- Epping Forest (Jacksonville, Florida)
name = Epping Forest
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location = Jacksonville,
May 9, 1973
Epping Forest (also known as the Alfred I. duPont Estate) is an historic, 58-acre estate in
Jacksonville, Floridawhere a luxurious riverfront Mansion was built in the mid-1920's by industrialist Alfred I. du Pontand his third wife, Jessie Ball du Pont. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Placesin 1973 and has been restored to its’ original grandeur as the home of the "Epping Forest Yacht Club".
du Pont history
Alfred I. du Pont was originally from Delaware and controlled the famous DuPont Chemical Company with his cousins, Pierre and Coleman. Over the years, their relationship deteriorated to the point where Alfred resigned from the family company in 1917. He created business ventures in Delaware and New York, but in 1925, cousin Pierre was named Delaware's Tax Commissioner. To prevent Pierre from sticking his nose into Alfred’s property holdings and investments, Alfred decided to relocate to Jacksonville, Florida, a city he'd often heard his mother talk about when he was growing up.Alfred and Jessie became legal residents of Florida and Alfred began a second career pioneering the development of sound banking practices and investing in transportation and the paper industry. The location Alfred chose for their permanent home was at Christopher Point, the widest spot on the
St. Johns River, which provided an excellent area for his favorite pastime, yachting on his beloved 125' 5" "Nenemoosha", built in 1922. [http://www.efyc.com/history.html Epping Forest Yacht Club: Club History] ]
Construction on their Epping Forest Mansion began in 1926 and was designed by local architects, Marsh & Saxelbye, but Harold Saxelbye contributed the most influence. The Mansion contained 25 rooms in its' original grandeur. It is primarily Mediterranean Revival; a unique mixture of Gothic, Spanish Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles. The mansion and grounds are adorned with brick courtyards, beautifully carved
pilastersfor the balconies and original marble and tile floors. In addition, many fanciful stone creatures and icons decorate the garden walls and magnificent central stone fountain, evoking the European heraldry of the past. Jessie selected the furnishings; Alfred designed the formal English gardens. Jessie named the estate, "Epping Forest" after the Virginia plantation of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother and Jessie's ancestor. [ [http://www.alfrediduponttrust.org/about/alfred-i-dupont.asp Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust: About Alfred I. duPont (1864-1935)] ] Nestled off San Jose Boulevard, Epping Forest has been a Jacksonville landmark for close to a century. Epping Forest boasts a rich history as a meeting place for celebrities, heads of state, powerful politicians and industrial giants, including the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies and the Goulds.After Jessie Ball duPont passed away in 1970, local businessman Raymond Mason bought the estate. He lived there with his family until 1984, entertaining world leaders such as Egyptian President Anwar Sadatand President Gerald Ford.
Epping Forest Yacht Club
In 1984, Gate Petroleum Company purchased the original 58-acre du Pont estate. The 11⅓ acres occupied by the mansion, gardens and riverfront were restored to their original splendor and transformed into the Epping Forest Yacht Club. Within the gardens and on the stone walls are numerous carved symbols, including acorns, owls, pelicans, frogs and lions, after which the
yacht clublogo is fashioned. The mansion and grounds have evolved from an historic estate into one of the most exquisite yacht clubs in the Southern United States. Award-winning cuisine and service reminiscent of a bygone age help make Epping Forest Yacht Club a notable facility.The remaining property was developed into a gated communityof 90 - $1 million homes and 80+ condominiums under the Epping Forest name.
* [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/FL/Duval/state.html Duval County listings] at [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com National Register of Historic Places]
* [http://www.flheritage.com Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs]
** [http://www.flheritage.com/facts/reports/places/index.cfm?fuseaction=ListAreas&county=duval Duval County listings]
** [http://www.flheritage.com/services/sites/floridians/?section=j#Jacksonville Great Floridians of Jacksonville]
* [http://www.efyc.com Epping Forest Yacht Club]
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