History of the Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast
The Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast is a 15 room Greek Revival style manor house. It was built in the early 19th century in the town of East Fishkill by Peter Adriance, a prominent silversmith. Peter was the grandson of Isaac Adriance, who emigrated from Holland and purchased the first Adriance land grant in Dutchess County from Madam Brett in 1743.
When the house was completed in 1841, it was given as a wedding present to Adriance's daughter, Mary Ann and her new husband, James Wilkinson. Its eight fireplaces, twin chandelier living rooms, and silk wall-covered dining room provided elegance for the new bride and groom. The house is similar in design to Peter Adriance's own manor, which was built in 1830 and is located on Beekman Rd. Originally, both houses were located on the same estate, before the 400-acre farm was subdivided into multiple plots of land.
The barn was built in English design with large pegged oak beams, one swing beam of which is over 18 inches wide and spans the width of the barn. The carriage house located on the property, is also an original structure.
In 1853, Ivy Hall, as it was originally called, was deeded to Catherine Adriance's niece, Charlotte Storm Genung. The family Storm moved to the Hudson Valley along with the Adriance's from Long Island. They settled in the town presently named Stormville after the family. Her sons farmed the property until 1907.
In 1909, Webster Wagner, whose grandfather co-invented the Pullman sleeping car, purchased the property. Wagner used the property as a vacation home, where he frequently entertained guests to hunting pheasants and fishing in the Fishkill Creek that originally ran through the property. He remained here until 1929 when he sold it to Florence and John Bicknell.
John Bicknell was the vice president, and later the chairman of the board of the U.S Rubber Company. Around the time he acquired ownership of the estate; rural electricity was being made available in the area. Bicknell renovated the house with electricity, and restored the property with up-to-date modifications of the time. He renamed the property "Bykenhulle" which is the original spelling for Bicknell. The Anglo Saxon name “Bykenhulle” dates back to 1004 meaning “Beacon Hill”. Beacon Hill guarded the manor of Bykenhulle in Somersetshire, England in the 11th century. Though Beacon Hill would be a lot easier to pronounce today, the owners have kept with Bykenhulle to preserve the history!
In 1963 the house, barn and carriage house were split away from the rest of the property and sold to Robert and Dorothy Hier.
In 1972, the Bykenhulle House, a six acre property, was acquired by William and Florence Beausoleil, who at the time lived there along with their six children. As the story goes, William locked all six of them into their own room until they each had established their own career.
In 1991, Bykenhulle celebrated its 150 year anniversary and was listed in the National Registry of Historic places; it also formally opened as Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast.