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We found the "missing" house

Thanks to one of our readers, Robert, who identified the house on South Mountain Avenue.

I almost crashed into a tree while looking at it and can't believe I never noticed it before. It was right there. I mean, it looks exactly the same as in this photo. Right?

The funny thing is that I drive by the house almost daily. Which goes to show you just how many things go unnoticed in our lives...


  1. That's lovely. It looks like the only major change is the driveway.

  2. My comments seem to be disappearing into hyper-space. I am new to blogging and I am sure I am doing something wrong.

    If someone is getting all this stuff, I apologize for repeating myself over and over.
    If nobody is getting this stuff, then just ignore this paragraaph and excuse my ineptitude.

    Also, I was told one time that I used too many characters. If I can get this to work. I will send out a few more comments to cover all the information.

    55 S. Mountain was built in 1870. It was the home of Rev.James Maxwell, who was pastor of St. Lukes Episcopal when it was actually on St. Lukes Pl.(1870-1890 or so). Rev. James died in 1884. I'm not sure the next pastor lived at 55.
    When they built the new church on S. Fullerton, they sold 55 to Edwin Dodge, a NY broker.

    The old church was torn down so the town could build a high school. That high school was torn down when the new high school was built on Park St. (approx 1930). The land the old church stood on is now the playground/parking lot for Hillside School.

  3. Lawrence Earle, the painter, lived on Walnut Crescent, when he lived in Montclair. The house is still there.

    Montclair was guite the artist's community in the 1880s to the early 1900s. Lawrence lived across the street from George Inness Jr. and his wife, Anna. Anna's father, Roswell Smith, a wealthy NY publisher, gave the couple a large home and a significant amount of property.

    George Jr. was the son of Montclair's famous painter, George Inness. George Jr. was a painter too.

    Since he had the nicest house many local artists congregated at George Jr's. House, which he called Roswell Manor, in honor of his father-in-law. George Jr. often conducted fox hunts on his estate.

    Roswell Manor was torn down to make way for the Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing.

    Another artist, who had a house in Montclair, which was also a place where local artists congregated, and which was also torn down, was Manfred Trautschold's home on Upper Mountain. It was not far from Harry Fenn's house. I wonder if Harry ever went there.

    I'm pretty sure Harry visited George Inness Sr's house, which was on Grove St. George Senior lived next to his son-in-law, yet another artist, a sculpter named, Jonathan Scott Hartley.
    George Sr. had a bridge built between the two houses to make it easier for the families to get together.

    George Sr's. house and J.S. Hartley's house were both torn down so Columbus St. could be built.

  4. I am still on the trail of exactly when your house was moved from Upper Mountain to North Mountain. I started plowing through old issues of the Montclair Times (microfilm), but haven't turned anything up yet.

    Directories published in the early 20th century (before 1906) show Charles and Laura Bausher living at 208 North Mountain AND Frank and Addie Lambie living at 208 a couple of years later. Yet, the Essex County Atlas, published in 1906, clearly shows the house as still being on Upper Mountain.

    My best guess is still: that the Baushers and/or the Lambies used the back as an entrance way. I have no idea when the house was turned around. Either couple could have had the house turned around. I doubt if it was turned around one year, then moved down the hill at a different time, but anything is possible.

    I used to think that the Baushers were responsible for moving the house. I am starting to suspect that the Lambies did. Frank was in the shoe buiness in the 1890s. He went into Real Estate and then into the constuction business (more on that in another comment).

  5. Frank D. Lambie ended up as president of an outfit called the American Building Corp. American Building rose to prominence in the early 20th century by becoming the premier builder of concrete houses in the US.

    Thomas Edison dreamed up the idea of building houses out of poured concrete. Pouring the walls eliminated the need for framing, siding, insulation and interior finishes. All the owner had to do was paint the inside and outside. Of course, the owners could finish the inside walls if they didn't want to stare at concrete.

    Concrete was fire-proof, supposedly weather-proof and, according to the advertisements, supposed to last for 1000 years. Pipes and electrical conduits could be cast right into the walls as they were being poured. The Edison Co. provided the designs and supplied the concrete.
    American Building developed the molds.

    Frank's company, American Building built the first concrete house ever in Montclair in 1909, at 420 Valley Road. Three years later they put up another one at 303 North Mountain (not from Frank's - and now your - house). They built hundreds of concrete houses all over the world and sold the molds so other construction companies could build them. I believe the house on North Mountain is on the registry of Historic American Buildings.

    So you share the roof with another famous, or, at least, semi-famous occupant.

    I love what you are doing to the house. I am floored by the amount of research your are doing.

  6. Mike, thanks for sharing. I tried emailing you recently, so we can get together and talk in person, but this is fun too :)

    And thanks so much for the history on 55 South. I'll share it with my new friends. Maybe with these names they might find some clues about the connection in the correspondence they still have.

  7. Almost forgot, thanks for sifting through the MT files. If you find any other references to Fenn's, I would be happy to have them.


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