Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park


Have you been? The 1906 Roman Renaissance Classicl Revival-style Eolia mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut is stunning. It has 42 rooms and is set on 230 seaside acres. Once upon a time, it was owned by Edward and Mary Harkness, the mansion was named after Greek god of winds.

This structure is Connecticut’s own version of the hit PBS show,”Downton Abbey.” There are servants quarters on the third floor, which are not open to the public, and plenty of call boxes spotted around the home when the mansion was in its hey day.

Today it is a place where all can enjoy this place as the scene of stunning weddings, private events and seminars with its panoramic seaside views of Long Island Sound. This place was once a working farm and was just a summer home for the Harkness family, as was the case with all the magnificent mansions in nearby Newport, Rhode Island, just summer homes.

Edward Harkness, originally from Ohio, was heir to a fortune started by his father’s investments in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company. Harkness did not keep all of his money to himself, he and his wife would give a huge portion of it away, some 200-million dollars went to wide-ranging charities.

The state would acquire the land and the mansion and its out buildings in 1950 after the death of Mrs. Harkness and is now part of the State Park System.