Bo Pilgrim and his wife called it Chateau de Pilgrim, but it is affectionately known as “Cluckingham Palace” in the town of Pittsburg in East Texas lake country. The 43-acre French Renaissance estate was built by the late founder of Pilgrim’s Pride poultry products, Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, in 1992 as the family’s dream home. Having passed away in 2017, the family has decided that instead of listing it with a brokerage, it will go to auction on October 15th with no reserve.
Spanning 18,000 square feet of living space, this palatial-and-ornate, chateau-style home was custom-built with the requirement that all rooms would overlook the grounds. Everything about the house speaks of the Pilgrim’s love of formal entertaining, from the drive and the clipped boxwood mazes and understated rows of pink flowers at the entry to the grand-marble, wrought-iron and gold-leaf foyer. The home has six bedrooms, eleven baths, a glass elevator that overlooks the grounds, European gas fireplaces and red oak wood floors. Gold leaf accents are carried throughout the formal rooms. For more casual entertaining there is an indoor swimming pool and spa, a bar at one end with lots of perimeter seating and multiple French doors opening to terraces and lawn. The chef’s island kitchen is connected to a butler’s pantry and the master suite that opens to a patio has a sitting room with fireplace, built-in storage and closets and natural rose quartz accents in the master bath. Other features include caretaker’s quarters, two offices, full bar, gym, media room and three-car carport. Other structures on the property include three large equipment shops with water and electric and a greenhouse.
Bo and his brother Aubry founded Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in 1946 with a small feed store in Pittsburg. The business evolved into producing and selling poultry that was well received by consumers and continued to grow until it was one of the largest suppliers of poultry products in the country. When Aubry Pilgrim died in 1966, Bo took over as CEO and continued the expansion while becoming the face and voice of the company both on the company logo with his pilgrim hat with the big buckle and as spokesman in the chicken commercials. He sold the company in 2009 to the Brazilian beef company JBS and its headquarters was moved from Pittsburg to Greeley, Colorado. Bo Pilgrim, having acquired a net worth of approximately $1 billion, was a philanthropist and an active part of the community in Pittsburg.
Pittsburg, Texas is a quiet historic town with a charming main street and interesting antique shops. It is located in an area of vineyards and close to large recreational lakes for boating, skiing and fishing. For big-city fun, Dallas is only a two-hour drive and an airport is ten minutes away for more distant travel.
The mansion that chicken built in East Texas lake country will be sent to auction with Concierge Auctions at no reserve on October 15th.