Monday, March 2, 2015

The House at 1723 E. Erie in Lorain

I've admired this stately house at 1723 E. Erie Avenue in Lorain for some time now. Maybe it's the pillars that give it such a commanding presence. I love the red door too.

Although there's still a Howard Hanna sign out front, it appears to be off the market for now – which is too bad, because I think it was a pretty good buy for someone looking for a fine old house on the lakefront.

Anyway, I was curious about the house. Who was the original owner – and what did he do for a living?

The house was not listed in the 1921 city directory at the Lorain Public Library, but it did appear in the next available book, the 1924 edition. (The Lorain County Auditor website says it was built in 1923.)

Charles W. Pomeroy (1864-1947) and his wife May were listed as the owners. His occupation was listed as 'traveling salesman' in that first book, before being shortened to just 'salesman' in the 1926 book and then 'broker' after that in all subsequent editions.

Since it looks like a pretty big house, it makes sense that the Pomeroys had other couples living there with them during the next several decades. Here are the listings from available directories

1924 William L. and Vera Taft
1926 Frank and Ann Gracey
1931 Stanley and Louise Goldsmith
1933 Edward and Ruth Kumbler
1937 Harold and Helen Reese
1940 August Allendorf and family
1942 August Allendorf and family
1945 Joseph and Helen Cullman

The men in these listings had professions such as federal officer, salesman, branch manager, foreman, steelworker and life insurance salesman.

Beginning in the 1947 book, Mrs. Mae Pomeroy is listed as the owner of 1723 E. Erie. The 1950 book has August W. Allendorf listed as the owner, and the next book (1954) lists Ruth E. Allendorf as the owner.

The Sandusky Register of August 9, 1949 sheds a little light on all this. That edition of the newspaper includes this obituary (below).

Lorain, August 9 – Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Pomeroy, 82, widow of the late Charles Wells Pomeroy, died Monday at her residence, 1723 E. Erie-av, following a lengthy illness. She had been a resident of Lorain for 34 years and was born in Put-in-Bay. Surviving is a daughter, Mrs. August Allendorf and a grandson, William Allendorf of Sandusky.

So it all makes sense with the additional information gleaned from the obituary.

There is a lot of online family tree research regarding the Pomeroy name, and some of it makes reference to the Lorain branch of the family. Perhaps a distant family member will find this and be gratified to know that their relative built such a beautiful home on the shores of Lake Erie in what was then regarded as the elite part of town.


Anonymous said...

Dan, Mrs. Allendorf was a friend of my Mothers. I am thinking she was a volunteer? at LCH, where my Mother worked. I can picture her. I loved the driveway, reminded me of the Beverly Hill Billys.

Anonymous said...

On second look I have the houses driveways confused, but not Mrs Allendorf. Sorry. Rae

Dan Brady said...

Hi Rae,
That's nice that your mother knew Mrs. Allendorf. It helps to bring the people mentioned in some of these posts to life and make them more than just names from a directory.