After our quick tour at St. Matthew’s, it was back in the car and back up the street to Ayr Mount, a Federal style plantation built in 1815 by William Kirkland
Richard Jenrette, a North Carolina native and one of the founders of Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette bought this from the nephew of the widow of the last direct Kirkland descendant. He has meticulously restored and furnished Ayr Mount with period antiques and decorative arts, including many original Kirkland furnishings. I had been given Richard Jenrette’s book, Adventures with Old Houses, some years ago as a Christmas present after a side trip while we were in Rhinebeck, NY took us past Edgewater, his main residence. I had been dying to go in Ayr Mount ever since he had opened it for tours a few years back.
So, eagerly we went to the house just a few minutes before the first tour and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. We were the only ones there (well, it was wet and cold and there is no place to wait except outside on the front lawn) and it didn’t look as though we were going to be able to tour. No one ever showed up (although we didn’t really wait all that long because it was . . . wet . . . and . . . cold. I’ll be the first to admit to being a wimp), so this goes back on the list of places to visit.
But, I did get some really nice pictures of the outside of the house and the front lawn and back patio area (which was added by Jenrette). As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The rich are different from you and me.”