When Morton Freeman Plant inherited the fortune left by his wealthy father, Henry Bradley Plant, the fun-loving playboy set aside $3 million to build the historic Branford House in Groton, CT. The 31-room mansion had panoramic views of Fisher Island and Long Island Sound and was primarily used as a summer getaway for the younger Plant who eventually became more involved with the community of Groton as his own success as a businessman grew. Originally starting with an inheritance of $22 million, a sum that was won in court as the elder Plant originally bequeathed his fortune to his grandchildren, Morton Plant would expand in railroad, banking and shipping and at the time of his death had an estimated fortune of $50 million.
The Branford House symbolized the expensive tastes of Morton Plant and featured a 2-story fireplace, a winding staircase made from imported marble and paneled walls carved by artisan craftsmen from Italy and Germany. Many believe Plant chose Groton since he did not want to be a part of the social elite that congregated around Newport, Rhode Island yet wanted a mansion that could rival any of the famed houses in Newport. The site was also located at Avery Point and since Plant had a love for the ocean the Branford House afforded amazing water views as well as ample land for gardening and agriculture, two other interest of Plant.
Plant chose to name the mansion after the town he was born in and his wife, Nellie, played a major role in the design of the house after her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. With the help of English architect Robert W. Gibson the ideas of Nellie and Plant became a reality in the form of the classic and elegant Branford Mansion. The exterior of the home was done in traditional Tudor style but the interior features an array of influences including Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Classical styles that included rich mahogany woods, imported stone, onyx metals and sandstone bronze. One room of the house was entirely imported from Cornwall, England and became the mansion music room.
Today The Branford House Mansion can be rented for weddings, private parties, receptions, social gatherings and corporate events. The many unique features of the mansion make it one of the most sought after venues in Connecticut. With elevators to reach every floor in the massive home and meticulously crafted gardens that included arches, grand staircases, checked marble paving, reflecting pools, statues and fountains. Riverhouse Catering has had the honor of catering private events at the Branford House and can attest to the regal splendor and classic elegance the setting provides.
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Our Catering Partners:
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• The New Britain Museum of American Art: New Britain
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