Cabrini College



Woodcrest Estate History


The Cook and the Coachman

Of Woodcrest Estate,

Radnor, PA, 1903


             Julia Larson, the cook, and Edward Joseph Mahoney, one of the coachmen of Woodcrest Estate, met while they were employed by the James W. Paul, Jr. family of Radnor and Philadelphia.  They were married June 4, 1903. 

             Julia left her homeland of Sweden in 1896 at age 19.  She had worked as a cook for a year in Karlstad so that she would have a trade.  Julia came to America on her own, leaving a brother, two sisters and both parents in Sweden.  Her good friend, Wilhelmina Anderson, traveled with her to Philadelphia and accompanied her many times back to Sweden. 

             Edward emigrated from Listowel, Ireland with his widowed mother and brother at the age of nine, arriving at the port of New York at Castle Garden in 1886.  They traveled, then, to Troy, New York to join older brothers who had arrived a few years earlier.  Edward worked a short time as a steelworker in a Troy foundry, leaving for Philadelphia a few years later.

 Coachman Edward J. Mahoney is seated at the viewer's far left.  The surrounding area is the stable and its courtyard of Woodcrest Estate.


As well as stalls for horses, the stable building contained coachmen's and grooms' quarters, other servants' apartments, and a carriage house. the large round towers served as the stable's ventilation shafts.

This original stable was roughly u-shaped and surrounded a courtyard, closed in by a wall on the side toward the mansion.  The wall was removed and in 1989 the courtyard was enclosed to form an atrium.  Now Grace Hall, it houses offices and meeting rooms.

Both views of the stable are of the side facing the mansion.


Informational Sources:

Buzbee, J. (1984, June/July).  Cabrini College - a work of art.  Brandywine, p.9-11

John Milner Associates.  (1995).  Historical documentation of the James W. Paul, Jr. estate

M. Mahoney, grandson of J. Larson and E. Mahoney.  (personal communication, March 21, 1995).

Ostrowski, L. (1974). Cabrini Yesterday.  Loquitur, XX, p.1, 3.

Thomas, G. E. (1983).  Woodcrest Farms.  Commissioned by alumni committee.

William I. Mirkil Co. (1953, April 30).  Report and appraisal of "Woodcrest", Radnor.


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    Last revision:  April 27, 2009

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