stucco Mediterranean Revival mansions he saw on a trip to Florida that he exclaimed, “I shot the wrong architect!

 

We always try to keep a copy of The Girl on the Velvet Swing on our bookshelf in the library, so guests can learn more while staying in a house Stanford White himself designed.

 

Rooms in the house that feature fireplaces designed by Stanford White include:

Stanton House Inn in the 20th Century

In 1920, after the death of Edward Brush, the property was purchased by Theodore L. Pomeroy. Mrs. Pomeroy was active both in politics and the church. Many prominent statesmen and their wives attended the social functions held by Mr. & Mrs. Pomeroy.

 

The Pomeroys lost their home after the Stock Market crash of 1929. It then sat empty for almost ten years, as the wealthy of the time already preferred to live in Backcountry Greenwich, rather than so close to town.

 

Nora Stanton Barney

 

In 1937, the house was purchased by Mrs. Nora Stanton Barney, who operated the house as first a veteran’s home, then an inn called Stanton House. She named the building in honor of her grandmother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the renowned American feminist and social reformer.

 

But Nora Stanton Barney was a fascinating woman in her own right. She was America’s first female civil engineer (despite being born in the United Kingdom), having graduated from Cornell. She was a civil engineer, architect, and real estate developer.

 

Ms Barney even divorced her first husband because he wanted her to quit her work and become a typical housewife!

 

For the next quarter century, Stanton House was a popular gathering spot for travelers and residents alike.

 

Recent History at the Stanton House Inn

 

greenwich ct history touches on the present, like at the tod's point, started when the town bought the land from a wealthy landowner
Sadly, from 1962 to 1983 the property declined and it seemed that Stanton House would not regain any of its original splendor.

 

The Seaman-Brush house became a boarding house. If no one in town would rent you a room, you could rent one here. Many locals who grew up in Greenwich during this time remember the Inn being a scary place.

 

But in 1985, Mr. Tog Pearson and his wife, Doreen, took an interest in the historic Connecticut inn and began to restore the rooms and facilities to their former glory. It has since become a well-needed addition to the community in the form of a Bed & Breakfast Inn.

 

The Pearson family set a goal for Stanton House Inn over 30 years ago to provide a comfortable and relaxed home-away-from-home environment for their guests in a classic, historic and environmentally-friendly setting.

 

Greenwich’s prime location on beautiful Long Island Sound makes it the Gateway to New England. The perfect first stop for touring Still Revolutionary Connecticut, Greenwich also offers a convenient alternative for a visit to New York City. NYC to Greenwich, CT, is just thirty-five miles away and accessible by train or car. But there are also an abundance of great things to do in Greenwich itself, as well as the surrounding area.

 

Be sure to download our free Greenwich Activities checklist for a list of all our favorite activities near our historic Connecticut bed and breakfast.

 

Stanton House Inn welcomes you. View all our beautiful Greenwich accommodations and book your stay at our romantic bed and breakfast in Connecticut.

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Historical research by:
Bill Finch, Jr.
Town Historian