“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lake Ariel in Wayne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Deagan Chimes

The Deagan Chimes Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, August 30, 2019
1. The Deagan Chimes Marker
The chimes, now standing outside the Carriage House, were originally part of Col. Louis Watres’ estate Pen-y-Byrn in Scranton. Of the 483 chime sets manufactured by the Deagan Chime Factory, only six sets were produced for non-commercial use. Other sets on private estates included the DuPont’s Longwood Gardens, Scotty’s Castle in Death valley, and the Wrigley Estate on Catalina Island. Throughout the world today, there are only 96 working sets remaining.

The chimes weigh over 10,000 pounds, and the longest ones are over 14 feet. When Watres built his mansion, he had a WWII Kimble pipe organ inside and Deagan chimes installed in a tower on the mansion grounds. The chimes were run by a clock mechanism in the home and rang out over the countryside every quarter hour. The chimes also had a keyboard, so as to make it possible to play appropriate tunes on special occasions, such as Christmas and the Fourth of July.

In 1937, fire destroyed Watres’ imposing mansion of the East Mountain. The fire, visible from all over Scranton, occurred on a Sunday morning. Large numbers of citizens had been guests at Pen-y-Byrn at concerts, picnics
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and other large affairs and knew the house well. Many rushed to the fire and carried from the house antique furniture, rugs, paintings, sculpture and anything else they could save. The organ mechanism, on the third floor, created a great spectacle when it crashed. The clock mechanism, which controlled the chimes, was also destroyed; however, the 16-tone, 10.400-pound set of tubular chimes were in a tower some distance from the house. The romantic stone walls of the ruined castle were a safety hazard, and were dismantled. When Isabel Watres and her son, Arthur moved to Lacawac in 1948, the chimes went with them, becoming a storage problem for half a century.

D.J. Roberts, a past Lacawac Trustee and owner of Lakeside Electric, learning about the chimes set a goal of installing them in a tower at Lacawac so that they could be played manually in celebration of Isabel Watres’ 100th birthday. Roberts along with John Tandy, a retired Navy officer and over 70 volunteers erected the chimes outside of the carriage house in 1995
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music. A significant historical year for this entry is 1937.
Location. 41° 22.705′ N, 75° 17.491′ W. Marker is in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, in Wayne County. Marker is on Sanctuary Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lake Ariel PA 18436, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least
The Deagan Chimes image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, August 30, 2019
2. The Deagan Chimes
8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Connell Park (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Historic Connell Park (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ice House / The Woodshed (within shouting distance of this marker); Watres Lodge / The Boat House (within shouting distance of this marker); Coachman’s Cottage / The Spring House (within shouting distance of this marker); Lake Lacawac (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Louis Arthur Watres (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lacawac Sanctuary (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lake Ariel.
Inset image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, August 30, 2019
3. Inset
The chimes at Col. Louis Watres’ estate "Pen-y-Byrn".
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 290 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 14, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024