About the Inn
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 along with 200 acres 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 cotton 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 Road. 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 by 14 inches high and spans the 30 foot width of the barn. The two story 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 Adriances from Long Island. They settled in the town presently named Stormville after the family. Her eight 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 United States 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, William and Florence Beausoleil purchased the Bykenhulle House, with the horse barn, a poultry house, a carriage house and six acres of property. The Beausoleils’ moved from Poughkeepsie taking up residence in Bykenhulle with their six children. William Beausoleil was an IBM Fellow and prolific technology inventor while Florence concentrated on family life and developing the beautiful formal gardens on the property. During this time, the family put in a large vegetable garden, dabbled in raising Arabian horses on the property, and Bykenhulle became the backdrop for neighborhood block parties and many family celebrations.
In 1991, Bykenhulle celebrated its 150-year anniversary and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. During this time, as the children moved out to start their own lives, the House formally opened as Bykenhulle House Bed and Breakfast. Bill and Florence added a beautiful sunroom, ballroom and patios to entertain guests. These graceful additions now serve as an elegant venue for weddings, showers, birthday parties and special events.
In 2016, the Bykenhulle House celebrated 175 years in Dutchess County!