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No Library visit today...

As I thought, having husband at home from work makes it a little hard to do anything but enjoy our family time. So, no updates today on that front. I did add a few titles to the Sources and Bibliography, and you can check those out. I also googled the three women I mentioned yesterday, but came up with nothing. Well, almost nothing. Two of them are listed a being buried in Pennsylvania. That's an interesting tidbit, since the former owner of this House was also from PA.

I have firmly established that the House was built in 1885, as 1884 Tax Records show no structures on the property valued at $400. I also found out that before moving to Upper Mountain, Fenn lived on Park Street and Montague Place, and he owned that house until 1890.

After he sold The Cedars in 1902, until 1906 new Park Street house he owned nothing in Town. So, the question is, was he here or did he travel? And why one earth did he sell?

I am also gathering a list of local cemeteries to try and see which congregation was buried where, in case he is resting in Montclair. I can probably find this out from the Montclair Times obituaries. It would also be much easier :)


  1. Hi,

    My name is Mike Farrelly. I am the Montclair Township Historian.

    The 1982 Preservation Survey compiled by the Juior League of Montclair and Newark mentions that Harry Fenn's House, "The Cedars" was moved. It was turned around. It had been an Upper Mountain Address. It became a North Mountain home. This was done after Harry moved out.

    He considered Montclair his home, but he took extended trips to various parts of the world to gather material for his sketchbooks. This might explain why he moved around so much and why he disappeared from the directories every so often.

    According to his obit, he died in 1911 at his home - 284 Park St.

    The preservation survey, that I refered to, was primarily an architectural study, with varying amounts of history depending on the skills of each individual submitter. They profiled about 1000 homes in Montclair. The survey was used as the basis for nominating many Montclair homes to the Historical American Building Registry.

    I do not always accept the Survey as the final authority. I usually try to corroborate. I have never really bothered to look into the story about turning the house around.

    I WIIL NOW. Your quest has peaked my interest.

    Probably the only way to know if the story is true will be to go through the Montclair Times on microfilm at the Library. The Times often published real estate news in those days (early 20th century), but there is no index. The only way to find an article is to read through every page of the paper week after week and hope to be lucky enough to spot the information.

    Mike Farrelly

  2. A little more info (that you probably know already). The 1900 census shows Charles and Laura Bausher as neighbors of Harry and Mary Fenn although it lists both couples as living on North Mountain Ave. I believe that the North Mountain Ave. listing is a mistake because real estate atlases of the time clearly show both houses fronting on Upper Mountain.

    I found two real estate atlases for the year 1901 (one in the library and one at The 1901 atlas at the library shows Charles and Laura as owning the property behind The Cedars (fronting on North Mountain) Curiously, the other shows Charles and Laura as owning The Cedars AND the lot behind it. In both cases there isn't a house on North Mountain

    The 1910 census shows Frank & Addie Lambie as living at 208 North Mountain. Frank was in the real estate business.

    At this point, I will have to admit that I did not go to the library to check the atlases. I made (incomplete) copies of the plates long ago. I refer to them all the time.

    There is an atlas that was published in 1906.
    I went to my copies and found that 208 North Mountain was slightly out of range and not on my copy.

    So, the house was moved between 1901 and 1910.
    Probably before 1906 (I will have to go to the library to check). My guess is that it was probably moved by the Baushers.

    After reading a little more of your blog, I see that you have already done a remarkable amount of research. I suspect that I am not telling you anything that you don't already know.

    Mike Farrelly

    I hate going through the Montclair Times page by page I'm hoping that I will find some clue somewhere that will save me from that drudgery.

  3. Mike, thanks for the information. My theory is that the House was on Upper Mountain facing the same direction it is now, and that it was "simply" slid down the hill, so the back of the House became the front. When I find the Montclair Times article, we will know for sure.

    Thanks for helping me narrow down the years when the House was possibly moved. That helps a lot. I was not looking forward to reading 20 years worth of old newspapers, however interesting it might be, hahahaha

    If you want to meet and show me your atlases and talk about the House, send me an email.

  4. Okay! Some more info that narrows down the time when The Cedars was moved.

    The Cedars is near Upper Mountain Ave on the 1906 real estate atlas (avail at Mtclr Pub Lib)
    The Baushers own it and the lot that fronts on North Mountain. There are no driveways shown (driveways could be an indicator of where the front door was). The house the Baushers lived in in 1901 is gone.

    The 1908 directory (avail on the shelf at the Bloom Pub Lib) shows Frank and Addie Lambie at 208 North Mountain.

    So, the house was moved between 1906 and 1908.

    A few more facts and some conjecture, if I may....

    The 1903 directory (Bloom Pub Lib) shows the following: No Harry Fenn anywhere. Charles L. Bausher (wholesale merchant) at 187 North Mountain. There is no mention of his wife. The directories do not mention wives until the 1930s. There is a Frank D. Lambie in Montclair (nowhere near North Mountain). He is a shoe salesman. Since the directory doesn't mention who his wife was, I don't really know if this is the same Frank Lambie.

    The 1908 directory shows the Baushers at 250 Upper Mountain.

    Now for the conjecture -

    The Baushers bought The Cedars from Harry Fenn in 1902. They moved the entrance to the rear (this goes along with your thoughts and lends some credence to the 1900 census that puts the Baushers on North Mountain). They lived in The Cedars (now a North Moutain address with a deep setback)for a couple of years. They decided that they wanted to build a fancier home on Upper Mountain. They move The Cedars down the hill and sell the Upper Mountain lot.

    The last paragraph is a pure guess on my part. Probably the only verification available is the dreaded Montclair Times. At least it is now down to two years.


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