Think back to the Gilded Age in the late 19th century. Ridgefield Connecticut was a popular Summer destination for New York City. William Samuel Hawk was a hotel dean.
He formed the famous partnership, Hawk and Wetherbee of The Windsor Hotel and the popular Hotel Manhattan. Samuel as he was known, became good friends with many famous names of the day. In fact he was with President McKinley shortly before he was assassinated. Ridgefield residents waited anxiously to get the wire from W.S. Hawk about their president. The Hawk's were generous and civic minded part time residents in their 40 room, 30 acre estate. They helped finance rebuilding town hall and provided a new sidewalk for the Ridgefield Library.
Remaining today from the Hawk Estate is the, Carriage House, a unique example of Shingle Style converted to a residence. This is an American architectural style made popular after the centennial celebration. Although part of the Victorian era, the Carriage House, has strong historical origins. From the rubble stone base, continuous shingle wrapping, and steep roof pitches this home is a classic. However the detail of the turret and eyebrow windows made this far from an ordinary barn. The property held multiple carriages and was even ready for the automobile! Who could have imagined that the open floor plan would become so popular in the 21st century...The great room, the original stone floor to ceiling fireplace, and the gilded carved mirror are the heart of the home.
The entrance of the estate remains as it was in 1890 well as some of the trees planted over 100 years ago. The stone walls wrap the almost two acre property. Look carefully from the upper level and you can find W.S.H. carved on the stone ledge. A true historical property, the Carriage House at Hawk's Nest, Ridgefield CT