Marmaduke Forster House, Ltd.
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History of the
Marmaduke Forster House

Village of Pleasantville historian Carsten Johnson has kept track of the architectural changes to the Marmaduke Forster house over its 215 years – from a farmhouse, to Gothic Revival to Queen Anne, with elements from each era overlapping.

Marmaduke Forster, a colonial carpenter from New York City built this farmhouse in 1786.
He obtained the 220 acres from the Commissioners of Forfeiture, which had seized the land after the Revolutionary War.

The house was remodeled in the 1870's by Henry Hobby, who owned several apple orchards. In 1895, George Washburn bought the house for himself, his wife and their
seven children. He added the tower and the one-and-three-quarter-story chateau wing
with 20 small colored glass panes, and completed its transformation into a late Victorian treasure.   “It is one of those unique places that makes your head turn and I remain impressed by it, both inside and out,” Peter Shaver, an analyst for the New York State Historic Preservation Office, wrote in 2000
to then Mayor, John Nonna.

In the “too strange to be a coincidence” category, after the Marmaduke Partners, LLC, purchased the house for restoration, the managing member, Nancy Rosanoff, discovered that one of her relatives
was George Washburn.

 


Marmaduke Forster House 1870's

 

 

Marmaduke Forster House 2002
(Pre-restoration)