morning. I have visited your site before and did so again this morning after
driving around the development that exists today on the property. I had read
the new book that came out on Whitemarsh Hall and it peaked my interest to
drive around there again. That, and a friend who lives on Willow Grove
Avenue said that you could see the pillars of the house from the main gate
now that the leaves are down. When he was a child he would always ask his
father to drive down Willow Grove Avenue so he could see the view of the
house in the distance. I am sure you did the same thing. Well, I did not see
the pillars but it was not a sunny day so I did drive around.
The loss of the house is something that our
community and American will never see replaced. You will probably be amazed
to know that I have heard a fairly reliable report that the Widener Estate
in Elkins Park/Cheltenham has been purchased and is to be restored by
someone with funds sufficient to do so… Hard to believe but apparently true.
I drive past it all the time, and think of what was lost at Whitemarsh and
how great it would be if Lynwood could be saved.
Thanks again for all the superb work you have done with the website. It
helps make the destruction of the house less total.
Pat Moran (Jpmpwl@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday December 29, 2004 at 11:15 AM EST
recently become aware that a beautiful table that I bought from an
individual in 1968 is from the Stotesbury Collection. There is a probability
that two or three paintings that I also bought from him are also from the
collection. Just a note for anyone that might be interested. The items are
not for sale.
Nicholas Gotten Jr (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Memphis, TN USA - Tuesday December 28, 2004 at 11:53 AM EST
Veronica Scharfy Szozda, formerly Veronica Annoni, My Annoni grandparents
moved to the US around 1912 from Avezzano. Grandma's maiden name was
Massimiani. I was born in 1946. Their parents (3
then living) were killed in the earthquake a few years after my grandparents
arrived here. In November 1999 I visited
Avezzano by myself, to "find my roots" after a divorce from Scharfy (29 year
marriage) My ex-husband's family didn't think much of Italians. I may have
been reacting to that. I found my second and third cousins in Avezzano, and
dad's 88 year old cousin, Tina, who lived in Rome. She survived the
earthquake, was found orphaned in the rubble. She showed me around Rome and
the landmarks, armed with her cane. She was still beautiful. I took a train
to Bergamo to visit her daughter, and returned via Milano to Detroit.
It was the most memorable and loving
experience I ever had. Avezzano was so beautiful, and the people very nice.
However, the relatives related to the Massimianis were feuding somewhat with
the Annoni clan. It was fun to observe objectively
I later met and married Samuel Szozda. We live in Ohio, outside Toledo (50
miles from Detroit). Have you visited Avezzano? Two of my three sons had
visited Avezzano together, but didn't run across any relatives there. They
just walked around and took the train back to Rome.
Let me know of your experience there.
Veronica Scharfy Szozda (SVSZOZDA@aol.com)
Ohio, USA - Monday December 27, 2004 at 8:32 PM EST
name is joe. i was looking at pictures of the Mansion, and i fell in
love with the place. but one thing that was puzzling me was what
caused the abandonment of the Mansion? By the
pictures presented, it looked like a fire. my
heart was broken to hear that it burned down. well, thanks for your
time. i really love the house!
Joe B. (email@example.com)
Ohio, USA - Wednesday December 27, 2004 at 8:32 PM EST
Gerry, Great site. I used to hang at Stotesbury Mansion with friends in the
late 60's- early 70's. I remember it being in
pretty decent shape at that point. We used to
enter the building through a boarded up window on the rear patio
(timing it between the cops' rounds, of course!) There had been a
live-in caretaker up to that point as I recall.
When he died, us local kids used to stop in for
visits. The basement levels were pretty freaky. I still remember some
stuff being stored down there and in the back tunnels (near Patton
Rd). I remember a white marble sink basin, a
mantel, a wrought-iron? light fixture,....and a
large cube of pink marble which came home with me as a souvenir. There
must be more photos somewhere of parties and other social events that
took place there. Hope you can find some. I'll be
checking back. Also, want to show the sight to my
kids. I've told them about the place for years.
Joyce Sherman, Springfield HS, class of '71 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USA - Wednesday December 8, 2004 at 3:36 PM EST
Gerry, Great site. I am a Welshman living in Colorado, I have seen many of
these Beautiful Structures fall into decay in my homeland. One Mansion (The
Aberpergwm House) was even bulldozed with a full wine cellar from the
1930's! Somehow most of the bottles survived.
It's heartbreaking to see these buildings destroyed,
Mark James (email@example.com)
Denver, Colorado USA - Tuesday December 7, 2004 at 1:57 AM EST
again! I visited your site back in 2000. Today, my son asked me, "Didn't you
get information about Stotesbury?" I said yes and he asked to see it.
Needless to say after two computer crashes, I had lost all the info about
Stotesbury/Whitemarsh Hall. Joy was restored to find out the site is still
there. I wrote back in 2000 how much I appreciated what you have done and
the site is even better now. My son and his friends used to traipse through
the site in the late 70's. (We live in Chestnut Hill and have friends in
Wyndmoor.) One of the friends has a home located where the original back
gate is situated. I am as fascinated by the destruction of Whitemarsh Hall
as I am by the Titanic. Does that sound strange? Anyway, thank you.
Sandy Streets (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chestnut Hill, PA USA - Saturday December 4, 2004 at 2:17 AM EST
years ago, a young man from LaSalle College HS and I explored the ruins at
Stotesbury. We made several trips with friends and enjoyed playacting the
Great Gatsby....imagining the palace alive with parties and Edward T "Jay
Gatsby" Stotesbury and his wife Eva "Daisy Buchanan" Stotesbury at the
center of attention. We felt the pain of a shattered dream at Whitemarsh
Hall. I remember seeing a model of the place at the local library. Your site
brought back a lot of memories for me. I wish my LaSalle friend were alive
to see it. He would have loved this site. But like the mansion (and Jay
Gatsby) he passed on tragically at a young age. Thank you for creating this
website...and thank you to Terry Campbell for sharing the ruins with me in
D. Kessner Hall (email@example.com)
USA - Sunday November 28, 2004 at 7:57 PM EST
thank you so very much. My husband and I were reminiscing about visiting
Stotesbury Mansion as teenagers in the early 1970s (that was long before we
knew each other). My father-in-law, who has lived in Norristown for over 50
years did not know what old mansion we were talking about. What a wonderful
surprise to find your website and be able to show him! We have bookmarked
the site and will come back to read all about that magnificent place. As so
many of your guests have already mentioned, it was awe inspiring to see even
when dilapidated. Seeing the pictures of it in it's glory, it rivaled the
Biltmore Estate, which is close to where I live now. This is much
appreciated. Formerly of Ambler and Norristown, PA
Jeanine and Glen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hendersonville, NC USA - Sunday November 28, 2004 at 5:48 PM EST
in Lansdale, PA until 2001 & years ago, our teenage children took us to see
the remains of Stotesbury Mansion. Even then, I could see how magnificent it
must have been. You have done a fantastic job
documenting its history. What opulence...what grandeur!
I could feel the excitement & anticipation during the building of the
mansion. Then, I felt the sadness of its destruction.
Thank you for a wonderful tour.
Jean Burnham (email@example.com)
Arizona, USA - Tuesday November 23, 2004 at 8:54 AM EST
my brothers and I have always remembered Stotesbury in a mystical sense.
Growing up on Cromwell Road, the mansion was in
our backyard. We visited the site yesterday with
our kids, but could not fully explain the grandiosity of the edifice. Your
pictures and site have really captured my memory the place. Thank you,
Dave Hoffmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wyndmoor, PA USA - Tuesday November 23, 2004 at 4:19 AM EST
have to tell you that this site is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! It brings back memories
of the first time I saw the mansion....some of my friends asked me if I have
ever been to Stotesbury Mansion, I had no clue of
what they were talking about. So we drove from Norristown on Halloween night
to check it out. WOW, it is one of those moments
that has been etched in mi mind.....we were there at about eight o'clock,
it was a beautiful fall night, as I said it
was Halloween night, with a bright hunters moon,
adding to the the warning that we were trespassing. It was very exciting, I
was struck at the serene beauty of the mansion and made me think of what
things might have been it the mansions glory days. It made me go to the
library to research the story behind this magnificent mansion. It was by
accident that my daughters were talking about history in school that
something triggered back those memories. Its sad
to think that it was razed to the ground for
condos!! I have been back once to see the lonesome pillars that give them no
justice. I was born in Italy and came here in 1968 and grew up in the
Norristown area, I presently live in South Jersey. Again thanks for the
great site . Email me if you get a chance . Thank You.
New Jersey, USA - Saturday November 6, 2004 at 10:15 PM EST
Excellent site!!! I often look up “abandoned mansion ‘ photos….this is a
first for me here… I liked what you wrote about
being there when 12 or 13…im envious…I’m familiar with Horace trombauers
works…I have a book of them…this was a jewel for him…looking forward to
really studying the site pictures text et.all…thanks
Morton Berk (email@example.com)
USA - Wednesday November 3, 2004 at 8:07 PM EST
I liked your photos. Good
job. Have you got a photo of blue jays? I am looking for some nice ones to
include in my book of poems Blue-jay e quadrifogli which is about to be printed.
Thanks for your help.
Teresa Lazzaro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Italy - Monday November 1, 2004 at 1:46 PM EST
this site is really
growing-i wrote earlier of knowing the O'Brian sisters who lived in the gate
house in the late 60's and early 70's ...
i often wonder what became of them...I'm in glenside now, and i still go
past where the mansion once was, and see the gatehouse-it was a better
Glenside, PA USA - Thursday October 28, 2004 at 2:47 AM EST
Gerry, I too must add my
kudos for your terrific piece of work. Like several of your posters (whose names
are surprisingly unfamiliar) I grew up on Cromwell Road
just across the street from “The Mansion”. I spent literally hundreds of hours
up there, dodging the relentless Springfield cops. My dad would take me up there
for catches, football and bike riding in the mid to late 60’s. My friends and I
knew every square inch of the place. We new every tunnel and every secret
passage. In High School we spent hours partying there, and it was always my
favorite place to take a lady for a discreet encounter. Thanks again for all the
Alan Shinberg (email@example.com)
North Wales, PA USA - Wednesday October 27, 2004 at 2:21 PM EST
I wanted to sincerely
give thanks that you spent the time to put up the great website on Whitemarsh
Hall. Our experiences closely mirror each other. I too haunted the site in the
70’s. I definitely got a few tears in my eyes looking over the material.
Now I am going to see if I can locate some of my old pictures. If I find
anything interesting, I’ll send you copies. Regards.
Eli Levine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Doylestown, PA USA - Monday October 18, 2004 at 10:36 PM EST
Gerry, I just spent hours
here, utterly fantastic web site in every respect. Best personal page I have
Flagstaff, AR USA - Sunday October 17, 2004 at 9:33 AM EST
GERRY, I READ WITH
INTEREST YOUR EXCELLENTLY PREPARED WEBSITE.
MY NAME IS GIOVANNI (JOHN) PASCUZZI.
I WAS BORN IN SOVERIA MANNELLI. PROV CATANZARO
ITALY IN 1945. WE EMIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA IN 1952.THE SURNAMES THAT I REAR
WITH INTEREST IN YOUR FAMILY TREE, I CAN RELATE TO AND ALSO MANY OF THESE
DESCENDANTS RESIDE IN AUSTRALIA. IE MARASCO. PASCUZZI,
CARDAMONE, CERRA CHIODO, TALARICO, SIRIANNI. I WOULD LIKE SOME FEED BACK
IF I CAN HELP.. GOOD LUCK & BEST WISHES...
John Pascuzzi (email@example.com)
Australia - Friday 15, 2004 at 1:47 AM EST
Gerry, thank you so much
for maintaining this web-site. I do visit it often. I found some new pictures
today that I have never seen before. You can't imagine how my heart jumped. I
was so excited. The demolition of this home is one of the biggest tragedies in
America. I've visited the Newport Rhode Island area several times, and only wish
that this landmark would have been preserved. Thank
David G. Castleberry (David.Castleberry@HCAhealthcare.com)
Dallas, TX USA - Thursday October 13, 2004 at 2:39 PM EST
Gerry, I stumbled upon
your site and it has brought back many memories for me. During the years of 1978
through 1981 I attended Delaware Valley College and would pass Stotesbury
Mansion on my way home. My curiosity would run wild as my roommate and I walked
through a much damaged put a still very fascinating property. I would often
wonder how she appeared in her glory days and what happened to lead to her
demise. Walking through the much damaged halls, I would try to imagine the way
she once looked. Even in her worse condition, I could visualize what was once
there. I must have toured the grounds over a dozen times and always stumble upon
something new that would fascinate me, I would hear stories and often would
wonder what the true history beholds. Your web-site has helped me better
understand what was once there and how truly grand it was. Your pictures took me
back to my youth and brought back a very fond memory of a place that I only
could imagine in my dreams. Thank you.
Mike Monde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USA - Tuesday October 12, 2004 at 8:33 AM EST
I read with fascination your history of Whitemarsh Hall and Mr. Stotesbury. In
your paper, you mentioned that he celebrated his 50th anniversary with Drexel &
Company at the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia. I purchased a framed picture
of that actual event. I believe it is authentic, but will have an expert look at
it. But the date that is printed on the picture is Oct. 21, 1916. It shows the
dinner celebration with Mr. Stotesbury in it at the head of the table. Could you
tell me if there is any value to this picture or maybe just sentimental value.
And do you know if Mr. Stotesbury has a foundation or family who might be
looking for pictures such as this one. thank you for your time and any
information you can supply me.
Susan Connor (Lunchie23@aol.com)
NJ, USA - Friday October 8, 2004 at 8:05 AM EST
Dear sir, I came across your website wile doing research on the internet for a current project, and let me say that is extremely well done. The reason for my note is that I restore antique and classic cars, and am currently completing the restoration of Mr. Stotesbury's custom 1925 Locomobile Convertible Sedan. It is a very unique car that was highly customized for Mr. Stotesburry, it even has his initials engraved on the radiator. I was wondering if there are any photos of his cars or the garage at Whitemarsh Hall, I have been told he had a 50 car garage on the estate. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Clark Rittersbach (email@example.com)
East Rochester, NY USA - Saturday October 2, 2004 at 6:26 PM EST
Sono Pietro Filauri. Vivo
ad Avezzano e ho letto con molta emozione la geneologia della vostra famiglia.
Spero che mi sappiate dare qualche notizia su miei antenati.
Pietro Filauri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Avezzano, Italy, Saturday September 11, 2004 at 12:33 PM EST
much for putting your Stotesbury information online. I grew up in Chestnut Hill
and have an incredible memory of going to visit the estate during the summer of
1979 - I was 14 and it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen. looking at
your photographs I remember how heartbreaking it was to see the beautiful,
hulking structure in decay and the results of 20 years of vandalism. Your site
is terrific. thank you very much. Peace
Alexander Coxe (Alex@blbglaw.com)
New York, NY USA - Tuesday September 7, 2004 at 8:52 PM EST
In the early
1930's my parents used to take any out-of town visitors to see the Bryn Athyn
Cathedral and view Stotesbury's Estate up the long driveway from Willow Grove
Ave. I grew up in Glenside and these were the two nearby wonders to see in those
days. I last was there in 1974 as it was about to be torn down. What a loss.
Har Hall (email@example.com)
Spray Beach, NJ USA - Monday August 30, 2004 at 3:36 PM EST
Dear sir, I
am very interested in architecture, especially in Whitemarsh Hall and other
Gilded Age palaces. Unfortunately I happened to be born six years after
Whitemarsh was demolished and therefore will never know what it's like to see it
in real life. I was just wondering if you had the dimensions of the building. I
saw that the ballroom was 64 feet long but I didn't see anything else. Thank
John Hays (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Burbank, CA USA - Wednesday August 25, 2004 at 3:22 AM EST
As I was
searching for photos in Avezzano , I found your site ..... Really like it ..
May be you could be interesting in more of Avezzano-Italy photos , the
place which I love
Italy Photo Gallery. Best Regards
Avezzano, Italy - Monday August 23, 2004 at 9:49 AM EST
I was just
looking at your photos, I am amassed at the beauty of the place. When I was
young I used to go there to walk and play on the property, but by then it was in
a sad state, about 1974 -1975. I am currently a social studies teacher in
Norristown, and I would love it if you would send me copies of your photos. I
can't seem to copy them from the website. I would love to share these with my
students in a lesson. It would be in the form of a powerpoint presentation, not
for resale in any way. They would only be used in teaching. I don't care if they
are sent email or regular mail. If needed i'll reimburse postage and cd costs.
Thank you in advance for your consideration
Norristown, PA USA - Saturday August 21, 2004 at 1:15 PM EST
magnificent piece of history only to be torn down and ravaged by the greed of
money hungry developers. It's sad
Terry Edwards (email@example.com)
Kanab, Utah USA - Thursday July 29, 2004 at 2:04 AM EST
so angry seeing this, seeing so many things like this happen in America. This is
what America does, it gets a bit of history then tears it down. History means
nothing to the unstoppable juggernaut. I'm American
and I've lived in England (you know, where the history comes from) for the past
several years. They CARE what happens to their history, they know the importance
of it.. America doesn't, they don't want to look back.. just forward and never
learn from the past. In England there is the National Trust and English Heritage
among other charities that own stately homes, gardens, land.. they care for the
buildings, restore them, open them to the public. I have visited many, many
across this country - we are talking buildings from the 1100's too, it must be
very costly to restore.. but they do it so don't tell me buildings not even 100
years old in America can't be restored. Today I nearly
cried seeing this website about Whitemarsh Hall.. it makes me so sad to see the
contrast between these countries. I get so tired of history being destroyed from
neglect or from the bottom line of money. I appreciate that it would cost money
to keep it in a sound way, but if it wasn't abandoned in the first place it
wouldn't have become so irreparable. Why did no one care then? And where are the
charities like the National Trust in America? "We will
be judged not by the monuments we have built, but those that we have destroyed",
how true is that.
Sunday July 25, 2004 at 8:30AM EST
corresponded with you briefly 6 or 7 years ago about spending my summer
vacations as a kid with my aunt and uncle on the Stotesbury Estate during WW II. My aunt just died last week at age 101 yrs. 10
months. We're going to have a memorial service for her on August 14 in
Pittsburgh and I'm hoping to find a good exterior photo of what I've always
referred to as the "Stable, or Watertower, Building" on the estate, where my
aunt and uncle rented an apartment in its southwest wing for 3-4 years. Do you
know where I can obtain an electronic photo copy of the stable building?
I remember being taken to the big house one day to visit with the
caretaker, "Mr. Chapman", who took us on a tour of the lower floors. All those
basement rooms were chock full of "stuff", all covered up with white draperies.
My aunt told me later that it was all the artwork from the Metropolitan Museum
in New York, and that it had been secretly shipped to and stored underground in
the mansion during WW II, in case New York City was bombed by the Germans.
Robert M. Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alameda, CA USA - Friday July 23, 2004 at 2:139AM EST
my name is Laura Basile,I am from Grosseto, Italy. Your site is
Laura Basile (email@example.com)
Grosseto, Italy - Wednesday July 21, 2004 at 7:19AM EST
Hi, I wish I
would have been able to see the house...it's so beautiful!!! Do you recall the
floor plans for the ground floor and below? I'm interested in seeing what kind
of layout and what kind of rooms would have been in the house. The early 1900's
were a different time...it interests me what would kind of rooms they would have
had and where they were located...you mentioned a bakery, a carpenter's shop and
the wine cellar. I'm interested in finding out where they were
located...especially the "hall of mirrors". It's a
very captivating house...I wish it was still standing and available to see. It's
unfortunate the house was lost years ago. It would have been exciting to have
seen it rebuilt to it's original splendor! Thank you
for your site. As someone who didn't grow up in the area and without any
recollection of the house, it was a wonderful introduction!
Health Alliance Medical Plans
Jennifer Davis, PharmD (Jennifer.Davis@HealthAlliance.Org) Eligibility Coordinator
Urbana, IL USA - Friday June 16, 2004 at 12:25PM EST
I just would
like to commend you on a job well-done on keeping up with your family history. I
would love to do one myself, but I wouldn't even know where to start as far as
putting it on a website. Any suggestions? Sincerely,
Michelina Liquori, PharmD (Michelina6@aol.com)
East Longmeadow, MA USA - Friday June 16, 2004 at 12:12AM EST
Greetings Gerry. I don't know if anyone has informed you but the auction
catologue for the contents of Whitemarsh and "Marly"
is currently up for bid on ebay... item number
6911753984 ending on July 15 ebays title is 1944
Auction Catologue 1944 WHITEMARSH AND MARLY PHILLADELPHIA.
It has her 18th century french furniture .. silver .. paintings chinese
porcelains etc listed 144 pages Chesnut Hill Pa. auction house. It would be nice
if some one would purchase it and donate to you for your wonderful website.
Gary Waters (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vancouver Canada - Saturday July 10, 2004 at 10:11 PM EST
Hi, Gerry -
I first saw your site last November and submitted an email then (which you
posted). I am amazed, and moved, about how this place so deeply effected people
growing up in its shadow (as I did in the '60s) and how sad and outraged we feel
about it's decay and destruction. Your website's treatment of Whitemarsh Hall is
as well done as we could hope to expect for such as special and powerful place
for so many of us. Your guest book helps make the site as powerful as it is and
really helps the memories come alive. Thanks again.
Paul Anderson (email@example.com)
USA - Friday July 9, 2004 at 10:36 AM EST
brings back some fond memories of the good times we had on the estate,
sledding in the winter, and swimming in the old
swimming hole in the summer. I grew up in "BUNK TOWN"
on New Street. I had a sister "Mary" and two brothers
"Bill" and "Tom" I left Windmoor in 1944 and went into
John Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USA - Wednesday June 30, 2004 at 3:09 PM EST
I visited Stotesbury Mansion (as it was called by my friends) in high school
back in the late 70"s. It was all beat up and graffitied on but you could just
imagine how beautiful it once was. Thanks for the great memories. I grew up in
Germantown, had moved away and wondered what had happened to it.
Andrew Scott Harthausen (Harthausens@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday June 30, 2004 at 6:45 AM EST
Just wanted to say that I think your photos are really really great. It seems
like your presentation omits the obvious "postcard" photos of the regions and I
think that is smart. Your presentation of American backcountry makes me long for
the wilderness. Your photos are consistently "low contrast" - and I even though
I have never really thought that would be beautiful - yours are. Nice going!
Can't wait to see more of your travels. I found them
because I was looking for some photos of ADK 46ers to
show some friends where I was this weekend.
Michael A. French (email@example.com)
Adirondacks, NY USA - Tuesday June 29, 2004 at 12:35 PM EST
siamo parenti. Io sono originario di soveria mannelli, mio padre si
chiama Aldo Sirianni e suo padre si chiamava Francesco come me. Mentre mia nonna
si chiamava Raffaella Paolillo in Sirianni. ho trovato per caso questo sito
internet e sono orgoglioso di appartenere a questa famiglia. Fai bene a
ricordare a tutti noi quali siano le nostre origini. continua così.
Francesco Sirianni (FSirianni@kpmg.it)
Italy - Monday June 21, 2004 at 128:48 PM EST
across your site purely by accident and found it amazing and truly sad that
something of this magnitude could not be saved. It would have made a great
tourism stop. I and my wife look for places like this to visit and would like to
have seen this in all its splendor. Thanks for giving
us the opportunity to see it.
Scott Klewicki (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fond du Lac, WI USA - Monday June 14, 2004 at 8:49 AM EST
researching my genealogy I was bought to your site. Very informative site. How
beautiful it all was! It is believed that my great-great grandmother worked for
the Stotesbury's in the late 1800's or early 1900's. Her name was Rose McGinnis/McGuinness.
Are any records available to confirm employees at Stotesbury's estates?
Jeff & Debbie (email@example.com)
Sunday June 3, 2004 at 10:55 PM EST
A tale of
opposites...What a great country we live in which fantastic men and women can
build such great palaces and yet at the same time what a tragedy that we allow
such homes to be discarded like pieces of every day garbage. It is kind of
ironic that money, and lots of it, built Whitemarsh Hall and the pursuit of
money by developers and Springfield Township destroyed the place. What struck me
as I navigated the site, was the comparison of Whitemarsh Hall to the palace of
Versailles in France. What kind of country would allow such a place to be
demolished just because of money. This place should have been protected as a
national historic site and been preserved for future generations to see. Shame
on the greedy developers and shortsighted commissioners of Springfield township
for allowing the destruction of Whitemarsh Hall. Let us hope that we have
learned a hard lesson when it comes to historic homes and estates. We learn from
our past. We become a greater society as a whole when we learn from our past.
Let us preserve these great estates and become a greater nation. This is a
fantastic website - congratulations on a job well done....
Joseph M. Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
East Oreland - Upper Dublin Township, PA USA - Tuesday June 1, 2004 at 9:51 PM EST
many as thirty to forty years ago my first wife and her mother, both now dead,
went to an auction in either West Palm Beach or Palm Beach. My late
mother-in-law successfully bid on a couple of unusual tall table lamps -- they
were urn-shaped with slender ears and they looked like Wedgwood jasper ware. The
bodies of the lamps were pink and the raised figures were white. The auctioneer
said that the lamps had come from a house that E. T. Stotesbury owned. Does that
sound reasonable to you? After my wife's death the lamps went to her brother,
who likely still has them.
Robert Harvey (email@example.com)
Kingsport, TN USA - Tuesday May 18, 2004 at 9:21 PM EST
Hi my name
is Will Turner. I would like to know if you know a good resource for info
pictures especially of Lynnewood Hall, the old Widener estate. My great
grandfather used to work under the Wideners in their estate and I have been
interested w/ the house ever since I saw it the 1 time I was in Pa. Please let
me know. Thank you.
Will Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday May 10, 2004 at 3:04 AM EST
Dear Sir: I would like to
know if you have any record of any Philadelphia artists who displayed or
"showed" their paintings in Stotesbury mansion in the early 1900's?
According to family history, my grandfather had a showing of paintings there. I was interested to know if there is any record of it? Thank you for your time.
USA - Sunday April 18, 2004 at 8:36 PM EST
Thank you so much for
memorializing this beautiful place and time. How I wish I could see it today. I
especially appreciated your description of the feeling you used to have while
visiting this mystical place as a child. I felt the same way when exploring
“echos from the past” as a child. Even now, seeing the photos on your site made
me smile… and also made me weep. Thank you.
Andrew Gutknecht (email@example.com)
Philadelphia, PA USA - Sunday April 18, 2004 at 7:08 PM EST
Wow! I loved the site. I
used to visit there and explore. It was scary and great fun. Thanks for putting
this great site together and sharing your personal experiences as well. Having
grown up and living my entire life in this area, I even recognize some of the
other guest book signers!
Karen McPoyle (McPoyleK@iconus.com)
USA - Tuesday April 13, 2004 at 6:48 PM EST
Thanks so much for your
wonderful website. My story is pretty much like all the others growing up in the
area in the 50s and 60s. My mother read the article in the Inquirer about it in
the early 70s and decided we had to go over and check it out. At first site, I
couldn't beleive that such a thing existed just 5 miles from my home. I think I
was more captivated by the process of the decay on such a grand scale then on
what it was in its heyday. How anyone could have allowed such magnificence in
architecture and landscaping to fall so far down, was just beyond my
comprehension at the time. Like seeing the Grand canyon for the first time, its
a little hard to understand. From then on I was hooked, and made many subsequent
visits to Stotesbury over the years before it was finally demolished. Though I
feel badly about it now, I, like many others, took one of those great sandstone
ballusters home to remember the great estate by. As it turned out, I became a
restorer of antquities in my professional life- maybe penitence for the
balluster incident, or maybe to honor the grand structure. Great website, I only
wish there were pictures of individuals of the period strolling through the
Eric Froberg (Ari2@aol.com)
USA - Sunday April 11, 2004 at 8:24 AM EST
I absolutely love your site. I currently attend the U.S. Naval Academy
and was visiting my grandmother who is a resident of the Stotesbury
Estate this past weekend. She is on Trumbauer Drive and has a statue of what
looks like a woman, but the statue has no head. I am always curious of where
this statue was in respect to the rest of the property. My girlfriend and I were
walking around the development because it was the first time she had been there.
She was absolutely amazed by your photographs of what the mansion used to look
like. I only wish that I could have seen the property before the mansion was
demolished. Thank you for providing the great information. I really enjoy the
John Stockdill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MIDN USN - Tuesday April 6, 2004 at 5:13 PM EST
Now which Serianni are
you? My maiden name was Gormley and I lived at 1502 Church Road in Oreland, and
dated Jerry Payes who lived in Wyndmoor. I dated one of the Serianni's but I
don't think he was from the main family. The one I dated was tall and blond, not
darkhaired like some of the other Seriannis I remember from "the area". Your
photos are magnificent and I would love to try to copy at least the floor plan
in 1/12 scale. How I wish there were a book of color photos. You were brave to
visit the site as a child. I was always afraid my Mom would find out and that I
would be grounded. Even though I lived in Oreland, I went to Melrose Academy so
did not know a lot of kids from the area. I lived down the street from Arlene
Brill who now lives in Turkey as a free lance writer and teaches english as a
second language. We were also friends with the Vichichs, a name I am sure you
know also. Terry was my age and she and I got married on the same day in 1967. I
wonder if hers fared any better than mine. I seem to remember that the Serianni
I dated was named Jimmy and we played tennis at the school one day and I can
remember dancing to Moon River with him at Springfield - at the inside dances. I
think I danced with one of the darkhaired Seriannis at the summer outside dances
- oh so long ago. In later years I came to know Jimmy and Barbara Grover and I
guess you know those names too. Thank you for the marvelous trip down memory
lane. As a young girl, I often walked the creek that ran behind that strip of
houses on Church Road, from Haws Lane down to the Estate (the name of which I
forget after all these years) where we picked apples and tried to cook them in a
pot over a fire. When the houses were first built, the construction stirred the
sewer rats and my dad used to sit on the back patio and blast them with a double
barrel shotgun. I lived down the hill from Marie Hetkowski and Patty O'Neill and
in the same block as Geoff Bachman and Joey whose last name has left me at the
minute. There was a Gerry who moved to Hawaii in grade school, last name Skurke
or something like that. WOW! How many years ago has all this been? I was in
Chestnut Hill last week - remembering Tank and Jerry who were often at the pool
parties at my house. Oh, I was also friends with Lauren Caffrey. I graduated
Melrose in 1964 but we had moved to North Hills by that time. There is always
hope (Aragorn, LOTR2)
Lederach, PA USA - Monday April 5, 2004 at 9:37 PM EST
Enjoyed your website,
found it while looking for another colonial looking mansion that was intended
for his wife as a beach house. It was an enormous structure, later becoming a
hotel, then later destroyed. Any ideas what this was. Was it one of this same
architect's works. Thanks for any input.
Craig Burdine (email@example.com)
Tuesday March 30, 2004 at 12:12 AM EST
Hi My name is Jessica i
am 8 years old and i live in Birmingham England, i came across your website when
looking for the site Slimbridge wetlands Tryst , we were looking for a nice day
out for my mom on mothers day, i think you are amazing to have seen so many
birds in real life i wish i will see so many in my life time! i would also like
to do my family tree like you have, and i think the bird noises are cool!!, well
Jessica Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Birmingham England - Sunday March 21, 2004 at 5:18 AM EST
Gerry - I recently discovered your wonderful website for Whitemarsh Hall. I lived in Philadelphia from 1974-1977 and became enchanted with the remains of Whitemarsh Hall once I found them. I recently found some old pictures I took back then, I think in either 1974 or 1975. I enclosed one with this e-mail but would like to send more to share with others on your website. As you can see from this picture, it was taken (late Fall or early Winter) at a time when some maintenance of the grounds still occurred - the grass was cut. Sometime after, maintenance must have ceased and the jungle overgrowth began. I greatly regret that the house was not saved and preserved. How typical of our current disposable and throw-away society. I have the other pictures - 10 total on a CD. Send me your address and I will send you a CD copy. Thanks.
Ron Gurney (email@example.com)
USA - Tuesday March 16, 2004 at 10:02 PM EST
I just accidentally found
your Stotesbury website and it really brought back memories. I used to ride my
bike over to the mansion to explore. Even in the daylight, the place made my
heart pound with fear of ghosts. Later, I was like many teenagers, sneaking in
on dark nights, creeping up that staircase with flashlights, hoping it stayed
attached to the wall, evading the Springfield cops. I remember hiding on the
roof while they flashed the lights. My husband, who was from Doylestown, also
remembers being on the roof, getting stoned. Now I feel guilty because I am sure
we are part of the reason they finally tore it down. I always looked for those
pillars as we drove down Willow Grove Ave. A magnificent place, truly. Thanks
for the website.
Julie Bergin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fishers, IN USA - Saturday March 13, 2004 at 9:49 PM EST
Hello Gerry, First let me
thank you for many wonderful memories of my childhood exploring and dreaming
about what life must have been like in and around the mansion. I am one of the
city kids who visited the mansion to party in the mid 70's. The destruction was
complete long before I got there. I still felt a passion for this place
everytime I went there. Have since moved to the suburbs but remember the sadness
I felt when I heard they were going to tear it down. You have bought back many
many emotions with your site from wonderment of how anyone could abandoned such
a beautiful property to absolute sadness for the vandelismand ultimate
destruction. I also have a feeling of being among the few luckiest people in the
world who had the ability to actually be there and to have seen with my own eyes,
feel with my own hands the amazing style and grace this building and
property emited. I have shared your site with probably 25 people who were just
as amazed with your work and dedication. Thanks from my heart for your time and
effort. If you have the time please send me any other links to stotesbury from
your sorces or your replys.
Tom Melissen (Levelhd1@aol.com)
Spring Mount, PA Formly of Mt Airy, PA USA - Saturday March 13, 2004 at 8:00 AM EST
I just wanted to tell you
that I greatly admire your webpage. I saw a Rufous sided Towhee in my backyard
today. He's been coming and going all morning and I'd never seen one before in
my 81 years around Dayton, Ohio. In looking up information on it on the Internet
I came across your page. I loved it and I'm sure it has taken many, many hours
to develop it. Thanks for doing that for everyone.
Dale Motschman (email@example.com)
Dayton, OH USA - Sunday March 7, 2004 at 12:59 PM EST
great site. As a life long
resident of wyndmoor i was wondering. what about the undergrond tunnels going up
to the mansion from the back. and i heard at one time there was a train station
in wyndmoor just for guests. is this true. thank you
John Jennings (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wyndmoor, PA USA - Wednesday March 3, 2004 at 9:33 PM EST
Ohhhh! How absolutely
glorious!!!! For some unknown reason, last night it
"came over me" to try and search for web for ANY info. on the old Stotesbury
estate and mansion, as we called it through the years.
How overjoyed I am to find your wonderful site here! I lived with my family at
the very entrance to the mansion on Cromwell Rd. Of course it was in the new
tract housing at "Whitemarsh Village". We moved in in l958-ish and stayed just 2
years, moving to a lovely old farm in Edison, Pa just south of Doylestown.
How I loved to meet my dearest girlfriend, Carol Polis, halfway down the
gardens. She lived in the valley in a tract house too. We were both just 10-12
years old, and this gorgeous land and mansion were magical to us, as they
have been for some many who "grew up" with it all.
I am now 59, and am really excited about sharing all this in
for. with my 38 year-old daughter. We made a short investigative visit to
it just before it was torn down...and I do have a very huge poster in black and
white (photo) of it the night before demolition began. I just showed it to her
yesterday! This computer at my local library won't
access you e-mail contact site. That is why it is coming to you indirectly here.
Thank you so very much for all the effort you have put in here...if you
would like some photos of the area I may have in my collections, let me know.
I'll see what I can come up with...as I have always been an ardent photographer.
Good success! With love, Lynn(ie)
Lynn Crowder Maust (email@example.com)
Wednesday Feb 25, 2004 at 4:46 PM EST
This is the best site
yet. LOVE the pics of the interiors mostly of the ones before it was torn down!
BRAVO for taking them! A house to dream of..................
Scott Feck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday Feb 23, 2004 at 12:54 AM EST
My name is Frank.
My fathers name is Frank Wills, his brothers being Charlie, Gerry, Jim, and
Mike. They grew up on Hull Drive and told me many stories of their adventures of
Stotesbury Mansion and Lee Mansion. Looking at your pictures gave me a better
idea of the adventures and showed how trulely amazing those places were. It is a
shame they were torn down. My dad told me a story of he and his buddies sitting
upon stotesbury and watching the gardens and front being demolished by dynamite
and it bringing a tear to his eye. Thank you for making this website for without
it I would not be able to experience some of the awe and wonder that my father
and uncles experienced. Thanx again.
Frank Wills Jr. (Greenday1324@comcast.net)
Plymouth Meeting, PA USA - Sunday Feb 22, 2004 at 7:28 PM EST
It's great to see a wine lover with such a good sense of humor. May you
live long and prosper.
Roanoke, VA USA - Friday Feb 20, 2004 at 5:58 PM EST
This is a great web site
Gerry! I am a huge fan of old homes and I am shocked that I've never heard of
Whitemarsh Hall. It surprising that Preservation magazine hasn't done an article
on the mansion and grounds. Currently, I am a computer aided design student in
Ft. Worth, Texas. I would love to use Whitemarsh Hall as my final exam project.
Do you know how I could obtain copies of the original blueprints so I could
create updated floor plans of the mansion (family rooms, modern conveniences,
etc). Anyway, thank you for your time. If you have any questions, please
feel free to e-mail me back. This is a great web site,
keep up the good work! Sincerely,
John Finley (Jpfarchitect@aol.com)
Lancaster, TX USA - Saturday Feb 14, 2004 at 10:12 PM EST
GERRY I AM LOOKING FOR
ANY INFORMATION OR PICTURES OF THE FORMER IREY MANSION IN DOUGLASSVILLE PA
BETTER KNOWN AS ROSELAWN. I HAVE SALVEGED MUCH OF THE WOOD FROM THE MANSION AND
IT IS NOW IN MY HOME IN CONSHOHOCKEN PA. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO OR PICTURES OR
KNOW OF ANYONE WHO DOES PLEASE CONTACT ME ALSO I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WILL BE
PAINTING A WATERCOLOR PRINT OF WHITEMARSH HALL IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN
OBTAINING A COPT SUITABLE FOR FRAMING THANKS
Joe Pollarine (LINK421614@aol.com)
Conshohocken, PA USA - Sunday Feb 8, 2004 at 10:23 AM EST
Gerry, I really enjoyed
your website. My parents were both from Soveria Mannelli and I have relatives
that still live there. My Aunt married a Sirianni, she lives in Lamezia Terme in
Italy but also has a home in Soveria. My uncle has since passed away but she has
two children and they live in Lamezia Terme with their families.
We visited Soveria Mannelli in 2002. Thanks for the memories.
Fran Fields (Calla4492@aol.com)
Livonia, MI USA - Thursday Feb 5, 2004 at 10:13 PM EST
Hi Gerry, Geri told me
about your "Site" some time ago and I have just gotten around to visiting it. I
have never seen anything to equal it - it really is a work of love and art. I
will visit again. Yours Scottish Uncle Ian.
Ian Miller (email@example.com)
England - Tuesday Feb 3, 2004 at 11:53 AM EST
Dear Gerry, Doing a bit
of revisiting the past as a roving/hippy labourer, I worked at Furnace-Creek
first then went to the mines for $10 bucks an hr. back
in '79,to pay for college fees. I always remember,
when out walking at night that looking around the sky, it gave the feeling of
being inside a volcano, as the stars above were huge,
it was an incredible feeling!
And of course, in those haight-ashbury days, everything was MAGIC! However, being back in my native Scotland and 50,I'm ready to capture the experiences again, without a Winnebago! TAKE CARE!
Ron Sinclair.Greenock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scotland - Monday Feb 2, 2004 at 6:27 EST
This was very informative
to me and my family. We currently live in Stotesbury.
Lisa Peoples-Crafton (CraftonLis@aol.com)
Wyndmoor, PA USA - Wednesday Jan 28, 2004 at 12:30 PM EST
Gerry, you have created a
wonderful web site of the Stotesbury Mansion. I grew up on Wainwright Road a few
100 yards away from Whitemarsh Hall. My friends and I spent so many hours of our
teenage years, during the late 60's and early 70's, exploring the grounds and
every room of this place. We uncovered everything from walk-in safes in the
basements to trap doors in closets with floor plans. The buildings and
facilities were still very well preserved in those years. It wasn't until the
mid 70's when the Inquirer ran a story about the property and included a map
leading people to the mansion, that the vandals took over and destroyed the
property. Your photos of the mansion during construction and the later photos in
all its splendor were incredible. I enjoyed reading the history of the
Stotesbury family and the details of your research were most impressive. Thanks
again for bringing back so many great memories for me.
Henry Buzgon (email@example.com)
Tuesday Jan 20, 2004 at 10:51 PM EST
Thank you for the
memories. Living right below the mansion on Patton Rd, from 1953 til I went away
to college in '66 I spent countless hours playing on the grounds with my
childhood friends, Ricky Drake, Allen Stipp, Peter Lehrer, Gordon & Tony Fels,
Ronnie and Ricky Cantor, Bud & Fred Swope and many others. What an idyllic
setting! The broad lawn in the back was the perfect football field. I've tried
to convey to my 24 yr. old son what it was like, but
with only a few old newspaper clippings it was hard. Your site has given him
Ron DeTemple (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carlsbad, CA USA - Sunday Jan 18, 2004 at 8:37 PM EST
Hello, I just moved to
Stotesbury. I have never heard of it before, and I have lived in the area my
whole life?? Your site is great and I would love to know more and see more pics.
If you can let me know where I can see more info. I would also like to help
search out info, in my spare time if I can.
Wyndmoor, PA USA - Thursday Jan 15, 2004 at 8:54 PM EST
Gerry I enjoyed your site
Wandie Little (email@example.com)
Schnecksville, PA USA - Sunday Jan 11, 2004 at 10:41 AM EST