Zehr Estate

Main House - "Mansion" Enchanting East Empress of Zehr Estate


Enchanting East Empress
circa 1850, with additions pre-1869 and major changes in 1873, improvements also in 1878, top iron cresting was put on in 1883, west side porch may have been added in 1920, and additions of back enclosed stairs and porches around 1945-1950 (two-story enclosed back porches replaced one story covered porch)

208 Chemung Street Waverly, NY 14892

1857 to 1915, Known as the "Slaughter Residence," after the family's name (1.Dewitt Slaughter and Caroline Mills Slaughter, 2. Samuel Wickham Slaughter and Charlotte Wells Slaughter, Miss Gertrude Slaughter)

1915 to 1945, Known as the "Knapp House," after Gertrude Slaughter married into the Knapp family. (There is also a house at 455 Waverly street, which was known as the "Knapp House," named after Harry Knapp, Gertrude's brother-in-law.)

1945 to 2010, it was an apartment house containing 6 apartments. Pre- 1970, it was called the "Green House," due to it being painted green.

During 1970 to 2010, it was called the "Big House" and at times "The Green House."

In 2010, we renamed it, "Enchanting East Empress." Though today, some of the local residents still refer to it as the "Big House," a name my father gave to it. We have named the property "Zehr Estate."

When we are finished with the painting of the outside, it will surely be thought of as "Waverly's Painted Lady."

Update as of July 2021:

1850 Barton Census: T. J. Brooks 33 age M sex Merchant occupation 1,300 value of real estate
Cynthia Brooks 26 F
Rosmond Brooks 3 F
Joseph Biers 13 M
Henry McCane 18 M Clerk born PA

According to the 1855 New York State Census, the beginnings of our home at 208 Chemung street when lived in by Thomas J. Brooks and his family was a more modest home of the times being worth only $1,000. While the home at 300 Chemung street was worth $2,500, which contained more land. The home across the street at 207 Chemung street was worth $2,000. Interesting is that the octagon home lived in by Andrew Rice and family, which stood in our current Chemung street yard, just west of the main house, was worth $4,000, though it did contain the land at 3, 5, and 7 Athens st. as well as a part of 9 Athens st.

1855: T. J Brooks 38 years old Agent for G & E, Cynthia 30 y.o., Lilian Rosamond 8 y.o., family order of visit 103, Frame dwelling $1,000. (208 Chemung Street)

April 8, 1857: Dewitt Slaughter purchased from T. J. Brooks, this lot with rectangular shaped house for $1,500.00. (T. J. Brooks had bought this lot in 1849 from Andrew Rice for $400.00. Brooks built his house between 1849 and 1853. The rectangular home shows up on an 1853 map)

Dewitt Slaughter was a retired farmer coming from Hamtonburg, NY, Orange County. He came with his wife, Caroline Mills Slaughter and their two children, Samuel and Antoinette. The Waverly Institute, though not completed, opened its doors in November 1857, and on the first roll call to be enrolled was "Nettie" Antoinette Slaughter. (At that time, the school's resources were on individual tuition fees.) Caroline died in 1861. Antoinette died in 1868. Dewitt served on the board of trustees for the village of Waverly in 1864. He was said to be a man of great wealth.

1859-1861: Samuel Slaughter attended the Waverly Academy. From the Waverly Free Press, "some of the brightest that our village has ever sent out into the world and kept at home to make the town what she is: S. W. Slaughter, Fred Emerson Brooks, Hugh J. Baldwin, Howard and Richard Allison Elmer, and Herman D. Jenkins."

1860 census: Dewit Slaughter - 56, Caroline Slaughter - 46, Samuel W. Slaughter - 21, Antinette Slaughter - 13. (census quite often had names spelled incorrectly)

1861, Caroline Slaughter died.

January 16, 1863, Samuel Slaughter paid $2,250.00 for the building on corner of Broad and Waverly street for his "Corner Drug Store." The building was previously owned and occupied by Henry S. Davis as a dry goods store.

1864, Dewitt Slaughter was one the the trustees for the village of Waverly. As early as 1864, according to mortgage records in Owego, NY., Dewitt Slaughter held onto several deeds to properties as collateral for loans he made to people in the community.

1865 NY state census: at 208 Chemung st., Dewitt Slaughter 61 yrs. old (Gentleman), Samuel Slaughter 25 yrs. old merchant, Nettie Slaughter 17 yrs. old.  Worth $1,500 or $1,600

October 31, 1866 Dewiit Slaughter had a will made out: "First. After all my lawful debts are paid and discharged, I give and bequeath to my daughter Antoinette Slaughter all my household goods and furniture and plate together with all my Bank Stock in the Waverly National Bank of the Village of Waverly to her the said Antoinette Slaughter and her heirs forever. Second. I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Wickham Slaughter the remainder of all my property real & personal consisting of real estate, Bank Stock, Government Bonds and Bonds and Mortgages. Likewise I make, constitute and appoint my son Samuel Wickham Slaughter to be Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made."Samuel Slaughter, in 1875, was the sole heir at law. (Antoinette died in 1868)

1868 Antoinette "Nettie" Slaughter died.

1869: a map of 1869 shows the basement layout as it is today (Sometime, between 1857 and before 1869, the rectangular shape house was enlarged, evidence of changes can be seen in our basement) Tax information suggest it was possibly in 1866 that changes occured on the property.

1870 census: Dewitt Slaughter (retired farmer, 66 y.o.) and his son, Samuel Slaughter (Drug Merchant, 32 y.o.) Walter H. Lewis (Cooper, 58 y.o.), Esther M. Lewis (keeping house, 51 y.o.), Mary J. Lewis (book keeper, 21 y.o.), John E. Lewis (stenographer, 14 y.o.), Annie L. Lewis (at home, 6 y.o.), Nathaniel Ackerly (farm laborer, 31 y.o.)

The Lewis family ended up living on Park Place in Waverly. Walter and John both worked for the railroad. John Lewis had been born in the area in 1856. The 1887 directory lists John H. Lewis on Pine st. and Walter H. Lewis at 17 Pine st. (Pre 1890, many house numbers were not the house numbers of today) The 1887 directory has John E. Lewis, a brakeman, at 26 Pine St. and also another John E. Lewis, a clerk for LVRR in Sayre, living at 117 Park Pl.  There is no Walter or Esther Lewis in the 1887 directory.  There is listed Mary J. Lewis, a school teacher, at 117 Park Pl.  Then the 1897 directory has; Anna E. Lewis boarding on Park Pl., Esther M., widow of Walter H. at 117 Park Pl., John E. at 117 Park Pl., another John E. at 26 Pine st., Mary Lewis boarding at 472 Waverly st., Mrs. Mary E. Lewis at 26 Pine st., Mary J. Lewis at 117 Park Pl. and William E. Lewis boarding at 26 Pine st.  Walter and Esther Lewis were "among our most respected residents" according to the Waverly Free Press in 1911.

Nathaniel Ackerly came to Waverly in 1870 from Montanna where he had worked in the gold mines. Nathaniel worked for the Lehigh Valley railroad. He was a witness for Samuel Slaughter's wedding in 1873. According to the Waverly Free Press he was an "esteemed citizen." In the 1887 directory, Nathaniel is listed as a clerk for L.V.R.R. freight office, living at 47 Waverly st. (the house numbers pre-1890 were not the same house numbers as today's Waverly st. house numbers.) The 1895 & 1897 directories have Nathaniel Ackerly at 457 Waverly st.

May 13, 1873, Samuel Slaughter married Charlotte Wells in Goshen, NY.

August 1873: from the Waverly Advocate - "Mr. Slaughter has repaired (rebuilt would be the better word) his house, corner Chemung and Athens streets, and the improvement is marked and commendable." (This article must be referring to Dewiit Slaughter. It has been passed down from each owner that Dewitt was said to have had the house built for his son, Samuel Slaughter. This would be the time period that Azariah J. VanAtta rebuilt and designed the house. Also, On May 13, 1873, Samuel Slaughter married Charlotte Wells, so most likely, this was a wedding gift from Dewitt Slaughter to his son and daughter-in-law, as per information handed down to each owner that Dewitt had the home built for his son.)

1874-1894, Samuel Slaughter was vice president of the Citizen's Bank of Waverly. In 1874, he also joined the Waverly Presbyterian church and served on their board of trustees for several years. 1874 Dewitt Slaughter was one of the directors of the Citizen's Bank.

The designer and builder of the estate was Azariah J. Vanatta. He was an active person in Waverly for many years. He was a carpenter, architect, and contractor. A. J. VanAtta also designed and built other former Waverly buildings; the Shipman building, which was destroyed by fire in 1871, the Merriam block on the corner of Waverly and Broad streets, the building occupied by Simom Zausmer which in 1892 was a jewelry store, the town clock building which burned, the Methodist Epsicopal Church, the old Baptist Church, and the Water Works Plant. He was also superintendant of the Waverly Water Works. In 1871, he was master of the Waverly Lodge, No. 407, F. & A. M. VanAtta was a member of St. Omer's Commandery Knights Templar, of Elmira. He passed away in 1913. See Designer / Builder page.

Eastlake - (1860 - 1890) marked by its fancifulness, spindle work, lacy ornamental details, buttons, knobs, angular stick work, the sawtooth pattern is a Hallmark of the Eastlake style, patterns, ornamentations, pendants, capitals, open stick work, pent hoods, flower and geometric shapes as ornaments, chamfered (beveled edge) corners with lark's tongue, low relief carving, the Eastlake ornamentation was usually carried on to inside the house as well. Some believe (http://starcraftcustombuilders.com 2014) this to be a "high Victorian elaboration of the venerable gothic style without the defining Gothic elements."

Many of the Victorian homes (1820 - 1900) are a mixture of Gothic, Eastlake, Stick, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque and Folk Victorian. What most have in common is the asymmetry, two stories, steep pitched roofs, turrets, and dormers, large porches with turned posts, and decorative gable trim. The first known use of the chamfered edge was circa 1840.

1875 NY state census: framed house worth $8,000. S. W. Slaughter 37 druggist, Mrs. C. Slaughter 24, Dewitt Slaughter 72 father. (Interesting that after the 1873 rebuild, the home increased in value from about $1,600 to $8,000. Using an inflation calculator, what cost $1,600 in 1865, would cost $26,033.62 in 2017. Using an inflation calculator what cost $8,000 in 1875 would cost $181,421.00 in 2017. In 1875, the home did not yet include the yard to the west of the house or all of 9 Athens street, nor the buildings it does today.)

September 18, 1875 Dewitt Slaughter died.

October 30, 1875: Samuel Slaughter owns, inherited from his father, Dewitt Slaughter
Samuel Slaughter was a druggist and owned and operated the "Corner Drug Store" on Broad Street, Waverly, NY. He was known as a leader in the commercial life of Waverly, helping with projects that promoted the growth and prosperity of the village. Samuel Slaughter was a successful businessman and financier. He married Charlotte Wells on May 13, 1873. He was; vice-president of the Citizen's Bank of Waverly from 1874-1894, member of the village board of trustees, one of the directors of Waverly Mutual Loan Association, on the building committee for the school house building to be built in Factoryville in 1881, a director in the Waverly Water Works Company and vice president of Waverly Water works in 1880, director of the Hall & Lyons furniture company, a member of Tioga Hose Company, a member of the Waverly Presbyterian Church and also on their board of trustees for several years, a member of a Waverly debating society called "Societias Philalog."

October 25, 1877: Samuel Slaughter purchased the lot and "Octagon House" adjoining and to west of his house, (our current yard on Chemung street and parts of our current 9 Athens street and all of 7 Athens street), for $2,600.00. (Using an inflation calculator, what cost $2,600.00 in 1877 would cost $60,785.39 in 2017.)

1878: Samuel Slaughter greatly improved his residence, then laid flag stone with curbing upon the street. (flagging was taking the place of Hemlock walks) The flag stone came from quarries in Laceyville, PA - Jame's O'Bryan, proprietor, referring to newspaper articles at that same time.


August 3, 1878: a very fine Horseblock and Hitching Post was put out in front of house on Chemung street. (We have no idea where the hitching post went, but found the Horseblock or carriage step, in pieces, buried on the property, we temporarily used the pieces as an interior sidewalk. We have pieced together the carriage step with what pieces we have found.)

October 1879: Samuel Slaughter had the "Octagon House" removed from Chemung street to 7 Athens street. See the "Octagon House" Page.

1880, the Waverly Water Works was organized and Samuel Slaughter was the vice president.

1880 census: Wick Slaughter (Drugist, 45 y.o.) and wife, Charlot Slaughter (keeping house, 40 y.o.) {misspelled Charlot and used nickname for Samuel, from his middle name, Wickham}

Geneva Advertiser of March 22, 1881: March 18, 1881. We are well pleased with the operation of the Steam Heating Apparatus with Dunning's Boiler which was put in for us two years ago. We have no trouble from dust, gas or overheated air, and can maintain a pleasant and uniform temperature throughout our whole house. In fact we are rid of all the objectionable features of Hot Air Furnaces and stoves. Yours Truly, S. W. Slaughter.

1879 According to above letter, Samuel Slaughter had the Steam Heat put in the house. He originally used coal to heat his home.

May 1883: new Cresting was put on top of the house, cast by Francis & Hall's Foundry in Waverly, NY. (Samuel Slaughter's health was declining) May 18, 1883 The Waverly Adovcate: The handsome new cresting on S. W. Slaughter's elegant residence was cast at Francis and Hall's foundry. It is a great improvement to the house, and is a very creditable piece of workmanship.

1885 referred to as an elegant residence in newspaper

June 1887: "The painters are putting the finishing touches on S. W. Slaughter's magnificent residence, which, in its darker coat and trimmings, is an improvement, although it was very fine before.

These intials are carved into the high peak on the west side of the house. These could be the intials of any of the painters or builders working on this house during the many changes in the 1800's:

1888, 1893, 1898, 1908, and 1914: maps show carriage house (current 9 Athens street "Whimsical Haven") and other outbuilding (current 208 1/2 Chemung street "Alluring Artiste") No change in main house on these maps.

April 26, 1890 Mary Gertrude Slaughter is born to Samuel and Charlotte Slaughter. The Waverly Free Press: Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Slaughter, Chemung street, are rejoicing over the arrival at their home on Saturday, April 26, 1890, of a nine pound daughter. Wick's face has not been so wreathed in smiles in many a day.

August 9, 1890: newspaper said the house was recently repainted.

1891, Charlotte Slaughter's father, Alfred Wells, died. According to newspaper article, Alfred was "a wealthy and esteemed resident of Goshen." Waverly Free Press: "Mr. Wells was exceedingly well known here and had numerous friends who will be pained to learn of his demise."

August 24, 1894: Charlotte Wells Slaughter, wife of Samuel Wickham Slaughter, inherited the estate upon Samuel's death. Their daughter, Mary Gertrude Slaughter, who is only 4 years old.

Charlotte W. Slaughter was; very active in social and religious circles, member of the Waverly Presbyterian Church taking parts in all branches of its work, especially the Ladies' Benevolent and Missionary societies, member of the Tioga Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (Athens, PA), active with the Susquehanna Valley Home, active in the ladies' auxiliary of the People's Hospital.
Many gatherings took place in the home during Sam's and Charlotte's lifetimes; musical events, bridge parties, holiday parties, Daughters of American Revolution Colonial Tea, reading circles, dances and several other social events.

1897: house repainted by Thomas B. Keeler (his signautre is in our basement, cistern room wall, what looks like a dirt floor, is the top/ceiling, of the cistern)

1900 census: Charlotte W. Slaughter (head of house, 49 yrs, widowed), daughter, M. Gertrude Slaughter (9 yrs.), and servant, Julia Sheehan (white, female, born about 1870, single, parents born in Ireland, 29 yrs old)

1908 Gertrude may have graduated from Waverly High School according to article. She was going to attend Miss Porter's School, "The Elms," (Springfield, MA) in the fall of 1908. A certificate from here would admit to Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith.

1910 census: Charlotte Slaughter (head of household, 59 yrs. old), daughter, Gertrude Slaughter (19 yrs. old), Margret Kane (50 yrs. old, white female servant, born about 1860, single, parents born in Ireland)

House on the left

1911 Gertrude Slaughter graduated from Emma Willard School in Troy, NY; general courses for college preparatory. In the fall of 1911, she returned to take a post graduate course.

July 27, 1912: Gertrude Slaughter owns the estate, due to her mother's death. Gertrude is only 22 years old. (Charlotte Slaughter had been ill for a year and before her death suffered a stroke.)

May 1914, Gertrude is engaged to George Brinker Knapp

February 2, 1915: Gertrude Slaughter Knapp, name change due to marriage with George Brinker Knapp (Abstract was never changed to include George Knapp as owner. The estate was kept in Gertrude's name only.) The wedding took place in the house.
Gertrude Slaughter knapp continued the many gatherings in the home, hosting parties and dances. Gertrude was also very active with the community and Presbyterian Church. She was a member of a dancing club, treasurer for the People's Hospital, girl scout commissioner, executive member of the Tioga Health Unit and elected director for 3 years.

February 5, 1915 Waverly Free Press And Tioga County Record: KNAPP-SLAUGHTER WEDDING IS BRILLIANT AFFAIR
The prettiest and most elaborate wedding of the season occurred on Tuesday evening, when Miss Gertrude Slaughter was united in marriage to George Brinker Knapp at the Chemung street house of the bride. The prominence of the families and the popularity of both the young people made the occasion a notable one. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Parke Richards, pastor of the Presbyterian church.
The bride was given in marriage by F. A. Sawyer. She was exquisitely gowned in white satin made with court train, trimmed with hand-run Chantilly lace seeded with pearls. Her tulle veil was fastened with a band of pearls and orange blossoms, and she carried a shower bouquet of roses, lilies of the valley and smilax. Her ornaments were a diamond LaValliere, the gift of the groom, and a sunburst of diamonds, a family heirloom. She was attended by her maid of honor, Miss Florence Mapes of Goshen, who wore pink messaline and carried white roses. Her bridesmaids, Miss Dorothy Atwater, Miss Frances Knapp, Miss Hazel Johnson, and Miss Katherine Smith of Middletown, N. Y., were charmingly gowned in pale blue silk, with short tulle veils. They carried pink roses. Joseph W. Knapp, 3rd, acted as ring bearer, and the ribbon bearers were Miss Gertrude Slaughter Smith of Middletown and Miss Helen Knapp. Joseph W. Knapp, Jr., officiated as best man. The ushers were Harry W. Knapp, Harold Watrous, Philip Finch.
The house was beautifully decorated with cut flowers and greenery, roses predominating. The ceremony was performed in the library, before a bank of white roses and smilax. The drawing room was decorated with Jacqueminot roses, while the dining room was a symphony in pink, white, and green. The bride's table was decorated in pink and white roses and pink favors, while Japanese lilies and carnations were used about the room with charming effect. Coleman's orchestra of Ithaca played throughout the evening, and Alberger of Ithaca served the four course wedding breakfast.
The bride's gift to her maid of honor was a pearl and sapphire brooch, and to her bridesmaids strings of pearls. To the little ribbon bearers she gave forget- me- not pins and to the ring bearer a signet ring. Her gift to the groom was a watch. The groom's gifts to his best man and ushers were gold cuff links.
The ceremony was performed in the presence of about two hundred guests. Among those from outside Waverly were Mrs. David Munson of Rochester; Mrs. Eugene Smith, Harry and Eugene Smith, Miss Katherine Smith, and Miss Gertrude Smith of Middletown; Miss Edna Slaughter of Middletown, Mrs. James Haggerty and Miss Florence Mapes of Goshen, Miss Edna Day of Canandaigua, Mr. and Mrs. George Dayton of Towanda, Miss Marion Freestone of Tacoma, Washington; Miss Mary Millard of Elmira, Dr. and Mrs. Knapp and the Misses Knapp of Newark Valley.
The gifts were many and beautiful.
The bride's going- away gown was of sand colored gabardine trimmed with fur, with duvetyne hat to match, trimmed with fur and flowers.
Mr. and Mrs. Knapp left for Palm Beach and other southern points. Upon their return they will be at home to their friends at 208 Chemung street.

March 24, 1916: Charlotte Slaughter Knapp is born to Gertrude and George Knapp.

1917 from Farm Journal Rural Directory: Knapp, George B. (Gertrude) 1 child, clerk, owns home & lot, 2 autos, 208 Chemung St. lnd line

September 12, 1918 WW1 draft registration, 208 Chemung St. George Brinker Knapp, spouse - Mary Gertrude Knapp at same address.

December 1919 George B. Knapp becomes stock holder in the Citizen's Bank of Waverly.

1920 census: George B. Knapp (head of household, 34) with wife, Gertrude Knapp (29), daughter, Charlotte (3), and servant Margret Kane (60) {same servant as from 1910 census. George and Gertrude both had "none" listed for occupation}

1920, according to Tioga County Tax information: a 286 sq. ft. covered porch and a 224 sq. ft. porch, were added (must be on west side of house)

1924 Directory: has Frances E. Knapp (George's mother) living with George, Gertrude and Charlotte Knapp {George's father, Joseph Warren Knapp, died in 1924}

October 8, 1927: George B. Knapp Killed by Charge from Shotgun, accidentally discharged at home. He had been ill for several weeks and had recently returned from Glen Springs Sanitarium, Watkins Glen, where he had been receiving treatments.

George B. Knapp Killed By Charge from Shotgun. Prominent Waverly Man Dies Instantly When Gun Is Accidently Discharged At Home Here. George Brinker Knapp, accidently shot himself at 5:30 Saturday afternoon in his bedroom at his home, 208 Chemung street. Mr. Knapp has been ill for several weeks and had only recently returned from Glen Springs Sanitarium, Watkins Glen where he had been receiving treatments. He was much improved in health, however, and was making plans to start on a brief squirrel hunting trip with friends this week. Mr. Knapp had just taken a bath and returned to his room to dress. Mrs. Knapp, his wife, was on the first floor of the home and was making preparations to take Mr. Knapp for a short automobile ride before dinner. Hearing a noise as if someone had fallen, Mrs. Knapp hastened to her husband's room and found him lying upon his back on the floor with a large wardrobe trunk, which stood in the room, over turned and lying partially on Mr. Knapp. A shotgun, which had been lying across the top of the trunk and which Mr. Knapp had been cleaning in readiness for the hunting trip, had been fired, probably as the trunk had fallen and the charge had entered the body of her husband, passing through his chest. Dr. F. H. Spencer, the family physician, was summoned and found that life was extinct. He called Coroner J. T. Tucker who made an examination and decided that death was accidental. The decedent was born in Waverly in November, 1885, and had resided in this village all his life. He was engaged for a short time in the dry goods business with his father but had retired from active business life some years ago. Mr. Knapp, while not taking an active part in the civic life of the village on account of ill-health, was one of the best known citizens of this community. He was a member of the First Presbyterian church of Waverly; a member of Tioga Hose company and a charter member of the Shepard Hills Country club. In the latter organization, Mr. Knapp always had taken a very active part. Being an ardent golf enthusiast, he had played in most of the tournaments of the past few years and for a time was chairman of the tournament committee and also of the greens committee. He was a director of the Citizen's National Bank. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Gertrude Slaughter Knapp; one daughter, Charlotte at home; his mother, Mrs. Joseph W. Knapp Sr., who resided with her son, and three brothers, Harry and Joseph of Waverly and Ralph, at present in Warsaw, Poland. Funeral services will be held at the late home Tuesday at 2:30 and will be private. Rev. Albert O. Caldwell, pastor of the Presbyterian church, will officiate and interment will be in Glenwood cemetery. (sanitariums were medical facilities for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis, no cure or treatment until 1946, except for sanitariums or surgery)

1928 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude S. Knapp, Frances E. Knapp wid. Joseph W. b, Ronald C. Van Atta (After George's death, Gertrude started renting out part of the house. Ronald Van Atta was a grandson to the designer and builder of the home.)

(1929 Wall Street Crash and Great Depression 1929-1940's)

1930 census: Gertrude Knapp (head of household, no occupation, 39 yrs.), daughter, Charlotte Knapp (14 yrs.),and mother-in-law, Frances Knapp (84 yrs.), Ronald VanAtta (33 yrs. salesman) and his wife, Ethel (26 yrs., no occupation)

1930: Gertrude Knapp was elected treasurer for the Carantouan Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

(1930, Jenkin's Inn opens next door at 202 Chemung Street Waverly, NY. Jenkin's Inn goes up for sale in 1946.)

1931 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude S. Knapp and vacant, Frances E. wid Joseph W. Knapp r

1930's: both Gertrude and Charlotte Knapp are involved with the Girl Scouts 

"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

"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.

1934: Charlotte S. Knapp graduated from Waverly High School. Attended Wellesley college and then transferred to Cornell University.

1936 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude S. Knapp, Edgar D. Sebring, Charlotte S Knapp student

Edgar Sebring was a lawyer and friend of the family. Edgar Sebring's wife and son, Edgar, also were living in the house with Gertude and Charlotte Knapp.

1938 Directory: Knapp Charlotte S student r, Knapp Gertrude S wid George B h, Edgar D. Sebring

1938: Charlotte Slaughter Knapp graduated from Cornell:

The below picture is taken from Don Merrill's collection and he had it labeled "late 1930's." Jenkin's Inn operated from 1930 to 1946. Our house is shown on the left of this picture:

A closer look at our west side of the house, the side porches are there at this time:

1940 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude S. Knapp and Edgar D. Sebring

1940 census: Gertrude Knapp, widow, 49 yrs., owns, worth $12,000, completed highschool 4 years. Renting were Edgar Sebring (59 yrs. old) and his wife, Carolyn (57 yrs. old), and their son, Edgar Sebring, Jr. (25 yrs. old), Edward Renton and his wife, Alberta Renton, both 64 yrs. old {Edgar Sebring, senior, was at one time, Waverly's village lawyer. Edward Renton was a Theater Operator and died in Waverly in June 1941, "Alberta," Bertha went to Canada to live with her son.} Using an inflation calculator what cost 12,000.00 in 1940 would cost $213,287.19 in 2017.

1942 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude Knapp and Edgar D. Sebring, also, Charlotte S Knapp S emp NYC renting

1940's and before, the house may have been gray with accent colors of black, mustard yellow, turquois, and cream

"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)

Susie Alamo O'Hara in 2011, remembered 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, later lived at the estate one time. (Around 1963 -1967, is when Joseph Knapp, Jr. rented and apartment.)

"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)

1945: Gertrude Knapp put her home up for sale. She probably had the west side, first floor, set apart from the rest of the home, since this was easily done by putting up a false wall between original parlor and hallway. That would explain why we found the nice doors left inbetween the wall, being done by the original family, she would have been more apt to leave the doors in place. (She started renting out part of the home, probably making one apartment after her husband's death in 1927.

November 15,1945: Gertrude Slaughter Knapp sells to Mary I. Fralick, who turns the home into 6 apartments, the carriage house into 2 apartments, and the outbuilding into one apartment and also adds on garages to that former outbuilding. This once single family home and property was turned into an apartment complex. Mary Fralick with her first husband, Loren Pierce, operated the Marilorn Motel in Waverly for several years.

This business card was found in the basement:

Back of Marilorn business card:

1945- 1950 at the rear of the main house, a one story covered porch was replaced by a back staircase and a two story addition of 2 enclosed porches

This picture shows the carriage house on Athens street and the back of our main house on the right side of this picture:

Gertrude Knapp lived at 470 Pennsylvania avenue for a while, during the transition of her recently sold home being converted into apartments, then came back and rented an apartment.

Robert Lougher sent me the following information on March 5, 2012:

"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...."

"Bub Lougher" - signature found on dining room wall, where it appears there used to be an opening into the kitchen, probably originally used as a serving area from kitchen to dining area. Appears that Lougher closed in this area. Above the patched-in area is still the lath and plaster wall. We are unable to make out what it says under his signature, but at the end looks like the date for 1945.

(1946 - The Jenkin's Inn, next door at 202 Chemung street is no longer in business, up for sale.)

1948 Directory: Mrs. Gertrude S. Knapp, Ralph Fralick, Ben C. Young, Albert J. Williams, Dr. Harry S. Fish {Gertrude and Charlotte continued to rent and live in the house and later moved into the converted carriage house apartments}

March 16, 1950: Mary I. Fralick sold off 7 Athens street as a building lot to Mary Alamo (Octagon House that was previously on this site, gone between 1931 and early 1940's)

"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)

1951 Directory: vacant, Ralph W. Fralick, John Foster, Parvin Mensch, Roland P. Holmes, Earl E. Armstrong {Gertrude and Charlotte moved down to the carriage house}

1952 from newspaper article: Miss Laura Janet Brown married John Millard, Jr. and they were going to be living at 208 Chemung street.

1953 Directory: Edward C. Brown, Ralph W. Fralick, Donald Holton, Walter L. Kintz, Esther F. Cooper, Earl E. Armstrong {by this time, both Gertrude and Charlotte moved over to Pennsylvania Avenue into apartments.}

1955: Gertrude Knapp was living in Waverly and Charlotte Knapp was in Ithaca, NY.

1956 Directory: Mrs. Lillian Shaw, Ralph Fralick, Richard Catlin, Walter Kintz, Gerald Peterson, vacant

June 23, 1956: Mary Gertrude Slaughter Knapp died. (Her address at that time was 436 Pennsylvania avenue, Waverly, NY.) Article said that she had an extended illness. Charlotte was living in Ithaca.

1946-1971; next door at 202 Chemung st. Waverly, NY, Mark and Evelyn Palmer had a tea room, restaurant, and guest house. Their daughter, Clara Belle Palmer was born in 1949. On January 18, 2011 Clara Belle Palmer Delill said that she remembered the house as being a "lovely cream color" while she was a little girl growing up in the "Palmer House." Though the late Gordon Callison recalled the time his father owned the home (1958-1970), it was always a green color and my Dad also said it had always been a shade of green since he owned it. Early on a very light green. It is possible it was the cream color while Mary Fralick owned it and that she had it painted green prior to her selling it to the Callison's. When we removed the siding from carriage house in 2010, to get back to the original wood siding, that was a light yellow or cream color, so it is possible too that the main house had been a cream color when Mary Fralick purchased it.

Rebecca Robinson Abele Jan. 15, 2011 (Her family lived at 300 Chemung St., before moving to 416 Chemung St.), 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."

1957: Charlotte Knapp is listed as an "Honorary Member" under the Honorary Society in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University.

1958 Directory: Mrs. Lillian Shaw, Ralph Fralick, Richard Catlin, Walter Kintz, Reuben Long, vacant


April 1958: Miss Ann Marie Noonan married Norman Leo Ryan and they made their home on May 1 at 208 Chemung Street Waverly, NY.

1958 - Mary Fralick put the property up for sale: We found the below for sale sign in our basement and donated to Don Merrill for his private collection upon his request in 2010. The sign is now on display at the Waverly Historical Society's Museum

May 31, 1958: Mary I. Fralick sells to Robert G. Callison and wife, Vera C. Callison
Gordon Callison, in 2010, stated that the house was some sort of green color during the time his parents owned it. Remains an apartment complex. (Was listed with Valley Realty - Roy C. Shadduck, who died in July of 1958)

1960: Reuben E. Long (staff engineer in production systems engineering at Owego IBM) was living at 208 Chemung street. In 1961, he started work as manager for the Saturn rocket program at IBM-Owego.

1961 Directory: Robert G. Callison, Edward G. Statach, Ralph Snider, Walter L. Kintz, Katheryn Mays, Keith Davidson (Charlotte Knapp at this time is living at 431 Pennsylvania Ave. Waverly)

I recieved this in March of 2012: "I was just watching your video of the house. I lived there with my parents and sister on the 3rd floor during my entire high school years. (1960-1966) My parents lived there a few years longer. Watching this really brought back memories. My bedroom window was facing the carriage house. The Callison's owned it when we lived there. They were very nice people. I would love to see how you have renovated it when it is complete. I always try to pass by whenever I am in Waverly. Thank You....Cindy Kain" "my parents names were Clifford and Henrietta Johnson and my sister's name is Eileen Johnson" "my parents were good friends with Walt and Emma Kintz who lived on the first floor apartment that faced the Palmer House"

1963 Directory: Robert G. Callison, Clifford A. Johnson, David Packard, Walter L. Kintz, Joseph W. Knapp Jr., vacant

1965 Directory: Robert G. Callison, Clifford A. Johnson, Donald V. Johnson, Walter L. Kintz, Joseph W. Knapp Jr., Otto Allen (Charlotte Knapp at this time is living at 6439 Templeton, Huntington Park, CA)

1967 Directory: Robert Callison, Clifford Johnson, Donald Johnson, Walter Kintz, Jos W Jr Knapp, Dale Wright

1969 Direcctory: Robt Callison, Robt B Lutz, Richd E. Jr. Coleman, Walter L Kintz, Eug Friel, Kenneth Whitbeck

1970: The Callison's sell on Land Contract to Richard H. Morris (my father, his first payment was November 1970) The house was different shades of greens the whole time Richard Morris owned it.

1972 Directory: Robt Callison, Eric Boehm, Jas R Smiley, Walter L Kintz, Randy Benjamin, Michl E. Foster

1975 Records: Vera Callison 1 east, Walter Kintz 1 west, Randy and Judy Benjamin 2 , Deborah Youker, 2 (Jan.), May - Jerry Mullen, 3 east Rick and Linda Boehm, 3 west Jenny Schultz, Ann Richards

1976 Records: Vera Callison 1 east, Walter Kintz 1 west, Mullen 2, Benjamin 2, Boehm 3, Shultz and Richards 3

October 8, 1976: Vera C. Coveney (formerly Vera C. Callsion) to Richard H. Morris and wife, Ruth M. Morris. (mortgage for remainder of land contract payments)

July 27, 1978: temporary right of way and easement to Village of Waverly for construction of sanitary sewer line.


March 2, 1979: Richard H. Morris and wife, Ruth M. Morris to William J. Rynone and D. Scott Jewell

March 2, 1982: William J. Rynone and D. Scott Jewell to Richard H. Morris and wife, Ruth M. Morris

(1983 Southeast Los Angeles Directory - 5162 Florence St. Bell CA 90201, Charlotte Knapp lived here in the Del Rio Mobile Home Park)

1984 - 1988 How ironic, we lived on the third floor, east side of house, while I, Amy, attended the Robert Packer School of Nursing and while, in 1987, we started building our home in Athens, PA.

1984 front peak

1984 back view

1984 east side

1984 west side

1984 front porch

February 7, 1985: Charlotte S. Knapp died, Bell, Los Angeles, CA.

January 18, 1992: Mary Fralick died, Florida.

September 15, 1995: Vera Callison Coveney died.

March 17, 2010: Richard H. Morris and Ruth M. Morris to Bradley D. Zehr and wife, Amy R. Zehr (Labor of Love, Restoration Begins)

2010 Before pictures:

I received this in March of 2012 from Kathy Jameson: "Hello...I happened to come across the video on YouTube today and watched it with fascination and amazement.  I grew up in Waverly till I was about 11 years old.  We lived at 330 Chemung St.  I attended St. James School (now closed) and my brother and I would walk past your house every day.  It always fascinated me and I always stopped and looked at every angle, point, window -- everything.  I wanted to live there one day.  Even at that time in the early 1960s the house was in a state of, well, I'll say it didn't look happy.  I knew it had been turned into a lot of apartments and I used to dream that one day I would turn it back into the beautiful mansion that it once was. I was so happy to see that you are doing just that.  I had never been inside of it, but from the pictures I've seen of the interior, it is just what I imagined. Congratulations on owning it and kudos for the absolutely wonderful job you are doing restoring the entire estate back to glory.  The carriage house is lovely, charming, and so pretty.  Everything is just gorgeous. ... I don't know if I'll ever be able to visit Waverly again, but if I do, I certainly know where I would like to visit. Thank you for doing justice to that old house.  What a wonderful thing."

2010 before and 2013 work in progress, west side:

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