Archer M. Huntington, Philanthropist

By Nancy Armitage

Archer Milton Worsham Huntington in his 30’s. B. 1870 NYC Orginal photo: Hispanic Society of New York, NYC, NY

To sit next to Archer Huntington at a formal dinner party…..he would have made a fascinating dinner partner, indeed! He had a amazing life, he was homeschooled; he also went to regular school & university, also. As a young child, learning several different languages: English, French, Greek, Spanish, & Arabic. This knowledge of languages, which came in handy in his many travels around the world. The term “Grand Tour”, comes to mind; as a young college graduate of Yale University he was about 19 years old. In the mid-1800’s, this tradition was fashionable, a young man would spend 3-4 months traveling through Europe. Having grand adventures in the most exciting cities in the world, like Rome, Florence, London, Paris, Venice, & Amsterdam. But Archer’s whole life was his exciting “Grand Tour”, from early on (1870’s), traveling with his mother & father & later with his two wives.

Vatican City Rome, Italy at nighttime.

His mother & father (Arabelle & Collis P. Huntington) took him on a yearly trip & sailed to Europe. He was a world traveler, at a young age & his journeys were inspired! He went to Rome, Buenos Aires, Paris, Cuba, London, Spain, England, Liverpool, Dublin in Ireland, Genoa & Florence, Venice, in Italy. But his very favorite cities were Madrid, Spain & Mexico. Spain & Mexico City, so influenced him, he later donated his life building the Hispanic Society Museum in New York City.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France.

He had college degrees from Harvard, Yale, University of Madrid, & Columbia University. In the late 1890’s, he lived in Manchester, & London, England with his first wife, Helen. He was the son of Collis P. Huntington, who was one of the Big 4; in 1869, Collis helped build the Transcontinental Railroad from coast to coast of United States of America. The Huntington Family invited United States Presidents “to dine” with them in their “State Dining Room” in their New York Mansion. The more I think about it, that must have been a hard shadow to grow up with. Maybe, that is why Archer was such a high achiever in his literary & art fields.

Archer’s mother was Mrs. Arabella D. Huntington, a great art collector of Rembrandt, Hals, & Vermeer paintings to name a few. He lived in all of the Huntington mansions with master paintings filling the walls like museums. The Huntington Mansions: on Nob Hill in San Francisco, & in New York: No. 2 East 57th St., 54th St., Huntington huge Estate called “The Homestead” at Throgg’s Neck, in Westchester Co., New York & the “Great Huntington Camp” called “Camp Pine Knot” on Racquette Lake, NY, & Camp Arbutus (15,000 acres) in the Adirondacks Mts., NY & Archer’s own Huntington estate he called “Pleasance” in Pelham Bay, Baychester, by New York City now called “Huntington Woods”.

A Painting of Royal Academy of Arts in London, England; paintings hung “Salon Style” which was in vogue in the Victorian times.

London 1882: 12 yr. old Archer buys a gypsy book

On one of Archer trips to Europe in 1882, a great epiphany happened to him. He must have been in a used or rare book store in London & found this treasure of a book that changed his life. He bought the Book: The Zincali by George Borrows; also called “An Account of the Gypsies in Spain” (London, 1841). This book inspired Archer’s idea to make a Spanish museum.

Gypsy Dancers

When Archer was 19, he was invited to Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City with his parents. His mother & father & he were treated to a formal dinner with the President of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz. He was a coin collector, a bird watcher, lover of exotic and spicy Spanish food, & Spanish lusterware pottery. He had expensive taste for fancy food like oysters, caviar, & champagne.

This is an example of Spanish Lustreware. Archer Huntington collected this kind of plateware & donated his collection to Hispanic Society of New York which he founded.

After he went through a terrible divorce from his 1st wife, Helen Gates Huntington that nearly destroyed him; he attended the fancy Beaux Arts Ball in New York City. When he walked into the Hotel Astor something happened that night at the French-themed costume ball. He was smitten with the girl wearing the ‘Joan of Arc” costume. Archer met his true love, Anna Vaughn Hyatt.

The Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York.

Archer & Anna Hyatt Huntington married on their shared birthdays: March 10th in 1923 at her artist’s studio in NYC. For their honeymoon, they sailed on the “S.S. Turrialba” to Guatemala in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea towards South America.

The Caribbean Sea is quite magical, it really has turquoise waters in many shades.

Anna was a famous American Sculptress. Her New York City sculptures of horses, animals, & nudes are large & spectacular. Her pieces are romantic & are as “life like” as Rodin’s. Archer was a writer, a poet, & the creator of museums & a huge fan of his wife’s talent. They enjoyed & encouraged each other’s creativity. He spent most of his life supporting the arts, serving on committees to get a large art projects done, collecting art & artifacts, & adding family treasures to museums, & building museums across the United States.

The collection of Andrea del Saeto with fancy automobile parked in front; a museum with Titians, Murillo, & Rubens paintings. Can you see the artists names on the side of the building? Archer Huntington would have been in heaven, I wonder if he ever went there? It is now called Musee Jacquemart-Andre, a private museum in Paris. We know he did visit the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Self – Portrait of the painter: Sorolla

Archer Huntington & Sorolla (1908)

Joaquin Sorolla was a great Spanish Impressionist painter. Archer Huntington met Sorolla in England in 1908. In 1909, Huntington invited the painter to exhibit his expressive paintings at his Hispanic Society Museum in New York. Sorolla’s paintings are similar to Sargeant & Zorn, I call them “In the moment” paintings. In 1911, Huntington commissioned Sorolla to paint 14 large murals called “The Provinces of Spain” at Huntington’s Spanish museum, “The Hispanic Society” of New York. Anna Huntington’s dramatic sculptures were all showcased in front of this Spanish Museum.

Beach scene painting by Sorolla

Archer Milton Worsham Huntington (Bio File & Fact sheets)      

Art collector, American philanthropist, Traveler, published author, poet, Book Collector, Scholar, Founder of Hispanic Society of New York, founder of numerous societies & museums: American Numismatic Society, National Academy Museum (his property on 5th Ave.) Founder of Museum of the American Indian NYC, and Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA. 

B. March 10, 1870  BP. New York City, NY

D. Dec. 11, 1955 DP. Bethel Fairfield, Conn.

Archer’s Family Tree:


Arabella “Belle” Duval Yarrington Worsham Huntington Huntington

Archer Huntington’s mother, Arabella “Belle” D. Yarrington Worsham Huntington. Photo credit & Illustration: Nancy Armitage

Father: ?  John Worsham? Common law marriage with B. D. Worsham (Belle Yarrington Worsham), sometimes spelt Belle de Wersion (June 1870 Census); Archer could have been Collis Potter Huntington’s child but Collis never formally adopted Archer M. Huntington.

Collis P. Huntington

Archer M. Huntington’s Family Tree:

Stepfather: Collis Potter Huntington (1821-1900)

Stepfather: Henry Edwards Huntington (1850-1927)

Brothers or Sisters: none (Some could say Clara Huntington (Princess Clara von Hatzfelt) was a half-sister of sorts to Archer because Collis P. Huntington adopted Clara; but Clara Prentice Huntington was actually Collis’ niece. Collis adopted when in Sacramenta, when he own father died.)

1880 US Census: 10 year Archer is a “Scholar”

1880 U.S. Census Record of Belle D. Worsham, New York City, NY Residence: [unclear could Lexington Ave. or 54th St. Mansion NYC.] [Persons living in residence]: 1. Belle D. Worsham, 28 yrs. old “Keeping House” Born: Alabama 2. Arthur [Archer] M. Worsham, 10 yrs old “Scholar” B. NYC 3. Catherine Yarrington [Belle’s mother], 61 yrs old “At-home” Born: Alabama 4. Wm. Skepworth 30 yr. old “Coachman” Born: Virginia. 5. John Hurbert 30 yr. old “Coachman” Born: Ireland, 6. John Cassidy 30 yr. old “Coachman” Born: Ireland 7. Katie Keenan 18 yr. old Servant or maid Born: Ireland 8. Elizabeth Clark 40 yr. old servant [Head cook or housekeeper or both] Born: Scotland Document; US Census Report FHL Film# 1254895 Nara film #TP:0895 p.355B [Arabella “Belle” is actually 30 yrs. old in 1880, she was born in 1850. She was always fibbing about her age. Archer called “a scholar” at 10 years old is quite impressive. Even as a small child, Archer was learned different languages.]

Castillo De Chapultepec in Mexico City, Mexico

Archer mets the President of Mexico : President Porfirio Diaz (1889)

A journal entry of Archer’s diary tells us about his life as a 19 year old. He is traveling to Mexico with his mother & father, Mr. & Mrs. Collis P. Huntington (Collis & Arabella). His dad is the president of Southern Pacific Railroad Co. & he is building the Mexican International Railroad. They are invited to “Castillo de Chapultepec” (Chapultepec Castle) in Mexico City for a formal dinner. A couple things happen on that trip, Collis asks Archer if he will join the family business building ships at Newport News Shipyards & Dry Dock in VA. Archer announces to his parents he doesn’t want to work in his father business & that he wants to open up a Spanish museum. He also had the terrible experience of fainting at the fancy multi-course dinner, due to heat or humidity or both. Book: Spain in America By Edited by Richard L. Kagan; Archer Huntington journal located at the Hispanic Society of New York Museum, NYC, NY

Huntington Family Donations to Museums: (1920-1950’s)

He announced he wanted to make a Spanish museum. The saying “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it”. Archer got his Spanish museum & many others. In my opinion, most of his life was taken up with placing his parent “possessions” into museums, Mariners Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art (paintings from several Huntington Mansions), Museum of Fine Art of San Francisco (Arabella’s portrait, tiara, & laces), Hispanic Society of New York, & University of Texas, even the Library of Congress.

July of 1884 – Arabella “Belle” Duval Worsham married Collis Potter Huntington in her 5-story mansion on 54th Street NYC, NY; at the time of his mother marriage – Archer was 14 years old. Archer Worsham became Archer Huntington but technically Collis never formally adopted Archer.

Archer Huntington ’s Children: “no issue”- (No child) with either wife, Helen Manchester Gates Huntington or Anna Hyatt Huntington; this was a problem in inheriting Collis P. Huntington’s fortune, he had to have “issue” (a child) to inherit the money. In Collis will, Archer Huntington inherited $200.000.00 dollars, if he didn’t have issue.  The New York papers published this information and that amount of money is what he received.

Archer Huntington’s Job & Allowance:

Archer Huntington’s Job: Archer was a writer of 6 or more books, he would have made some money on his books. He did work at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Docks with Collis Huntington, but that was short lived. He told his father that he wanted to build a museum & Collis finally blessed the idea & told him: Go make the best museum you can. After Collis died in 1900, Archer Huntington worked with the president of Newport News Shipbuilding (Homer Ferguson) to create of the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, VA. All the art & artifacts of many ships & Huntington ephemera went into the Mariner’s Museum.

Did Archer get a allowance at times when he didn’t have a regular job. Yes, his mother Arabella gave him a allowance. She also donated some very expensive paintings to his Spanish Museum, like a Velasquez painting (which his so admired). When Collis died, Mrs. Arabella D. Huntington was the richest women in the United States.

Remember Archer owned his own yacht, went sailing as a child, & traveled on numerous ships with his mother, Arabella Huntington & Collis & later both of his wives, too. Boats & ships did interest him alot.

Archer Milton Huntington wives: Married in 1895 & 1923

1st wife:   Helen Manchester Gates Huntington  – Poet, writer, volunteer of many charities. Helen Gates married Archer Milton Huntington in London, England in Aug. 6, 1895; they lived in Manchester, England (& maybe London) for a while. Collis and Arabella Huntington for a wedding gift bought them a beautiful estate called the “Waterbury Estate: in 1896. It was in Pelham Bay by Oyster Bay, in New York, Archer named it “Pleasance”.

Divorced: from Helen Huntington in 1918            

French themed “Pageant of Ancient France” Costumed “Beaux-Arts Ball” New York City 1920. Photo Credit:

The Beaux-Arts Ball (1920’s)

The night Archer & Ana met was at the Beaux-Arts Ball & their love story began. The location of the grand costume ball was Hotel Astor, New York City, New York. It could have been on March 11, 1920, or 1921, or Feb. 16, 1922. Most likely 1920, because the theme for that year’s Beaux-Arts ball was “Ancient France” & Ana was dressed up as Joan of Arc- fitting the theme. The Society of Beaux-Arts Architects put the ball on, costumes were mandatory, I wonder what Archer Huntington costume was?

Ana Vaugh Hyatt dressed as Joan of Arc at the Beaux-Arts Ball

An artist signed F. C. Mitrone drew a elaborate invitation of French Louis XV looking like a elaborate Tiffany & Co menu. The Beaux-Arts Ball 1920 invitation read:

“The Society of Beaux Arts Architects requests the pleasure of your company & of that of your friends at the Ball of the Fine Arts & the Pageant of Ancient France to be given for the benefit of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design on Thursday Evening, March the Eleventh, 1920 – MiCareme at ten o’clock at the Hotel Astor Costumes de Rigueur – Tickets Ten Dollars each, may be obtained at 126 East 75th Street on & after March 1st. They will be void however, unless the holder be in Fancy Costume”

Another invitation for the Beaux Arts Ball, New York at the Hotel Astor in 1924. Archer & Ana Huntington were married by then, they might have attended the ball. Photo Credit:

On a typed-up sheet, labeled “The Beaux Arts Balls” were dates & themes. It was the letterhead of Society of Beaux-Arts Architects on 304 East 44th St. NYC, NY. The Beaux-Arts Ball was usually in January, February, or March always with a interesting theme. In Feb. 16, 1922, the theme was Birth of Venus, Feb. 6, 1924 theme was Carnival de Paris, & Feb. 5, 1925 theme was Cirque d’Hiver. In the mid 1930’s, they switched the location of the ball from Hotel Astor to Waldorf Astoria Hotel. (The Beaux-Arts Ball information)         

The amazing painting “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, tempera on canvas, is located at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Archer would have seen the original while visiting Florence, via Genoa, Italy.

2nd Wife: Ana or Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington – famous American sculptress of figures & animals, especially in NYC.  Born: March 10, 1876 BP: Salem, Essex, MA. Archer & Anna Huntington married in her art studio in NYC where they got married. It was both of their birthdays & the day they got married. Oddly, Arabella Huntington wasn’t in attendance. Arabella was “In-Residence” at the San Marino Ranch with her husband, Henry E. Huntington.

Archer Huntington sent his mother Arabella Huntington a short telegram on the day of his marriage, March 10, 1923: “Mother, married today to Ana Hyatt, sculptress. Hope to see you later. Will Tel. address in few days. Much love, Archer”

Sat. March 10, 1923 the day of Archer & Ana wedding it was also both Ana & Archer birthdays. Shortly after they got married in New York, they boarded a yacht/ship “S.S. Turrialba” sailing to Guatemala & the Caribbean Sea for their Honeymoon.

Anna Hyatt Huntington’s sculpture outside the Boone Gallery at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA Photo Credit: Nancy Armitage

Anna Huntington Sculptress/creator: Statue of Cuban Liberator Jose Marti (located at Avenue of the Americas entrance to Central Park (one of several of her works that adorn the City [NYC] landscape) & numerous sculptures she made line the streets of New York. In the 1920’s, Archer & Anna bought 1000’s of acres property in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina. This property was a love letter to the arts, outside with a sculpture garden & beautiful flowers. They built their romantic moorish “Atalaya Castle” in South Carolina, this interesting seaside castle was large & one-story with many servants.

Some many libraries & so little time, Archer Huntington visited libraries, often.

Vice President of Pan American Society of the US (1916)

A banquet dinner was celebrated on Wednesday, January 12, 1916 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City by the Pan American Society. This was probably a celebration dinner that the Panama Canal was built in 1915. A cause the entire Huntington family from Collis Huntington to Archer supported it financially. The Board of Directors are Pres.: Henry White, Honorary Pres. : Robert Lansing (Secretary of State of the US), Honorary V-P: Andrew Carnegie, Archer Huntington & others. Dinner Menu is as follows:

Cocktail: Grapefruit Marashino,

[Soup Course:] Chicken Gumbo Printaniere served with relish dish of Radishes, Olives, Celery & Salted Almonds

[Fish Course] Filet of Sea Bass, Lobster Sauce served wtih Potatoes a la Hollandaise

Fresh Mushrooms under glass, Eugenie

[Entree Course] Breast of Chicken stuffed, Deviled Sauce

[Salad Course served French style after Entree] Hearts of Lettuce, Russian Dressing

[Dessert Courses]: Bombe Glacee, Venitienne

Assorted Cakes


Cocktails, Krug Private Cuvee [Champagne], White Rock, Chateau Dillon Dry, Cigarettes, & Cigars

(Ladies & invited Guests occupied the balcony boxes)


Marche Espagnole…Viva el Torero Selection…Only Girl

Intermezzo… Shadowland Spanish Ballet music…Selection…. Blue Paradise

Cornet Solo…. I hear you calling me and La Paloma

Intermezzo … Pan-Americana Selection….. Carmen

Medley… Popular Airs Selection…Spanish Arts

Grand American Fantasie from Herbert

Book: Report of the Secretary General for the 2nd Pan American Scientific Congress by Barrett & Swiggett (1917)

Southern Chicken Gumbo with Shrimp & Okra Recipe (New Orleans Style)

2 lb. chicken

2 qt. water

1 c. chicken stock or fish stock

1-2 lb. fresh jumbo shrimp (in a fry pan, saute in butter & oil until red, remove from heat, set aside)

1 lb. okra ( in a small pot, add 1/2 c. water to cook okra, simmer 8-9 mins and set aside, last minute, add to gumbo)

Brown Roux (to make a thick stew) 1/2 c. butter with 1/2 c. flour

Saute 1 c. onions, chopped,1/2 c. celery, chopped, 1-2 c. red & green bell pepper & garlic


2 c. tomatoes

1 lb. Andouille sausage

1 t. thyme, 1 t. basil, 1 bay leaf, 1 t. cayenne pepper, 1/2 t. black pepper & pinch kosher salt

1 T. Creole Gumbo file powder seasoning (dried sassafras leaves)

In a large stock pot, add chicken, water & stock. Once the chicken is cooked 20-25 mins, remove & cut up (add back to pot as the end of cooking). Make a roux with butter & flour. Saute onion, bell pepper, celery & garlic. Add to stockpot with tomatoes & sausage. Add herbs & simmer. Add cooked chicken. Add cooked shrimp & okra. Cook the shrimp until bright red. Turn off stockpot & add file seasoning at last second. To serve the gumbo over a bed of steamed white rice, garnish with thyme & scallions.

Archer Huntington’s Social Circle (1920):

I read a very interesting article called “Archer Huntington Divorce” by Margaret A. Brucia. It illustrated through letters, a nice social circle of Archer’s; being entertained with some very interesting people. The Socialite: Julia Gardiner Gayley had written two interesting letters to her daughter, Mary. Julia was hosting 2 “Lunch parties”, one was on March 10, 1920. Did they know it was Archer’s birthday?? “Friday, I have both men & women as follows: Besides G[ano Silick Dunn] & myself there will be Mr. & Mrs. Billy Delano-both charming, Mr. & Mrs. Walter Maynard, Mr. & Mrs. Murray Young, Mr. & Mrs. Walter Rosen an English painter, Mr. McEvoy coming with Rosens (she was one of the Bigelows) Mrs. Lucy Hewitt, Lucy [Frelinghuysen], Edith Morgan, Frances Rumsey, Louise Sands, Paul Dana, Larry White, Archer Huntington, the man who gave all the Spanish Museum, church, etc. to New York & whose wife ran away last year with the play writer Granville Baker. So everyone is trying to give him a nice time. I may add Frances Blodgett & Lord Carrington who she has in her train. Horne [her butler?] is attending to the luncheon for me with 2 extra men.” So she gave a lovely Luncheon for 19 guests, possibly 21 people coming to her party. Document: Article “Archer Huntington’s Divorce” by Margaret A. Brucia on September 19, 2017 Art & Culture for The Gotham Center for New York City History. [James Gayley was the Vice-President US Steel Corporation.

When you are a member of numerous clubs like Archer Huntington in the 1920’s; you attend alot of these Club Luncheons.

Archer M. Huntington’s Clubs: 

Fencers Club, 

New York Yacht Club, NYC, 

New York Athletic Club, 

Automobile Club of America, 

Columbia University Alumni

Groliers Book Club,

Hobby Club (member with Henry E. Huntington) 

Players Club, 

National Arts Club, 

Authors Club, 

American Academy of Arts (created in 1904; Archer donated his land Audubon Terrace to the Academy) 

American Numismatic Society

City Club, 

Colony Club, 

Yale ‘97 Alumni (1897), 

Harvard Alumni

Hispanic Society of America, 

Metropolitan Museum of Art (great donations of art), 

Pan-Pacific Committee

Taft –Panama Canal, 

St. Nicholas Society of NYC,  

Document: Social Register 1909, NYC, also Metro Museum of Art, website of donations of ancient Hispanic plates, paintings, etc., Archer served on the board & luncheon fundraisers for Panama Canal- Pan Society; Hobby Club papers of Henry E. Huntington

Archer Huntington did enjoy tea as much as his mother, Arabella Huntington. They often would have tea & chat together to catch up with each others lives. The (Above) cookies are lovely spicy speculaas cookies, from Holland & France. Celebrating St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th), with candy & chocolate & good deeds to others. Archer Huntington received an award from the St. Nicholas Society of New York for his grand generosity.

Book: To my mother by Archer M. Huntington (1925):

Archer’s mother Arabella Huntington died in 1924. Archer was moved to write a book after she died. Here are some of the dramatic passages from the book.


“Nobly your love supreme hath ever brought me, Truly essential, never yet within the darkness drowned. You raised my heart’s endeavor, your living words have taught me, Yourself a sunlit world to me through wider heavens bound”


“So to the end the fragile form advances, There, upon those lips of stone to pour at least a prayer. She feed & peaceful leith, beyond the door of chances, And like the song of moving wings, God’s message reached her there.”

Document: Book: “To my mother” by Archer M. Huntington Poetry book #H: 250610 1925 Book donated: by Max Farrand Nov. 1943 Huntington Library San Marino CA [There is a possibility that Archer & Ana Huntington came to Arabella Huntington final funeral. It was at Henry E. Huntington’s San Marino Ranch in Southern California where she was buried. There are photographs of Archer & Anna at the San Marino Ranch in 1924 at the Huntington Library Archives. Maybe Archer read a passage of his poetry at his mother’s funeral.

Archer M. Huntington’s Awards:

Alfonso Knight of President of Spain

St. Nicholas Society Award (1930’s)

Orden Del Liberatador of Venezuela (1916)

Made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France (1927)

City of New York Medal of Merit of the Saint Nicholas Society (1939)

Gari Melchers Gold Medal from Artist Fellowship, Incorporated (1950)

American Academy of Arts (1920’s)

Archer Huntington was a Member of the American Academy of Arts. It was founded 1790 and the headquarters for the club was in Cambridge Mass. They had an impressive roster of creative talent in music, art, & books. Many members were scholars that graduated from Harvard & Yale University. Here are some of the members that have a connection to 1920’s NYC or a direct connect with the Huntington Family: Edwin Howland Blashfield, Wm. & John Burroughs, Wm. Merritt Chase, Duke Ellington, Chas. Dana Gibson, Rob. Grant, Childe Hassam, Henry James, Louis I. Kahn, Otto Hahn, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Lucian Michael Freud, Frederick Wm. MacMonnies, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Georgia O’Keeffe, Chas. Adams Platt, Ezra Pound, Elihu Root, Theodore Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, Elihu Vedder, Edith Wharton, Wm, Carlos Williams, Woodrow Wilson, Frank Lloyd Wright, their meeting must have been fascinating so much greatness in one room.

Archer Huntington’s Yacht: “The Rocinante” docked at “Pleasance” Archer Huntington’s Mansion at Baychester, New York or Arabella & Collis Huntington’s “Homestead” country estate at Throgg’s Neck in Westchester County, NY or New York Yacht Club (which he was a member) Newport, Rhode Island. 

The Archer Huntington mansion looks very Gothic Victorian in style. Original photograph is located at the Hispanic Society of New York City , NY

Archer M. Huntington’s Mansion “Pleasance” & the Archer Huntington Estate, NYC : (41 acres) “Plaisance” in French for a “source of pleasure”.

1st  Archer M.Huntington Mansion with Archer & 1st wife, Helen Gates Huntington was named “Pleasance”. Archer M. Huntington Country Estate, Pelham Bay, Eastchester Bay, New York (called “the Waterbury Estate” or “Pelham Bay Park” or “Huntington Woods”, NY) In 1890’s, Collis Huntington bought this estate for Archer & Helen Huntington (his 1st wife). 

Archer Huntington’s Mansion: started as a 27.5 acre estate & his property grew to a 41 acres section of Pelham Bay Park, Baychester, New York named for its last landowner-Waterbury. Archer Milton Huntington, who purchased property in 1896 [Collis Huntington actually did & gifted it to his son], …it southern landscape a popular spot for picnicking, fishing, swimming, & field games. Document:

“Pleasance” Baychester, NY (called Pelham Bay Park) this property was considered their country residence. Also, called “Huntington Woods,” It included a main mansion, watchman’s house, garage/engineers’s house, & a gymnasium. Document:

In eastern Bronx on Long Island Sound, New York. In 1897, Collis gifted this house to Archer. A large mansion with 4- story mansion with 2 wings, & a center steeple (4 story), a large valuable library with art hanging on the walls, rare books & manuscripts (the beginnings of the Hispanic Museum in NYC),

“the previous landowner, Lawrence Waterbury [Waterbury Estate], had acquired a 27.5 acre tract overlooking Eastchester Bay in 1863. Waterbury, a trustee of St. Peters church in Westchester Square, named his estate “Plaisance”, (an old French word meaning “a source of pleasure”). A well-known horseman, Waterbury owned a number of trotting horses, which he buried in a small cemetery along with his favorite dogs. When Huntington [Collis P. Huntington gave it to Archer & Helen Huntington as a wedding gift] acquired the property, he renamed the estate, “Pleasance & buried several of his pets at the cemetery. Several headstones remain today.” …The estate was sold in 1924… the city acquired the property, the mansion had been demolished. The cemetery remained along with a small cottage situated on a curved beach facing Eastchester Bay. [Cottage] was previously used as a bathing & boating house by the [Archer] Huntingtons, for a time it was used by the Girl Scouts. Visitors to the area observed numerous oyster and clam shell piles, evidence of the Native American occupation…local Native Americans, known as siwanoys, frequented the inlets and shores of the area. Document: Document: 1919 Archer M. Huntington 1919 Social Register NYC  Archers Huntington residence “Pleasance” in Baychester NY was still listed. Document:

Archer M. Huntington Mansion & Estate “Pleasance” & Servant Staff, NYC, NY (US Census 1920)

(It sounds like there was 3 houses & a cottage by the shore on the Huntington estate but the people still work for Archer Huntington. Archer had a staff of 13 people & his gentlemen’s valet would always travel with Archer on his European Cruises.

Huntington, Archer : Head of Household: age 49 Born: NYC, states his mother was born in Alabama [Arabella Yarrington Worsham Huntington].

Lewis, William -Asst. age 50 Born England, Occ. [Head “Butler”]

Campbell, Malissa -Asst. female, age 48, Born: England, Occ.. “Maid”

McConnel, James – Asst. male, age 27 Born: Ireland, Occ. “Waiter” [Footman]

Anderson, Isabela -Asst. female, age 30 Born: Scotland, Occ. “Launderess”

Bellamy, Martha- Asst. Female, Age 40 Born: England, Occ.: [Head] “Housekeeper”

Gordon, Isabele – Asst. Female, Age 55 Born: Canada, Occ. Head “Cook”

Yesley, Hydia- Asst. female age 35 Born: BOH (Bohemia), occ.: “Maid”

Hannon, Margaret -Asst. Female Age 40 Born: Ireland, Occ. “Maid”

[2nd House or Garage with house attached]

Beaton Donald -Head of Household male 35 yrs Born: Scotland occ. “Chaffeur”

Beaton, Selma- wife & mother, female age 37 Born: Swedish Occ:. “none”

Beaton, Mildred-daughter, female, 6 year old Born: NY

Willis Charles -Roomer Male, 51 years old Born in Ireland “Chaffeur”

Smith, Patrick – Asst. Male, age 32 years old Born:Ireland occ. “Butler”

[3rd House on the Huntington Estate]

Hempton, Thomas “Head of Household” Male Age 55 yr old, Born: Ireland, Occupation: “Gardener”

Hempton, Anna wife & mother , female 46 years old Born in Scotland occ. “None”

Hempton, Arthur, son, male 14 year old twin Born in NY

Hempton, Thomas, Son, male 14 year old twin, Born in NY

Document: 1920 Census [Archer Huntington] Huntington Estate, New York City (Bronx Borough) Bronx Co., NY page 259-259B Extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen, online at

Other Properties & Mansion & Estates owned by Archer Huntington:

1083 5th Ave. NYC, NY (3 or 4 story “townhouse” in NYC)  (National Academy Museum)

15 West 81st St. NYC, NY Document: HEH Coll. HEH 458 Huntington Library San Marino, CA (Letter to H. E. Huntington from A M Huntington top of the stationary read “15 West Eighty First Street” in 1921) 

Atayala Castle, South Carolina (Moorish style 1-story castle with a center tower on the beach with many servants & many rooms. Archer & Ana (the sculptress) Huntington his second wife enjoyed time there. Location closed to Brookgreen Gardens.

Brookgreen Gardens South Carolina, with gardens & large sculpture garden created by Anna Huntington & other artists 

Books written by Archer Huntington:

A note-book in Northern Spain by Archer Huntington (1898)

The Poem of the Cid by Archer Huntington (3 volumnes, 1897-1903)

Lace Maker of Segovia (1928) by Archer Huntington

A Flight of Birds (1938) by Archer Huntington

Collected Verse (1953) by Archer Huntington

Document: Texan State Historical Association; Article: Archer Milton Huntington by Laurie E. Jasinski

The Huntington’s Thanksgiving: For the Collis & Arabella Huntington family, this American holiday was always celebrated at Archer M. Huntington’s house. After he got married to his first wife, Helen Gates Huntington in the 1890’s. We know that he loved oysters, caviar, & champagne. For his love of Spain, “Spanish Canapes” were popular at the time. Arabella Huntington influence: Turkey with Oyster Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, & Giblet Gravy, with Southern Sweet Potato Pie, or Pecan Pie or Southern Pecan Tassies Tartlets. He liked Spanish food like Paella, & Southern Shrimp Gumbo. He had a Southern sensibility like his mother, Arabella. For the last 3 decades of his life, he spent much of his time in South Carolina with his 2nd wife, Anna (Hyatt) Huntington. In 1931, they built at their moorish style home, called “Atalaya Castle”, just south of Myrtle Beach & Murrells Inlet. The one story castle held 30 rooms had a square tower and ocean view. The 40ft. towner held a 3,000 gallon water tank. It also held, Annas sculpture studio raising to 25 ft. high with skylight and opened up to the large central courtyard.

Generous Donations & Charities: 

Atalaya Castle was Archer & Ana Huntington’s large 30 room residence & sculpture studio in South Carolina just south of Myrtle Beach. During World War II, Archer & Ana Huntington vacated the Castle from 1942-1946, The Huntingtons allowed the Army Air Corps use it during that time.

Hispanic Society of New York City, (located at the Audubon Terrace in Upper Manhattan at 613 W. 155th St NYC, NY) opened in 1904): 40,000 Books, Spanish art painting donated by him & his mother by Velasquez was the beginning of the enormous painting collection. 

American Numismatic Society, NYC every kind of coin 

American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC  (100’s of letters)

Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina (1930) Archer and Ana Huntington property south of Myrtle Beach.

Mariners Museum & Park 100 Museum Dr. Newport News, VA 23606 (Archer Huntington with the help of Newport News Shipyard & Drydock co. President: Homer Ferguson helped make the museum in 1930. He donated 800 acres of land with a research library, & ephemera, plateware of ships and 35, 000 maritime artifacts.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC): 100’s of master oil paintings were donate to this museum from Collis & Arabella Huntington’s No. 2 East 57th Street NYC Mansion. In the name of Collis P. Huntington, actually donated by Archer M. Huntington.

San Francisco Museums of Fine Arts, DeYoung SF, CA: his mother Mrs. Collis P. Huntington’s (Arabella) portrait by French artist: Alexandre Cabanel. Also numerous paintings & his mother’s turtle combs, laces, a set of gold Sevres knives (Blue & white enamel) with pink roses & birds.

Yale University Murals gift of Archer M. Huntington in 1926; the murals actually came from his parents Arabella Huntington & Collis Huntington’s Mansion on No. 2 E. 57th Street NYC. These half moon shape murals were commissioned in 1892. These paintings of master American painters were from Elihu Vedder, Edwin Howland Blashfield, & Harry Siddons Mowbray. Like “Cupid with Bow & Arrows “The Archer” by Blashfield; Mowbray focused on the nine muses. Also great Louis XV Furniture was donated.

National Sculpture Society (1928) Exhibition in San Francisco, CA

Syracuse University (1932) with Collis P. Huntington & Arabella D. Huntington Private Papers plus Archer & Ana Huntington papers, too. Information, documents & ephemera about the Huntington Mansion, one at Throggs Neck they called “The Homestead” Huntington estate in Westchester Co. NYC. Syracuse has the blueprint & invoices for that estate.

Wild Life Forest Station (Adirondacks) the Archer & Ana Huntington Forest wrote a small books about birds & donated 15,000 acres up in the Adirondack Mt. NYC to Syracuse University.

The Mariners Museums in Newport News, Virginia, 1000’s Huntington Family Artifacts of numerous nautical ships, plateware of ships & of ship plates of Mrs. Arabella Huntington from her Throgg’s Neck home & residence called “The Homestead” of 800 acres in Westchester Co., NY. 

Harvard University 

University of Texas Museum Austin Texas (paintings & artwork) Document: TSHA online (a digital gateway to Texas history) 

The Huntingtons sailed on many grand ships to & from Europe. They would leave the US in May or June & sail back in October just in time for the holidays. The Huntington’s company, Newport New Shipbuilding & Dry Docks, built great big ships for the cruise lines & the Navy.

Archer Huntington’s Ship Records:  

1882 Ship: ? Trip to London, England & Europe (Information: Hispanic Society NYC, probably Archer’s Diary; information in Book: The Art of Wealth by Bennett)   

“RMS Brittanic” (Cunard] Wed. May 18, 1887 Collis P. Huntington, Mrs. Collis P. Huntington [Arabella], Archer (17 years old) & Carrie Huntington Friday, May 20, 1887 ship started to sink, Sat. May 21, 1887 Huntington said our goodbyes to Brittanic, “RMS Celtic” & “RMS Margango” picked passengers up!! Document: Document: HEH Coll. MS 1210 (Carrie Huntington Diary) located at the Huntington Library San Marino, CA

“RMS Auranic” (Cunard) June 4-11, 1887 From New York City to Liverpool CPH, ADH, AMH (Archer), & Miss Carrie Huntington, Miss Clara Huntington, and Maid, CPH’s sec. & CPH valet, ADH’s maid, Mrs. Huntington’s secy. Carrie Campbell. Document: HEH Coll. HEH Box 198-199 at [Huntington family papers] H. E. Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Oct. 30, 1889 “RMS Teutonic” (Cunard) to sail from England to NYC. Document: Arabella D. Huntington writes a letter to Carrie Huntington 1889 from Brown’s Hotel. Document: HEH Coll HEH Correspondence Oct. 30, 1889 Original: Huntington Library San Marino, CA

1890’s  “RMS Aurania” (Cunard) Collis Huntington with his 2nd wife Arabella, Archer, Clara, Carrie & others with the Huntington entourage of valets, maids, social secretaries. Document: HEH Coll HEH Box 198- 200 [Huntington family papers] Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

1892 Ship ? Trip abroad to Europe, Archer went to Madrid, Spain & saw a Velasquez painting (Probably at the “Museo Nacional Del Prado” (National Prado Museum) for the very 1st time. He was so excited. Information in Book: Art of Wealth by Bennett P. 135

Archer traveled to England many times, he also lived there with his 1st wife Helen in Manchester, and in London, England.

June 8, 1893 :”RMS Majestic” A. Huntington USC 37 yrs. Female Port of departure: from Liverpool & Queenstown. Last Place of Residence; Ldn (London) This could be Mrs. Archer Huntington (1st wife Helen) & /or Archer.

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris along the romantic Seine River.

Feb. 3, 1894 “RMS Normandic” (Cunard) From NYC to France; Passengers: Uncle Collis Huntington, Belle (Arabella Huntington), Clara Huntington (later von Hatzfeldt), Carrie Campbell (ADH’s social secretary), Carrie Huntington & E. Burke Holladay Document: HEH Coll. MS 1210 (Journal of niece Carrie Huntington of Collis Huntington) [Where’s Archer Huntington? does he live in London or Manchester or stayed in NYC at the time?]

St. Mark’s Square, on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy. It changes your life forever when you visit there!! It is so very romantic and breathtaking.

May 22, 1894 date of arrival “S. S. Kaiser Wilhelm II” Port of Depart: Genoa, Liguria, Italy; Port of Arrival NYC May 22, 1894 C. P. Huntington, H. Huntington, E. S. Huntington, & Mrs. E. S. Huntington Document: Worsham website [I can’t quite figure out these passengers, HEH never traveled abroad with CPH; HEH was always at Southern Pacific Co. in New York City or San Francisco, when CPH was on a trip. Arabella D.Huntington also traveled with her husband, Collis Huntington often; she was always identified as Mrs. Collis P. Huntington or Mrs. C. P. Huntington but the family would sometimes travel incognito to avoid the press]

Aug. 13, 1894  “S S La Champagne”  Mr. & Mrs. Archer Huntington  (Helen, his 1st wife) Archer age 24 yrs. old

1895 Ship ?_________Archer M. Huntington sailing aboard a ship to London; to marry his 1st wife Helen Gates in London.

Aug. 14, 1895 “RMS Majestic” (Cunard ship made in 1890) Port of Departure: Liverpool & Queenstown to NYC Passengers: 1. C. P. Huntington age 54 married male US Citizen, 2. Mrs. Huntington [Arabella] Age 49 yr. female, 3. Emily A. Ford , 4. Julie I Day, 5. Geo W. Young 29 yr old valet, 6. Maud Campbell, 19 F. & 7. Jno E. Forbes 49 male lawyer. Document: NY Passenger List Arrivals Ellis Island NYC (Huntington Family is sailing home to America from Archer & Helen Huntington London Wedding on Aug 6, 1895; they are on their honeymoon)

April 22, 1896 “S. S. Fulda”

April 27, 1896 “S.S. La Bretagne”  Mr. & Mrs. Archer Huntington (Helen) Document: Ellis Island records

May 16, 1896 “S. S. St. Paul” Mrs. C. W. Huntington Document: HEH Coll. Eph E39-31 (HEH Menu ephemera ADH at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Maerz 25, 1900 “SS D. Friedrich der Grosse” A German ship Bremen Norddeutscher Lloyd ship Arabella & Collis Huntington Document: HEH Coll. Eph E40-78 (Huntington Menu Collection ) [I am not sure if Archer Huntington & wife are traveling with her or not.]

April 6, 1900 “SS Friedrich der Grosse” Mr. & Mrs. C. P. Huntington Document: HEH Coll. Eph E40-80 (Huntington Menu Collection ) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

April 12, 1901 London.” The American line steamer, “S S St. Louis” which is to sail from Southhampton [England] to-morrow for New York by way of Cherbourg [France] will have among her passengers the Princess von Hatzfeldt, adopted daughter of the late C.P. Huntington & Mrs. C.P. Huntington”. [often, Archer & his 1st wife traveled abroad with Arabella] Document: NY Herald newspaper -1901

abt. Feb. 28, 1902 “RMS Oceanic” Cunard ship, Mrs. Collis P. Huntington traveling with her son, Archer, & his 1st wife, Helen Huntington. Ship from Europe to NYC, Arabella was taxed $31,800.00 on $75,000.00 purchases of linens, silk & wool, jewelry, & precious stones she bought in London & Paris. Document: the Kansas City Medical Index Lancet Vol. 23, Oct. 1902 & Los Angeles Herald No. 150 Feb. 28, 1902

Christmas in Paris, 1903 : The Huntingtons traveling home to America January 13, 1904 on the “SS Kaiser Wilhelm II” (Under Archer Huntington name), Port of Departure: Cherbourg, France to Port of New York January 20, 1904. 1. Mrs. C. P. Huntington [Arabella], Last place of residence Paris 2. Miss [Caroline M] Campbell [Arabella’s Social Secretary, 3. Mr. Archer M. Huntington 4. Mrs. Archer M. Huntington [Helen] 5. Domingez Marking 27, valet, male singer [Spanish] 6. Angus McGilvary 30, valet, male single [Scottish butler for ADH] 7. Jane Reifer, 24, maid to Mrs. C. P. Huntington, female, single [German] 8. Suzanne Gilsmere 27, single female maid to Mrs. Archer Huntington [Swiss] Document: Nancy Note: this document proves that Archer & Helen Huntington with his mother Arabella celebrated Christmas in Paris and New Year’s Eve in 1903. They most likely stayed at the Paris Ritz, a favorite of Arabella in summers of 1900,1901, & 1902 we know she stayed there.

June 20, 1904 “S. S. Kaiser Wilhelm”

August 9, 1904 “SS Kaiser Wilhelm” From NYC to France Arabella Huntington ( maybe Archer & his wife). Document: HEH Coll. MS 53/2 (1-2) uncat (Burke Holladay Family papers) at Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Oct. 12, 1904 “RMS Oceanic” (Cunard ship) Mrs. C. P. Huntington [Arabella] & Miss Reifer, maid, depart from Liverpool, England To New York Harbor Document: Worsham website/Ellis Island Archer could be traveling with his mother; coming home for the holidays in NYC.

Sept. 19, 1906 “SS Carmania” Date of Arrival, Port of New York Passenger #25 Huntington no age #Passenger 26 Jonathan? Port of Departure: Liverpool, England on Sept. 11, 1906

Nov. 13, 1906 “SS Kaiser Wilhelm” Date of Arrival; Ship From Cherbourg, France to NYC A. Huntington 30 yrs. old female married (US Citizen) Passenger #4 Maid to Mrs. Huntington part of page missing. Port of Departure: Cherbourg, France Nov. 7, 1906 Document: Nancy Note: this could be Mrs. Archer Huntington (Helen) or Arabella Huntington


Nov. 18, 1906 “SS Prinzess Irene” from Genoa, Italy to NYC, Date of arrival, Huntington Female Passenger #29 & Maid to Mrs. Huntington Date of Departure: Nov. 9, 1906 from Genoa, Italy (could be Archer 1st wife Helen or Arabella Huntington or both. Document: Ellis Is. records

July 9, 1908 “RMS. Cedric” (Cunard) White Star Ship Document: HEH Coll. HEH Eph E. 40-215 (Huntington Menu Ephemera Collection) sailed to England.

1912 “SS. George Washington” ship (about a year before ADH & HEH took the Geo. Washington ship in Oct. 27, 1913, Archer had sailed on it)

1923 After March 10, 1923, Archer & Ana Huntington sailed on a yacht “SS Turrialba on their honeymoon to Guatemala through the Caribbean sea. Document: Ellis Island

Archer & Ana Huntington were very adventurous together & sailed on a yacht/ship to Guatemala after getting married.

“RMS Cedric” ship menu, July 9, 1908 White Star ship ‘Luncheon Menu [with English food]: Cold Consomme [Jellied], Veal Broth, Curried Chicken & Rice, Roast Beef, Spaghetti Italienne, Yorkshire Rarebits, Grilled Mutton, Potted Herrings, Sardines, Langue de Boeuf a la Benoist, Cumberland & Virginia Ham, Saddle of Mutton, Roast Beef, Brawn & Roast Duckling, Lettuce Mayonnaise & French Dressing, Vermicelli Pudding, Black Currant Tart, Eccles Cakes, Ice Cream, Cheeses: [English] Cheshire, Gorgonzola, Stilton, American, Camembert, St. Ivel.” Document: HEH Coll. HEH Eph E40-215 (Huntington Menu Ephemera Collection) at the Henry E. Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Document: HEH Coll. 1207 Carrie Huntington’s journal “SS Brittanic” (Cunard ship)at Huntington Library San Marino; TSHA online; (family tree dates); (January 13, 1904 Kaiser Wilhelm ship); (The Beaux-Arts Ball information); HEH Coll. HEH 53/2 (1-2) uncat (Burke Holladays Journals- Holladay Family Papers – “SS Brittanic” May 18, 1887, sinking & “SS Celtic” & “S.S.Marengo” pick them up); Worsham website/Ellis Island “Kronprinzessin Cecile” Oct. 9, 1907),”S.S. Turrialba” to Guatemala Ellis Island Records Document,  Book: Spain in America By Edited by Richard L. Kagan; Archer Huntington’s journal located at the Hispanic Society of New York Museum, NYC, NY 

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