Gracewood History

Our property was first developed by William Singer of Singer Sewing Machine fame, in 1906 with the construction of a Federal-style estate. William Sheehan subsequently purchased the estate and called it “The Height”, because we are located at a high point in Nassau County. He also made extensive renovations in 1916.

Sheehan later sold the property to Robert Elbert, who together with his wife Marian began acquiring many of the large estates all along Shelter Rock Road and Searingtown Road in the 1920’s. At that time there were properties owned by the Vanderbilts, the Pulitzers, the Whitneys, even Victor Emanuel of the Italian Royal Family, and others. Eventually Elbert and his wife Marian owned 325 acres of land surrounding our current 80-acre property. They intended to develop homes, but that plan never materialized for many reasons, and they eventually sold our property to Joseph P. Grace II, the grandson of W.R. Grace.

Historical Photos of the Mansion from the 1930s:

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(Rear Patio of Mansion)                                               (Gazebo On Grounds)

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(Aerial View of Mansion)                                             (Rear Patio of Mansion)

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(Rear Patio of Mansion)                                        (Front of Mansion)