Monday, June 17, 2013

Continued from previous post...

 This is was the Newbold mansion, built in the 1820s on land granted to the Irvine family (Newbold was the name of one of the descendents later on down the line.) The land came to the family in reward for William Irvine's service during the Revolutionary War. It stood until the 1970s and was burnt to the ground by the company that owned the land. It was deemed dangerous and structurally unsound.

I passed by that house every day on the way to school as a little girl, and it intrigued me. Five children lived in it, children of the caretaker. They told stories of roller skating in the ballroom. I wanted to be invited to that house in the worst way, but I was older than those kids. I had an ongoing daydream that the family would be in desperate need of a baby sitter one day...

I will never forget the morning that we passed by and saw the flames. The bus driver actually stopped the bus and stared, as astonished as his riders. No one had an inkling of what the company intended to do.

Anyways, that long ago Mr Irvine imported a Scottish stone mason to do the stone work around his mansion. The icehouse still remains today. I swear to you that I will find his name. I know that I have it.
The picture above is the Irvine Church, which still stands today, with an active congregation. It underwent extensive structural repairs about 10 years ago. Pretty good handiwork, I'd say, seeing as how it was built in 1837, by that same Scottish stone mason. 

Anecdote 1: Mr. Irvine built this church in honor of his wife who was devoutly religious. She just as the church was completed and Sarah's funeral was the first service in this church.

Anecdote 2: The little town is called Irvine, and I lived outside this town for most of my growing up years. We would come from the woods, on foot, crossing a railroad trestle that scared me plain to death, to trade in our library books at the Bookmobile.

In any case, I wanted to give you an little background to yesterday's post about that little stone gatehouse that is being renovated.


4 comments:

Kelly said...

What a shame you never got to see the inside of that house. Beautiful architecture!

nancy gerber said...

I recall you talking about that house and how its loss struck you. Even then you painted such a vivid picture that I have never forgotten.
We are such fools to destroy our own history and craftsmanship.

jeanie said...

Such gorgeous countryside that you live in Debby.

I think every little girl should have a ballroom to play in!

Debby said...

Hi, Nancy. Nope. Never have forgotten, still a fool for history. If you find yourself headed homeward sometime this summer, I'd sure love to see you.