2002

2002



Having stumbled across this site, I was just in awe of the splendor and beauty of the estate. Having traveled Europe and seen these same style of properties to be hundreds of years old, how can we manage to hold onto these for a mere 65 years? Sadness is what I feel...
Scott Johnson (scottyj@pacbell.net)
San Francisco, CA USA - Wednesday December 25, 2002 at 11:28 EST


I am living in Texas, have been for 30 years, i grew up on Claridge road in Wyndmoor and spent my youth foolin around the "Mansion" as we called it when Pennsalt was there! Thanx for the memories it is sad it is gone! Any relation to Dick Serianni or the ones on Patton road?
Ray Seifert (rayben1@gte.net)
Texas, USA - Monday December 23, 2002 at 1:16 EST


I stumbled across this site while doing research for a fiction novel. It touched me. The house spoke to me of its sadness and I was appalled that this could happen to a magnificent property. How could this have happened in this day and age? We have no reverence for what is old, beautiful and untouchable. Why?
Peg Franzen (pegpatfranzen@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday December 18, 2002 at 11:23 EST


Hi Gerry: This is a terrific site. My sister sent it to me yesterday and I spent an hour on it at least. Way too many memories to say here. I hope you and your family are doing great.
Al Wenzel (al_wenzel@federalcos.com)
USA - Monday December 16, 2002 at 12:37 EST


Hello. Great work on this site. I visited Whitemarsh Hall years ago, at 9:00 at night, I was very young. We just turned around in a driveway and I saw the pillars in the headlights. That was the first and last time I saw the remains of the mansion. I have a question. I was told that there were three stories underground. What happened to them? I imagine if they are underground, they wouldn't be affected by the demolition. I was wondering if they were still underground and if there is a "hidden entrance" that would lead to them. So maybe somebody could go under the earth and check them out. Just curious. Please E-mail me back. Thank You for your time.
Robert (RLE1543345@CS.COM)
USA - Wednesday December 11, 2002 at 11:00 EST


I have just learned that my grandfather Phillip Sirianni came from Soveria Manelli in Catanzaro. And my grandmother's mother Josephine Chiodo also was from there. Josephine was born in 1862 and died in 1953. She married Serafino Scalese who was born in 1848 and died in 1915. They may have resided in San Mango D'Quino, in the Provincia Catanzaro, Italy. They had at least four children, maybe more-Michael, Concetta, Mary, and Stella. Phillip was born in 1876 and died in 1964 in Windber, PA. He came to America and worked in Chicago for a while. He then traveled to the Johnstown, PA area and married my grandmother, Concetta, around 1899 or 1900. They had twelve children, seven survived: Angelina, Michael, Albert, Richard, Theresa, Frank, and Arthur. All but one uncle grew up with the Americanized name of Serrian, so it was interesting to me to read all of the names in your family that are similar to ours. I always wondered where my grandparents picked the names for their children and reading some of these family names I see connections. All of Josephine and Serafino's children lived in Windber, PA. YOU have put a lot of work into your site. I am just beginning my search and don't know if there is any connection between our families. Hopefully more people will be able to make family connections through your family tree.
David Lewis (mjlewis@adelphia.net)
Emporium, PA USA - Thursday December 5, 2002 at 9:07 EST


Hi, my name is Liz and I had Thanksgiving dinner today with my cousin Jerry who lives on MacArthur. I had to see if there was any info on Stotesbury, even though I had never seen it (other than the 'Castle House' on Paper Mill Rd. which I fell in love with when I was about 10), What a wonderful magical website. I really love the pictures and reading the history of the Stotesbury Mansion. Thank you for this wonderful web site you have created.
Liz Maza (Ellsr@aol.com)
Trooper, PA USA - Friday November 29, 2002 at 1:14 EST


Hello there, I just bought a copy of the famous decorator, Elsie DeWolfe's biography, "After All" in an antique store. In it there is an inscription from De Wolf (signed) to Eva Stotesbury, and her bookplate (E. Stotesbury's). Apparently this was her personal copy of the book by De Wolfe. I checked Google to see if Eva Roberts Stotesbury was anyone special, and lo and behold I stumbled upon your website! What a sad, sad thing to find out such an architectural jewel was destroyed. I plan to print out your pages. But what an incredible treasure I now own!
Marie Bottini (inesdenobrega@yahoo.com)
Sebastopol, CA USA - Friday November 22, 2002 at 15:55 EST


ciao, mi chiamo gaetano è scrivo da Soveria Mannelli. Sto svolgendo una ricerca per ritrovare tutti coloro che sono originari di soveria mannelli. Mi potete inviare tutti gli indirizzi delle abitazioni e loro indirizzi e mail di soveritani che conoscete e che abitano fuori dall'italia. trovo il sito molto interessante  a presto
gaetano (
gaetano@soveria.it)
Soveria, Italy - Thursday November 14, 2002 at 15:15 EST


Very creative web site. Your tomato sauce recipe was wonderful.
Mandy
New Jersey, USA - Monday November 18, 2002 at 21:11 EST


sto cercando qualsiasi informazione sui soveritani negli USA. Complimenti per il sito. Potete aiutarmi a ritrovare i soveritani negli Stati Uniti? Questo lavoro lo conduco per conto dell'Amministrazione comunale di soveria. ciao
gaetano (
gaetano@soveria.it)
Soveria, Italy - Thursday November 14, 2002 at 15:15 EST


Hey there, I was just pokin around on the internet and decided to search on my family's last name….Kirchan. I came to your website and found Kirchan listed under surnames. Trying to figure out if any of my family is somehow linked since our name is not too common. Anyway, if you know anything, let me know. You have created a fantastic family history, by the way. Sincerely,
Deborah Kirchan (dkirchan@msn.com)
USA - Saturday November 9, 2002 at 06:51 EST


I loved the site. It was so tastefully done. I "parked" there as a teenager with my boyfriend. He and I are now in our late fifties and still friends. It's sad to see so much of America's rich history NOT being preserved as it has been in other countries. The Widner estate is another example, as is Willow Grove Park, which is now visible to me from my kitchen window---as a mall. Let me know if you ever compile your info into a book.
Sandra J. Bachmann (sbachmann@tnstelecoms.com)
Willow Grove, PA USA - Thursday November 7, 2002 at 09:51 EST


OH MY GOSH! On a whim decided to see if I could find anything on the Stotesbury Mansion. Actually I thought it it was Stokesbery. Gave your site a shot. Viola! All I ever wanted to know ,plus more , about Stotesbury! I went through it a couple of times as a teen in the late 70's. I wish I would have absorbed and explored a lot more. EXCEPT...... I was always afraid of being caught by the police for trespassing! I had taken a scrap of leather from one of the large doors (off the foyer?) the last time I was there. Held onto it for years and then tossed it. I caught up with one of my fellow explorers in the late 80's. Found out the place was demolished. By this time in my life I had become quite fond of old things because they all have their own look, feel and story. That little scrap of leather would have been an awesome part of my collection of stuff. I plan to print out all your info to enjoy for years to come. It's been well over 25 years and I still find my thoughts going back to that place quite often. Even in the state of ruins I saw her in ,she was still very impressive. Now I want to go back there. Time to call some old friends and make some plans to visit Pa. Thanks for not only the info but the photos. I enjoy looking at them the most. A split second of time frozen in a photo forever......
(
Mont9999H@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday November 6, 2002 at 21:40 EST


Hi my name is Susan and I too visited the mansion. Oh boy did we ever get into big trouble for being there! I graduated from Central Bucks West High in 1978. My friends and I were so fascinated by the mansion we decided to go up on the Hill one day. We cut school to do it and got caught! But it was an adventure! The fond memories of being a teen. I just love the pictures you took, I figured one day it would be tore down but I find it great to see what it now looks like. The old photos are also great. Nice site.
http://www.geocities.com/s_perovich/food_for_thought.html?1027254441460

  IncrediMail - Email has finally evolved - Click Here

Susan (Cottrell) Perovich (food_for_thought@excite.com)
Ulysses, Northern PA USA - Friday October 25, 2002 at 18:51 EST


Wow cool. I grew up on the corner of Patton/Farrell Roads (SHS 82) and we used to walk up there (Wainwright?) all the time. I will never forget the one year we braved Paper Mill as young kids to "trick or treat" at the "tower house." I was always blown away by my later discovery that the tower house and gate house etc. were all part of the estate. It seems like an eternity of distance and place for the residents that no photo can convey. And the mansion itself was amazing, which your site so clearly conveys in so many ways. Your site is absolutely amazing in every way (including navigation! which is something we can all agree is never the case!!) and historical and complete with so much rich information and details. I am so glad you've taken this on and I really think you should publish a book on it.
Philip M. SHS 82 (fprintf@yahoo.com)
Wyndmoor PA, (now Bala Cynwyd PA by way of Boston MA!) USA - Tuesday October 22, 2002 at 13:49 EST


As a teenager, I too, walked the grounds and interior of Stotesbury (way back in 1975). I was always in "awe" of what a magnificent piece of art it was then and what it had been at one time. I was glad to see your website as I'm always telling the legend of Stotesbury and wish they could've seen it back in the day when it was at least still standing. I recently visited some friends who live in the townhouses built upon the estate and they were kind enough to take my fiancé and I for a walk through the columns, statues and fountains still standing. Needless to say, being from New Jersey he didn't know such a place existed (and is still in awe!). He now tells the story...Thank you for the memories.
Marci Monaco (Taebo0144@aol.com)
Plymouth Meeting, PA USA - Tuesday October 22, 2002 at 00:04 EST


I stumbled upon your website and it nearly brought me to tears. I am a lover of fine homes and especially old mansions. What a crime it was to have demolished such a magnificent structure. I commend you for trying to preserve the home through your website. I thoroughly enjoyed my "tour" through the house you made possible. Thank you. I truly hope the greedy criminals (disguised as gentlemen) who bought, destroyed, and desecrated this fine estate will never live (or rest) in peace. Sincerely,
Jim Kinser
Instructional Designer/Programmer
Instructional Systems Design
Southeastern Computer Consultants-Austin Division
5332 Thunder Creek Rd., Ste. 101
Austin, TX 78759
Phone 512-794-0033
Fax   512-794-0001

Kinser (jkinser@scci-ad.com)
Austin, TX USA - Thursday, October 17, 2002 at 14:45 EST


Thank you for creating this web site! My family has been living in Glenside since '74. I was only a toddler at the time the demolition started. I remember stories my brothers would tell me about Stotesbury when they were at Norwood and at La Salle HS. I vividly remember being introduced to those huge columns and statues overgrown with ivy and the stories behind them. Although I saw only the remains of what once was, in my mind I could only imagine its beauty and grandeur. Not once did I see a picture of what it really looked like. Even as a child I remember feeling sad that something beautiful was gone. Twenty years later, I found myself wanting to know more about the history of my neighborhood--which through some serendipity led me to your web site. The feeling I got reading your web site can only be described as feeling like some great mystery of life has been revealed. (I know that sounds little crazy) Seeing those pictures helped to finally validate the stories I heard and the great place I had imagined. My sister and I stayed up until 3 in the morning reading the site and piecing together other stories we read about Julian Abele and Trumbauer. We even read up on Doris Duke's life and other socialites of the 20's. I feel honored to be living around such historic and artistic sites. Maybe it's better it took me twenty years to know about Stotesbury. The internet has proven to be a great tool, thanks to people like you!
Elsa Louis-Charles (
elcharles@msn.com)
Glenside, PA  USA - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 at 16:13 EST


I also wondered the grounds in the early 1950s. We moved into one of the first houses built on Patton Rd. At that time the grounds were well kept. I will look for any old photos I may have from that era. Thanks for the great web site
Jim Scott (
jimscott284@msn.com)
USA - Sunday, October 13, 2002 at 21:18 EST


Thank you for a fascinating site! I was born in Chestnut Hill (1953) and grew up in Abington (AHS '71). I too snuck in several times in the late sixties/early seventies and found it totally mind boggling, and quite eerie. It was difficult then to picture it as it had once been, so your photos are quite interesting. I am a musician and had studied Organ privately with Dr. William Timmings of St. Paul's, Elkins Park, and though I could be wrong about this, I think he was the 'resident organist' at Whitemarsh for many years. (When I studied with him in the 60's and 70's he was well into his eighties.) I remember standing in what was the Ballroom and noting the huge (but empty) organ chambers at one end. so sad. I now live in NYC, and Newport, RI (right behind the Elms) and have an insatiable appetite for history, so thanks again!
Jeffrey Laird Claflin (
Laird1953@aol.com)
New York City, USA - Tuesday, October 08, 2002 at 11:52 EST


Gerry, Wow. I've been wanting to drop you a line since I discovered your incredible website earlier in the summer. I'm astounded by the wonderful way in which you've organized the pages. I have read every typed word at least twice. Thank you so much. I only saw Whitemarsh Hall once in my youth, I was 12 and the year was 1976. My father drove me over from my home in Roslyn. I'll never forget the site and the majesty of the structure. I've since seen the ruins a number of times and will forever be astounded by the bizarre contrast of the towering columns from the past placed between modest town homes. Sort of like a surrealistic Stonehenge. Absolutely remarkable. Thankfully pieces were saved for generations to see as a memorial of sorts for a building and a time that is a gone now as it was breathtaking then. It would be an honor to meet you one day just to shake your hand. My deepest thanks for going to this great effort to share your memories and your passion with us all. Your website is a glimmering example of what can be accomplished with Internet technology. Anyone deciding to visit the remains should be warned that some of the residents of Widener Road do not appreciate strangers viewing the fountain and statues, regardless of how respectable you are being while seated in your car. Your wonderment at the works of Greber may very well be lost on the locals who in my case, mistook my love of art as an attempt to "case their neighborhood". All the very best,
Tommy Maguire (Rockat@comcast.net) (BrianSetzer.com)
USA - Tuesday, October 08, 2002 at 11:30 ES
T


Although I only saw the columns of this fabled palace, after it was destroyed it will always live in my memory, as one of the most devastating things that have ever happened to a house of that much importance. I grew up on Long Island where we had to deal with the near destruction of the Otto Kahn mansion, which was in almost the same shape as Whitemarsh Hall at the time of its destruction. It is wonderful to see such a complete site, with so much information, on a mansion that was truly a palace. Yours,
Walton H. Craig, III (nriveria53@aol.com)
Palm Beach, FL USA - Sunday, October 06, 2002 at 11:07 ES
T


My name is Lamont Harris and I grew up in Wyndmoore. I currently live in Palm Beach Florida and summer in Maine. I am fascinated by your Web site and have always felt a strange connection passing Whitemarsh's gates in Wyndmoore, going by the road El Mirasol in Palm Beach, and passing by the area where Wingwood House once stood in Bar Harbor Maine. The past I feel is so much more interesting than current History. In Palm Beach a 65,000 square foot house was just finished, and a 70,000 one is being re-modeled. I have passed by the construction sites many times and it's no the same. There is no magic anymore. The roaring twenties was a magical time, when something is over or finished you wander what must have been like. When something is current there is no wondering, just the reality that nothing could ever compare to the Stotesbury's time. I feel that Whitemarsh Hall is alive more than ever if not physically but in our imaginations. Thank you for the visions in my current and future imagination.
Lamont Harris (lamonth@bellsouth.net)
Palm Beach, FL USA - Thursday, September 19, 2002 at 22:53 EST


Gerry, I can't thank you enough for all your hard working on this Website. I read all your guest book entries and I too have memories of Stotesbury Mansion. Back in the mid-70's myself and friends (from Upper Moreland ) would go there at night. I would sit for hours out on the back lawn just looking up at the grandeur of the mansion and wondered what it must have looked like before vandals and neglect got it hands on her. I have told people for years about this place but just couldn't explain how grand this mansion was and I never took any pictures so I could show others. For years I have been looking for books to tell the story of how such a grand place fell. You have done it and what a great job you did --- Thanks again.
Jackie Piancastelli - Wright Class of 75 Upper Moreland (JPKPW@aol.com)
Sugar Hill, GA USA  - Thursday, September 19, 2002 at 20:47 EST


I am on the verge of purchasing a home in the area and was fascinated by the columns and former gatehouse on the Willow Grove Ave side. I made contact with the owner of the gatehouse (now a private residence) and he informed me of a little of the area's history (Stotesbury Estate). Well, like you I became obsessed with finding out more and ended up here at your site. I was blown away, to say the least, and was heartbroken to see what was lost...Thank you so much for your love and diligence in preserving the visual history of this lost treasure. If my plans to live in the area work out my choice will have so much more meaning because of this added knowledge.
Shirley (Shirleysworld2@cs.com)
Glenside, PA USA - Tuesday, September 17, 2002 at 03:27 EST


Hi Gerry, What an amazing website. Came across it awhile back and I keep coming back to it. I just drove over to where the townhouses are now built to see the columns that were left standing which I saw on your website. I grew up in Wyndmoor on Wyndmoor Drive and went to Seven Dolors. We used to go to Stotesbury Mansion (as we called it) and explore the building and grounds. What I remember most is the grand staircase and being very careful to walk up it as it was in such disrepair. It sickens me that the powers that be thought best to tear it down. It is an irreplaceable piece of history that we now have only through memories and photos. I am sad to say that I did not take any photos while there. Thank you for sharing such a great website. I will be back many more times I am sure to look at it and read the guest book. Take care.
Lisa (DeStephanis) Kopcsandy (lisa@petc.org
)
USA - Sunday, September 15, 2002 at 13:43 EST


dear gerry, you don't know me, my name is stephanie kelly. i grew up in laverock, and though i did not live as close to "my mansion" as you did to your mansion, i have felt and told people for many years that i had a secret mansion in my backyard. i, too, walked many days after school, while my siblings were busy doing other things teenagers did, to stotesbury. i often brought my journal there and would sit up on the wing, sometimes it was autumn and sometimes it was spring. it didn't matter to me because my secret mansion was the most beautiful sight and place in my life for most of my teenage years. i reserved sharing it with others, only special people in my life got to sneek past the house where the woman in the window would watch for people like us and call the police. we would be so quiet our breath nearly stopped. i spent countless hours inside, downstairs, walking around the fountain, sitting on the old steps, probably feeling as you did. i don't know how many others of us are out there who share this incredibly magnetic feeling that stotesbury has on us. i just got back from visiting what is left, i now live in rochester, new york and when i come to philly to visit my parents, i get to go back in time and try to make the adjustment to being "where my mansion once stood"....at times, i find it difficult and at other times i am glad that at least some parts are left for me to return to. had i known back then at 15 that those moments at stotesbury were finite, i may have taken many more pictures than i have. i just wanted to let you know that when i read the way you described what stotesbury was to you then and what it is to you now, i felt that you had been listening in on the many conversations i have had over the past 20 years with the people whom i have talked to about my mansion. i took pictures of the statue up by wagner and hull, and i just completed a pencil drawing of it to be able to have stotesbury with me in my own house. i took more pictures today and will continue to draw. it seems to be my way of paying tribute to what i always called "the grand old dame", my mansion, Whitemarsh Hall. i will continue to view your site and can not even begin to express to you the contribution you have made to me by pulling all of this together and putting it here on the net for me to view and love. a man named paul was up there tonight having a cigarette and just sitting in the midst of her remains. i spoke to him for a long time and he told me about you and your site. my gratitude to you and to him is immense. thank you. thank you. thank you.
stephanie kelly (maiden name reiss) of laverock (stephinny@aol.com)
Rochester, NY, - Sunday, September 15, 2002 at 00:47 EST


Thank you so much. I had a friend living on that hill and we went into the mansion the day after Pennwalt moved out. It's such an awesome memory and I still have a few pictures but not many.
(leslie2day@netzero.net)
USA - Friday, September 13, 2002 at 05:15 EST


What a wonderful site to find. I spent almost every weekend in the late 70's going to what we called Stotesbury Mansion. I was from Lansdale and it seemed once you hit a certain age, everyone knew about Stotesbury. I remember the fear of being caught by the cops, I remember hiding from the cops and best of all, I remember being chased thru the house by the cops. I still have a picture of me and my friends on the highest point of the house at twilight. Thanks for showing me the beauty that was, because I thought the ruins in their own way were beautiful.
Diane
(
Diaya58@aol.com)
Tuckasegee, NC, - Monday, September 09, 2002 at 08:07 EST


I stumbled upon this site in looking something up on Whitemarsh Township. Boy did it bring back memories. As teens, we used to explore Whitemarsh Hall, ignoring the Do Not Trespass signs just like everyone else. This was back in the early to mid 70's. Our thing was to go up there on Sunday mornings from time to time. Though we did explore the great hall, we did not go deep into it I guess out of fear of the unknown. Mostly, we sat outside and looked at the hall and the grounds in shear wonderment, imagining the hall in its heyday and amazed that some people actually could live, and afford to live, in such a great home. Even in its decrepit state, we could clearly see its greatness and power. We were teenagers from Germantown, a working-class rowhouse community in Philadelphia, totally in awe of that great mansion. I'm happy to say that we never desecrated the property in any way. It was enough for us just to be there, to experience it and imagine what life was like there in its heyday. Thanks for a great site. I'll peruse it more fully soon.
PS any relation to Jim Serianni? I used to work with him at Foy Buick in the late 70's. He was a salesman there and I was their bookkeeper. We weren't great friends but I remember he lived on Lyster Road in Oreland, across the street from my aunt & uncle (Jack & Helen McDermott)
Dennis  McGlinchey (DMGrltr@aol.com)
Plymouth Meeting, PA, - Sunday, September 08, 2002 at 13:29 EST


Hello Gerry, Thanks for the article on Whitemarsh Hall by Tom Keels you sent me recently. I knew a little about your grandfather's involvement from what you told me over the net but now I understand a whole lot more and why you feature it prominently on your web site! Keep me posted on any new branches to your genealogy tree ~ who knows... you may find the missing link from me to you!
Domenic Sirianni (s_domenic@hotmail.com)
Melbourne, Australia, - Sunday, September 08, 2002 at 09:46 EST


Wow! What a GREAT website. The photos and history surrounding Whitemarsh Hall (which I remember as Stotesbury Mansion) brought back vivid memories of my youth........afternoons in the late 60's / early 70's spent exploring the grounds with my buddy Rob Black ......... the view from the roof...Climbing on the support rafters in the main hall above the stairway..... finding our way to the basement levels without benefit of flashlights, and amazingly finding our way out. One visit in particular always seems to come to mind. We descended underground from an outside "hole in the ground" on the front-left side of the mansion into what appeared to be a round utility entrance. After climbing over lots of old junk, we found a stairway on which was a large, very heavy box about 3-4 feet on each side. I remember thinking that it was a safe. Climbing over that, at the bottom of the stairs, there was a locked gate, which appeared to be the entrance to an ornate wine cellar or maybe a holding cell or jail. It was so dark, and we were so scared and excited at the same time..................    I remember looking out my bedroom window from "down the hill" on Harston Lane, seeing the Mansion and creating stories in my mind of mystery and intrigue. I guess most kids have memories of their past that they wish they could share with their kids. For me, some of those memories are from Stotesbury Mansion. My name is Alan Chane. I grew up in Erdenheim, on Harston Lane, and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1972. If you know of a "coffee table" book dedicated to Whitemarsh Hall, or one that features it, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Alan Chane (AlanChane@aol.com)
Fort Lauderdale, FL USA - Monday, August 19, 2002 at 14:13 EST


Hi Gerry! Remember me, Dave Doering. I went to school with your brother Michael and used to repair your car whenever you dinged it up. I found your web site through an article in the Springfield Sun about Mr. Farnsworth and his TV invention. You've done a real nice job with your site in the preservation of local history! I'll always remember your Dad fondly, he was a real gentleman. Say hi to Michael for me. Stay well.
Dave Doering (Doeringdinodave@aol.com)
Glenside, PA USA - Sunday, August 18, 2002 at 10:59 EST


Great to hear of the new Trumbauer monograph. Much discussion of the Stotesbury houses, but so many more are of interest-Rose Terrace of Mrs. H.E. Dodge in Grosse Pointe, and its model, the Rice "Mirimar" in Newport and Clrendon Court, also in Newport. I hope the volume will include these and other Trumbauer works, some sadly lost, many gloriously extant.
Michael Tims (whamp@pacbell.net)
USA - Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 16:38 EST


Hi gerry i was just starting to look up the history of Stotesbury Estate because my sister in law lives within the grounds of the old estate on Trumbauer Drive. it looks to be very informative. thank you
Thomas Walsh (ttjroe@msn.com)
USA - Sunday, August 04, 2002 at 10:44 EST


I really like this site. I am very interested in old mansions and grand homes, since I am from Detroit where there are so many ruins to explore. Horace Trumbauer designed his last and perhaps most extravagant home for Anna Dodge in Grosse Pointe. Although a little smaller, it had one of the best art collections in the country at one time. Come to Detroit, where you can see many old mansions still standing. You see, Philadelphia never had this "white-flight" problem that Detroit had. All of the money went out to the suburbs, which meant the death-knell for many of the grand homes of the auto barons. Check out the site, bhere.com. It gives an insight on the ruins in Detroit. There is the Boston-Edison district which has the John Dodge home and the Henry Ford home. You have to remember, this is the ghetto, but it is THE largest historical district in the nation! If you ever come to Detroit, visit Palmer Woods, Indian Village and Boston Edsion, along with Brush Park. These districts aren't kept up any more, and many have been torn down like Whitemarsh hall.
(Derm81@aol.com)
Detroit, MI, USA - Thursday, August 01, 2002 at 22:42 EST


Hi Gerry, My name is Richad Marchand. I visited the great house just about every weekend for years, when I was a kid in the seventies. I have just recently worked with the author of the upcoming book on Horace Trumbauer. It is called, "AMERICAN SPLENDOR", The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer". It is being published by the great publishing house of Acanthus Press, in New York. You can pre-order it on Barnes&Noble.com for about $65.00. It will be out on the shelves by the end of October. I helped choose & design the cover which is a 3/4 view of the gardens to the garden front of Whitemarsh Hall! The author Michael Kathrens compiled about 45 houses that Trumbauer did, many of them as elegant as Whitemarsh. I also provided many of the floorplans, photographs and research. The floorplans of Whitemarsh are extremely detailed and much more accurate than any others published... I hope this book will provide the readers with even more imformation on Whitemarsh as well as Trumbauer's other SUPERB mansions. Cheers,
Rick (richardmarchand2000@yahoo.com)
USA - Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 15:50 EST


Dear Mr. Serianni, I was looking for information about Horace Trumbauer, and I came upon your site. What a fabulous job you've done showcasing Stotesbury. I live in Fort Washington and I think my home was designed by Horace Trumbauer. Can you help me locate plans?
Babs (JKlein00@aol.com)
Ft. Washington, PA, USA - Sunday, July 28, 2002 at 17:48 EST


Gerry, Thanks so much for keeping this site up and running. Because of your guest book, One of my best childhood friends, Bobby Linton and I reconnected... after about 35 years. Keep up the great work.
Skip (aka Skippy, circa 1950s) Cantor (wing@pagosa.net)
Colorado, USA - Friday, July 26, 2002 at 12:49 EST


Gerry, I remember fighting the last big fire as a member of the Oreland Fire Company. What a waist!! When I was going to school at Springfield H. S. in the late 60's, we would have beer parties in the building. Its sad what happened to the building.
Bob Dewar, Sr. (bigdaddyd@att.net)
USA - Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at 15:03 EST


Thank you for your efforts in recreating the history of something which recalls the Titantic.
Ed Hesse (ehesse@piccari.com)
Chestnut Hill, PA, USA - Saturday, July 13, 2002 at 07:34 EDT


Hi Gerry, First and foremost, THANK YOU. I was a teenager in the late 1980's and did a report on Eva - One of the Grand Dame's (The Grandes Dames by Stephen Birmingham 1982). Since then, I have been hooked. Actually so fascinated by her that I misled the librarian and told her that I had lost the book so as to purchase it for reading over and over again. I have traveled to the Chestnut Hill on occasion to visit Whitemarsh Hall. I am now 40+ and have brought my Nieces, and now my own Daughter to see what was once a spectacular place. When I first visited, the townhomes were not present and you could still view what was left of the mansion. I knew that there couldn't possibly be any construction on the main building site due to the amount of basements that would need to be excavated. It's amazing that you can view what was once the small bushes on the grand lawn that are now in excess of 50' high. But it is funny that they were all still completely lined up as originally planted all those years ago. I have always loved Victorian items. Homes, Jewelry and Clothing. My Mother thinks that I must have been associated with Eva in a previous life due to my infatuation with her and her life. I would love to know if you have any pictures of her that you could possible forward to me to download. I will have to travel to the Township office once again for there was a spectacular picture of her in the meeting room of which I would like to obtain a copy. Again, I thank you for constructing this website. I will visit quite often. You were so fortunate to experience it during your youth. I feel both joy and sadness when I visit. Joy for the thought of what it once was and sadness that I can't experience it's greatness in full except for what remains in picture and writing.
Lisa Kashulines (LEELEESNJ@aol.com)
Windham, New Hampshire, USA - Thursday, July 11, 2002 at 23:14 EDT


The mansion was amazing just like your web site! I remember it well I loved it there. It truly was like heaven to me also. It was such a wonderful site the grounds around stotesbury were like the Garden's of Eden or what I would imagine them to be like before the apple got eaten. I think a whole bunch of apples must have gotten eaten here because it was truly a waste that this beautiful place was left unattended and fell apart bit by bit. I think part of childhood got lost in the ruins never to be found again! Such an innocent time for me at the mansion care free after noon's with the sun shining bright and not a cop in sight lol. Remember the cops? I was scared to death they would catch us but they never did. Breath deep the gathering gloom watch lights fade in every room! Remember the days Love
Lou (MamaLou836@aol.com)
USA - Saturday, July 06, 2002 at 20:34 EDT

Dear Gerry, Hi, my name is Molly. We're some sort of cousins. My maternal grandfather is Dominic Catrambone; I'm pretty sure his mother was Annunciata Bonacci. We are from Chestnut Hill, though my parents live down the shore now and I live in Virginia. The story my mother always told me was my Pop Pop (Dominic Catrambone) was from a big family because his mother was married twice and each husband had wanted a family. Her first husband died leaving her with a big family. They were very poor, and they took in borders to make ends meet; some of the children even had to go to an orphanage briefly. Two of the borders (two brothers named Catrambone) married the widow and one of her daughters, and all the children were able to afford to return home. My Pop-Pop was one of the children from the widow's second marriage. I am not sure which of Annunciata's daughter's married the other Catrambone brother. You have a wonderful website and it was such a pleasant surprise to stumble onto it. Keep up the good work!
Molly (mollydelany@hotmail.com)
Chestnut Hill, PA - Friday, July 05, 2002 at 14:58 EDT


Gerry Chandler visited my site here in Scotland www.ourlocalhistory.co.uk which is about a mansion house which befell the same fate as the mansion in your magnificent website. I just hope I am as successful in obtaining as much information about Craigends House as you have about your mansion. Keep up the good work. Would you mind if I add a link to your site?

Jim Campbell (jcampbell_1@lineone.net)
Scotland, - Tuesday, June 30, 2002 at 15:43 EDT


Great web site. I too remember going in and out of the mansion when I was growing up. Thanks.
Kathy Evans (DG02816@aol.com)
USA - Sunday, June 30, 2002 at 20:08 EDT


Gerry, Your website is phenomenal! You really captured the sad and twisted tale of the Stotebury estate's fate. It reminds me of the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). It is a similar story... wealthy movie star builds enormous estate on large private hill but combination of Great Depression, WWII, and rising maintenance costs forces the owners to market their unmarketable home. If I remember correctly, the Department of National Defense took over the Los Angeles masterpiece during and after the war, butchering many rooms' interiors. Into the 1950s, the landscaping had gone to shit, the reflecting pool had been filled in, and the house was in dire need of some major structural repairs. Once the government had lost its need to hang on to it, it got tossed around a number of investors who all allowed the perimeter of the property to be slowly razed and eroded away, turned into mini-malls, gas stations and low cost motels as suburbanization began to sweep the San Fernando valley. By some incredible stroke of luck however, the house has survived its mid-century ordeal that so many other great American estates were not so lucky in coping with. The last I heard, the remaining land, house and guest house were bought by a consortium of investors who will add parking and new buildings to what will become a small campus for a fine arts/acting post secondary institution.These stories are everywhere, in every city. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia and I am an architecture student who is fascinated by these large estates from an era gone by. You should buy the book, "American Castles: a Pictorial History" by Amy Handy... it covers quite a few of them, many of which are in Newport. I bought it on my last (of many) trips to Philadelphia (I've got family in the Society Hill area). But even Vancouver has quite a few such stories to tell. One of the estates here (formerly the home to one of the founders for Texas Instruments, Inc.) has been turned into a community center, another, the McRae Mansion has been bought by the University of British Columbia for use in special events and receptions, and one of the more famous ones (because it was Vancouver's headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan in the Roaring 20's) has been bought up by our NHL franchise owner and turned into Cannuck Place, a private care facility for terminally ill children to live out their last remaining days in a non-hospital environment... there are nicely furnished rooms for them and their parents to stay with them and gardens for them to get out and about in... away from the noise of the city yet still located just 10 minutes from downtown in the VERY ritzy neighborhood of Shaughnessy. I read every word you wrote regarding Whitemarsh Hall, and the Stotebury's homes in Palm Beach and Bar Harbor and I am stunned by your thorough coverage... where did you find all this? I was wondering if you knew whether their home in Bar Harbor was destroyed by the great fire in 1947 (which destroyed nearly all of "Millionaires Row" as it was once called--not to mention most of Bar Harbor) or not? It is very very upsetting that with all the innovative uses for and ways that have been created to raise money to restore these estates, that the commissioners of Springfield lacked the foresight to prevent Whitemarsh Hall's demolition... instead, they "required it to be demolished" as a concession for allowing the proposed development to carry forward. It is sickening! It is a treasure that would certainly have been saved had it only stuck around for another 10 years. As a bit of an architectural preservation activist, I largely view the 1980s as being "the last decade that nobody cared". By the 1990s, people started to care more and these days, around here anyway, locations like Whitemarsh Hall would never be allowed to fall through the cracks like it did... there is too much interest in saving what little history we have left from that time.This is the last thing I want to say (sorry this ended up being so long)... I made one of your aerial shots of the estate in its glory, into my desktop background--it is the bigger one, Black and White, with the large circle fountain in front with the formal gardens edging up to the back of the main house. I wonder if you realized that there are two very small people captured in that photograph? They appear to be walking (as a couple) along the far left hand walkway up the left side of the lawn between the fountain and the courtyard. It is impossible to tell who they would be but it is interesting to spot them there. I wonder what was going through each of their minds as they walked up that pathway... It it certainly a sight I would have liked to have seen with my own eyes. Too bad I was only 2 years old when the wrecking ball knocked it all down. Well, best be off. I hope you found what I had to say, insightful, if not a little interesting. I'd love to hear back if you get a chance. You've really peaked my interest. Sincerely,
Jay Meneely (jaymeneely@shaw.ca)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 20:52 EDT


Gerry this is such a great website. Me, my wife and kids were driving to see my parents the other day and we passed Stotesbury and decided to swing back and see what was left of the mansion. I told my kids that my brother and I used to go and explore the mansion all the times.
(Nitpenn@aol.com)
USA - Monday, June 17, 2002 at 13:50 EDT


hey i am Dean's son an i think this place would have bin magnificent and i would have like to see it i am 15 and i am amazed at the size of this place my tells me stories of when he used to explore it and how big it is
Chris Rosa (
r78sd@ptd.net)
USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 23:33 EDT


I absolutely love your website on Whitemarsh Hall. It is superbly done and very informative. The only other information that I had ever come across on it was James Maher's, The Twilight of Splendor. Naturally this was an excellent book, but your website has filed in so many blanks that were missing, probably since the book had been written and I appreciate it very much. I adore architecture and am always sadden when masterpieces like Whitemarsh Hall have been destroyed. Do you know where I might obtain information, like yours on Whitemarsh Hall, on Lynewood Hall, the P.A. Widener estate. The estate was also designed by Horace Trumbauer within the same area of Philadelphia I believe and I as I understand it, also destroyed within the last couple of years. Thank you,
Kim I. Mockler (kim.mockler@bellsouth.com)
USA - Sunday, June 16, 2002 at 15:05 EDT


Gerry, I was doing a search on Wyndmoor when I came across your website. It brought back a lot of memories of climbing around the old place when I was a kid. I grew up on Hull Drive in the early 70's and my sister and I used to go over there with our neighbor. I remember finding all kinds of what I thought was trash at the time, but was probably some interesting piece of the history of the Stotesbury house. Thank for the memories.
Paul Chappell (pchapp@optonline.net)
USA - Friday, June 14, 2002 at 13:42 EDT


DEAR GERRY, MY BROTHER E-MAILED YOUR WEB SITE LINK. I TOO SPENT MY YOUTH EXPLORING THE MANSION AND GROUNDS AS ALL YOUNG BOYS DID WHO GREW UP IN WYNDMOOR. I WAS AWED BY THE GRANDNESS OF THE MANSION AND THOUGHT HOW GRAND SHE MUST HAVE BEEN IN HER GLORY DAYS. TO SEE IT GO TO RUIN AND THEN BE RAZED, SADDEN ME DEEPLY. I STILL HAVE A RELIC FROM THE MANSION TO THIS DAY. ALTHOUGH I DON'T LIVE IN THE AREA, I STILL GET A DEEP FEELING OF SADNESS EVERY TIME I COME HOME TO VISIT MY PARENTS. DO YOU REMEMBER ME?
DEAN P. ROSA  (r78sd@ptd.net)
USA - Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 06:59 EDT


ciao gerry, non so perche' ti sto scrivendo e non so neppure come sono arrivata ad incontrare il tuo sito... ma ho imparato che niente accade per caso! ti scrivo dall'abruzzo, la mia terra... e ti saluto con tanto affetto, pensando a tutti gli italiani che vivono lontano ma che portano le loro radici nel cuore.
valentina (valanghina@libero.it)
Italy - Tuesday, June 11, 2002 at 11:05 EDT


Dear Gerry & Associates, I was at Stotesbury Mansion a couple times in my youth 74-79 just hanging out in the place. I had some pals from the Jenkintown area, and we used to go down to that place. It was a shame how people would just chop off the marble from the fireplace. I remember walking all over that place thinking it must have been so beautiful in it's heyday. I wondered what ever happened to it ... now I know. Your site is great! Great photo's, and a good overview of what happened to Mr. Stotesbury and his Grand Home. "All good things must come to pass" (Harrison). Thanks, Lou
> D&B
> Marketing Specialist
> 899 Eaton Ave.
> Bethlehem, Pa 18025
> *phone: 800-999-3867 ext 7986
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Lou Franco (francol@dnb.com)
USA - Thursday, June 6 2002 12:51 EST


Gerry, I came across your site while searching the Marasco family. I want to know more about my family heritage and thought you might be able to help me. Please get back to me when you get a chance, I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely,
Nick Marasco (workyourmind@hotmail.com)
USA - Monday, June 3 2002 00:35 EST


Hello. My name is Louis A. Sirianni. My grandfather is also named Luigi and he came from the same place as your ancestor. He settled in Rochester, New York. Do you have any relatives there? Many of your family first names are the same as ours.
Louis A. Sirianni (allen2_14620@yahoo.com)
USA - Saturday, June 1 2002 17:45 EST


"...Things fall apart; the center cannot hold..."
William Butler Yeats (The Second Coming) 1921

I too spent many afternoons exploring the ruins (many of them with Christian) and have fond but somewhat hazy recollections (like many of my teenage years) of the property. I can remember shimmying down a cable hanging in a window well by the service entrance to get into the basements below. I remember getting down to a room where I was on a catwalk looking at some big boiler-type structures - was this the ice machine? Funny... the motels do it with this tiny little thing that fits in the hallway now... Anyway we couldn't get lower than that because everything was flooded. Was that the second level? I can remember walking around on the second floor and being careful not to fall through any of the holes in the floor... And those rooms lining the pool in back - were those the stables for ol' Eddie's horses? Incredible place to have in our back yards, and great memories for those of us who got to explore it. Can't you see it? The palace is rising again for us now; it shall live on. I just wonder if the people living in the houses closest to it have any idea, or if they ever see the ghosts... Thanks for bringing it back-
Carter Fleming (carter@neuroscape.com)
USA - Thursday, May 30 2002 18:02 EST


I knew of the existence of Stotesbury Mansion. If I recall the story correctly, I know a man (my former father-in law) whose parents worked in the mansion and their son was born in the mansion. In his living room, hanging on a wall is the most massive clock I have ever seen in a private home of normal size. The clock is round with a frame of wood several inches thick, the numbers the size of my hand, as I recall. To wind this clock the entire glass face would swing away like a door. I was told this clock was from the mansion. During the years 1975-1976 approximately we searched for this Mansion, my husband (at the time) was eager to show this wonderful castle, even though the last time he was there it was already in ruin. We never found it until years later when I stumbled upon the remains by accident for work. I own an ink drawing by Artist, Nancy Canton, it is the exterior of the kitchen, grown over with weeds and ivy. Though I enjoy the drawing immensely, it has always made me feel sad for never having the opportunity to see this Grand Lady. Thank you very much for fulfilling this wish for me. LBS
LBS (LBS213@aol.com)
USA - Wednesday, May 29 2002 18:02 EST


When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age, When sometime lofty towers I see down-rased, And brass eternal slave to mortal rage. When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the watery main, Increasing store with loss, and loss with store. When I have seen such interchange of State, Or state it self confounded, to decay, Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate That Time will come and take my love away. This thought is as a death which cannot choose But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.   --Shakespeare, Sonnet 64
I grew up in Wyndmoor and Chestnut Hill, and spent many afternoons exploring the ruins. The experiences came full circle last fall when I was married in what's left of the Stotesbury Mansion on Rittenhouse Square. More recently the topic of both the original mansion and Whitemarsh Hall -- which was still called Stotesbury Mansion by everyone I knew -- came up, sending me on the search that resulted in your Web site. Thank you, thank you, for capturing a moment in my life that I had let slip away.
Christian C. Thompson (ctrout@ix.netcom.com)
USA - Tuesday, May 28 2002 10:10 EST

I just discovered these really wonderful photographs of Whitemarsh Hall on the Library of Congress Website. I've never seen any of them anywhere else, and they are wonderfully evocative. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful. As always, I'm a great admirer of the Whitemarsh Website. Here are the links:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/d?ma
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/
Brad Emerson (bwemerson@acadia.net)
Maine, USA - Friday, May 24 2002 02:15 EST


Dear Old Friends, does the name Skip (Skippy) Cantor ring a bell. Through my childhood, Dick Serianni and I were friends. I was born in 1950 and grew up on Hull Drive, just across from Clark Road. During my childhood years, Clark Road was only one block long (if even) and dead ended at the woods. I spent every free moment growing up, trekking through those woods. The first area I would come after walking down the hill after leaving the end of Clark Road was the watering hole. I remember the fountains there. My dad would take my brother and sister and I there for a swim. I would often hike past the Lee's Mansion on my way to the Stotebury Mansion. I have so many fond memories of playing on the grounds of Stotesbury, long after the mansion was left empty. I remember back in the late fifties, there was still a groundskeeper there that maintained the property. He was a friendly sort and never minded when we played in the gardens. Shortly before our family moved away in the mid sixties, an uncle of mine walked with my my cousins and I, so we could show him this mysterious mansion that we always spoke of and played hide and seek in. I knew every nook and cranny in that place. My uncle found a beautiful oil painting that was hanging above one of the archways. I have not seen this relative in many years, but I remember that painting hanging on the wall of his home when ever I visited. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I don't get back East very often, but the next time I do, I'll see if I can get a chance to go through the boxes of family photos and find a few shots of the mansion. I live in the very Southern part of Colorado, not far from the base of the Continental Divide. As beautiful as the Rockies are, it still doesn't compare to the rolling hills, and beautiful architecture of my old neighborhood and surrounding areas. The wonderful and never ending memories of my childhood in Wyndmoor fill me with a warm feeling. I was very fortunate to have grown up in such a place, not unlike Mayberry. Best wishes to all of my so many friends from the old neighborhood. Every single photo I viewed brought back memories of playing around that area as a child. Lastly, my favorite photo of all that I viewed on your site, was the one of the fountain on Weidener Road. Wasn't that called Clariage (sp) Circle? For those that believe in some higher force or other plane that we exist in, I had an incredible ghostly experience there with a few friends from the neighborhood, that all experienced it too. Spooky. No, an event that I still hold close to this day. It was the beginning of me opening my eyes, that continue to get wider as each year passes. If any of my old friends, school mates, or neighbors remember me, I would love to hear from you. Thanks again, your friend Skip
Skip Cantor (wing@pagosa.net)
Colorado, USA - Sunday, May 12 2002 15:25 EST


Hello, Very nice site. I came across it after doing a Wyndmoor search on Yahoo. I was actually looking for info on a property close by. It is a flat roof house for sale. You probably know the area of which I speak. I think it's Childs rd? Do you know of any web sites where I might find info on this area? Thanks!
Tony Ventresca, Senior Art Director (tventresca@altadvertising.com) A.L.T. Advertising www.altadvertising.com
Marlton, NJ, USA - Monday, May 7, 2002 17:06 EST


Have a copy of the full front entrance to Whitemarsh Hall dated 1968, only one broken window. If you like I'll dig it out, scan it and e mail a copy to you. GREAT WORK : )
Tom McElhone (mceteck@erols.com)
Monday, May 4, 2002 15:25 EST


This is truly amazing work & research you've done on Whitemarsh Hall, although we always called it the Stotesbury Mansion. I'm thrilled and disappointed at the same time. I visited the grounds many times from 1968 to 1972. Never once taking a picture, what a fool. It was truly an amazing building that I never could figure out. We had heard about the bowling alley on one of the lower floors, but like someone mentioned, it was flooded. I remember seeing a flipper or something floating around down there one time. But wasn't there a swimming pool or SPA down there someplace? Seems I remember a beautiful tiled room. Bummer we never got upstairs or on the rooftop. I'm also remembering an underground tunnel of some sort, we never explored it but we thought it might be a kind of wine storage area. And that area in front or back; we thought was some kind of race track. Statues, Fountains, what were they thinking? Just in the name of progress? And progress is tract housing. I'm returning to Philly in June of this year and I was really hoping to go trespassing again. I am totally disappointed and disgusted with how people treat history. Guess no photos for this photographer. PS: Found this site by seeing pictures of Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount. The whole process led to me remembering Stotesbury. Thanks for the memories.
Frank DeSantis aka otto phökuz (franknotto@ottophokuz.com) p h o t o g r a f e a t s www.ottophokuz.com
Portland, OR USA - Friday, May 3, 2002 15:19 EST


Thanks much for the great site on Whitemarsh Hall. What a tragedy! I've driven around Lake Geneva in France and Switzerland and I'll bet there are 30 or more castles (just around that lake) that SOMEBODY is paying to maintain. So why is it that in the US, and Philly in particular, we let something as great as Whitemarsh fall to nothing? Just go look at the mansions around Fairmount Park to see other great examples of historic buildings that need a lot of help. Anyway, thanks for your site. You hit my sentimental side, as I spent most of the afternoon reading about Stotesbury and his homes.
Mike Wherley (Mike.Wherley@factiva.com) Fan of the Stotesbury Cup Regatta
Philadelphia, PA USA - Friday, May 3, 2002 09:39 EST


Hello: Are you aware of any web-sites (other than the Ellis island web-site) that are good for tracking genealogy? My mother's family (maiden name Sirianni) immigrated to the US (Rochester, NY) from Soveria Mannelli in the 1920's. I am trying to build a family tree and have a few holes. I have a cousin (actually my mother's cousin) that travels to Calabria every year and she has been helpful but I would like to do a search online if possible.
Ted Eagle (
tedeagle@adelphia.net)
Monday, April 29, 2002 14:15 EST


I just lucked onto your site while looking at house plans. Its a tragedy that such a building could go to waste. Such history was lost. You have a great site!!! Where did you get the floor plans? Thom
Thomas Hucks (thucks@carolina.rr.com)
Sunday, April 28, 2002 21:49 EST


Born and raised in Chestnut Hill and later in Oreland, I only remember the shell of a house which I took my older children up to see. Never did I realize the beauty of the interior. The children's Great Grandfather James Reape was one of the gardeners of old. I remember seeing some PICS of the outside gardens but nothing of the interior. Thank you so much for preserving such beauty for all to enjoy. It was an unbelievable journey back in time.
Katrina Stewart (KStew0621@aol.com)
Oreland, PA USA - Thursday, April 25, 2002 18:22 EST


Hi, I was surfing the web one night and I suddenly came across this house and I said cool because I like house in particular old house. So I just went thought the website and read everything and it was fascinating to learn the history behind the house and everything. I was sad to learn that it had been torn down. I dislike when people tear down old houses and historic monuments without thinking of what hey could be. And with all the current billionaires in the world you would think they would repair the house for their own use therefore they would not have to take up more land building a house that probably will not even get use. I will dream about that mansion forever and the grounds were spectacular also. Would you know of anyone who would happen to have the house plans for the mansion? Love that house. good-bye
Shawn (ISTAHBAN360@aol.com)
Wednesday, April 24, 2002 16:20 EST


I have to admit that I have never seen a site with so many memories. Although I found it by chance, while looking for home plans, I am sad because I have never heard of it. I am sure that I will dream about that mansion tonight. However, it is really disapointing that some people decided to demolish the mansion. It could have been a great museum. Here in Europe we try to maintain such monuments. Anyway, you must have done a lot of work! And I must congratulate you for that! Thank God there are people like you who do such work. All the information is adequate, and don't forget that we don't need to see pictures of the kichens or the bathrooms!!! Let's just imagine them! Some dreaming is good!! After all we see art in here! Thanks for your site and keep up the good work.
Theodora (theodora70@hotmail.com)
Greece - Sunday, April 21, 2002 17:02 EST


What a great site I found it by accident when I was trying to do a project for a class I am taking and was looking for census information and as you know when you surf the web you end up places you did not intend to go. I am not going to recall my memories of the estate as mine are like yours for I graduated high school with you, my name is
Sukey (Tuckerman) Blake (
siouxque@hotmail.com)
Wednesday, April 17, 2002 20:08 EST


I grew up in Oreland. I visited the place in the mid 50's when Pennsalt was still there, a friend's father worked there. In the mid '60's I went in the abandoned place and remember seeing the fur vault (?). I took my kids there in the 70's, prior to demolition. A raccoon emerged from the glassless round window above the porte cochere (sp?). I remember thinking instantly about the poem Ozimandias. "Look upon my works ye mighty and tremble". Thanks for the wonderful web site, it's unbelievably complete. - Sic Transit Gloria.
Ed Smith (esmith@natoexpansion.com)
Monday, April 15, 2002 16:09 EST


What ever happened to el mirasol - you mentioned that Whitemarsh Hall and the Bar harbor Estate were torn down, but you never mentioned what happened to el mirasol - none of the articles mention what happened to it. Please post on the website. Sincerely,
John Anderson (hottrodjohnny@directvinternet.com)
Jenkintown, PA USA - Sunday, April 14, 2002 21:17 EST


Hi Gerry - It has been a couple of years since I looked at your page. It is nice to see that it is still around. I may have told you that my sister, her boyfriend, and I used to hang out at the mansion. One time, my sister almost fell down one of the elevator shafts. She started to step towards a doorway, and it looked dark, and I pulled her back. When we flashed our light, we discovered that it was a shaft. It was an interesting place to hang around (the mansion), but obviously dangerous. I assume that you went into the mansion when you were a kid. I'd be interested in hearing about some of your experiences there. Regards,
Gillian (gillianandersen@hotmail.com)
Monday, April 8, 2002 23:03 EST


Beautifully done, I'm sure Eva & Ned would wholly approve.
Laura (Lorason61@wmconnect.com)
Friday, April 5, 2002 05:59 EST


Your site on Stotesbury mansion is the kind of thing that makes the internet so invaluable. Absolutely fascinating!
Stephan Salisbury (ssalisbury@phillynews.com)
Thursday, March 14, 2002 11:07 EST


Hi, I love camping and checking the out the web. I also skydive.
(GLCSkydive@aol.com)
Tuesday, March 12, 2002 20:10 EST


Great site. I moved to the area in 1962 and remember the decaying days of a true American treasure. It's sad to see the scattered remnants as you drive in that area. Thank you for reviving the memories of such a spectacular landmark. It would have made such a great museum...one like the Biltmore estate or the homes of Newport.
Robert Sarrocco
Tuesday, March 5, 2002 16:59 EST


Nat Wells here...... I lived on Cheltenham Rd. in the 30's & remember the times. The Steele's lived at the bottom of the hill I use to sled on when it snowed. I climbed over the iron fence many times & played there. I just viewed the entire web page today, just one great job to put all this together. Just wanted to say that & thanks for bringing back old memories. They were hard, but great times. My Dad owned & operated the Keystone Garage in Erdenheim from 31 to 43, the year I graduated from STHS. I married a Chestnut Hill Hospital RN, the best thing I ever did, now living in New Smyrna Beach, Fl. I'm a retired master mechanic on Mack Trucks, now playing golf as much as I can. Thanks again.
Nathanael Greene Wells (Named after the General) (Twowells2@aol.com)
New Smyrna Beach, FL USA - Monday, March 4, 2002 12:18 EST


Mr. Serianni, On a whim I types Whitemarsh Hall into my search engine. I did so having just unpacked some books, one of which was "Twilight of Splendor" I have followed Whitemarsh Hall since the 1960's as my mother attended parties there as a child. Sad the place was allowed to disintegrate. In other countries its worth would have been recognized and it would have been turned into the museum it could have been. Any plans of the basement levels? I have always been curious as to how they used that much space. Regards,
John Nicollls (Jcnicolls@aol.com)
Sunday, March 3, 2002 22:16 EST


Hi, I think my father-in-law lives in the house Ms. Stotesbury's son lived in. The pool is long since filled in as a garden. His house is on Paper Mill Road near the gate house. I wonder if you have any information about other owners of that house. Please email me if you have any leads.
Roberta Howlin (katznbert@home.com)
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 21:44 EST


Good site. I love old mansions and houses. Wish you would have taken more pictures of the interior. How come everyone excludes the basements, bathrooms, and kitchens when taking photos? I like to document everything I can if I can. The vandalism seen in the pictures is unbelievable. Any way keep up the good work. It is very interesting. Sincerely,
Dan Laperriere (
dan57@ees.eesc.com)
Sunday, February 10, 2002 23:10 EST


Great job, great site, great memories.
Carolyn Gallo Gaghan (Jjgcgg@aol.com)
Springfield HS Class of '64 - Monday, February 4, 2002 10:48 EST


Hi, I just downloaded your website from Heather's computer!!!! I am OK, the weather is great, today the temperature was 84 degrees on the beach in sunny clearwater, fl. I will be in contact soon, hope that you are well and the move went ok!
Ron (atyourservice@snip.net)
Tarpon Springs, FL USA - Thursday, January 31, 2002 at 20:13 EST


What a tremendous website. I thoroughly enjoyed to old pictures of your relatives. Only wish I had a few more myself. I have just started to Trace my Grandfather and Father's history. They came from either Colosimi or Celico around 1902. My grandfather's name was Arcangelo Sirianni and my dad's was Agostino Angelo Sirianni. Maybe when I get further into history I might find a connection. Regards.
Ivan Sirianni (ivans1@look.ca)
Canada - Tuesday, January 29, 2002 at 14:18 EST


i have 3 pics of the estate 2 that u dont have and 1 of a hay truck on the grounds with my mom and her friends when they were small (1930s)if ya wanna see them i can send an attachment of them to ya
OoOiE (OoOiE_GoOiE@yahoo.com)
New Orleans, LA USA - Wednesday, January 23, 2002 at 21:35 EST


I visited the site countless times during the 1950s and early 1960s, when my father worked there (with Pennsalt Chemical). His office was just off the front foyer, to the right, at the base of the stairs. My sister and I generally had the run of the place when he took us there on weekends, or when we came with my mother to pick him up at the end of the day. It wasn't easy for an eight-year old to understand what chemical laboratories were doing amid such elegance! The grounds were magnificent and a never-ending source of adventure for us kids. My father moved with Pennsalt to King of Prussia in the early 1960s, and I never remember us returning again. Thanks for such a wonderful website. Now I understand what I saw then and how it came to be.
Drew R. McCoy (drewatclark@aol.com)
Melrose, MA USA - Thursday, January 17, 2002 at 22:52 EST


When I was a young man we lived in wyndmoor and a friend of mine lived in front of the "fountain" that still remains. We often would spend afternoons jumping over parts of it with our bicycles. I also used to deliver the philadelphia bulletin newspaper to the woman that lived in the gatehouse. We, like many other children, spent many days exploring the ruins of the main house and buildings. I think one of the most interesting features, which may still remain, was the network of underground service tunnels that criss-crossed through the entire township. There are several pictures on your site of entrances to these which have been been bricked up. Also exploring the basements of the main house was amazing, we were always in search of the mythical bowling alley but the basements were full of water. Once we meet a group of people in the main house with scuba equipment who were exploring them.
Randy Tremaine (stremai1@email.usps.gov)
USA - Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 15:07 EST


I went to the site in the early 70's. Many times. It was the ultimate haunted house. I actually have some pc's of the home. I believe Hooker Chemical was in there at the end. Also have a book on the house called 'The Age Of Splendor'. I lent it out and now it's MIA!!!!!!!!!!!! Was a teen at the time but look at the photo's and remember all the main rooms and of course the gardens!!!!!!! The main staircase was intact when i was there, but it was the age of destruction. Put a lightning storm on top of that and a group of kid's smoking pot and more, we'll you had a hell of a night!!!!!!!!! Remember an underground passage to the gate house. Walked thru the heating ducts of the furnace. Had my hand into transformers in the basement, trying to salvage copper. That basement was 3 levels deep at spots, where the furnace was in one point. Sat on the roof at nite and marveled at the view of Philly from that spot, but also of a 360 view of all the surounding counties. Feel free to write me back, and it's a good excuse to find that book again. It was a fun time of my life. I'm now 47 and those days were a much simpler time!!!!!!!!!
Kurt Linsenmaier (mcderingf14@aol.com)
Royersford, PA USA - Saturday, January 12, 2002 at 22:05 EST


To a great guy, Happy New Year to you, Geri & Diana.
Ronald J. MacDougall (atyourservice@snip.net)
Tarpon Springs, FL USA - Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 21:56 EST


found your web site looking for food recipes, congrats .. who did your site? will try some of your recipes this week . btw what's the tie in with whitemarsh hall?
Mike Irwin (m.h.Irwin@att.net)
Melbourne Beach FL USA - Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 11:43 EST


Thank you for the wonderful recipes! Your website is terrific! I am making sauce from garden tomatoes from this past summer with mom's sauce recipe....cant wait to taste it. Annie Wood, wife of Mike Wood formerly of Wyndmoor PA)
Ann Wood (wife of Mike Wood of Roslyn) (avwoodrn@aol.com)
Roslyn, PA USA - Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 18:33 EST


hi, jerry remember seven dolor daze!! Great website! I have pictures of Stotes taken thru the 70's building is in disrepair, however. Drop me an e-mail at the above address. My wife says your history and photos get an A+
mike wood (avwoodrn@aol.com)
roslyn, pa USA - Friday, January 04, 2002 at 06:05 EST