Located within the Boston Post Road Historic District, Lounsberry is one of two neighboring houses designed in the Greek Revival style. Built for Edward Lamb Parsons in 1838, the residence has continued to serve as the home of the Parsons family for generations. One of the primary features of the Lounsberry house is the giant-order columned portico with capitals in the Ionic order, a staple of the Greek Revival style. On the facade of the house are lower and upper story windows divided by pilasters with black shutters on a light gray exterior. The Boston Post Road Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1982.
Lounsberry circa 2003
Lounsberry circa 1988
John Edward Parsons, January 1st 1910
Lounsberry circa 1961
Backstory and Context
Edward Lamb Parsons purchased property on the Post Road in 1831 to construct his family home which he named Lounsberry. The house was designed in the Greek Revival style with an entrance portico with Ionic capitals. The first floor contains 9x9 double-hung windows flanked by black shutters. On the second floor there are 6x6 windows also with black shutters, and a third story entablature on top. Several additions have been made to the building since its original construction date of 1838, with most being done during the ownership of James Hewitt Parsons.
These additions made by James included a pantry and conservatory in 1867, a one-story service wing sometime before 1869, an addition to the conservatory in 1879 that added a second story, and the library wing in 1890. Also on site are: a one-story gardener’s cottage constructed in 1874, a carriage house and stable built in 1859, an outbuilding which has been utilized as storage since 1870, the poultry and wood house outbuilding, constructed in 1858, and a greenhouse, which was the second to be constructed on the property in 1946, replacing its predecessor.
The name of the estate derives from one of Rye's earliest settlers, Richard Lounsberry, who settled the area as early as 1672. The Lounsberry land passed through his will in 1690 to his wife and eldest sons, then to his grandson Issac in 1729. Around the year 1760, the Lounsberry farm was owned by Daniel Purdy, then passed down to his son. The property changed hands to the Delancey family, who later sold it to the Chadwick family, and then to the Parsons family. Edward Lamb Parsons bought the 37-acre property for $5,500 around May or June 1831, with a further purchase of 16.5 acres at $2,175 on Turnpike Road in April 1836. The home was constructed by 1838, however Edward died suddenly in 1839 upon returning from a business trip in England. The Parsons family held the property until 1850, selling it to the Talbot family, who would later sell it back to James Hewitt Parsons for $17,500.
Some notable members of the Parsons family included John Edward Parsons, who graduated New York University in 1848 and became a lawyer. He worked as a lawyer for 60 years and helped to found and administer the New York City Bar Association. After his death in 1915, Herbert Parsons inherited Lounsberry; he was a New York City district representative for the Republican Party from 1905-1911. After his death in 1925, his brother John II and his wife Fanny resided on the property. Fanny later donated the property to both the county and the city of Rye at her death in 1987. The City of Rye was unable to find a suitable non-profit to convert the property into a museum, so they sold it to David Parsons, the great grandson of Edward.
"Picturing Our Past National Register Sites in Westchester County." New York. 2003.
National Register of Historic Places.
Boston Post Road Historic District, September 1982.
Accessed September 10th 2021. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/75316110.
Jay Heritage Center. Lounsberry/The Parsons Estate (C). Boston Post Road Historic District Brochure.
A Little Rye History: The Parsons Family Legacy, The Rye Record. October 18th 2012.
Accessed September 10th 2021. https://ryerecord.com/a-little-rye-history-the-parsons-family-legacy/.
Westchester County Historical Society/Picturing Our Past
Westchester County Historical Society
US Library of Congress (https://loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b30515/)
Westchester County Historical Society