Sep 14 2016

From the Grace Holloway Family Album: Photos of the Old Westbury Home Built by Driver Foxhall Keene

In 1902, millionaire sportsman, Wall Street broker and future Vanderbilt Cup Race driver Foxhall Keene built a beautiful mansion in Old Westbury, New York.  Keene named the mansion Rosemary Hall, where it served as the base for his horse racing, fox hunting, polo and auto racing adventures.

Following the 1929 stock market crash, Keene sold his estate was to William Grace Holloway, chairman of his family's W.R. Grace Shipping. Holloway (1886-1959) and his wife Hilda renamed  the mansion Foxland and renovated the exterior and interior.

In another exclusive, Elise Grace Holloway, the granddaughter of William Grace Holloway, has provided these images of the mansion and estate from her family photo albums.


Howard Kroplick

Elise Grace Holloway and her father William Grace Holloway, Jr. Circa 1950.

Foxhall Keene's Rosemary Hall  just after it was sold to William Grace Holloway in 1929.

An aerial view of Foxland in 1950. Note: the white stucco exteror as compared to the above photo.

Elise believes all these photos were taken around 1950.

Members of the Holloway family in front of the mansion.

A view from the porch. Notice: The farm animals on the front yard.

A Foxland mule.

The Hollister monkeys!

Foxland Today

This profile incorrectly indicated that the mansion was demolished in the 1980s.  It is very much standing today.

Keene's impressive array of trees leading to the mansion.

The mansion as it looked last week.


Sep 15 2016 Ted 12:40 PM

They assumed it was demolished in the fire during renovation,how wrong were they?you never assume on something like that,especially something historical like that,do you? It takes you to find out about it to research it too. Just to let you know that I’m still with you guys and having a great time here. Howard,I’m distributing your business cards,so maybe you’ll get an invite here,with your cars,somewhere in the near future and PLEASE try to come if you are,you’ll totally enjoy it and I think it will be one of biggest things that ever happened here too,to see one of one cars,it never happened here,I don’t think,especially that 1909 Alco Black Beast. E-mail me and let me know what you think about it.I know you have a busy schedule and a lot of bookings.It may not be for awhile here either,time will tell.

Sep 15 2016 Mike Cain 4:29 PM

Hopefully Howard homes like this can be preserved forever. I suppose the high taxes in Nassau County make that a greater challenge these days. What a beautiful property! Thanks for sharing this story.

Sep 16 2016 Dave Russo 7:29 PM

Love the old mansions. I was here a few months ago. Don’t ask. Still very much in tact. The house right next to them (so to speak—-it is Old Westbury) was owned by the Phipps family - beautiful house called “Knole” - still standing too. For anyone who is interested in the LI Gold Coast mansions I suggest you check out They do a great job—here is information on the Foxhall Keene Residence courtesy of the web site:

Rosemary Hall’, the Foxhall Parker Keene estate designed by Freeman & Hasselman c. 1902 in Old Westbury. Keene was a famous sportsman and polo player (ten-goal) and served as the captain of the American International Polo team in 1913. The Keene stable, Castleton Farm, located in Kentucky was widely known in thoroughbred racing. In 1907 their horses accounted for $400,000 in winnings. Keene never played in the 1913 International match as he had been thrown from his horse in practice and broke his collarbone. He had suffered a similar injury in 1905 when he crashed his car into a telegraph pole during that year’s Vanderbilt Cup Race. A 1913 NYTimes article mentions that he had broken his collar bone four times. He had “twice been carried from the polo field for dead. He has had falls as an amateur steeplechase rider, been blown up from an automobile, nearly drowned on a sinking yacht, dragged by runaway horses and bitten by dogs”. He retired in 1931 and moved to Canada to live with his sister, passing away in 1941.

Sep 18 2016 Lou 10:56 AM

So interesting….I wonder if they sub divided it or if the same acreage is still part of it today?
From Howard Kroplick

The estate has been subdivided and is down to less than 10 acres.

Sep 18 2016 frank femenias 10:41 PM

Incredible property, another site added for the To Do list.  It has been subdivided leaving 9+ acres. Any clue how big when purchased by Mr. Keene?  The tax bill here would make preservation a real challenge. Someone is presently holding it up!

Sep 29 2016 R Troy 11:32 PM

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town mansion built in 1917 (much smaller than Gold Coast mansions but still pretty amazing for where it was) in Scranton, PA, in the ‘Hill’ section, among a row of homes that were probably built mainly by coal mine owners.  Well built, a great exterior, an even better interior that still brings me great memories - along with my father’s favorite antique cars, one of which, a 1926 Packard 243 Touring, is now on Long Island in my very ordinary high ranch home in a very normal suburb!  grin  I grew up with a great appreciation for beautiful homes and antique cars, and steam locomotives!

Two of the great things about Long Island are those great homes still preserved, and the great antique cars still preserved.  Always nice to hear about either.


Aug 14 2017 Jeff Lomas 10:49 AM

Remember when you,myself and Roger drove out to the Hamptons in a convertible?
You must have been about 20.

Dec 04 2018 Carol Wilkie 11:21 AM

My grandfather, Thomas J. Leonard, was a chauffeur for the Holloways for many years and I have many memories of Foxland.  My grandparents lived in a three bedroom cottage on the estate.  The estate was beautiful and I loved the place.  I roamed all over those seventy-five acres as a child.  I loved the stables and being around the horses.  The groom would let me help groom the horses with him.  I even fell in the swimming pool one day when I was very young while trying to reach a float and had to be fished out by my mother.  We would ride our sleds in the rolling front pastures in winter.  I often played with William, one of Holloway grandchildren.  The Holloways were wonderful people and were great to my grandparents.

Mar 25 2019 elise holloway 8:14 PM

Dear carol,
So wonderful that you remember Bill. I am sorry to say he passed away May 30 2016. I do remember your grandfather he was wonderful please feel free to call any time.
elise holloway palm beach gardens fl…Those were the days my friend!

Aug 26 2019 Doreen Meyer 8:30 AM

In the early 70s, Nyit owned the property and my new boss and his family were invited to live there until they could get settled on Long Island. He took me on a tour… What a beautiful home!

Sep 12 2019 David Still 10:31 AM

I was a roommate with Billy-Haithcock Academy-NY then on to Ct.  Lost contact with him about 5 years ago…..he would send me posts cards often from somewhere in Pa.  Growing up he was a absolutely wonderful friend….another roommate we had was Chris Crawford who sadly past on about the same time.  Would appreciate any photo’s you may have……….miss him dearly!

Sep 13 2019 elise holloway 7:34 AM

David please send me your phone and address i will be happy to send you photos of Bill

Sep 13 2019 elise holloway 8:23 AM

In honor of Bill and grandaddy i donated Grace line objects to the Wolfsonian in Miami ..Picture of Bill there… article Amazing grace by the chief!

Sep 13 2019 David 7:36 PM

Brings a tear—-Bill at Foxland in the morning —-on his drums….before we would head to 75 E. 77th street School..and have so much fun along the way each day —later, always by end of day,— detention!  Mr. Lenard outside tapping his toe…but..smiling!  A heart is 360 degrees—and Bill has a bunch of it!

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