Zehr Estate

History Recollections

During our research, we have had the fortune of talking with individuals who recalled the past, giving us glimpes of the Slaughter/Knapp Residence and/or family. Thank You!

"We enjoyed sitting outside in the warm summer days and listening to the piano music coming from the main house." Margaret Costello 2010 (moved to 5 Athens St. around 1950)

"When I was younger, the neighborhood kids played over in the vacant lot and I remember a big hole in the ground." Mike Nolan 2010 (referring to where the octagon house once stood at 7 Athens Street.)

Remembers the main house as being green the whole time his parents owned it. Gordon Callison 2010

"Years back, a couple stopped by my house and asked me if I knew anything about the octagon that was here." Tina Alamo at 7 Athens street (I keep wondering who this was and hope they contact me someday)

"I remember going to a big house and Cousin Gertrude seemed to live there all by herself.  I didn't know about a daughter until I read it on your history which, by the way, is wonderful." "And I'm pretty sure that Cousin Gertrude gave my mother a red and white quilt that I have.  It could have been made by her mother who was the Wells.I would date it to the mid 1800s." Peg Ross Jan. 8, 2011(Peg thinks Gertrude Slaughter Knapp was cousins with her mother, Gertrude Wells Seaman) (She also can't remember when they visited, but that it may have been in the 1940's)

Remembers in the late 1950's, early 1960's the main house being green. "There is a lot about the interior of your house that reminds me of the interior of the Sawyer Place house." Rebecca Robinson Abele Jan. 15, 2011 (Her family lived at 300 Chemung St., before moving to 416 Chemung St.)

"For years my mother coveted a Copper Beech tree - I wonder if it was because of yours.  Anyway, we finally gave her one at 416." Rebecca Robinson Abele Jan. 15, 2011

Remembers the main house as being a "lovely cream color" while she was a little girl growing up in the "Palmer House." Clara Belle Palmer DeLill Jan. 18, 2011

"I grew up on Tioga Street and all of us neighborhood kids would slide down the hill in the winters, we knew it as "Knapp Hill". " Mr. Simonds, who lives by the reservoir, July 2011 (referring to Athens Street hill)

"Thomas Jefferson Brooks (1816-1857) spent most of his life in and around Chemung County, New York. Waverly is not far from the places that I have been able to find Thomas. However, I am not aware of anything that might show him living there. (Doesn’t mean he didn’t). As you found, the 1850 census shows him in Barton, Tioga, New York. That is just out side Waverly. So, I guess we are talking about the fella. Here is how I am connected. Thomas was married to Cynthia E Lowman (1824-1874). Her parents were George (1795-1886) & Lillia Harrington (1798-1882) Lowman. George is my 3rd great grandfather on my mother’s side. Their son, Lyman L Lowman (1822-1898), married Prudence Allen Cassel (1827-1856). Their daughter, Mariam Allen Lowman (1849-1918), married my great grandfather Charles Fletcher Roe (1844-1920). Their son and my grandfather, Edward Lowman Roe (1878-1948) married Anna Sophia Potter (1879-1969). Anna and Ed had one daughter, my mother, Ruth Elizabeth Roe (1906-1991). She married my father Esley Nichols Schwartz (1906-2002)." Aug. 31, 2011 Ned Schwartz. Thomas J. Brooks owned part of our property at one time and is who sold the part of the property where the main house now stands to Dewitt Slaughter in 1857.

"Thank you for purchasing that beautiful house and restoring it!  I moved here in 2009 and it immediately caught my eye. My family eventually bought an old Victorian at Lincoln and Clinton streets which we love.  But so glad to visit your website.  I enjoyed reading your history, and am currently researching our home's history." September 2011 Dawn Campbell

Susie Alamo O'Hara remembers taking ballroom dancing lessons in 1940, along with Ann Murray and about 12 or 13 others, on the third floor. The lessons were taught by Ed and Lucy Knapp. She said that Ed's dad Joe Knapp lived at the estate one time. 2011

"I recently found your website and I thought I would write you. I'm impressed with the amount of research you've done on the buildings and their inhabitants. I'm the great grand daughter of Blanche Evans who lived at 7 Athens street...." Catherine Wilson Dec. 27, 2011 (Gabriel, Mable, Blanche, Esther, and Henry Evans lived in octagon home)

"The estate was restored by DW Lougher and Sons on several occasions. DW Was my grandfather David William, and the sons were Arthur "Bub", Evan Lougher, and Robert "Feather" Lougher....DW Lougher and Sons also specialized in restoration of Churches...." March 5, 2012 Robert Lougher

"I remember sliding down the hill on Athens street, we used to call it Payne's Hill." (Hiram Payne lived at 300 Chemung street in the late 1800's) "I remember the octagon home and seems that it was a two family home, but I don't know what ever happened to it or when." March 2013, "Doc" Al Dimon, 95 y.o.

"I remember Gertrude Slaughter Knapp as a girl scout leader and remember seeing her in uniform." "I remember sliding down the hill in winter time and I never remember Gertrude kicking us off her property." "I remember sitting on the front porch steps tying up my laces." March 2013, Anna Frances Payne, 85 y.o.

1942, 7 Athens street was an empty lot. " On a lower level from the residence was a large carriage house, gray in color, and in the same style as the house on the corner. I recall the carriage house having large swinging doors which were usually closed. In the six years I lived there I never saw Mrs. Knapp or her daughter outside the house, although I saw Charlotte and waited on her at Shepard Hills Country Club." "In 1947 or 1948 the carriage house was converted to a residence..." March 2013, Tom who moved into 5 Athens streeet in 1942.

“I remember going in the front doors and straight ahead was a door at end of hall to the kitchen, and on the left was a door to the dining room.” “Charlotte had some kind of party there” Tina Alamo, 7 Athens St. Waverly, spring of 2014. Tina thinks this was sometime during her high school years, possibly in the 1930’s, and she was referring to the main house and to Charlotte Knapp.

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