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Does Pembroke Jones’s original mansion by Airlie Gardens still exist?

John Peaspanen

Pembroke Jones’ mansion Airlie House (detail pictured here) grew from a 19th-century waterfront inn into a 39-room mansion. Photo courtesy of Susan Taylor Block.

Q. Does the original mansion from Pembroke Jones by Airlie Gardens still exist? I read that the Corbett family move into the home in 1948 after purchasing Airlie Gardens but I cannot find any info on the mansion thereafter.

A.  Neither the original Pembroke Park structure nor the related Airlie mansion still stands.

According to historian Susan Taylor Block, “Airlie, owned by Mrs. Pembroke Jones (Sarah Green Jones), and Pembroke Park, now Landfall, owned by Mr. Jones, both had houses easily called mansions. Both were gone by the mid-fifties. “

Airlie House slowly grew from a pre-1888 waterfront inn to become the eventual 39-room spread.

“The house, along with all of Airlie, was sold by Mrs. Jones’s daughter, Sadie Jones Pope, to the Corbett Package Company in 1948, five years after the death of Sarah Green Jones Walters,” Block said. “Due to the complications of running a 39-room dwelling, the house was razed. The house and associated structures sprawled across what is now known as Spring Garden Road.”

The structure known as “The Bungalow” at Pembroke Park resembled a small Italianate palace, so much so that high-ranking Italian officials paid a visit.

Block said, “Pembroke Jones, Jr., inherited the house with the death of his father in 1919. Young Mr. Jones did not frequent the lodge, preferring to live quietly in Newport, R.I. The opulent building began to deteriorate in the late 1940s and fell victim to arsonists in 1955. The Bungalow occupied several waterfront lots on Great Oaks Drive.”

Susan Taylor Block is author of “Airlie: The Garden of Wilmington.” Proceeds from sales of the book go to Airlie Gardens.


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