Hopewell Hall, Alexandria, Jefferson County, New York
Built circa 1890, for William Charles Browning (1833-1904) and his wife, Adelaide Scott (1842-1913), of New York. Located on "Millionaire's Row" in the Thousand Islands, Hopewell Hall remains a private summer residence today. It was associated with the Boldt family - the builders of nearby Boldt Castle - up until at least the 1980s.
In 1893, the Browning's summer house was described by The New York Times as "one of the finest of the St. Lawrence cottages". It stood on a 400 acre estate on Wellesley Island with what was described as a "highly developed landscaped water frontage," with a boathouse and at least two smaller, separate cottages. In 1912, Mrs Browning sold the estate to George Charles Boldt (1851-1918), who had famously built Boldt Castle across the water on Heart Island.
Perhaps by way of a consolation gift, Boldt gave Hopewell Hall to his daughter, Louise Clover Boldt (1883-1963), who had recently been granted a divorce from her husband of only three years, Captain Alfred Graham Miles (1875-1947). Louise summered at Hopewell every year until her death, when it was inherited by her only daughter, Clover Wotherspoon Miles (1910-1993).
Clover married Alexander David Gordon Baird (1891-1988) and they divided their time between Hopewell Hall and their other houses in Toronto and Delray Beach, Florida. According to the Watertown Daily Times, in 1949 Clover was struck by polio and took up writing poetry again after having studied the subject at Columbia University. She and her husband built a separate cottage on the estate where they could each quietly pursue their hobbies away from the main house that had become full with their son and his children.
It is unknown who the present owners are today, but as of 2014 it is known that they have meticulously restored the house. They have also commissioned Taylored Architecture to draw up plans with a mind to recreating the estate's original ferry pavilion, it's walled promenade and stone steps. It is understood to be currently up for sale.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 24/10/2018 and last updated on 24/10/2018.
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