Mailbox

Mailbox features classified advertisements related to Pennsylvania history.

For ongoing research, the owner of the historic Benjamin Evans Residence, located in Nescopeck Township, Luzerne County, is seeking individuals with information regarding the Italianate-style structure, its builder and subsequent owners or occupants. Erected between 1850 and 1860, the building is both architecturally and historically significant. Its builder, Benjamin Evans (1819-1902), was a prominent local citizen, a prosperous miller and a well-known justice of the peace. Later owners of the property included Martha Evans Focht, Pottsville, the builder’s sister; Adaline Naugle, Nescopeck; and James L. and Alice P. Focht, Philadelphia, Harry and Clara Focht and Charles W. and Christine W. Focht, Pottsville, and Martha F. Clark, Berwick, descendants of Martha Evans Focht, to whom the property re­turned. The current owner is seeking documents, letters, draw­ings and, especially, historical photographs of the property. Correspondence may be addressd to: Robert E. Lindquist, Box 311, Nescopeck, PA 18635; or telephone (717) 752-2279 or (215) 977-5541.

 

A survey to identify and photograph buildings in Pennsylva­nia which once housed brewing operations has, since its incep­tion in 1980, recorded more than two hundred structures. In addition, two hundred sites of vanished breweries have been located. To date, the project directors have assembled the most extensive research holdings pertaining specifically to what was once a significant industry in Pennsylvania. They are interested in corresponding with individuals with knowledge of local com­panies, brewers, historians and brewerania collectors. Please write: Richard Wagner, 15 North Broad St., Hatboro, PA 19040; or Richard Dochter, P.O. Box 22, Lock Haven, PA 17745.

 

A telescope – described as “a large reflector of 4 feet focus and 7 inches aperture, which magnified from 100 to 400 times with an excellent Micrometer of Mr. Dollond’s construction fitted to it” – was purchased by the Pennsylvania Assembly in London in 1768. The instrument was purchased by the Assembly at the request of the American Philosophical Society to observe the June 1769 transit of Venus. The last recorded mention of the eighteenth century telescope appeared in an 1878 report by the State Librarian, in which Charles Ehrenfeld noted that he had transferred it to the Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs. The present location of the telescope is currently being explored. Individuals and institutions able to share knowledge pertaining to its whereabouts are urged to write: Barbara E. Deibler, Cura­tor, Rare Book Room, State Library of Pennsylvania, 204 Forum Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120; or telephone (717) 783-5982.

 

The Highlands, a handsome late Georgian style mansion in Fort Washington, was built by Anthony Morris in 1796. The field­stone structure was used by Morris not only as a residence, but for lavish entertaining as well. In addition to serving in the state legislature, he became first Speaker of the House. He was a friend of many notable leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. He served as minister to Spain under Madison. Morris owned the magnificent Montgom­ery County property until 1808. Research is currently being con­ducted on Morris and his ownership, as well as on the subsequent owners and their years of ownership: Daniel Hintner, 1808-1813; George Sheaff, 1813-1865; John Sheaff, 1865-1915; Carolyn Sinker, 1917-1940; and Nicholas Roosevelt, 1940-1970. Information should be sent to: Mrs. Malcolm Schoenberg, Highlands Historical Society, 7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, PA 19034; or telephone (215) 641-2687.

 

Access to Scots-Irish diaries, letters, manuscripts, records and photographs is sought for research in conjunction with a major publishing endeavor focusing on the immigrant in America. Especially needed are stories and anecdotes, as well as recollec­tions of family events or lifestyles. Information may be shared with: Carlton Jackson, Professor of History, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 43101.