To be SOLD by Public Vendue

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “vendue” means “public auction”. Such was the method that was used to sell the Neebor Lee house and property in 1786.  If you recall the story from an earlier post, the two-story stone farmhouse was built by Peter Horning  just the year before, in 1785, as a father-son colonial for the…

Bringing the Lodge back to Life

The “Lodge” is by far the most interesting building on the Neebor Lee property. It was first constructed sometime in the mid to late-1800s as a playhouse on the Broadview Mansion property, complete with a stage for children’s puppet shows. On its roof was a wood platform, perhaps used for stargazing.  In 1903, this 25…

Windows and Stones

The construction of the new workshop building continues, and so far everything is looking good. The foundation, which was not present beneath the original 113 year old structure, has been completed and the framing of the new structure is nearly complete.  In parallel, I continue to work on window restoration, soliciting the help of my daughter for some…

The Summer Construction Season is almost Here!

We’re now well into spring which means that the summer construction season is almost here.  That doesn’t mean that we’ve been idle this past winter.   We spent a large part of the last four months renovating the home’s third floor bathroom. That involved removing the bathroom’s old rusted shower stall and clunky vanity, repairing plaster walls, removing…

“The Minute Men”

We’re still coming across surprising finds in the Neebor Lee  house more than two years after moving into the house. Yesterday I took a short break from renovating the home’s third floor bathroom to help my wife organize a walk-in closet occupying a small room located next to the bathroom.  In moving a floor to ceiling shelving unit to create…

Golden Years

I covered much of the history of the Neebor Lee property in past posts, from its period of colonial ownership in the early 18th Century,  through the conflicted period of the American Revolutionary War and post-war construction of the Neebor Lee house, to the farmers who worked the land in the first half of the 19th Century, and to…

Waylaid Plans

I had not planned out any specific winter projects.  I figured that I would spend the upcoming months removing old wallpaper from several of the rooms in the Main House at a very leisurely pace and then painting those rooms to freshen them up a bit. I even purchased a steamer to  facilitate wallpaper removal. This…

A Change of Season

Fall is here, which means that the 2015 construction season is just about over. It seemed to have gone by very fast, and I had not accomplished as much as I had planned. Apparently the to-do list that I compiled at the end of last winter was a bit too ambitious. In addition, life managed to get in…

Transformation

For its first 118 years, the Neebor Lee house was a modest two-story farmhouse that was occupied by farmers, tenant farmers or servants of the Gumbes family. In 1903, however, that would change. On the last day of January of that year, Charles Wetherill Gumbes, Civil War veteran, surgeon, country doctor and owner of the…

The Gentleman and the Surgeon

We are now well into the dog days of summer, with the days having become hot and humid with temperatures occasionally exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  It can be hard to get things done outside under these conditions, particularly for a 55 year old heart attack survivor like myself. At much prompting by my caring family, I have slowed my renovation…

The Philanthropist

In 1861, just as the American Civil War was beginning, the Neebor Lee House and property were purchased from Abraham Hendricks by Rebecca Price Wetherill Gumbes. Rebecca was the daughter and granddaughter of early American industrialists. Her grandfather, Samuel Wetherill Sr. (1736-1816), was a Quaker, a member of the Common Council of Philadelphia and a textile…

When it Rains, it Pours.

I had been saying for the past week that we needed the rain. The lawn had been turning brown, which is something that shouldn’t happen in the Spring. We had gone weeks without rain, and when it was finally forecasted, my wife and I were elated. We had just planted a vegetable garden, as well as fruit trees…