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

Calvin and Juliet McCauley Mansion

Ridgway "Lily of the Valley"

Calvin and Juliet McCauley Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, August 6, 2022
1. Calvin and Juliet McCauley Mansion Marker
By the 1890s, Ridgway's tanning industry had reached its peak. Calvin McCauley purchased both the OB Grant Tannery and the Eagle Valley Tannery, forming the Elk Tanning Company. He then sold his company to the United States Leather Company, which, at its peak, owned 153 tanneries and was the world's largest producer of sole leather.

As prominent lawyer and chief solicitor for the U. S. Leather Company, Calvin McCauley made his fortune, and in 1891, he began building one of Ridgway's most elegant homes. Constructed of brownstone shipped from Buffalo, New York, the mansion took two years to complete. The Hyde-Murphy Company crafted the mansion's detailed interior woodwork. An Italian sitting garden, renowned for its beauty, graced the grounds behind the house.

In 1923, McCauley sold the mansion to Samuel Murphy-son of Hyde-Murphy Company co-founder Walter P. Murphy-who lived there with his family for the next 33 years. On December 15, 1956, a truck lost its brakes on Bootjack Hill, careened onto Main Street, and slammed into the side of the McCauley Mansion, engulfing the house in flames. Though firefighters quickly
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responded to the blaze, the interior of the majestic stone mansion was destroyed. Samuel Murphy and his family were inside the house when the blaze erupted and were carried to safety by firefighters.

Millionaire Acres
In the early 1900s, thanks to its rich lumbering heritage, Ridgway boasted one of the highest numbers of millionaires per capita in the United States. The McCauley's mansion was just one of Ridgway's many beautiful homes. Entering town from the east at the turn of the century, visitors glimpsed not only the McCauley mansion, but also the Harry R. Hyde mansion and the Mrs. William H. Hyde mansion. A walking tour of Ridgway reveals dozens of other historic residences, businesses, and public buildings.

Elegantly Appointed
The mansion's twenty rooms included a billiard room, double drawing rooms, and a Turkish room. Inlays of both native and exotic hardwoods graced the floors, made of White Mahogany, African Mahogany, and native oak. McCauley spent $70,000 to build the house, a fortune at the time.

(Photo Captions):

McCauley Mansion after completion in 1893

Calvin and Juliet McCauley

Mansion Interior

Mansion on fire, December, 1956

McCauley Mansion 1935

Formal gardens

Fighting the fire

All photos courtesy
Calvin and Juliet McCauley Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, August 6, 2022
2. Calvin and Juliet McCauley Mansion Marker
View is looking west.
Elk County Historical Society

Erected by Stackpole-Hall Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureDisastersIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1891.
Location. 41° 25.367′ N, 78° 43.668′ W. Marker is in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, in Elk County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 219) west of Depot Street (Pennsylvania Route 120), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 344 Main Street, Ridgway PA 15853, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Gallagher Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Ridgway Opera House (within shouting distance of this marker); Hall, Kaul, and Hyde Store (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hyde Hotel (about 400 feet away); Elk County (about 600 feet away); Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); Elk County Courthouse (about 700 feet away); Pioneer Cemetery (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ridgway.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 21, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 314 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 21, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024