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The John Rosencrantz House

Rosencrantz HouseIn 1892, Will’s brother John and his wife, Vinnie, had saved enough money to build a Victorian home of their own on property 175 feet south of The Hermitage and just across Franklin Turnpike from the St. Luke’s wooden mission church. John bought the land from his sister, Bess, for $1.

The entrance from Franklin Turnpike was flanked by stone pillars that led up a driveway to the Queen Anne-style home. Its exterior was sandstone on the first story and shingles on the remaining two stories.  It had eleven rooms—seven on the first floor, four on the second floor, and two in the attic. Among the rooms on the first floor were a parlor, a dining room, a library, a kitchen, a baking room, and a laundry. The kitchen had a large Richardson stove that is now located in kitchen of The Hermitage. There were five fireplaces framed with tiles.  Outside were a well, a barn for a carriage and horses, and a number of chicken coops.

In the 1970s, a developer acquired the land to build a new subdivision and intended to demolish the house. Instead, he donated it the Friends of the Hermitage, and it was moved within the grounds of the State Park, where it is used as a visitor center with office, exhibition, and educational space.

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