Reminiscences of Tarrywile Mansion

Tarrywile Mansion was the home of C.D. Parks and his family for nearly seventy-five years. Through the years, it was a home where many happy family events and activities occurred. The entire family, and in later years this included the grand-children, would gather at the large mahogany dining room table for their three daily meals as well as for their festive holiday dining. Servants served meals to the family from two magnificent sideboards in the room. After dinner, the gentlemen would gather together for gentlemanly discussions and an occasional brandy and cigar, while the ladies would adjourn to the "with" Drawing Room for tea and their own exchanges. In this room you might have found Mrs. Parks and later, her two daughters, Irene and Jean, entertaining their lady friends with either a game of Bridge or Canasta. Adjoining this room is the Conservatory, a later addition to the house, used mainly to house the beautiful flowers and plants grown on the estate. It was also a quiet retreat for the family, as well as a place where many family photos were taken.

The main hall was the receiving area for all guests and the family always entered the house through the front door. It was the many servants and staff who used the Kitchen entrance. Directly off the main hall is the Library, which was always used as a library and for the private use of Mr. Parks. Through the French doors of the Library is the Living Room or the "Red Room" named for the colorful red decor in the room. It was a room used for family gatherings and festivities.

On the second floor is the Conference Room Lounge which was once C.D. Parks' bedroom and adjoining this room was his wife, Eleanor's, bedroom. It is now our conference room. After Mr. Parks' death, Mrs. Parks moved into his bedroom. Her great-grand-daughter, Judy Durkin, remembers her having a large sleigh bed and a small stool by her bedside where Grandma Parks would teach Judy and her brother Chick Jennings the state names and their capitals. Mrs. Parks also used the Bride's Room as her bedroom and even had her jewelry stolen from this room. However, it was her daughter Irene who used this room most of her life. The Groom's room was the family guestroom where friends and relatives slept when they came to visit. The room that now serves as the Park Authority office was Jean Parks Davis', their youngest daughters bedroom when she was a child.

The third floor of this 23-room mansion housed the servants' three bedrooms and the billiard room, a favorite family entertainment.


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