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Wayne Post
  • Historically Speaking — A peek at Palmyra’s past

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  • In our travels we find ourselves back again to West Jackson where we noted the corner red brick home. Following this trek west, we stop at the next home on our tour and the home of Mr. Lapham. The house is close to the sidewalk and is graciously watching as passerby’s walk past glancing at the holiday décor on this porch. This home for many years was called the Harter home and had been on many a house tour in the early 1960’s and 1970’s. Since then it has been owned by two other families and our current family will graciously welcome visitors on December 7th into their warm and well decorated home. This home has retained its charm for all of its 143 years.
    Now, next is the frame home of R. M. Smith, cashier of the Palmyra National Bank for 60 years. Learning the trade of tin smith he headed to the Civil War after coming home he took his position of cashier until his death in 1925. Owned by the Spencer’s today, it is a frame home with a large porch. Set back in the lot, this amazing home was built circa 1840 and has only served three families. It will be an experience to visit these fine folks who have given all of us such pleasure looking at their amazing holiday decorations. As we head up or west on Washington Street we remember when it wasn’t a street at all but a farm, many of these places on this side of the Village were fields for farming.
    We head north on Washington to West Main and have to take a left at the corner, crossing West Main Street. We come to the Beckwith/Walton Mansion which is one of the earlier homes built. Mr. Beckwith came to Palmyra early in 1812. Mr. Beckwith was considered a fine businessman and commercial entrepreneur. About 1902 a great restoration and renovation of the Beckwith home was done. Today this home is an amazing piece of history and architecture that offers some of the finest amenities that could have been placed in any home. Many of you will remember this as the Wheeler home of Ed Wheeler home. Today the Walton family has different interests and Brent is a professional photographer, however, that entrepreneurial attitude is still visible in its current owners.
    Next we come up Church Street north toward Quaker Road taking a left onto Quaker we travel about 1/2 mile and come to a place known to many of us as Tamerlayne. This home is a cobblestone and sets back from the road with a small porch on the front and a welcoming path to the back. The back door enters the large old area where a giant stone fireplace greets you. As you walk towards the front of the home you pass the kitchen with an original cooking hearth and head to the dining room. The low windows are of the federal period and the fireplace in every room was the source of heat so many years ago. You will find this home from Route 31 as you look to the north and see the brightest lights covering their home and property.
    Page 2 of 2 - These are the homes and museums on the Homestead Candlelight House Tour Saturday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. Finishing your tour will be the Alling Coverlet Museum with a warm glow of decor, warm cocoa, hot chili, and holiday cookies and cakes. Call for your pre-sale tickets at 597-6981 at $20 per person. At the door they are $25 per person. This will be a spirited way to start your holiday. Lots to do in Palmyra and lots to find in our stores and on our original Main Street business area.

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