This is Harbison House and the two are very similar. They both tennis courts, gazebos, rock gardens, a formal English rose garden, carriage houses, guest houses, hand-dug pools with bath houses, a fruit orchard, and a back access road so no guests would have to see the "mundane deliveries.
There are a lot of reasons for the similarities but the biggest is that my hometown was essentially built by the Pennsylvania Railroad due to the town's geographic location along what is known as the Allegheny Front - which really screwed up railroads and only the PRR figured out how to engineer their way around it. Until the 1990s, there were more millionaires per capita in my hometown than anywhere else in PA. So back in the day, all of the rich tried to outdo each other with fancy houses.
This house, along with six other buildings in town, including my parents' house, was originally wired by Thomas Edison and there are documents in the town archive to confirm it. After the Great Opera House fire, the remaining "original electric" homes were rewired by what town history books and private journals (including one kept by my family) call "a very strange Eastern European who hated Edison." The man was often a guest at Beck House as he liked my Great-Grandmother Beck since the family, unlike others of their time, were kind to hobos. The railroad tracks used to run directly in front of both of these houses (down over small hills, across grassy areas and through what is now a swamp) so hobos in the area were frequent even until the 1960s.
There is speculation that this "strange man" was Nikola Tesla and a written description matches his photo, but no one can say for certain. Though whoever it was was education enough to know how to fix Edison's original wiring and prevent any future fires. Both Harbison House and Beck House were among those rewired after the opera house fire and oddly enough, we've never had a problem in either place, though the wiring has been updated.
My hometown has a problem with fires, actually, and may of the older buildings have been destroyed so those of us who own the historic homes work to keep them up.
Eventually, Beck House will pass to me as my brother wants to go back to Myrtle Beach so Ed and I are trying to figure out what we will do with two old houses.
I could go on, but I've probably bored you enough for now.
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