Penwern’s History


Stewards of Penwern

Fred B. Jones, 1900 – 1933 (The property could not be sold for five years while Mr. Jones’ will was contested.)

Burr and Peg (Margaret) Robbins, 1938 – 1980 (The Robbins renamed Penwern “Robbinswood.” The boathouse was destroyed in an arson fire in September, 1978.)

Ross Robbins, the Robbins’ son, 1980 – 1989

John O’Shea, 1989 – 1994 (Except for the Gate Lodge, which was owned by Terry Canty, the Robbins’ daughter, 1980 – 2001)

Sue and John Major, 1994 – Present (Gate Lodge, 2001 – Present, The Majors used drawings based on Wright’s original drawings, adapted to meet contemporary building codes to rebuild the boathouse from 2002-2005.)

How did Penwern get its name?

There is a “Penwern” on Lake Delavan in Wisconsin.  Elegant.  Exquisite.  Unmistakably luxurious.

There is a “Penwern” in Wales.  Sturdy.  Spare.  Uncompromisingly protective against time, the elements, the poverty of place.

Could these two be connected by a grandson’s filial nod to a grandmother he barely remembered but whose impact he witnessed lifelong?

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Historic Photos

Historic Collection

A collection of photos during the Fred B. Jones stewardship and postcards courtesy of John Hime.

Penwern, 1932 – 1935

Photos courtesy of Betty Schacht.

Penwern, 1938 – 1980

Photos during Burr and Margaret Robbins’ stewardship of Penwern.