Warner Montagnie Van Norden and Grace Talcott

After 159 years in the Jay family, the Jay estate passed into the hands of another individual with strong Dutch roots: financier Warner Montagnie Van Norden. A graduate of Columbia, well familiar with the history and lineage of the Jays, he and his young wife, Grace Talcott, significantly enhanced the Jay Estate buildings and grounds.

The Van Norden and Talcott Families

Warner Montagnie Van Norden, a descendant of one of the oldest Dutch and oldest Huguenot families in New York, together with his wife Grace Talcott, a descendant of one of the Founders of Hartford, purchased the Jay Mansion and surrounding estate in Rye in 1905. Warner and Grace went to great care and expense to restore and preserve the historic Jay structures and gardens; in 1907, they commissioned architect Frank A. Rooke to build 2 additional Classical Revival structures on the Jay property – a Zebra House and a Carriage House – that borrowed stylistically from the elegant architectural features of the Jay house. Ambitious plans to also build a Dutch style village on Hen Island which the Van Nordens owned were never realized.