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Some Early Homes of Mountain Top




The William M. Shoemaker house, 1892

Mr. William M. Shoemaker built his first cottage in 1893 and 1894 on Oak Lane. He was first taxed in 1894, and his lease was dated 1892 and recorded in 1896. Mr. Shoemaker and family lived here for some years and after the death of Mrs. Shoemaker it was sold to Mr. W. A. Lathrop in 1898.

     After occupying it for some time, Mr. Lathrop sold the property to Mr. I. P. Hand in 1905. Mr. Lapthrop died in 1912.

    Mr. Hand and family lived here until September, 1915, when the house was destroyed  by fire. This house was between the L. C. Paine, now the Laythrop house, and the present W. M. Shoemaker house.

The Smith Brothers Farm truck, 1935

The White Thorn Farm was established in the early 1900’s by George Smith and for decades it was a showpiece of the farming community.

In 1910 the Smith’s built a sawmill on the farm and cut timber cleared from the fields which was used to construct 13 farm buildings.

The farm was perfect example of how families at the time were self-sufficient. Aside from a large dairy barn and farmhouse. Smith also constructed a horse barn, two-story chicken coop, saw-mill, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and  milk-house, along the Wapwallopen Creek.

Home built by John C. Haddock, 1914.

In 1914, Mr. J. C. Haddock, Sr., built a home on Loop Road for his daughter, Mrs. Carlton C. Jones. After spending several summers here, Mr. and Mrs. Jones decided in 1932 to make this their all-year home and spent many summers and winters here .   

The view from this cottage is one of the finest on the mountain.

Fred M. Kirby House, 1913

The beautiful stone house, “Graystone Terrace”,  which  Mr. Kirby  had designed by Architects McCormick and French and was built in the years 1914 and 1915 of conglomerate rock, some being picked up on the mountain roundabout, but most of which was brought from Rocky Glen in Lackawanna County.

    Mr. Kirby’s estate was so large and required so much water for his house and grounds that he had a well driven down about six hundred feet, where he found plenty of water.

   In 1924, on his return from a trip around the world, Mr. Kirby engaged 13 Japanese gardeners to build for him on the southern portion of his property a beautiful Japanese garden, one of the finest in America. The undertaking took between 15-18 months to complete at the cost of a million dollars.  Mr. Kirby’s estate is probably one of the most beautiful in this part of the state.

The John Welles Hollenback House, 1888

Mr. Hollenback built his home in 1888, it being the eighth, and is located on the corner of White Birch Lane, Bear Creek, and Sunset Roads. He and his family lived here for many years and usually stayed until late fall. He lived to the age of 96 years and died in 1923. The home is now owned by Miss Amelia Hollenback, their daughter, who occupies it occasionally.  Mr. Hollenback was one of the most active men in bringing Glen Summit Springs into existence, as will be shown in future pages. He was also a churchman, public-spirited and a philanthropist.

Edward R. Jones Home, 1892

Mr. Edward H. Jones of the Vulcan Iron Works, Wilkes-Barre, built one of the most comfortable homes of the time in 1893 fronting on Spruce Lane. Mr. Jones was first taxed in 1893, and was taxed on a finished home in 1894. It is somewhat difficult to properly state on which road the homes are located, as many of them are placed on the rear of the lots, yet face the west. The cottages are all located on steep mountainsides, or on  roads running parallel to one another across the slopes, while the footpaths run from the bottom to the top. Each lot extends from one road to another in the rear of it. The Hugus home which is next to the Jones home, is entered from Oak Lane. Mr. Edward H. Jones died in 1908. The property was sold to Mr. Levi E. Waller in 1909, and he with his family lived here for some years and later sold it in 1931 to Mrs. Marian W. Pool. Mr. Waller and Miss Alice M. Buckalew were married in October, 1881. Mr. Levi E. Waller was born July 16, 1851, and died June 30, 1934.       

This photo Bradley M. Ayers Home in Fairview Height 1935, Bradley Ayers was the original developer of Fairview Heights section of Mountain Top


In the year of 1892 John Foley dug a well with a pick and shovel. He struck water at the 28-foot depth level. It was (and is ) an artesian well. He walled it in stone and built a stone enclosure over the well. He also built a small stone shed into the side of the hill where he lived while he was working on the stone house. This became a root cellar. He also built a stone barn. This later became a dress factory owned and operated by Grassos in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.

           He worked at his trade of stonemason and in his spare time he worked at constructing the stone house. He dug stones out of  the ground and cut down trees. He traded logs one for one at the sawmill. He used the Ash and Oak for timbers and lumber for the floors, etc.  He did all this mostly by himself and a team of horses. His transportation at the time was by horse and wagon. He dug sand out of the ground to use in his mortar and he also sold some of the timbers in order to buy cement and tools and materials that he needed to construct his home. When completed he had a three-story home of two large ground floor rooms and four bedrooms on the second floor, the third floor was an attic. He completed it in 1904. 

The Richards home is the on North Main St Fairview Twp
The Wetzel Home, 1930 is Woodlawn Ave. Fairview Twp
The Wilcox residence is next to the old Post-office North Main St Fairview Twp.