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Arbuckle Estate

Page history last edited by Mary Ann Koferl 13 years, 4 months ago

The historic Arbuckle estate was located in the area of Brentwood that runs between Caleb’s Path on the east to Wicks Road on the west and was more than one thousand acres in area. Charles and John Arbuckle, brothers, were multimillionaires whose fortune was made in the coffee business. The Arbuckle brothers purchased the land for their estate from Eugene Platt around 1885.  There were only 120 acres of the enormous tract of land that were cleared. The mansion was comprised of four wings built by different people at different times. The only way to pass from one wing to another was through entrances within the house on the first floor. The first wing of the house was built in the 1850’s during the era of Modern Times and the second was constructed in the 1860’s after the Civil War. The third addition of the house was built by the Platt family in time to house the guests for their daughter’s wedding. Each of the 7 rooms in this wing had a fireplace. The fourth wing of the mansion, which was built by Charles Arbuckle, was comprised of two very large rooms. The drawing room, which included a private bar, was on the ground floor and the master bedroom was directly above it on the second floor. Charles entertained their guests with lavish parties that included wheel-barrow races. Charles was more interested in the Brentwood estate than his brother John. Charles died in 1891 and John in 1912. The estate was inherited by their sisters Christine Arbuckle and Catherine Jamison.


An article in the New York Times dated June 26, 1897 reports the opening of the Arbuckle Farm for the exclusive benefit of the women from the Brooklyn Young Women’s Christian Association. Kate A. Jamison, sister of Charles Arbuckle, provided a special summer outing for these hard working women. According to the Times, the sports facilities on the grounds of the estate included croquet squares, tennis courts and basketball grounds. In addition there was a stable with saddle and driving horses. The Times article describes the estate house as a comfortable old-fashioned dwelling with low gables and rambling additions.


When Christine Arbuckle died her nephew Charles Jamison and nieces Martha A. Jamison, and Margaret A. Jamison inherited the Arbuckle fortune. Margaret survived her brother and sister and became the sole heir of the Arbuckle estate. Margaret enjoyed the estate and came there often.


Frank E. Nichols was the manager of the Arbuckle Estate for forty years and lived there until he died in February 1938. His sons Charles and Harvard (Howard) were born in the Arbuckle mansion. Howard later worked there for the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company. Margaret sold the estate to the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company in 1938 after having leased the estate to them for two years. The 1,009 acre estate sold for $135.00 and acre.


-A. Bennett, Local History Room Newsletter, January 2009


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