1907 Queen Anne – Shamokin, PA

Off Market / Archived
Posted March 2012. This home has been archived on OHD. The sold status is unknown.
Added to OHD on 3/15/12   -   Last OHD Update: 1/12/20   -   33 Comments

158 E Sunbury St, Shamokin, PA 17872

Map: Street

  • $225,000
  • 8 Bed
  • 4.5 Bath
  • 8226 Sq Ft
  • 0.1 Ac.
3 Story Victorian with unbelievable wood work, stained glass windows, hardwood floors and much more.
Contact Information
Charles Shultz, Century 21


State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,

33 Comments on 1907 Queen Anne – Shamokin, PA

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  1. Tracy says: 100 comments

    Wow. Are those unpaneled (or at least that they appear so) doors original? The finish makes them appear so, but odd if they were. Didn’t know they made such a thing in that time period. I love those old, paneled cupboards in the kitchen.

    • Jim says: 4929 comments

      I’ve seen doors like that, and the cabinetry and glass are wonderful. The details seem to fit the 1907 date and not usually seen in a Queen Anne. Great stuff.

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  2. Ryan says: 561 comments

    Wow, so many cool old features here! That gigantic newel post kicks @ss, and I’ve always wanted a safe big enough to walk inside. And is that a freezer or a fridge? (The old Norge in the kitchen I mean.)

    The location ruins it for me, unfortunately.

  3. norma says: 48 comments

    really like this one.

  4. John C says: 467 comments

    Every home needs a safe! Neat find!

  5. Vickie says: 26 comments

    I love the mosaics in the entry…or is that a sheet of linoleum? Even so it’s a neat pattern.
    Definitely some neat features in this home.

    • John Shiflet says: 5531 comments

      I’m fairly certain those are mosaics. I’ve seen a very similar mosaic paved vestibule entry in a similarly aged house in St. Joseph, MO. Fantastic woodwork in this house too.

  6. Kenny says: 99 comments

    Note the pedestal sink with what appears to be elmers glue to wash your hands. Must be kids in the house.
    Surprisingly urban. Overall a very solid house and with over 8200 SF, a lot bigger than it seems!

  7. Jim says: 4929 comments

    Floor area figures from agents are very unreliable. With the room sizes listed, even with a few bedrooms missing, I don’t see anything like 8000 SF:
    Bedroom 24×15
    Bedroom 14×10
    Bedroom 18×20
    Bedroom 16×15
    Breakfast Room 15×12
    Dining Room 21×16
    Kitchen 16×14
    Living Room 23×16
    Office 16×15
    Other 18×32
    Pantry 13×9
    plus Foyer, Bathrooms, etc

  8. John C says: 467 comments

    A 125 history of the town might be of interest to someone thinking of moving there.
    http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/northumberland/areahistory/sham0001.txt

  9. BobH says: 106 comments

    a mixed bag of nice details and oddities. Interesting.

  10. Jim says: 4929 comments

    This house is intriguing – we need more info! The aerial photos on the County GIS show what looks like a large cupola or something, maybe copper-roofed?! Was this built as a residence? By who and exactly when? C’mon Kelly 🙂

    • Jim says: 4929 comments

      A photo of the Andrew D. Robertson house showing its copper dome!
      http://dailyitem.com/archive/x763950757

      • John C says: 467 comments

        There was an Andrew Robertson who was in every local enterprise — the gas company, the local Edison Electric company, the bank (on Sunbury). http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/northumberland/areahistory/bell0022.txt However, that is likely Andrew Robertson Sr. (See http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/northumberland/areahistory/sham0002.txt which recounts the local meeting with Edison).

      • John C says: 467 comments

        Jim, did you see the article with the photograph: this recounts something of the flavor of the area, Robertson, etc. Note the expressed need of an historic district.

        March 22, 2010

        When coal was king in Pennsylvania
        By Cindy Inkrote
        The Daily Item Mon Mar 22, 2010, 08:18 AM EDT

        SHAMOKIN — Route 61 runs from the Susquehanna River at Sunbury to the city of Reading, a distance of about 63 miles. It winds through the once booming anthracite coal country and the towns that developed and thrived during this era, Shamokin, Mount Carmel, Ashland, Frackville, St. Clair and Pottsville. The highway then runs not far from the Schuylkill River as it heads south and ends in Reading.

        Each town has unique features — parks, monuments, business districts, and homes — which create its identity. Route 61 runs along Sunbury Street in Shamokin intersecting with Orange, Liberty, Washington, Rock and Shamokin streets and in this neighborhood many spacious and solidly built homes tell the tale of old king coal.

        Elements of elegance

        It is difficult when driving to appreciate fully the beautiful features of these large houses but a walk along this street allows a closer examination of the elegant elements of these outstanding properties built years ago. Beveled glass, heavy doors, a copper dome, curved windows, carvings, ornate trim and other embellishments indicate that the owners put serious thought and money into the design and construction of these homes.

        It is truly a shame that all the traffic has caused this neighborhood to lose its original feel. It also cries out for designation as a historic district. This is one of the city’s older neighborhoods and many prominent pioneer families called it home including the Doutys, Fagleys, Fultons, Martzes, McConnells, McWilliamses, and the Robertsons. All of these families were involved in coal businesses, were merchants, or owned businesses that thrived as the demand for coal increased and Shamokin’s population grew.

        Coal tycoon

        Andrew Robertson, a Pottsville native, sold his interests in the Eagle Hill Colliery in Schuylkill County to the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company and moved to Shamokin in the early 1880s and established a milling operation with George Parmley. Robertson later operated the Excelsior and Carbon collieries in Northumberland County and owned sizable coal lands in West Virginia and was involved in the Turkey Gap Coke and Coal Company there. He was one of the original stockholders and a director of the Edison Electrical Illuminating Co. in Shamokin. Robertson also served on the board of the Shamokin Gas Co. and was a bank director in Pottsville and Shamokin.

        He acquired property on Sunbury Street near the corner of Liberty Street in the mid 1880s. Around the turn of the century, he constructed a large brownstone house on the lot with outstanding features including a large copper dome, which is not visible when driving by. Robertson and his wife, the former Hannah Heffner, of Pottsville, raised their family and a nephew in the house, were active civically and socially in Shamokin and lived there until their dying days.

        They are buried in the family plot in the Shamokin Cemetery, which overlooks the city.

        Sadly, Shamokin and all the mining towns along Route 61 lag behind. Once-thriving neighborhoods and business districts struggle to maintain. Now only the architecture remains, which indicates the times of prosperity generated by those black diamonds.

        http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x434656324/When-coal-was-king-in-Pennsylvania

        • John C says: 467 comments

          Local History (written while that Andrew Robertson was alive:

          http://files.usgwarchives.net/pa/northumberland/areahistory/bell0030.txt

          ANDREW ROBERTSON. For more than forty years this gentleman has been
          connected with the business of mining anthracite coal, and there are
          very few positions in or about a coal mine that have not been filled by
          him at one period or another of his life; slate-picker boy, blacksmith,
          engineer, mine foreman, and operator – all of these he has been and a
          success in each. There are but very few men connected with the business
          who have so thorough a knowledge as he has of the intricacies and
          difficulties of coal mining; he is equally at home in the depths of the
          mine developing the capacities of the veins of coal and in the breaker
          preparing the commodity for market, and he is one of the very few coal
          operators who have solved successfully the difficult problem of mining
          profitably and making a triangular division of the profits between
          himself, his workmen, and his customers.
          Mr. Robertson was born in Scotland about sixty-six years ago. His
          parents immigrated to this country when Andrew was quite young, stopping
          first in Canada, but afterward moved into the United States, locating at
          New Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about seven miles from Pottsville. Near
          this place (at Lick Run) the father and uncle had a small coal Operation
          at which Andrew worked, and he afterward learned blacksmithing, working
          at Novelty colliery, at which place he was subsequently outside foreman.
          He also engaged later in mining on his own account at one or two small
          places, but these not proving profitable he went to California about
          1852; there he remained some time and was reasonably successful. The
          place did not suit him, however, and he returned to his old home,
          Schuylkill county. Had he

          END OF PAGE 892

          remained in California he would without doubt have been one of the very
          wealthy men of the Golden State. After his return from California, for
          some years he worked at his trade and filled various positions at
          collieries.
          In 1860 or 1861, in connection with Thomas Beddall, now dead, he
          opened the Eagle Hill colliery near Port Carbon; here his successful
          career commenced, after many difficulties that would have proved
          insurmountable to most men had been overcome, in which he was
          energetically aided by his partner, Mr. Beddall. This colliery proved
          very profitable, but, having a good offer for its purchase in the early
          part of 1865, the firm sold out to a Boston party; and, strange to say
          from that time the operation has ceased to be a paying one, not from any
          scarcity of coal, but the master workman and skillful operator who had
          brought success had removed to other fields of labor, and unfortunately
          for those who succeeded him had taken with him his energy, his brains,
          and his skill.
          In the early part of 1866 in conjunction with two other gentlemen
          he took a lease on a valuable tract near Shamokin, and here his
          Northumberland county operations commenced. Mr. Robertson was the
          business manager of the firm (Robertson, Guiterman & Company) and
          personally superintended the working, and his partners were perfectly
          satisfied to leave their interests in his keeping. The Shamokin region
          at this time was comparatively unknown. In April, 1867, the new
          colliery, “Greenback,” was started and worked continuously and
          successfully until the coal above water level was exhausted, when Mr.
          Robertson sold his interest to his partners, who afterward worked the
          colliery below water level. In 1868 the same firm bought the Henry Clay
          colliery, Mr. Robertson personally superintending that as well as the
          Greenback. This colliery under his management was also continuously and
          profitably worked until late in 1872, when the firm sold out to Mr.
          Jervis Langdon, of Elmira, New York.
          In the latter part of 1871 Mr. Robertson in connection with
          Alexander Fulton of Shamokin concluded a contract with the McIntyre Coal
          Company of Ralston, Lycoming county, to mine their coal for them at a
          certain price per ton. Mr. Robertson personally superintended this
          work, and very successfully both for himself and the McIntire Coal
          Company, and yet he had had no previous experience in the soft coal
          business, by the energy, industry, and brains of the man made the
          success. During this time Mr. Robertson had negotiated for the purchase
          of the iron furnace then in operation in Shamokin, intending to embark
          in the manufacture of pig iron. The negotiations, however, fell through,
          whether fortunately or unfortunately for himself – certainly the latter
          for Shamokin, as another industry would now be employing her sturdy
          workingmen. The furnace has since been demolished.
          After the conclusion of his Ralston contract Mr. Robertson was, for
          a man of his indomitable energy and great activity and industry, in a
          very

          END OF PAGE 893

          unfortunate position. For the first time in many years he had nothing
          to do, a great misfortune for a man of his very active temperament. As
          he more than once said to the writer, “I must be at work or I can not
          live,” and while the matter of money making was not paramount with him,
          the matter of employment was. After a short period to him of “innocuous
          desuetude,” with a view to a future purchase he accepted the
          superintendency of the Excelsior colliery, one of the oldest in the
          Shamokin region, but unfortunately then on the wane. He eventually
          purchased an interest in the colliery, and under his skillful management
          it has become a large producer and one of the most profitable operations
          in the Shamokin region. He still holds his interest in the colliery,
          but is content to leave it largely under the superintendency of his two
          sons, Andrew D. and George W.
          Although Mr. Robertson is a resident of Pottsville, Schuylkill
          county, the bulk of his business interests are in and around Shamokin,
          and by the citizens of the town and of Northumberland county he is
          considered emphatically “a Shamokin man.” The town owes a great deal to
          his enterprising spirit in the erection of several fine buildings,
          stores, etc., and also a large flouring mill, which is most successfully
          conducted by his sons, Andrew D. and George W., and John F. Osler under
          the firm name of Robertson & Osler. He also largely aided in the
          introduction of water into Shamokin, building and operating the gas
          works, electric light, etc., and his means have been freely given to aid
          the erection of churches, etc. At home Mr. Robertson lives in a very
          plain and non-ostentatious manner, making no show of his large and
          honestly acquired wealth, giving largely to charity, and it may be truly
          said of him that no worthy object appeals to him and goes away empty
          handed; his benefactions are known only to himself and the recipients.
          Mr. Robertson is one whom to know is an honor to anybody in any station
          of life, a good man, and while to the writer’s knowledge not professing
          the creed or religion of any sect, a Christian.

        • Jim says: 4929 comments

          I read 2 other long bios on father and son; they ripped up the local landscape for coal in this area and large junks of West Virginia as well. I think the 2010 article mixes facts for both Andrew D. Robertson, who built the house, and his father, who lived in a local hotel until his death in 1913. The build date is still unclear. Andrew D. and family lived at 158 in 1900, but possibly an older house was on the site when purchased in the 1880s. The copper dome is really something and I suspect there is a large skylight up there also. If this were in a good area, Sotheby’s or someone would have great pics, but not for $225K.

          Directly across the street was another impressive place, the McConnell mansion, which sat up on the hill overlooking town. It was ripped down in the 70’s and the high-rise senior project was built.
          http://onepointintime.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/shmk-sunbury-st-mcc-mansion-corner-view.jpg

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          • John C says: 467 comments

            The mixing of generations was something I suspected had occurred when I read the article. You have done a wonderful job on this, Jim! Thanks.

  11. John C says: 467 comments

    I sympathize with Kelly — I’ve tried to find anything I can’t and couldn’t. If someone wants to try to contact the real estate agent, that might be one possibility.

    This is a very nice house in a very urban street. I had thought that perhaps the building was connected with the church across the street, .Trinity Lutheran Church
    (570) 648-8411
    65 E Sunbury St, Shamokin, PA 17872 Somebody at the church might know the history of the home.

    Additionally, people may want to view the site and contact the host at an amazing collection of “old” photographs and new of the area. He may know about the house or have a photo: http://www.daladophotography.com/ The core of the “old” collection is putting on-line a photographic studio collection from, I’d judge, the 1880s through the 1920s. http://www.daladophotography.com/

    • Jim says: 4929 comments

      John C: your excuses are lame – you and Kelly can do far better. You can give us the history of some shack in Iowa in the most minute detail, but have zero on this masterpiece.

      • John C says: 467 comments

        But in Iowa they talk about things — even the shacks — in the most minute detail and entertainingly. Here — nothing.

        Question: can a house with a well recorded human history ever be a shack? Can a masterpiece which has caused no ripple of records ever be true masterpiece?

        Seriously, this might be one of those houses where someone locally can answer everything in two minutes. We tend to forget that there are areas where walking tours and brochures are not generated, because it is still felt “everybody knows this stuff” and no thought is given to outsiders.

        • Jim says: 4929 comments

          I have no interest in taking a walking tour of Shamokin Pa. I expect instant information at the click of my mouse. And all they ever talked about when I was in Iowa was corn, and more corn – which reminds me of a hilarious night at a “Disco” in Davenport, Iowa a very long time ago.

          • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 891 comments
            Admin

            1901 Folk Victorian
            Chestatee, GA

            The closest I could come to this address was from 1901, Boyd’s Directory of Shamokin. Since the build date shown for this house is 1907, not sure if it’s of any matter. The directory stated that a Charles and Hannah Heffner lived at 158 E Sunbury with a domestic house maid by the name of Grace Blobitz.

            Other than that, it’s the close I could come to any info and possibly not even about this particular house but just the address. Sorry. 🙁

            • Jim says: 4929 comments

              Thanks, Kelly. The property may have been owned by Andrew D. Robertson (b.1853) the Superintendent of the Excelsior Coal Co., who had married Clara, the daughter of Charles and Hannah Heffner in 1882. Andrew and Clara were living at that address from 1900 to 1930, with the widow Hannah Heffner there through 1910. (Laura Heffner and her husband Dr. Lester Schoch lived down the street at 217 Sunbury. A John Brabitz lived around the corner in 1930, maybe a son of housemaid Grace.)

          • John C says: 467 comments

            That was a corny joke, Jim. And that was no disco–discos weren’t around on the scene then. LOL.

            If someone is on ancestory.com, that someone can probably find out who has lived there in 1910 1920 and 1930. I have found Charles and hannah Heffner did live in Shamokin in those years. See http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~janwest/f313.htm but that doesn’t tell me on that data-sheet whether they were at that address.

        • matty says: 1 comments

          it is a beautiful home. rich in history the family is. i believe they donated the home to a local church. my facts are old. a brother and sister owned the home since the 70s and i bought it 8 years or so ago.

  12. Wendy says: 26 comments

    I was in Shamokin a few times last year … but I missed this gem. I don’t think I’ll be through there in the near future … but if so – I’ll check it out. Since there was construction on the major interstate, we drove through the small towns. A few oldies but goodies remain … but unfortunately most homes are run down.

  13. Jonathan Skipper says: 1 comments

    I am Andrew Robertson’s great-great-great-great grandson. The house, which Andrew Robertson did build but never lived in, was built for his daughter, Phoebe Jane. She also never lived there because of the location.

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