To Betty S who wrote about Pennsalt Leonard Beale was my grandfather I was pleased to see your message
Mia Beale miabeale@maine.rr.com
Portland, ME USA - Dec 27, 2005 5:09 PM EST

Hello: I stumbled onto this web site while searching for information on Horace Trumbauer. I found the web site quite interesting. However, I am searching for information on the home of Horace Trumbauer. I understand that he resided somewhere in Philadelphia. Do you or any of your readers know the address/location of Horace Trumbauer's residence?
NUPE5050 NUPE5050@aol.com
USA - Dec 4, 2005 1:14 PM EST

Hello Gerry. My name is Shayna (Serianni) Mebane. I was just googling myself for fun to see what came up and your site was a match. I don't know how common Serianni is in Italy, but we don't know much about our history because records were lost in a fire in Italy long ago. My grandfather was Ralph Angelo Serianni and I believe he was a very young child when his parents moved from Italy. During WWII he owned a steele plant called Jackson Steele. He passed away in October of 2001. We have a lot of family in Ann Arbor and Jackson Michigan. I don't know if our family trees connect, but I sure would like to find out!
Shayna (Serianni) Mebane shaynandzeke@msn.com
Orlando, FL USA - Nov 30, 2005 1:10 AM EST

Gerry - What a wonderful site! I grew up in Glenside and remember my parents driving us around the grounds in the 60s. I could see the turrets of Grey Towers (Beaver College) from my bedroom window and there were other palatial homes "in the neighborhood." But Whitemarsh always struck a chord with me - maybe because it was so forlorn, having fallen on very hard times. As often as I visited it, even as an adult, I can't believe I never brought a camera! Thanks for including your pictures from the 70s. That really brought back memories. My mother grew up in South Philly across the street from the Stotesbury's retired cook and spent hours in her kitchen learning from Mrs. Fleming. Mom always insisted that we ate as well as the Stotesbury's. I never really believed that. Thanks so much for all your work.
Linda Porter Foh lindafoh@epix.net
Saylorsburg, PA USA - Oct 26, 2005 10:15 PM EST

A very well done website and a very interesting story. Thank you. Sincerely,
Thomas Edward StotesburyTom tstotes@bestweb.net
Oct 25, 2005 5:09 PM EST

Have visited the Stotesbury Website today. Have already got information of the Whitemarsh Hall Stotesbury's My husband a Stotesbury Garden Club Sweatshirt sent to him by his brother Dr. John A Stotesbury Finland. We are of the English Stotesbury's based in the Isle of Wight.Betty Stotesbury elizabeth@stotesbury.freeserve.co.uk
Oct 22, 2005 11:30 AM EST

The site brought back memories, but mine barely touched the surface compared to yours and others. I live in Texas and on a visit to a dear friend in Philadelphia got to visit Whitemarsh Hall. Eli took my 5 or 6 year old son and I to see it in 1976 just before dusk and hoped to watch the sun set over the property. We weren't able to see much before a policeman showed up. He was really nice about asking us to leave but unfortunately we didn't see anything but the Grand Ballroom and a quick look at the grounds. Eli and I are still close and he E-mailed your site a while back. I forwarded it to my son. Miles and I have both really enjoyed seeing the original beauty of this place. I have always had a love for old homes and nature. I had a business restoring old homes for many years and am still an avid gardener and now work at a Nature Center trying to instill a love of nature in kids. I think a big part of this home's allure is the setting and grounds. While I wish it had never been abandoned and then destroyed, I must admit I sort of like the wild overgrown look in your later pictures. Please keep up the site, I know there are many more like me who will enjoy it. One of the things that really touched me about the Katrina mess is not just the people who have nothing now, but the animals that died and will die, the beautiful vegetation the saltwater will kill, and all those gorgeous old homes destroyed as if they never existed. I'm sure that all of the pictures and records are gone too. I'm glad at least you have protected Whitemarsh Hall from that fate. Thank you.
Jan Ramey jramey@austin.rr.com
October 20, 2005 12:59 PM EST

Thank you for the tremendous work that you've done. Having grown up in nearby Oreland, I had the privilege to see Stotesbury's Mansion before it fell. I too disregarded the "No Trespassing" signs & explored the remains of the once proud building. This was long before I could appreciate the grandeur of the site, but I felt a real sadness seeing such a beautiful structure abandoned and left to the weeds & vandals. On a family note, I also had the pleasure of knowing Louis A Serianni & his family. I worked at the Gulf station in Oreland for several years in the late seventies while in High School. Working with his sons Ralph, Vince, Louis, were some of the best days I've ever had. Kindest regards,
Chris Hoffa choffa@comcast.net
Erdenheim, PA USA - October 1, 2005 11:20 AM EST

I have book marked your site with a protective password in order to avoid any chance of loss. The entire presentation is a quality piece that deserves praise and preservation. The Palm Beach chapter was of great interest to me in that a Mr. Mizner was associated with a family friend and possible relative by the name of Jesse L. Livermore, Wall Street investor. He and Mr. Mizner are associated with the development of the Palm Beach. It is pleasing to know that there are others who would preserve grand structures or in the alternative preserve the pictorial and written history. Thank you and Best Wishes,
R.M. Daniels alden@sisna.com
Gloucester, MA USA - September 30, 2005 12:14 AM EST 

I love the site. I live in a Horace Trumbauer house in Wyncote, PA. (Breezewood, 1897). I am hoping to start a Trumbauer homeowners group. I would like to help save Lynwood for the same fate as Stokesbury. Let me know If I can help.

D Montague duraymontague@aol.com
USA - September 20, 2005 4:07 PM EST

I lived on Evergreen Avenue in Wyndmoor from 1973 to 1977. I went to Wyndmoor Elementary for 6th grade and Hillcrest Junior High for 7th and 8th. I'd love to get in contact with all my long lost friends from those days (Brad A, Larry M, Laura L, Ellen C, Beth G, Chris F.....). The mansion was a scary place back then. Mostly older kids would hang out their and party. I also remember people who lived close to the mansion with statues in their yards that were obviously removed from the estate property. Looking at your pictures, I would never have guessed the extent of the grounds. Too bad its gone. It was fun being a "Hiller" back then.
Jerry Clifford, watchhill@hotmail.com
Frederick, MD USA - September 20, 2005 4:07 PM EST

Wow! What an excellent site. If the Internet has made possible anything worthwhile its site like this. May I suggest something to you? I am a member of the Montgomery County Historical Society. I'm not sure if there has ever been an article about Whitemarsh Hall in the Societies annual publications or not but I'm perfectly sure that there should have been. I was thinking that, using all the information you've accumulated on your site as a basis, one (perhaps you - perhaps me - perhaps both of us together) could easily write a very interesting article for publication in the their annual bulletin. I was thinking that it wouldn't be that hard - we could just take a copy of each page (photos included) and copy and paste them into a Word document. What do you think? If you're interested and you think we can do something together let me know. I'll be happy to just do all the legwork - like contact the Historical Society, do the copy and pasting, create a first draft for you review, whatever. Perhaps you've already done something with the Historical Society, if so - thanks - is there something in some particular issue?
Jay Rush jrush@greathill.com
Gladwyne, PA USA - Sept 1, 2005 at 10:02 PM EST

Hello, Thanks for the site, I also spent many a great day wandering the grounds. I would go with my older cousins, we went from the roof to the third level basement (flooded). Also the tunnels for the fountains, but we never did find the bowling alley. Once I damn near ran into the elevator shaft on the third floor, getting away from the cops. Never did get busted, too many places to hide. Anybody else there Halloween night, 1978?
Rob McGough bellpepper39@peoplepc.com
Boulder, Colorado USA - August 25, 2005 1:10 AM EST

Hi, I'm so glad that I found this site, as have tried to explain Stotesbury for many years. I had many a great day wandering the grounds, we did all the fountain tunnels, and down to the third basement level, (all flooded). Once when the cops pulled up I almost ran into the elevator shaft on the third floor. Never did get busted, way to many places to hide. I lived on the corner of Phila, when we rode bikes we came in from the gatehouse on windmore ave. That was such a cool view from there, then a downhill ride to beast. Thanks for this site, it is very cool.
USA - August 25, 2005 12:45 AM EST

I have just visited your site again and it is wonderful. No need to post this in the guestbook but wanted to say that I had an e-mail from Jerry Payes after he saw my note in the April 2004 entries. Again, I commend your exceptional job and must agree with the writer who has relocated to England, that we in the US sadly do not seem to take the care of our history that the UK does. How much history have we lost to developers? Sad. This would have been the crown jewel on the Historic Register.  I did ask if you knew the Jimmy Serianni that I had dated, the tall one with the blond hair. Was he related to you? Long time ago........... There is always hope (Aragorn, LOTR2)
Nancy Melrosemiss@aol.com
August 9, 2005 8:40 PM EST

Hi, Came across your family genealogy web site......GREAT job!  I was wondering where Pace and DiRoberto fit into your genealogy???  My family is also from Popoli with Pace and DiRoberto being 2 of the names.  Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kim ctsdoc1@cox.net
August 6, 2005 1:01 PM EST

Thank you so much for your website. I happened upon it merely by chance by Googling Wyndmoor. Our family lived on Patton Road from about 1956 until sometime in the early sixties. I have such fond memories (except for the poison ivy along the road behind our house leading to the mansion). What a wonderful place it was to grow up by! When we first moved in there was an old barn down at the end of Patton Road by Cheltenham Ave., and we delighted in finding all types of wildlife there. Luckily our parents never knew about some of our escapades! The fountains both on the mansion property (Pennsalt back then) as well as the statues scattered throughout the estate were an inspiration to a child's imagination. I know that we were chased off the mansion property many times. My brother, John Stark, and his friends explored the tunnels and who knows what else copiously (I recognized some of the names of previous guest entries). There were woods behind our house filled with pheasants and in the woods was a treehouse that excluded girls. What amazing memories linger of a younger more innocent time. I was saddened as a visited your website to realize that such an important part of our childhood and history is gone. It has been decades since I visited Philly. I've been working on a family scrapbook for my brother (living in AZ) and I know that some of those pictures from your website will be included (hope it's ok), and that will absolutely thrill him!
Laura (Stark) Cooper Laura.Cooper@colorado.edu
Boulder, Colorado USA - August 4, 2005 1:00 PM EST 

Gerry, I really enjoyed your website on Whitemarsh Hall. My great-grandafather had a place nearby, about 1/5 the size and not nearly so elegant. My grandfather recounted being at Stotesbery's on several occasions for dinner, but never went in to much detail as to what it was like. Like you, a close friend and I spent many hours exploring the interior of the house, trying to imagine what it looked like in its heyday and what each of the rooms was used for. I think our explorations preceeded your's by about 7 years, but we were about 10 years older and not so clever as to take photos. It was really fun to see your personal photos as well as the ones of the place during its construction, in its prime and the demolition I didn't realize that the developers had retained some of the architectural pieces from the original house, a nice gesture in this time of build to the lot line. Thanks for your efforts.
Randy Morgan wyndmoor@comcast.net
USA - July 25, 2005 12:04 AM EST

Hello Gerry, I have visited your Stotesbury website over the years and I had spent a lot of time there with my friends from 1978 until it was demolished. I always wondered what happened to all of the statues and figurines there after they demolished the mansion. Do you know who made all of those statues on and around the mansion? I remember seeing them spread out all over the lawn before the mansion was finally demolished. Were they sold to an antique dealer? I swore that I saw a lot of Stotesbury statues and figurines on the front yard of an antique shop located in Lahaska. I swore that the headless reclining nude statue that I saw there was from the Stotesbury estate. Aren't the Stotesbury rotunda statues housed in the Philadelphia Museum of art? As I have been researching my family history, I recently learned that one of my relatives from Edge Hill worked at the mansion during the depression. I learned that he was given food (meat, poultry) to bring home to his family during his employment there. I have enclosed some photos from the mansion that took back in 1978. I haven't seen many photos of the stone carvings and statues on the internet so I wanted to share the ones I have with you. Thanks for a great website and best wishes to you. Best Regards,

Joe Fanelli jsfmt99@yahoo.com
Wyncote, PA USA - July 21, 2005 2:42 AM EST 

Hi Gerry. My name is Lynn Sherrick (maiden name Metelits). I live in LA but grew up in Wyndmoor and Erdenheim ( maybe you knew my brothers, Les and Carl?). I was born in 1958 and lived at 1207 Cromwell Road until I was nine. We could see the mansion between the houses across the street. There was a driveway/path that ran behind the houses across the street. The entrance was on Cromwell Road about 1/4 to 1/3 in from Paper Mill Road. I think Tony Roman used to live close to it. The other entrance might have been on Delphine? The path took you up to the mansion. We moved a mere 2-3 blocks away to Harston Lane when I was nine. It wasn't the same. We could see the mansion during the winter when the trees were bare, but it was too far away! I guess I had been spoiled. A friend of mine who grew up in the northeast (but lives here) asked me a few weeks ago if I had ever heard of Stotesbury Mansion. lol. I found your site and sent it to him. He used to explore it in the 60`s too. He couldn't believe that I had lived so close to it. I have to thank you for this site!!! It really has unlocked all kinds of memories for me. Just looking at the photos seriously puts me back there. Thanks again!!!
Lynn Sherrick Emailman56@aol.com
Los Angeles, CA USA - July 19, 2005 12:42 AM EST 

Nice web site & description of the mansion. Have been learning more about the Stotesbery name, & the variations of the spelling. Found information with ancestorial ties to Cork, Ireland & the United Kingdom. Found your web site to very interesting as well. Our family reunion is July 16th & 17th... we share information with each other about further ancestral findings hoping to trace even more family ties. Thank You ....
Cory Stotesbery Cory.Stotesbery@WellsFargoEFS.com
Sioux Falls, SD USA - July 7, 2005 11:54 AM EST  

Gerry, Great site. While working for a fence company just after coming back from Vietnam in 72 -73,our older Phila born foreman wanted to show us something. He pulled into the drive leading up to the columns of the estate. We ‘toured’ the broken down estate. Even in its disrepair, I was taken back by the scope of this home. I marveled at the splendor I could only imagine. For years, I have been telling people of this estate I had visited. Just today, I had the idea of searching the web for this mansion. After determining that it was in Wyndmoor, it wasn’t difficult to find. ‘Your pics’ is exactly how it looked to me back in the seventies. I was heartbroken when I saw the mansion of ‘today’. I know it would have cost ‘zillions’ to refurbish and maintain the estate, but when I see the splendor of its past in the pictures, I sure do wish it could have been possible. Thank you for what you have put together on the site.
Tom Roche buckscop@comcast.net
Morrisville, PA USA - June 14, 2005 6:11 PM EST 

Gerry, You have an outstanding web site. I have viewed many genealogy websites and the one you have put together is in the top 2 or 3 I have seen. I built one myself for my Slovak ancestry but it pales in comparison to what you have done. Great job! I have just begun researching my wife's family "Serian", formerly Serianni. Her family is from Jefferson and Indiana County Pennsylvania (Walston, Pa., Punxsutawney, Pa. and Rossiter (Indiana Co.) Penna. Her great-grandfather was Luigi Serianni, born May 1869. He came to the U.S. in 1888. His wife was Josephine Ricinni. My first tasks are to find his village of birth and his date and name of ship upon arrival in the U.S. Looking at your web site and Mary Jo Loyd's is like old home week. The names I recognize from Punxsutawney, Pa. are Costanzo, Gigliotti, Mancuso, Marasco, Volpe (a Chief of Police), Anania Bonadio (a professional photographe), Cardamone, Maroca (possibly Maruca who owned/operated a lumber mill), Pascuzzo ( a good friend of the family) and Villella. Anyway - great site! Well done and best regards. Researching: Cmorej, Czmorej, Hurdich, Pasztircak in Slovakia; Serianni, Cavalieri, Fiero in Italy; Broadwater in England, McCormick in Scotland and Clark in Ireland. the estate? Thanks for you insightful web site. Best regards,
Bill Smorey (Cmorej) wasmore@worldnet.att.net  My site: http://home.att.net/~smor.gen
USA - June 3, 2005 at 7:37 PM EST 

Dear Gerry, For the past couple of days I have been perusing your great web site. It brings back wonderful memories. Back in the mid 1960's I attended a day camp that leased the mansion for one summer. I remember having lunch in the great hall. We used two of the fountains for swimming lessons, the grounds for the athletic activities and some of the offices on the first floor for arts and crafts. We also did a great deal of exploring in the mansion.  I grew up in a West Oak Lane row house and going to mansion for camp was an experience that I have not forgotten. We moved close by the mansion in Erdenheim/Flourtown on the other side of Paper Mill Road in 1970. In the late 70's I would occasionally drive to the mansion grounds. It was sad to see the damage that was done to this beautiful palatial estate. Gerry, there is a carriage house on Paper Mill Road that I thought was part of the Stotebury Mansion. Are you familiar with it and was it part of the estate? Thanks for you insightful web site. Best regards,
Neal R. Goren, CPC, ngoren@lucasgroup.com  Lucas Group
Houston, TX USA - May 26, 2005 at 5:23 PM EST

Dear Gerry, First of all, please allow me to congratulate you on such a fine website. It truly does justice to the memories of Whitemarsh Hall. Being a child born during the 'baby boom' back in the forties, I wasn't aware of the Stotesbury Estate until I married my wife, whose parents lived on Cromwell Rd. since 1969. We were married in 1976, and it was at this point that I started noticing there was something very BIG, something VERY important residing 'up on a hill' in the Wyndmoor area: The Stotesbury Mansion [aka] Whitemarsh Hall. Now, sadly my wifes mother has passed away, and we are residing in her house on Cromwell Rd, I have become enthralled with the mystique surrounding all aspects of the Stotesbury's, their lifestyle, their financial doing's, their estate...the entire package. I have begun physically studying the remnants of the estate, and would like to know as much as is possible about this subject. I almost wish I could have been born back in this time period if only to experience firsthand--the glamour and opulence of such a lifestyle, which surpasses even the splendor of the renowned Chestnut Hill Society days--and it's accompanying lifestyle. One thing I've already concluded is, there is a lot more about this subject than meets the eye. It is with this ferverant hope that I continue to explore the way things were, way back when--with an eye on the present as well as sentimentality and respect for the past. Once again, you've done a great job on the site. Sincerely yours,
Samuel J. Brown Sammers1@hotmail.com
Wyndmoor, PA USA - May 25, 2005 at 3:08 PM EST 

Gerry – Your site is fantastic, thank you for keeping the memory of Whitemarsh Hall alive. Sadly, I’m not old enough to really remember it… and I’ll be honest, I’m jealous of anyone who has ever seen it first hand. I’ve read about a ‘sister house’ – Lynnewood Hall, also designed by Horace Trumbauer.

Do you know how similar it is to WH? Also – I’ve heard it’s presently vacant, is it worth exploring? Any tips? Thanks,
David Eckard david_eckard@verizon.net
Philadelphia, PA USA - May 15, 2005 at 7:32 PM EST

Gerry, I have just spent the last 2 hours reading over tons of material regarding Whitemarsh Hall. Your site is incredible. My wife and I just moved into a house on the corner of Cheltenham and Widener, and I was trying to do a little research on the old estate. In particular, I was looking to find out what the old stairs in my backyard might have once belonged to. I have also noted in some of your guestbook entries that there used to be tunnel entrances near Patton Rd, which I believe is one away from me. Was there a structure of some sort that you know of where my house is now located? Thanks,
Bret M. Silberman, RedHat Certified Engineer bret.silberman@uranus.com
Wyndmoor, PA USA - April 29, 2005 at 10:49 AM EST

I don't know for sure how I got to this website, but I was trying to verify information about Pennsalt Chemical Co. (which I worked for in Philly - corporate offices) in 1961-1962 and worked for retired presidents who had offices in the building. What an experience that was, and I shall never forget the privilege of working for George B. Beitzel, Sr. and Leonard Tillinghast Beale. Enjoyed all the messages on this site.
Betty S ( )
(not in Illinois) USA - April 28, 2005 at 9:54 PM EST

Dear Gerry. I am writing rather hastily, having just spotted your guest book. I have visited your site a number of times over the past several years but never thoroughly. I get overwhelmed before I can get through it. You have done a marvelous job and I believe it is an important contribution to our cultural heritage by keeping Whitemarsh Hall from being lost, even from our memory. But at the same time I find it very sad. I now realize your motivation in putting up this site. It must be very difficult to return to the mansion ruins and even to work on this site. The mansion obviously made strong and lasting childhood impressions. I guess the rest of us can be thankful for that. I think Whitemarsh Hall was the second largest home in America. That should have been enough to grant it protection. Whitemarsh Hall and other great mansions like it are parts our culture, history and heritage, in my opinion. There was a brief period during the late 1800's and early 1900's (what some call the gilded age) when the very wealthiest in our society built these great homes, quite often in competition with one another. They were usually in many ways copies of earlier great European structures and were designed by the greatest architects in America and constructed by the greatest craftsmen in the world. The houses themselves were as much great works of art as the fine art of the great masters that they held within, in most cases. In fact many of these mansions today are museums holding some of the worlds greatest fine art, statuary and furniture. In many cases this was the intension of the original owners. Although some of these wealthy owners were unscrupulous, many were not and in fact gave back to society what they had gained. They were key and essential players in the development and evolution of our society, particularly with respect to technology and economics. For all of these reasons and many more, is why not a single of these magnificent structures should ever be lost. I'm sure, Gerry, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But maybe this can be helpful to some of your viewers. I live in Milton a suburb of Boston which at one time housed many of the areas greatest mansions. But slowly, one by one they are disappearing. Conversion to condos, schools, nursing homes, offices and outright demolition continues unabated. For example in the past three years alone, across the street from where I live, four have been lost. These were forty, fifty and sixty room mansions. The last to go was the former Howard Johnson estate. We were powerless, with no historical or heritage teeth and up against one of the states biggest developers, also a local resident. Now we are looking at a bunch of townhouses. Doesn't cut it. On a positive note, a sister house of Whitemarsh Hall (same Architect) is doing well after narrowly escaping demolition in the 60's. It is called 'The Elms'

and is owned by The Preservation Society of Newport, RI. It is open to public touring throughout the year along with other famous mansions. This area of Newport is a page from history and very worth visiting. There is yet another sister mansion still standing and just a few miles from Whitemarsh Hall in an area of Philadelphia called Elkins Park. This property is called Lynnewood Hall and was once very similar to that of Whitemarsh Hall. It sits on about twenty acres (originally 350 acres) and is well fenced and gated. But failing at a fast rate, probably waiting to be condemned which allows for easy demolition. I fear it is heading to join Whitemarsh Hall. Gerry what are your thoughts on Lynnewood Hall? Is there anything to be optimistic about? A final sister or maybe big brother, also a few miles from Whitemarsh Hall, is on the campus of Arcadia university. This is a castle like structure called 'Grey Towers' and is very impressive and probably safe. Thanks for such an informative and important site. Best Regards,
Greg Lonergan greglonergan@hotmail.com
Milton, MA USA - April 21, 2005 at 12:10 AM EST

My name is Frank Talarico and I was born in Pittsburgh PA in 1951. My father's name was also Frank and he had a lot of brother s and sisters including willia, Dominic and mildred. My grandparents emigrated from callabria in the early 1900's and all of their children were born in the states. I don't belice that any of my fater's siblings are still alive but my uncle bill has a son who has been very active in tracing the family history. Good luck and let me know what you turn up.
Frank Talarico FTalarico@aol.com
USA - April 15, 2005 at 10:41 AM EST

I used to hang out at the mansion back in the 1970s, but I never had the guts to go into the subfloors. For some reason, I am wild with curiousity about them. Did any of you ever explore? I would love to know about your experiences. 
Gillian Andersen Gillian.Andersen@enmu.edu
USA - April 12, 2005 at 1:07 PM EST

Greetings, Mr. Serianni. Firstly, I wish to commend you on the excellent work you've put in to your website! I have enjoyed it very much and I visit often. However, I do have a question about a few details which I can't seem to get an answer for, and that is what were some of the colors used for the interior - specifically the Entrance Foyer, the Ballroom, and the Rotundas? Usually, I can determine what the likely colors of a room (in grayscale photos) are/were based on a number of things, but it is almost impossible to tell in this case from the photos that I have seen and I have not come across any texts describing these rooms. I was hoping that you or someone else who might know could help me. Any information you could lead me to will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time. Sincerely,
M. Thompson sequoyah4@yahoo.com
Burlington, NJ USA - Apr 4, 2005 at 3:59 PM EST

Hey Gerry, Long time no see. I've enjoyed visiting your site over the years, its excellent, I was seaching for spindles for my stair case for my house in Wyndmoor and guess what popped up? Yes.. your web site, anyways hope your doing well. Remembering fun times at Hartwell Lane and Hillcrest, thought Id drop you an note.
Gary Lester Gary.Lester@dep.state.nj.us
USA April 20, 2005 at 7:03 AM EST

Greetings: I happened to be typing in my last name (Scharfy) on the yahoo search engine when I came across a message left by my mom Veronica Scharfy-Szozda in your December 2004 Whitemarsh guestbook. I know she found your site interesting as some of our relatives hail from the same town in Italy, Avezzano, as yours do. Unfortunately, while trying to explain her biography, she went off on a tangent and mentioned that her ex-husband's side of the family hates Italians. If you could find the time, could you remove her hasty message removed from your guestbook? I find it embarrassing as it cheapens the Whitemarsh Website. Thanks for your time. Sincerely,
Paul Scharfy paulscharfy@yahoo.com
Pasadena, Ca USA - Apr 12, 2005 at 12:01 AM EST

Growing up in Dresher, Pa I was not yet fifteen when it was announced the great Stotesbury mansion would be demolished. That's when all the stories surfaced my friends with older siblings told of this great place of stone and marble, three stories below, elevators and in ground pools, (was there an in ground/ below ground pool, that was one of the rumors in '80) for 25 years these stories of this mythical place gone, has haunted me. I never really spoke of it, because honestly, it didn't believe it really exist. - how could something so beautiful been left to decay, it must never existed. Until last week when a neighbor of mind here in Columbus Ohio, who just so happens to have grown up in Whitemarsh Pa. told me of your web site. Without you I'd would have never had visual proof this place exist. I envy you, you got to see her. thank you thank you thank you for your love of great architecture your ability to see the need to archive it and your intellect and time to share it with the rest of us. Thank you.
Elizabeth Bal tbbal@sprintmail.com
Columbus, OH USA - March 25, 2005 at 11:52 PM EST

Thank you so much for creating this site. What a beautiful home - what a sin that it was destroyed. The construction photos really hit me. Someone put such love and care into building this house. Not to mention time, money and effort. The other pictures that nearly made me ill were the photos taken after the vandalism and deterioration had taken place. How awful that such a fine and grand manse was left to rot. Shame on the city for not doing something to save that house.

Rose Thornton author, The Houses That Sears Built

Rose Thornton wiserjigop@kusi.net
USA - March 10, 2005 at 7:45 PM EST 

I just wanted to thank you for you photos. When you're a kid looking at these grand buildings, it seems that no one cares about them except you - they are a very special and private place. For me it was Whitehaven (small by Whitemarsh standards) a antebellum plantation house in Paducah, Kentucky which was about to be demolished when at 10 I explored it (but was saved and restored). 

mansions like Oheka that were abandoned on Long Island's Gold Coast - sure wish I had - Oheka is the 2nd largest private residence in the US but Whitemarsh seems much more grand. GREAT SITE!!!
The Herald-Times
Clint Mahoney mahoney@heraldt.com
USA - March 5, 2005 at 9:55 PM EST

I grew up on Douglass Road which was the original drive for the main house. We had one of the “original” oaks that lined the driveway in our front yard. We used to “sneak” down there too, before it was vandalized. What a shame to lose such a beautiful structure! I am 52, so maybe you were around at the same time??
Barry J. Frie bfriel@accessedocs.com
Executive Vice President
USA - March 4, 2005 at 11:01 AM EST

Hey Gerry, I just want to say that i was blown away that a palace of such grandeur was just demolished without a historical society or someone coming to the aid of this truly magnificent structure. Although i have never see it in person, your website recreates this mansion to the point where i almost feel as though i have seen it with my own eyes. Thanks for the wonderful site and i hope that it continues to grow with more information about this truly awesome example of architecture from an era that has long since passed. On a side note, i would like to recreate this palace at least on paper. if you or anyone else knows where i could get a set of drawings or something for this structure. if they still exist. i would appreciate it. Thanks again,
Adam Frazier nostrasized@yahoo.com
USA - March 4, 2005 at 11:01 AM EST

Gerry, Found something you might find rather interesting. See the files attached to this email and the one that will follow. You are welcome to use them on your brilliant (BRILLIANT!!) website. Respect,


Tommy Maguire Rockat@comcast.net
Glenside, PA USA - February 22, 2005 at 6:27 AM EST 

Cercavo qualche notizia circa la famiglia Spallone, nativa di Casalnuovo Monterotaro (Foggia). Non cè nulla. La mia. Grazie. Sono un sacerdote cattolico: padre Spallone Renato
Renato Spallone spallone.renato@tiscali.it\
Casalnuovo Monterotaro, Foggia, Italy - February 22, 2005 at 6:26 AM EST

Sou Leni Pereira da Silva, filha de Deolinda Alcídia Siriani da Silva e neta de Ferdindando Siriani que era filho de Antonio Maria e Orsola Perri. Meu avô nasceu na Comune de Santa Lucia, Província de Catanzaro, Calábria Itália.Sou membro da Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias e estou fazendo minha genealogia. Nas minhas primeiras pesquizas encontrei sua família e gostaria de saber se somos da mesma família. Meu endereço: Rua Ametista nº 102 Jd Parnaíba Santana de Parnaíba São
Emilia Carolina Miguel Mikailda@hotmail.com
Paulo Brasil - February 19, 2005 at 6:59 PM EST

Gerry, What a beautiful web page. I stumbled onto it looking for information about bird flyways in central PA for the Cubscouts. Am also a family historian for years now, however none of your surnames are familiar. I'm researching: Kuhn, Henry, Hoffman, Burley, and many others. Good work.
Fred Kuhn tlkfbk@pa.net
Shermansdale, PA, USA - Saturday February 19, 2005 at 10:21 AM EST

MICHELE BORTONE bortmik@freesurf.ch
Wednesday February 13, 2005 at 2:40 AM EST

Gerry, On behalf of many, I want to thank you for preserving the memory of a special place in history. I stumbled across your site while doing research to find a grand home for our family to restore. Unfortunately we are about 25 years too late to save Whitemarsh Hall. When I visited your site it took me a few minutes to find out that they had demolished it and I literally became sick to my stomach. Places like those (large and small) should be preserved at all costs. History can never be resurrected, once it's been bulldozed!! If anyone knows of or has ever heard of an old home that's vacant, dilapidated, for sale or abandoned in the NJ/PA area
Anthony Gagliardi agagliar@pingry.org
Warren, NJ USA - Wednesday February 3, 2005 at 3:41 PM EST

I just spent several hours on your website, and want to thank you for providing such a rich and enjoyable experience. I'm a big architecture fan and happened on your site because I googled Whitemarsh Hall when it was mentioned in something I was reading about Trumbauer (isn't the internet great?!). Anyway, I was delighted to see that it included the floorplan (for me the a huge element in the intimacy of experiencing a house). From there, I got totally caught up in the mood and feeling of the place, and especially enjoyed the account of your personal experiences and photos. Your site is so evocative and powerful that I have to express my deep appreciation that you took the time to set it up.
Richard Dwaileebe Rdwaileebe2@aol.com
San Francisco, CA USA - Tuesday January 25, 2005 at 10:53 PM EST

My road to Whitemarsh Hall began when I became friends with a new kid in High school, his family had just moved to NJ from Oreland, PA. When he became old enough to drive he told me, "lets go, I am going to show you the most amazing thing you will ever see". We went there several times between 1976 and 79. He was right. I will never forget wandering the main building, outbuildings and tunnels, a truly confusing structure by flashlight. Thank you for the website.
Mark Horger MaHORGER@aol.com
Palmyra, New Jersey USA - Sunday January 23, 2005 at 12:11 PM EST

Wow. I was thinking the other day about the many lunchtime visits in the late 1960’s to sadly dilapidated Stotesbury Mansion when I worked for a company at the former Wyndmoore firehouse. A snowy Saturday afternoon seemed like a good time for a Google search. On the very top was your site. I have just spent the last several hours following every link and reading every word. You absolutely ROCK as the kids today would say. What a wonderfully meticulous site. I had seen one or two of the Philadelphia newspapers write ups in the ‘70’s and somewhere had heard the mansion was demolished in the 80’s but never knew anything to the degree you depict. I felt as you did wandering the forbidden halls and tunnels of Stotesbury (never knew the name was “Whitemarsh Hall”) and often wondered about the origin and details of the long ago grandeur.  I remember feeling such hate and discontent over how it had been desecrated and wondered about all those pipes which I now realize came along much later with the research labs. I also appreciate your wonderful photos and your family tree. I sure hope they appreciate you!! Thank you!!
HD4C2D2 hd4c2d2@comcast.net
USA - Saturday January 22, 2005 at 8:09 PM EST

Well, finally my book of poems "blue-jay e quadrifogli" has been published. Nino Longo' s painting inspired by my poems can be seen on the cover. My poems are prefaced by Mario Luzi and are divided in three sections. The middle section includes a poem to Nina and Vincent Ilardi and one to Allen Mandelbaum. The book was published by Edizioni Parentesi and can be bought on line at...

Teresa Lazzaro maresina@interfree.it
taly - Friday January 14, 2005 at 10:05 AM EST

Gerry, Your web site is truly wonderful! I explored Whitemarsh Hall in the 70's as a teenager and remember being fascinated by the grandeur if the place and how sad it is that it was allowed to disappear. I want to share a story I remember my great-aunt telling about the "house". She was a young art student in Philadelphia (not sure the year but she was born in 1899). The story went that Mrs. Stotesbury had commissioned the art school ( maybe what was later Moore College of Art?) to illustrate her entire wardrobe so that she could select her ensemble for the day from the illustrations - right down to the gloves, shoes and hat - and have her maid fetch the items from the various closets that housed her huge wardrobe. My aunt was one of the students hired to do the illustrations. I have no other information and my aunt has since passed away. (She was quite a talented artist, though never a professional.) I thought you might enjoy this small story about Mrs. Stotesbury's life. Thank you!
Blair Knopf dbknopf@comcast.net
Ambler, PA USA - Monday January 10, 2005 at 2:34 PM EST