Mid-Century Birthday Croquet At Roseland Cottage

Finally, a break from stay-related blog posts! (Slow sewing progress is being made, but not enough to post about…)

In the meantime, I have an armchair peep into a lovely birthday outing with friends on a gorgeous autumn afternoon.

The location of the outing is Roseland Cottage, in Woodstock, Connecticut.

Built in 1846 in the newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, Roseland Cottage was the summer home of Henry and Lucy Bowen and their young family. While the house is instantly recognizable for its pink exterior, Roseland Cottage has an equally colorful interior, featuring elaborate wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets, and stained glass, much of which survives unchanged from the Victorian era. The house is a National Historic Landmark.
(from the Historic New England website)

We made special arrangements with the staff to picnic and croquet on the lawn in mid-19th century clothing, followed by a house tour. Some of us had seen the house before, but the details never cease to amaze and hold our interest. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit!

The grounds of the house are well maintained and provided an excellent area to set up croquet.

We enjoyed serious croquet as well as a few silly rounds of our own invention. The shadows made for fun photos, too!

The day was sunny and beautiful. There was a slight bit of chill to the air, but it was quite comfortable in full length sleeves and long dresses.

One zealous croquet ball whacked me in the ankle and caused a small scene. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad after the initial pain wore off (no bruises or anything worse!)

In fact, the croquet ball whack didn’t stop me from enjoying the gardens in Sophie, my 1861 reproduction cotton print dress.

The gardens are maintained with the same plan and variety of plants that would have been evident in the 19th century. They were in full color during our visit!

I greatly enjoy this photo, which was completely unintentional. I just started running around because it was fun, and then was told to go back and do it again because the photo opportunity was so exciting. So I suppose in a way it was intentional?

Croquet was followed by a house tour, during which the staff invited us to remain in historical clothes and take photos. This was my favorite! There’s a little built-in seat with a bay window in one room. It was well suited to sitting in hoops. Looking for friends arriving, perhaps?

An exciting, beautiful day! Thanks for enjoying it with me!


18 thoughts on “Mid-Century Birthday Croquet At Roseland Cottage

  1. That looks like it was a really fun day! I’m going to look up Roseland Cottage. It’s just so beautiful! Great shot of you at the end!

  2. What a colorful delight! The dresses, the flowers, the house… all looking so festive for a perfect birthday treat… happy belated birthday! I always appreciate people sharing pictures of their outings, I feel like I enjoy it even more than GOING to an outing because I didn’t have to stress about getting ready and can just appreciate the endeavors of others 😉

  3. Dear Quinn,
    Happy belated birthday!
    It was such a gorgeous day for an outing like that: the colors saturated, the air just right, and you all, dressed for croquet.
    Loved the running picture, BTW. It’s joyous. It would look neat as a painting.
    Very best,

    1. Thank you, Natalie! We couldn’t have asked for better weather, I agree!

      That photo brings me great joy. It’s such a fabulous action shot. I’m very grateful to have friends who grab a camera to document silliness at a moments notice, and who are skilled at it, to boot! Thank you!

  4. I haven’t visited WordPress in awhile (or written a blog post of my own), and I was happy to read and see photos of this day. Your 1861 dress is beautiful, and the setting is too. Love the ones of you running through the garden!

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