The name sunnybrae derives from the Scottish word meaning sunny slope. The mansion was built by Edward “Monk” Davis in 1937 and fashioned to demonstrate to the “Southerners” in Kent and Sussex County how the “Northerners” in New Castle lived. Monk, who was a close friend and lobbyist of the DuPont family, turned the property into a destination where large groups of guests could be entertained. The building itself was built by Captain Johnson; the same individual who built the Milford hospital and Densply Chaulk.
In 2002 Lynn and Karen McColley purchased the property and created a business that would ensure that the heritage of the mansion was enjoyed by the community and others who take advantage of its elegance. While taking over the 68 acres, the McColley family made sure the restoration of the home reflected the intentions of the original owner. The goal was to “take it back to what Monk [Edward Davis] intended it to be; which we believe was an affluent home used for entertaining,” Karen McColley stated.
Sunnybrae Mansion is now used as a venue for formal and casual events such as weddings, birthdays, business meetings and fundraisers. The Georgian Revival style home holds 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, and a living and dining room. It was also built with a telephone booth, wine cellar, and a walk-in vault to secure valuables.
Although a historical site, Mrs. McColley stresses that the restoration of the home was done with functionality in mind. “This is not a museum, everything in her is functional. We want our guest to feel as if this is their home while they are here,” commented Mrs. McColley.
Sunnybrae has help promote businesses over the years by holding fundraisers for the community. From political events to partnering with non-profit organizations to help raise money, Sunnybrae has offered a unique location and experience for those involved. Interactive dinner theatre and horse drawn carriages are just some of the exciting added features that can make the visit to Sunnybrae Mansion exclusive. The mansion is located at 416 N. Tenth Street in Milford and can be found at www.sunnybraemansion.com.