'Thursday's Page' By Judy Rose

Then and Now • Where Are They Now • Special Features •
Out and About • Funny Bones • Bible Trivia

Thaw Mansion...

Judy Rose
Judy Rose

Elmhurst, Munster Township...Elmhurst is a turn-of-the-20th-century mansion located between Ebensburg and Cresson off Old Route 22. It is a breathtaking estate with a rich history including intrigue and "haunting" tales. The country boasts of elegance and grandeur with the Tudor-style mansion on more than 130 rolling acres of farm and forest land. From its 2,000-foot elevation, the home has seven miles of views from the wide porches overlooking a portion of the Allegheny Mountains. The residence, built to withstand another hundred years, has an exterior of brick, timber, and masonry. Five medieval chimneys tower above its roof line presenting a regal first impression, which is followed through with over 20 rooms and more than 7,000 square feet of living space inside, with tudor elements including eight unique functional fireplaces with carved mantles.

Historically, the home became nationally known when the original owner's son, Harry K. Thaw, was involved in the most famous crime of passion of the century. Thaw was married to Evelyn Nesbit, a beautiful "Gibson Girl" who's primary goal in life was to marry a very rich man. Before their wedding, Nesbit told her husband-to-be about a long affair she had had with New York's greatest architect, Stanford White, designer of Madison Square Garden. White was described as a "fast-living genius with a voracious appetite for beautiful young girls." Nesbit and White (who was married at the time) began their affair in 1901 when she was just 16 and he was 48. Their relationship was defined by her naked antics on a red velvet swing in White's Manhattan apartment for which a 1955 movie entitled The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing starring Joan Collins and Farley Granger was made. Nesbit told Shaw that White had gotten her drunk on champagne until she passed out, then stole her virginity. She didn't realize that Thaw already held a grudge against White for blackballing Thaw from entrance to some exclusive clubs in New York.

Shortly after finding out about the affair, Thaw beat Nesbit with a cowhide whip until she was covered with welts. Six months later, she married him because, "he was the only rich man offering her matrimony." On June 26, 1906, Thaw's jealousy got the best of him and he killed White in Madison Square Garden's rooftop cabaret theater. During his trial, he admitted doing it because, "he ruined my wife." Thaw was not convicted of the murder by reason of insanity (which his own mother corroborated during the trial when she said the entire clan was crazy). He spent eight years in an asylum for the criminally insane. Upon his release, he filed for divorce. A second marriage for Nesbit failed, and she attempted suicide twice. She was to have said, "Stanny White was killed, but my fate was worse. I lived." Nesbit died in 1967 at the age of 82. Thaw died in 1947 at age 76.

There are numerous stories about the Thaw mansion being haunted by Nesbit's ghost. Some reports say a beautiful young woman in a white gown walks the hallways from room to room. Some say the house is shaken by noise so intense it seems as if the house will split in two. Sometimes the lights go off and on and windows and doors open on their own. One story actually told of some men traveling on Route 22 near the entrance to the mansion when they saw a young woman in a white gown on the side of the road, crying. She wanted to be taken home and told the men how to get to Elmhurst. When they stopped the car near the residence, they found their passenger had disappeared. The home has been a private residence since 1989, and prior to that it served as a restaurant and riding stable that had been owned by Edwin and Gaillee Hoover.

Post card from the collection of William L. Martin.


Greetings from Home Page Country


From her post in Decker's Jewelry Store on Route 22 in Ebensburg, Fran (Wilson) Decker sends greetings to Home Page Country. Fran is the daughter of Herb Wilson who was the owner/operator of Wilson Well Drilling, a long-time Jackson Township business.

Hi Folks!


Bible Trivia


What vocation did the apostle Paul have in addition to his missionary work?


a. carpentryb. fishing
c. tent makingd. vine dressing
  
Acts 18:3
See Saturday's Page for the answer.

Funny Bones

Bus driver on tour of Southern Battlefield: "Here a handful of Confederates routed 30,000 Yanks. Here, one fine Georgia battalion annihilated a corps of Yankee troops. Here, two brave Virginians captured a regiment of Northerners."

A woman from New England said, "Didn't the Yanks ever win any battles down here?"

"Not while I'm driving the bus, they ain't goin' to win any Ma'am."

 

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Lenten daily inspiration

On the question of relating to our fellow man—our neighbor's spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love.

—Edith Stein (1891 - 1942; canonized as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross by the Catholic Church in 1998; died in Auschwitz).


Complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonal articles


Top daily news stories linked from
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Xnmp, news that signifies


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