A Family History
Caramoor, the enchanting estate tucked away in Katonah, New York, was the country estate created by Walter T. and Lucie Bigelow Rosen to express their passion for music and the arts. To understand the many components that make the estate so exceptional one has to learn about its founders, their love for each other, and their passion for music, the arts, and all things beautiful.
Walter Tower Rosen was born in Berlin, Germany in 1875. To pursue the family banking business, his parents, Max Tower Rosen and Flora Thalmann Rosen, moved their family to New York City. Entering Harvard at age sixteen and graduating in just three years, Walter became a very successful lawyer and banker. Throughout his life, he remained devoted to the arts and was a patron of several cultural institutions.
Lucie Bigelow Rosen was born in 1890 to a socially prominent New York family. Unconventional and artistic, she had interests in fashion, dance, visual arts, and music. She was instrumental in the patronage of the theremin, the world’s first electronic instrument, and was one of its first practitioners. She toured throughout Europe and America and advocated for electronic music decades before its ascendancy in popular music.
Walter and Lucie met in July 1914 and it was love at the first sight. He was 39 and she was 24. Six weeks later they were married in New York City. Soon, they had Walter Bigelow Rosen, and Anne Rosen (Stern).
Walter Bigelow Rosen graduated from Harvard University, followed by Yale Law School. Shortly after graduating from law school, he volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force, before the US involvement in WWII. On August 16, 1944, returning to England from Germany, his plane crashed and Walter died two days later of his wounds. He is buried at Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.
Anne Stern was for many years on the Board of Trustees at Caramoor. When her mother died she was instrumental in getting her parents’ country home opened to the public. She brought in curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to catalogue all the objects in the collection and was influential in the construction of the New Wing. She had two children.