Goodbody Family 1928-1970

In 1928, the Goodbody family moved to Stamford and purchased a Colonial Revival mansion set in about 300 acres which included beautiful land along the Mianus River. In the 1970s,  their land became Fort Stamford Park and part of the Mianus River Park. 

Marcus, Virginia & Robert Goodbody

Marcus Goodbody (1876-1958) was head of the Wall Street trading firm Goodbody & Company. He was born in Dublin and emigrated with his father to Haledon, New Jersey. There, in his late 20s, he met a young widow, Harriet Augusta Hudson Leonard, known as Virginia (1873-1970). Marcus and Virginia were married on October 9, 1902.   Virginia was passionate about gardening and music. They had one child, a son named Robert (1903-1967). Tragically Robert became blind in his 30s. He had been an avid reader but transferred his love to music then. 



The Colonial Revival House

The start of the garden

The Italianate garden,  [now the Goodbody Garden] was started by Virginia in the late 1920s. The layout of the paths  the Italianate balustrade, the stone pillars of the pergola, the sunken garden and the fountain have all been retained much the same as existed during her time. Ginger, a beloved family cat is buried in the garden and her tombstone can be found in the SE corner of the garden.

Robert with the Italian ballustrades behind and the sunken garden in the foreground.


Family Photographs

In the photographs below, Robert  is shown with his mother Virginia to the left.  The family photograph on the right shows Virginia,  her brother William Hudson (right),  his wife Annie (left) and Robert (standing). Virginia and her brother William were orphaned at a young age and were very close.


Most of their land became parks 

goodbody estate map  The family continued to live in the home until 1970, when Virginia, the last surviving member of the family, died at the age of 97. After Virginia’s death, most of the approximately 300 acres of property was preserved as open land for future generations thanks to the foresight of local leadership.

The Mianus River Park

Over 220 acres (75%) of the Goodbody property (shown in pink on the map) was purchased by the City of Stamford  and the Town of Greenwich for the Mianus River Park. This park includes countless pathways and trails, the Mianus River and Hemlock Pool, rock outcroppings and huge trees. The park is much loved and enjoyed year round by walkers, hikers, mountain bike riders, fishermen and many dogs.

Fort Stamford Park

The site of the revolutionary war fort, long sought by the Stamford Historical Society, was purchased by the City of Stamford for Fort Stamford Park in anticipation of the Bicentennial celebrations in 1976. The Stamford Garden Club has been key to the restoration and ongoing maintenance of Virginia Goodbody’s formal garden in the park.

The remainder of the Goodbody property (in yellow on the map),  was used for development of private homes.  In this area, the streets are all named after Revolutionary War leaders.