Hanover Houses - River Road


Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
By: Henry Blackman Plumb, 1885, 498 pp.
Robert Baur, Printer and Stationer, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Website Compiled By: James H. Culbert


This page last updated: 28 Jun 2009

Note: Additions to the information found in Plumb's History of Hanover are shown below in red text.

For reference, the descriptions of these old Hanover houses start at Colonel Washington LEE's house at the river below Nanticoke, and next with the URQUHART house on the other branch of the River Road, or rather on the cross-road near it, both of these houses being the nearest to the Newport line.  The descriptions then follow these roads to where they meet at Nanticoke Corners, then follow the road to the Wilkes-Barre line.  Next the houses along the Middle Road are described, starting with the house nearest the Newport line and following this road to the Wilkes-Barre line.  Finally, the houses along the Back Road are described in the same manner.  Whenever a cross road is reached along any of the three main roads, the houses nearest to each main road are also described at that point.

The Colonel Washington LEE house stood on a high bank on the shore of the Susquehanna River at Nanticoke, having only the river bank and the road between the house and the river.  It still stands [in 1885] a few rods west of the mouth of Nanticoke Creek.  This was the home of Captain Andrew LEE, who died here in 1821.  His son, Washington, resided here until 1868 when he sold it to the Susquehanna Coal Company, which then used it as a tenant house.  This house is near the Newport line on Lot No. 1, Second Division, and is about one half mile above the dam in the river at the old Nanticoke Falls.  The road to this house crosses the line into Newport (from Nanticoke Corners, as it was called in old times to locate the spot) and down the creek towards the river it crosses into Hanover again.  After passing the LEE house by about thirty or forty rods the road again enters Newport going west.

Coming up to the corners of old Nanticoke, the first old house on the right is the Adam LAPE house on Lot No. 2, Second Division.  It still stands and belongs to the LAPE family.  On the left all they way to the corner were old houses, dwellings, and store-houses that belonged to Colonel LEE.  Now all have been torn down and replaced by fine brick and frame houses, about 1868, all on Lot No. 2.

Henry RASELY owned the house next to the LAPE house on the right.  RASLEY left about 1868.  The house still stands on Lot No. 2.

The next house on the right is at the corner.  Here was a store building about 1843, then it became a dwelling, but about 1855 it was torn down and Andrew LEE and Lewis C. PAINE built a brick store here.  The building still stands, and is used as a store by the Susquehanna Coal Company.  The company's office is across the street, nearly on the site of STIRE's store of about 1840, all on Lot No. 2.

Now we begin on the other branch of the Main Road on the Newport line, or the cross-road on the line.

The old URQUHART house still stands, and is pretty well preserved, but for many years it has been a tenant house.  It is on Lot No. 3.

On the left coming down the hill towards the corner is the Henry GEORGE house, still occupied by that family.  It is on Lot No. 3.

On the right at the corners stood Silas ALEXANDER's store and dwelling.  The dwelling is there, but the store was torn down, and a new one, or two, of brick have been built in its place since 1874.

Still on the right, the next house was Charles S. KEITHLINE's tannery and dwelling.  In 1862 Xavier WERNET bought this property, and in 1870 built a large frame hotel here.

On the left of Main street here was the "long row".  This was all burned down in 1876, and is now replaced by brick stores and two brick hotels.

On the right is the old tavern.  This house still stands and is used as a hotel.

On the left was an old house lately torn down, and now replaced by a fine large residence.

The next on the right is the old school house with the little church on the top.  This house still stands, but is very dilapidated and not in use.

On the left are two old farm houses, and two others built by the MILL heirs for residences about 1843.  They sold out and went West soon afterwards and these have been tenant farm houses since.

Peter Mill's house is on a hillside on the right.  This was a beautiful place once.  His family still resides there.  The Mill family were once numerous, but the two children of Peter are the only ones left in Hanover or Nanticoke now.  This is on Lot No. 24, First Division.

All the ground on each side of the two roads that lead from the Colonel LEE house, and that from the URQUART house, and nearly up to the MILL house, is covered with streets and buildings in all directions.  They are occupied by a population probably numbering six thousand or more, five thousand of them within the Hanover lines in 1885.

On the right is the Robert ROBINS house, on Lot No. 23, First Division.  ROBINS lived here with his family of many sons and a couple of daughters, from 1837, the sons and daughters gradually marrying and leaving this home until ROBINS's death in 1856.  Afterwards, his son John lived here until about 1866, when the entire family, except one, went West.  Since that time it has been a tenant farm belonging to a coal company.

The old Samuel JAMESON house is next on the right.  JAMESON was born here in 1777, and died here in 1843.  He had a family of three girls, but they were all afflicted with consumption.  Only one married, and had two daughters.  Both of these daughters died young with consumption, one having married Dr. Harry HAKES, but without any children.  Dr. HAKES had a new house built, and he resided here eight or nine years, when he moved to Wilkes-Barre.  The property still belongs to Dr. HAKES, but is rented out to farmers.  This is on Lot No. 22.

The James S. LEE house is on the left.  After LEE's death in 1850, his family being pretty much all married, the farm was soon rented to tenant farmers.  About 1855-56 it was sold to a coal company.  This is on Lot Nos. 21 and 20.

The PELL house is next on the left.  Samuel PELL was probably born here.  He lived here until about 1862, when he moved to Wilkes-Barre, where he died in 1873.  He had four children, all girls, all who have moved from Hanover, and the farm has been let to tenant farmers.  This is on Lot No. 19.

The Charles STREATER [Note different spelling from elsewhere in Plumb] house is away off to the right a half mile or so on the Hogback.  STREATER sold it to a Mr. COX about 1839 who resided there a few years.  This was a most beautiful place, and was specially calculated for a wealthy man's country residence.  COX sold to S. P. COLLINGS who resided here a short time, and returned to Wilkes-Barre.  Since about 1850 it has been simply a tenant farm and dwelling, and all its beauty has departed and gone to decay.  It belongs to a coal company.  This is on Lot No. 18.

On the River Road, on the left next to the PELLs, there was a farm house for the farmer of the land.  That house also stands, or one in place of it.  Here is probably where a block house stood in ancient times.

The Barnet MILLER house is next on the left.  Many different persons owned or lived here before the writer's recollection.  Barnet MILLER came and bought it about 1830.  About 1853 or 1854 he died, leaving numerous sons and daughters, who sold it and all have moved, most to the West.  This is on Lot No. 17.

The Peter KOCHER house was on the right.  He was a blacksmith, and long had a shop by the side of HOLLAND's little railroad (from the mines in the mountain to the canal basin at the river, 2-1/2 miles long) where he died about 1855.  The house still stands and is occupied as a tenant house, and is on Lot No. 16.

The George KOCHER house is next on the left.  About 1837 or 1838 KOCHER, who had lived on the Back Road, came here to live.  Here he died a very old man about 1850.  It has since been a tenant house, and still stands.  It is also on Lot No. 16.

The Jonathan ROBINS house is next to the right on the cross-road.  This was built about 1844, but the old house still stood on the opposite side of the road and was occupied.  This was at PRUNER's Mill, about 1828-29, but the mill about that time was worn out and went into ruins.  ROBINS sold out about 1856 and went West.  This is Lot No. 15.

The Henry MINNICH house was next on the left.  This was purchased by the father of Henry about 1810, who died here.  Henry lived here and raised a large family of boys and girls, most of whom went West as soon as they became of age.  Henry died in 1845.  The heirs sold out and it has been a tenant farm ever since.  This is Lot No. 13 and part of No. 14.

The GARRINGER house is next on the right.  This was the HURLBUT property.  John GARRINGER bought it in 1810, and died here in 1836.  He reared a large family of boys and girls.  His son Charles resided here until 1854.  Charles lives in Nanticoke now, a very old man, who also reared a very large family of boys and girls.  Most of the GARRINGER family have gone West.  This is on Lot Nos. 11 and 12.

The STEELE house and ferry is on the left side at the river.  The first known here was Joseph STEELE, who kept the ferry.  The house was not on the River Road, but down at the river.  STEELE died here an old man, leaving a large family who have all gone elsewhere, mostly West.  The house still stands and is used as a tenant house.  This is on Lot No. 28, First Division.

The "Beckey" THOMAS house is next on the right.  She lived here until quite old and died about 1852.  She bought the property in 1815.  It has long since rotted down, though it was used as a tenant house for about ten years after her death.  This is on Lot No. 28.

The BEHEE house is on the right on the cross-road.  This was originally the DELANO mill house.  [George] BEHEE bought or traded for it about 1818.  Jacob PLUMB lived here from about 1826 to 1829, and built a set of carding machines in the mill.  The old house was replaced by a new and larger one about 1844.  Jacob died in 1846 and his widow lived here until her death in 1868.  No maintenance was done on the mill, and it rotted down.  John BARNEY, a son-in-law, resided here with Jabob's widow and died here in 1881, and John's wife died in 1882.  The property now belongs to a coal company.  It is located on Lot No. 28.

The Red Tavern is next on the left.  Frederick CRISMAN built it and died here in 1815.  Then it was kept by his son, Abraham, and thereafter by George P. STEELE, a son-in-law of Abraham.  It was a house of entertainment (until the past four ot five years) and was kept by many different landlords.  It is on the six-rod road and belongs to a coal company.

The Stephen BURRETT house is next on the left, lower side of the cemetery.  The original house still stands.  Stephen BURRETT, both Senior and Junior, lived and died here.  Stephen, Jr. was a bachelor and died about 1851.  Jacob FRITZ bought the property, resided in it, and died about 1870.  Reuben DOWNING then bought it.  It now belongs to a coal company.  This is on Lot No. 8, Second Division.

The Freeman THOMAS house, on the upper side of the church lot, was on the left.  Various persons owned this pretty little cottage before THOMAS.  He lived here some years and died in 1847, Colonel WRIGHT says.  It belonged afterwards to Barnet MILLER, then to Reuben DOWNING.  About 1869 DOWNING had the cottage torn down and a new and larger house built.  It now belongs to a coal company.  DOWNING moved to Wilkes-Barre in 1870.

On the cross-road leading from the "Green" to the Middle Road, off to the right at or near the foot of the hill, was Jesse EDGERTON's house.  He died about 1830.  His widow remarried and lived here until her death.  The house rotted down.  The land belongs to a coal company.

The Dayton DILLEY old house stood on this cross-road.  DILLEY reared a large family here, and died about 1855.  The land belongs to a coal company and the house rotted down.

There was another house here on the cross-road.  Valentine MYERS lived here and went West about 1838.  Afterwards Thomas SMILEY, it is believed, lived here, or in one close to it.  SMILEY went West about 1854.  The house still stands, and is rented by the coal company that owns it as a tenant house.

The Susan DILLEY house is next on the left on the River Road.  This was a very old house, and Susan DILLEY lived here, remaining unmarried.  She died in 1879, aged ninety-one years.  It now belongs to a coal company.  Between the church lot (cemetery) and this one several house lots have been sold and houses erected since 1870.

The John GREENAWALT house is next on the right.  John was a tailor, built this house, and did business here for forty-five years.

The James DILLEY house is next on the right.  This is on the top of the hill, and one of the finest views in the valley can be had from here.  DILLEY reared a large family here and died in 1862.  It now belongs to a coal company.  It is rented as a tenant farm house, the DILLEYs having all left Hanover.

The next on the right is the Edward INMAN house.  Colonel Edward INMAN died in 1848, a very old man.  Afterwards his widowed daughter, Mrs. Lovina ESPY, had the old house torn down and a new one built, and resided there until her death in 1874.  Near this house the Buttonwood shaft was sunk.  The coal company built a superintendent's house nearly opposite Mrs Espy's house, about 1857, along with a number of double houses for miners near the foot of the hill.  These are all standing and occupied by tenants.

Across the canal from the Colonel INMAN house, on the north side, were some houses besides the lock house.  Richard GUNTON long resided here, and now resides in South Wilkes-Barre.  Here was a road that ran up north-east to Thomas LAZARUS's property and from there follows the cross-road south-east to the River Road at the Buttonwood bridge.  In ancient times houses were built along this road nearly down to the mouth of Solomon's Creek.  In later times a road ran down north-westwardly from Col. INMAN's house across the creek at the Buttonwood shaft, and across the canal at the lock.  Here it intersected the road north of the old canal, where it ended.  There were, and still are, a number of houses, now tenant farm houses.  Also, during the working of the Buttonwood shaft there was a store here, but that stopped when the shaft did.  There is no canal here now.

Next, the LAZARUS house is off to the left on the cross-road northwest of Solomon's Creek.  John LAZARUS lived in the house on the north side of Solomon's Creek, west of the cross-road, at Buttonwood.  He reared a very large family here, and died in 1879.  The house is still occupied by some of his children.  The house is on Lot No. 6, First Division.

Thomas LAZARUS lived in the old homestead, on the east side of the cross-road, north of Solomon's Creek at Buttonwood.  He also reared a large family of children and still resides here, though in a much newer house than the original homestead.  This is on Lot No. 5, First Division.

The Asahel B. BLODGETT house, south of Solomon's Creek and east of the cross-road, is on the right.  This is a finely situated house, among the trees, on slightly elevated and ascending ground south of Solomon's Creek at Buttonwood.  Mr. BLODGETT and his wife, Mary LAZARUS, still reside here.  This is on Lot No. 5.

The George SIVELY house is next on the right.  SIVELY died in 1854.  Fanny STEWART, his wife, and the owner of this land, died here in 1855.  They had only two children, Stewart, who died unmarried, and Mary F., who married Benjamin PFOUTS.  Judge PFOUTS died and Mary resides in the old homestead, a beautiful place.

Next on the left is the old Isaac HARTZELL house.  He reared a large family of children here, and died about 1848 or 1850.  His widow still lives in Wisconsin.  The heirs disposed of the property to G. M. HOLLENBACK, and he granted it to William H. ALEXANDER.  ALEXANDER died about 1864 and left it to his two daughters, who still own it.  The old house still stands, but has not been repaired and modernized.

The Alexander JAMESON house is next on the left.  It is not known that JAMESON ever lived here within the recollection of living man, but there was, and still is here, a fine, large tenant house and barn.  George LEARN resided many years here, and his son, also George, resided here as well for many years.  George, Jr. moved some twenty years ago to a farm of his own in Columbia County, PA.  This property now belongs to Reuben DOWNING.  A railroad now crosses the road here in place of the canal.

Across the railroad on the left, there was an old farm house, long rented to tenants, which grew old and dilapidated and was replaced by plank house fifteen or more years ago.  This was part of the estate of Miller HORTON.  It descended to his heirs and now belongs to Reuben DOWNING.  Here was a nursery for a few years, but it is now only a tenant farm house.

The last house on the River Road is also on the left.  This is the old Miller HORTON house and stands on the line between Hanover and Wilkes-Barre.  After the HORTONs it belonged to William H. ALEXANDER.  At his death, about 1864, it descended to his heirs, who still own it.  This was partly on Lot No. 1, First Division.

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