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The Magee Crest
FIDES NON TIMET
"Faith Does Not Fear"

 

 

Glenfeld

The Home of Gen. George. J. Magee
Watkins, New York

June 26, 1873 - Gen. Geo. J. Magee is giving his residence, on Madison Avenue, a thorough renovation, change and enlargement. The style of the dwelling will be quite different from the original one, and no time or expense is to be spared in an endeavor to make it one of the most beautiful mansions in the village, and as comfortable, convenient and elegant as it is beautiful. The work is being done under the supervision of that accomplished mechanic and builder, Mr. Geo. E. Bartlett, and will not be completed under a year or more to come. (Watkins Express)

spacer GJM Property Map
1874 view of Magee Property,
Madison Ave., Watkins

July 16, 1874 - The delightfully located residence of Gen. G. J. Magee, on Madison Ave., in this village (Watkins), is now nearly completed, and is to be one of the most costly and splendid mansions in the interior of the State. It contains an incredible amount of room, much more than is indicated by its exterior appearance, and is finished from basement to tower in the highest and richest styles of woodwork and fresco, embracing a great variety of elaborate designs, which may be studied with increasing interest and pleasure for hours. (Watkins Express)

July 1, 1875 - The Tenth anniversary of the Wedding of Mr. & Mrs. George J. Magee occurred on Monday the 28th of June. A large company of their friends and neighbors in this village assembled in the evening at their residence on Madison street to tender their congratulations and enjoy a social hour in their hospitable mansion ... The party was by far the pleasantest affair of its kind that has ever occurred in Watkins. The Magee mansion, which has been recently refitted and furnished in elegance and taste, was brilliantly lighted and seemed like a vision of fairy land. A commodious pavilion lighted by gas and furnished with every convenience had been erected for the occasion, and afforded ample accommodation for the supper as well as for those who seek with light, fantastic step the altar of the goddess, Terpsichore. (Watkins Express)

July 17, 1878 - The fountains at “Glenfeld,” - residence of General Geo. J. Magee, attract considerable attention from visitors. At the hour of 6 p.m., or thereabouts, a beautiful rainbow is visible and in addition to the beautiful colors of the spectrum, a halo of golden spray seems to border all, making a sight both rare and beautiful. (Watkins Democrat)

September 30, 1880 - Messrs. Magee and Stothoff have nearly completed a building on the beach of the lake below their residences on Madison avenue, which is to hold a stationary engine for the purpose of supplying the reservoir above their houses with water from the lake. The building will be a neat brick structure, and the engine will, we understand, be a Blake engine, manufactured at Boston, Mass. (Watkins Express)

October 20, 1880 - The largest concourse of people that ever assembled in Schuyler county were present to manifest their enthusiasm for the noble standard bearers of Democracy, Hancock and English, and to pay their respects to the greatest patriot and statesman that America has produced since the days of Washington - Gen. Geo. B.McClellan - first in war and first in the hearts of his countrymen. From early morn until six o’clock in the afternoon, long processions of vehicles rolled into the village from every direction, while special trains brought in crowds numbering thousands … an immense crowd was gathered a Northern Central station to welcome the distinguished soldier and statesman on his arrival on the 6:45 train. Gen. Magee’s coach was in waiting to convey His Excellency and party to Glenfeld, the residence of the former gentleman … at 7 o’clock, Chief Marshal C. Van Allen and his aides began the formation of the great procession on Second and Franklin Streets … the procession numbered about 2,000 torches, marched through the principal streets of the village and was received all along the route with tumultuous cheering, the explosion of fireworks, illuminations, banners, Chinese lanterns and every other demonstration of sympathy … it was reviewed by Genl’s McClellan, Averill, Sterling, Bookstaver and others who were stationed in front of Gen. Magee’s residence … The whole premises surrounding Gen. Magee’s residence were illuminated with a brilliancy seldom equalled. There are a brilliant display of pyrotechnics, and the lurid glow of colored fires cast a soft glow of emerald athwart the lake, and cast a reflection on the sky that resembled the Aurora of the North. (Watkins Democrat)

October 27, 1880 - The pumping works recently erected by Gen. Magee on the lake shore in front of Glenfeld, are completed and ready for work. (Watkins Democrat)

August 3, 1882 - One of the most complete structures of its kind in this section of the State, is the Pump House attached to the grounds of Gen. G. J. Magee's imposing residence on Madison Avenue. It is a fire-proof building, conveniently located upon the lake-beach and is twenty-four feet in width by thirty in length. Its exterior presents a neat and substantial appearance and its interior is conveniently arranged and well adapted to the purposes for which it was intended, and since the placing therein of the pumping apparatus, its entire management has been under the control of its present engineer, Frank McCall, who has been one of General Magee's most efficient and faithful employees for many years. A Preston and Herman boiler generates the enormous power required to force a stream of water four inches in diameter to an elevated reservoir nearly one quarter of a mile away. The pump is of the Blake pattern, manufactured at Boston and New York, and at each stroke of the piston-rod delivers at the receiving reservoir one and one-half gallons of water. It is manually regulated to deliver three gallons per second, but it can be increased so that the reservoir, holding thirty-five hundred barrels, can be filled in less than four hours. (Watkins Express)

April 19, 1883 - A. S. Stothoff is grading and otherwise greatly improving the appearance of the recently closed Catharine street, that almost entirely overgrown with weeds has heretofore presented an unsightly contrast to the attractiveness of the surrounding grounds of his beautiful home and the elegant residence of General Magee ... its upper part was included in Gen. Magee's grounds several years ago, the final closing of its lower section taking place last fall. (Watkins Express)

June 28, 1883 - Gen. Geo. J. Magee's elegant residence on Madison avenue is undergoing a complete repainting, the work being done under the direction of Geo. Doane. The main portion of the exterior has received a coat of light brown with very dark trimmings, and when entirely completed the appearance of the imposing structure will comport harmoniously and agreeably with its beautiful surroundings. Some changes are also to be made in the interior of the building, and several carpenters and masons are now employed in completing the projected improvements. (Watkins Express)

September 12, 1883 - On Tuesday evening last, Gen. Geo. J. Magee entertained the following distinguished guests at dinner, in his elegant residence in this village: Wm. H. Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, W. K. Vanderbilt, Captain J. H. Vanderbilt, Foster Dewey, Wm. Turnbull and Samuel Barton, of New York city; J. H. Rutter, president of the N. Y. Central and H. R. Railways; C. M. Depew, Second Vice-President of the same; Franklin B. Gowen, of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad; H. McK. Twombly, of the Southern Pennsylvania Railroad; General Simon Cameron and James Duffy, of Pennsylvania; E. Ellis of the Schenectady Locomotive Works; A. Lathrop, of Corning, and C. J. Langdon, of Elmira. The party accompanied by General Magee had left New York in Vanderbilt's private car, "The Vanderbilt," early Tuesday morning as the Hudson River and New York Central Railway tracks were cleared for their passage ...The train reached the Glen Bridge Pavilion at 5 o'clock. The party then visited the Glen, and were afterwards conveyed by carriages from the Glen Mountain House to General Magee's residence. (Watkins Express)

January 21, 1885 - Gen Geo. J. Magee’s private car Glenfeld, has been in the Fall Brook shop, in this village, for some time past, receiving a thorough overhauling … The exterior of the car has been newly painted, and the scenes on the center are taken from the Glen that runs through the grounds of Gen. Magee at Watkins. (Watkins Democrat)

April 22, 1885 - Gen. Geo. J. Magee is having the foundation piles drive upon the beach, east of the N. C. Railway, and fronting his residence grounds, for a boat house, 20 by 28 feet. It is to be of the gothic order and ornamental as well as useful. (Watkins Democrat)

April 23, 1885 - A boat house twenty by thirty-three feet in extent, is soon to be erected upon that portion of General Magee's residence grounds adjoining Seneca Lake. The piles necessary for the foundation of the structure which is to be located just south of the pump house, were driven by A. F. Chapman & Co. on Friday and Saturday last, the "Lena," of Peach Orchard having been brought into requisition for the work. (Watkins Express)

June 18, 1885 - A noticeable change is soon to be wrought in the appearance of the lake-front of General Magee's residence grounds. Upon the completion of his new boat-house, the old one and docking gear near it are to be removed, and the site neatly graded to correspond with the remainder of the beach of Seneca Lake at that point. The work is charge of Mr. J. E. Anthony, and is already in progress. (Watkins Express)

July 30, 1885 - The improvements in progress upon the lake-front of General Magee's residence grounds, necessitates the removal of the old Leake Warehouse ... The Leake Warehouse was built by Abijah Newman of this village in the year 1828 or 1829. It was a building of at least 50 by 100 feet in dimension and four stories high upon its water front, with a store and dwelling fronting upon the street now known as Madison Avenue. The first steamboat dock ever at the head of Seneca Lake, had been built but a few rods northward of its site. (Watkins Express)

December 29, 1886 - The Christmas festivities at General Magee's on the eve of the day were attended by a family reunion, which brought together in addition to the home circle, Mr. & Mrs. D. A. Boissevain of London, Messrs. Duncan and Magee Ellsworth. of Penn Yan, Mr. & Mrs. A. S. Stothoff of this village, and Mr. Geo. B. Stothoff and family of Burdett. The Casino, beautifully festooned with evergreens and brilliantly lighted for the occasion, was the scene of festivities. A tree, laden with elegant presents, called forth the dispensing efforts of a Santa Claus, who rode into the Casino in cutter drawn by a horse loaded with bells and ribbons, to the pleasing strains of music, and amid shouts of merriment. The even was one of the greatest enjoyment, especially by the younger members of the family for whose entertainment it was arranged. (Havana Journal)

January 2, 1888 - Gen. G. J. Magee’s residence and residence-grounds in Watkins are unquestionably the finest in the county of Schuyler. The residence is a large modern-style and substantially built structure, delightfully situated, elegantly finished outside and in, and splendidly furnished.
The grounds embrace an area of about ten acres, and are located on the principal residence thoroughfare of the village, Madison Avenue, just south of a romantic little wooded glen. The front to the east, and wide and charmingly picture landscape overlooking Seneca Lake, are complete in all things, additional to the residence, pertaining to the ideal of domestic life, namely: a massive enclosing sandstone coping, from the quarries at Antrim, Pa., and good for hundreds of years; wide, grassy lawns and costly fountains; a grove of tall, white pines; many ornamental shade trees; choice shrubs, plants and roses; flower, fruit and vegetable gardens; conservatories and a green-house for early delicacies; a cold fruit storage house; water-works, ice house and boat house; a forest tree shade nursery; a prospective billiard room and bowling alley; a new, commodious and remarkable combined $25,000 barn, stable and carriage house, and many features not herein mentioned. The irregular and rolling lay of the land and its sunny nooks and differences in soil render it particularly susceptible to the most successful culture and adornment. (Watkins Express)

February 15, 1888 - On Tuesday evening last, the ladies of the Presbyterian church of this village gave an entertainment and supper at the new, extensive, and elegant brick stables recently completed by General George J. Magee, on his residence grounds in this village. The supper was plain, consisting of oysters, coffee, sandwiches, salads, etc., the entertainment consisted of shadow pictures Mrs. Jarley's Wax Figures, Valentine, and the art of terpsichore, to the enlivening strains of Kendall's orchestra. To say that the affair was a grand success would but fairly express the situation. (Watkins Democrat)

December 27, 1888 - There was a pleasant gathering, embracing, mostly, the friends and acquaintances of the Magee young people, belonging to our village, at the Casino, on the elegant residence grounds of Gen. George J. Magee on Madison Avenue, last Tuesday (Christmas) evening - guests of Miss Nellie Belle Magee. Clawson's Orchestra, of five pieces filled the spacious Hall with delicious melody, to the delight of the merry dancers, whose joy seemed unconfined, though the"wee small" hours approached. (Watkins Democrat)

December 19, 1889 - The eve of the wedding day of Miss Anna Stothoff Magee and Mr. D. A. Boissevain was the occasion of the giving of a dinner party by Mrs. Daniel Beach and Mrs. A. S. Stothoff, to some forty-eight out-of-town guests, who were bidden to attend the wedding festivities. The Casino adjoining the residence of General Magee was the scene of the enjoyments of the evening, which consisted of social converse, the partaking of an elegant repast, delightful music, and the pleasures of the dance, amid a profusion of flowers and plants, and beneath the briailiiant rays of colored lights. (Watkins Express)

December 19, 1889 - The marriage of Miss Anna Stothoff Magee [on 12-12-1889] to D. A. Boissevain of Amsterdam had been looked forward to as one of the most notable social events in the history of Western New York ... A thousand invitations had been sent out from the palatial residence of General Magee ... A reception at the residence of the bride's parents immediately followed the ceremony at the church. The handsome residence was profusely decorated with cut flowers, foliage and set floral pieces, There were over five hundfred guests at the reception ... the Casino adjoining the residence of General Magee was the scene of the enjoyments of the evening ... the banquet was served by Teall of Rochester, in the Casino, the commodious buildings a short distance from the residence, used for a gymnasium, bowling alley and billiard hall. The large hall on the ground floor was handsomely decorated and set with tables. A canopy extended from the residence to the gymnasium and Meyerling's orchestra of Rochester discoursed music at both places." (Watkins Express)

December 13, 1891 - Mr. & Mrs. John Magee have returned to Watkins and are to spend the winter at “Glenfeld,” the home of General George J. Magee. They are quite frequently in the streets, sometimes with tandem team and sometimes on horseback. (Elmira Telegraph)

December 29, 1892 - Invitations have been issued by Mrs. Geo. J. Magee, of this village, for a German, to be held at Glenfeld, in honor of Miss Helen Magee on the evening of December 29th (Watkins Express)

January 5, 1893 - The German given by Mrs. Magee last week in honor of her daughter, Helen, at Glenfeld, last Thursday was a big affair. The Casino was decorated with wreaths of laurel and holly. Bostelman’s orchestra was situated behind screens of palms. Supper was served by Teal of Rochester. (Watkins Express)

August 17, 1893 - Among the many artificial works that go to make "Glenfeld" - the handsome home of Gen. Magee - one of the most attractive country residences in the State, is a lily pond, which was constructed by J. R. Anthony, one year ago. It now contains several pretty pond lilies, besides a number of tropical and semi-tropical water plants, all in thrifty condition. Some carp and other fish were placed it it, but they proved so destructive to the plants that they had to be taken out. (Watkins Democrat)

January 11, 1894 - The old Leake grove and gardens in Watkins, New York, were bought by Frederick Davis, Jr., of Henry A. Delavan in November, 1865, and in 1868 and 69 he erected a fine brick residence and improved the surroundings which originally were of great natural beauty. He sold to General Magee in June, 1871, who nearly entirely rebuilt and greatly enlarged the structure, re-graded and adorned the grounds, and now has one of the most ornate and attractive homes in Lake Country. (Letter to the editor printed in Watkins Express)

March 15, 1894 - A pleasant and to many a delightful hour can be spent in a visit to the new conservatory of Gen. Geo. J. Magee, in Watkins. This costly structure, containing thirty apartments, is a model of completeness and arrangement, and has but few equals in the state. It contains a large number and numerous varieties of native and exotic plants, and under the supervision of J. E. Anthony, a careful and experienced gardener, they show a vigorous and healthy growth ... While in the palm house, so real is the scene that a person imagines himself suddenly transported to the tropical regions; and now, when viewing the beds of lettuce, the growing beans and cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, etc., one is apt to forget the present season and to live, as it were, for the time being, several months later. (Watkins Express)

November 22, 1894 - Samuel Conkey, a New York sculptor with a studio in Elmira, has completed a low relief plaster medallion of Mrs. Anna Magee Boissevain, who died in Paris last spring. It will be reproduced in bronze, and will then have a place in the residence of General George J. Magee in Watkins, (Watkins Express)

October 10, 1895 - Miss Helen Magee, oldest daughter of General George J. Magee was married to Gideon Louis Boissevain of New York city, at General Magee's handsome home "Glenfeld." Mr. Boissevain is a member of the firm of Van Cortlandt, Kane & Boissevain, bankers and brokers of Wall street. (Johnstown Daily Republican)

October 18, 1895 - The most notable social event of recent occurrence in Watkins was the marriage Wednesday of Gideon Louis Boissevain, of New York City, to Miss Arabella Helen Magee, daughter of General George Magee, President of the Fall Brook Railway company ... the supper, which was a most elegant and sumptuous repast, was served in the casino, a building located near the family residence and reached on this occasion by a canvas-covered walk. The interior of the casino was decorated in a very tasteful and beautiful manner with autumn leaves, evergreens, potted plants and flowers from the Magee conservatories. (Elmira Telegram)

November 23, 1896 - Glenfeld, the Watkins residence of General George J. Magee, was the scene of a pretty though quiet wedding yesterday noon, the contracting parties being Archibald K. Mackay, a New York broker, and Miss Helen Gansevoort, daughter of Alfred L. and Arabella R. Edwards, of New York ... The Magee residence was profusely decorated with chrysanthemums and other flowers and plants from the family's conservatories ... The bride is a grand-niece of Gen. Magee. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

October 7, 1897 - During the chrysanthemum season will be seen at the Magee Conservatories over 80 varieties, and some 1,800 plants of different sizes. The public is invited to see them and select what they may desire at nominal prices, to make room for winter plants. (Montour Falls Free Press)

December 21, 1899 - A beautiful wedding occurred at Glenfeld, the residence of the late General George J. Magee, in Watkins, at seven o'clock last evening, when Miss Emma Maria Magee was united in wedlock to Clifton Randolph Wyckoff, a well known young lawyer of Buffalo. The ceremony was performed by Rev. L. H Ruf, of the Presbyterian Church, of Watkins, and took place in th drawing room which was elegantly decorated with white chrysanthemums and smilax, a large arch being formed from the ceiling to the floor with a large mirror heavily decorated as a background. Other rooms were handsomely trimmed in yellow, red and white. From the house leading to the casino, where refreshments were served, was an archway covered with awning and carpeted. The casino was trained with holly, wild smilax, bitter sweet berries, running hemlock, begonias, etc. On the north wall hung two large hearts of evergreen bearing the letter M. and W. worked with white chrysanthemums. The tables were laid for 114 and was decorated with bridal roses. In the center of the room was the bride's table which seated twelve. The decorations were in charge of J. E. Anthony, the Magee family gardener, and were the most elaborate ever seen at Glenfeld. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

April 12, 1900 - James Mac Williams is the new superintendent of the Glenfeld conservatory. He is Scotchman by birth and brings his family with him to the village. (Watkins Express)

January 10, 1901 - The filling of the Magee ice houses began last week, but operations are suspended by the present mild weather. Ice some 5 inches thick and of good quality was obtained. (Watkins Democrat)

June 13, 1901 - The fountains of the residence grounds of the General Magee estate have been tastily painted of late, and in their decorations are evidences of the skill of A. C. LaDow. (Watkins Democrat)

September 19, 1901 - The repairs to the Magee boathouse continue under the direction of Abner Howard, its reshingling being in process. (Watkins Democrat)

July 2, 1903 - Some important changes have recently been made in the water system of Glenfeld, the home of Mrs. Emma S. Magee, on Madison Avenue. The water was not so cold latterly and it was thought it best to extend the intake pipe, which is on the bottom of Seneca Lake, almost due east of the residence. Through the assistance of a diver the pipe has been extended some three hundred feet farther east, and owing to the formation of the lake bottom, relatively deeper, being now about 45 feet from the lake’s surface, which enhances the quality and purity of the water decidedly … That the water of Glenfeld is of a high degree of excellence now, can be easily believed by those who know Seneca’s temperature. (Watkins Democrat)

April 19, 1906 - The Easter flower display at the Presbyterian church was of notable beauty, Mrs. Magee having sent from Glenfeld greenhouse blossoming and foliage plants enough to almost bury the pulpit in a mass of green and bloom. (Watkins Express)

 

Magees in the Social Register

December 8, 1920 - Mrs. Emma S. Magee delightfully entertained at her home on Madison avenue last Saturday at 3 p.m., the Elmira College Club ... the Dean of Elmira College addressed the audience. (Watkins Express)

February 29, 1928 - Movement started to bring normal school to this village ... The plan is to offer the state the gift of the Magee property on Madison avenue for the school. This is a wonderful location for an institution of learning and we doubt if there is anothre place in the state that has more to offer than we have. The view across Seneca lake is one of the most beautiful in the east ... Watkins Glen enjoys prosperity throughout the summer months but what it lacks is something to help business throughout the winter and with a normal school in our midst, with at least 500 students, Watkins Glen would enjoy prosperity the entire year. (Watkins Express)

April 21, 1929 - Watkins Glen does not own Magee Estate, petition in condemnation case asserts. Village gift is void, petition of Supervisors in proceedings declares - would use land for rebuilding state highway ... The Grantors in the Deed are the true owners thereof, and with the exception of those who have succeeded to the interest of Anna Magee Boissevain, is the contention set forth in the petition of condemnation proceedings of the Board of Supervisors of Schuyler County, just filed. (Elmira Star-Gazette)

February 14, 1930 - The Magee property was left to the Village by Emma Magee's heir. It comprises a large mansion, a casino, a large barn, a number of dwellings, and other buildings, and approximately 10 acres of land. At one time the property was offered to the state to be used for a normal school, another time a movement was underway to establish a county hospital there ... The famous Magee property on Madison Avenue overlooking Seneca Lake has been suggested to the Village Board of Trustees as a possible site for a veteran's hospital by Seneca Post 188, American Legion of Watkins Glen. (Elmira Star-Gazette)

December 12, 1930 - Magee Estate, Once Showplace, Goes for $1,100 at Tax Sale; Long County Political Issue. ... John J. Jennings of the town of Reading, Thursday purchased the large estate known as the Magee Property. "Schuyler County's political football," at a tax sale for about $1,100. The estate can be redeemed within two years. The Magee property, which comprises the Magee mansion, a casino, barns and tenant houses, was given to the village by heirs of the late Emma Magee, several years ago. Since that time it has figured prominently in local politics. The village board at one time negotiated with parties from Rochester who desired to purchase it for a summer hotel. The Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce started a movement to have the state take over the property and establish a normal school here. Delegates were sent to Albany but their efforts to dispose of the property were unavailing. Last year, the Schuyler County Board of Supervisors was anxious to secure a right of way for a new state highway which passed by the Magee property. The solons claimed that the property belonged to the state and not the village of Watkins Glen. At the same time taxes on the property were due and were paid under protest by the village board. It was claimed that the property could not be taxed. When the matter was settled before Judge George Velie, the Village of Watkins Glen granted the Board of Supervisors a right of way for the new state highway and the board as a compromise refunded the money paid for taxes. However, the assessors in the Town of Reading where the property is located were not satisfied and they placed the Magee property back upon the tax roll, despite the claim of the village fathers that the premises were being used for municipal purposes and therefore not subject to tax. At a recent meeting of taxpayers, a proposition authorizing the board to sell the property, whole or in part, was defeated 164 to 131. That took the matter out of the hands of the trustees. This morning a village official stated that through the action of taxpayers the village has lost considerable money. He stated certain sections had been renting for $650 a year, and that in addition to the rentals, the board, with proper authorization, could have sold portions of the land and buildings at a handsome figure. (Elmira Star-Gazette)

February 28, 1931 - A Supreme Court action over the Magee property, which was left to the village of Watkins Glen by the heirs of the late Emma Magee, has been brought against C. Earle Hager, Schuyler County Treasurer ... The purpose of the action is to see a cancellation of the tax sale to John W. Jennings, who purchased the property for the non-payment of taxes of $1,041.40 last December, to remove the property from the tax roll, to declare invalid and void and set side the tax sale and to surrender the certification of the sale to the county treasurer, and further relief as to the court may seem just and proper with costs of this action. The Magee premises, which consists of spacious lawns, the Magee Mansion, coach barn, several tenement houses, located on Madison avenue, was accepted as a gift from the Magee heirs on November 14, 1927. In 1929, the real property was assessed for $76,000, in 1930 it was assessed $50,000 with an exemption fee of $25,000. It is the contention of the village attorney, that the property, within the limits of the village, is exempt from taxation as the assessors never had jurisdiction to assess the tax, as as the property is being held for municipal purposes. The Schuyler County Board of Supervisors claims that the property is not held for public use, and is a source of revenue (rent from tenement houses) is therefore subject to tax. (Corning Evening Leader)

June 7, 1933 - Work has been commenced on a new recreation park on the Magee property known as the Glenfeld Recreation Park. The portion to be turned into a park consists of about four acres of land and has the following boundaries: All of that portion of the Magee property east of Steuben street, north of Partition street, west of Monroe street to Catharine street, now abandoned, west on the south line of the abandoned Catharine street to Steuben street. The state leases the rest of the property except the five tenant houses which are rented ... (Watkins Express)

November 8, 1933 - Moved by Frost, seconded by Valents that Supt. Swartout be instructed to fill in the old cellar of the former Glenfeld Conservatory and that the cost of such work be paid for from the contingent fund. (Watkins Express)

July 3, 1935 - The Watkins Branch of the Newark State School, located in the old Magee Mansion on Madison Avenue, has renewed its contract for another year with the village Board of Trustees. The Magee estate was left the village by theh eirs of Emma S. Magee (Watkins Express)

March 18, 1936 - Work on the repair and remodeling of the Magee Mansion, now a Newark State School colony, is now underway. The work is a WPA poject in charge of foreman Theodore Cunningham, of this village. The workmen are constructing a new steel fireplace on the north side of the mansion and are remodeling the homestead so that 60 girls can be quartered in the building. The old coach barn on that estate is being renovated into a dormitory. The cost of the complete project will be $13,270. (Watkins Express)

March 17, 1938 - The village of Watkins Glen, bequeathed the Magee mansion and its estate from their heirs of the late Emma Magee, is urging the property on the State as a new school for delinquent girls. (Clifton Springs Press)

June 2, 1943 - James Paul Haughey, Municipal Manager, announced Tuesday that the Newark State School, located on the old Magee property, will terminate its lease on June 30. The school, a branch of the Newark State School, has been maintained on the property for the past 12 years.
The Magee property is located on North Madison Avenue overlooking Seneca Lake. It consists of a beautiful mansion, a casino, coach barns and spacious grounds. The property over a century ago was given to the village by the heirs of the late Emma Magee. The Magee family at one time were prominent residents of this community. Transportation, rationing and other problems resulting from the war were advanced for the reasons for terminating the lease. (Watkins Express)

January 29, 1947 - Last year the Lisle Fellowship, an international institute of human relations, was held at the Magee Mansion on North Madison Avenue, overlooking Seneca Lake. The Magee Mansion will again be the site of the school ... The Lisle Fellowship was introduced over 10 years ago to devise a realistic approach to the problem of living in one world. (Watkins Express)

March 5, 1947 - Famous municipal Lakeside Park on the South Seneca Lake shore, summer gathering place for many visitors from near and far, may soon be known as Magee Memorial Park. This was revealed Monday evening at a meeting of the Board of Trustees when Trustee Elmo M. Royce introduced a resolution that the Board set aside and earmark the moneys from the sale of the Magee Mansion and other property amounting to $12,000 to be used for the development of Lakeside Park. It was suggested that the name might be changed to Magee Park or Magee Memorial Park in memory of the heirs of the late Emma Magee, who gave the Magee mansion and other property to the village. The mansion and properties were sold in 1947. Charles Richtmyer purchased the famous mansion on North Madison Avenue, overlooking Seneca Lake. (Watkins Express)

May 20, 1947 - The Magee Mansion, showplace of the famous glen-studded Finger Lakes country for than 75 years, has been sold to a Presbyterian minister and will be used as a gathering place for various religious groups from all parts of the country. The new owner of the mansion and surrounding estate, once belonging to the late Gen. Geo. J. Magee, wealthy railroad and coal mines man, is the Rev. Charles Evans of DePere, Wis. (The Knickerbocker News - Albany)

February 5, 1948 - A new American Youth hostel will be opened in May at the historic Magee Manor, on the shore of Seneca Lake, it was announced last night. Bemble Z. Crum, president of the Rochester District Council of AYH, said the hostel building is at the rear of the manor and will be equipped to accommodate 25 boys and 25 girls. It contains a bowling alley, a piano and a community kitchen. The house parents will be a retired minister and his wife, Mr. & Mrs. Charles H. Evans. (Rochester Democrat& Chronicle)

May 5, 1948 - On Saturday, May 1, the Youth Hostel at Magee Manor was officially opened with a "hostel supper" ... The first hosteler to arrive during the evening was George Keenan, who bicycled from Mansfield, Pa. Following him were a party of ten bicyclists from Rochester. These hostelers, together with several of the Rochester Council Directors made a total of 21 who would stay overnight in the attractive hostel quarters located in the casino" building ... The new hostel is an ideal spot for an overnight stay for hikers and bicyclists. (Watkins Express)

September 15, 1948 - One hundred and twenty-nine persons have enjoyed the facilities of the Youth Hostel at Magee Manor ... The Hostel, which was the old Casino, has had its heating plant removed and a kitchen installed. Besides lavatories, it has six toilets and five showers with hot and cold water service ... One of the main attractions of the Magee Manor to the hostelers is its beautiful location overlooking Seneca lake and its proximity to the other beauty spots of this area, the Glen, the Basin at Montour Falls, etc. They also appreciate the facilities of the Hostel, which might be above the average hostel accommodations, and enjoy going through the Manor house, invariably making their descent from the top floor to the ground floor via the fire escape chute, a particularly novel feature for which the Manor is becoming famed. (Watkins Express)

May 4, 1949 - The executive committee of the Business and Professional Women's Club, held a picnic supper Monday night at Magee Manor in order to gather further information concerning the Youth Hostel established there last year, and superintended by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Evans. (Watkins Express)

October 25, 1950 - The Baptist Student fellowship of Cornell University were guests Saturday and Sunday at the Magee Manor. (Watkins Express)

January 10, 1951 - FOR RENT - 2 room apartment with private bath. Also one large room with cooking facilities. Magee Manor. Watkins Glen. Phone 338R (Watkins Express)

February 14, 1951 - Historic Magee Manor on North Madison overlooking Seneca Lake could now be called Sergeant's Manor. The Rev. Charles Evans, new owner, reports he now has seven sergeants and their families in various apartments in the huge structure. The sergeants are attached to the Sampson Air Force Base. (Montur falls Press)

June 27, 1951 - Janet, complete with six teenagers ... spent most of Saturday at an Open House at Magee Manor in Watkins. From what I hear, it must have been lots of fun - going through the old mansion house, and playing tennis, ping pong, etc. in the game house - the same original game house which the Magees built - and then cooking their supper outdoors. (Montour Falls Press)

August 22, 1951 - The Magee Manor Hostel is continuing to do a "big" business in its eighth [sic] year of being host to hostelers from all parts of the country - and the world! It is interesting, this year, as one looks over Mr. Evans' guest book to note that a large percentage of the 100 or more hostelers are Americans. (Watkins Express)

1952 - Beginning their fifth years as hosts to traveling groups of all varieties, Rev. and Mrs. Charles Evans, presiding at Magee Manor of Watkins Glen, look back with pride over years of serving visiting organizations, mostly without financial gain, and often at a very substantial loss. While they moved into the mansion on June 1, 1947, it was not until almost a year later that they expanded from a mere tourist home to a place of cordial welcome to educational religious, and hosteling groups ... Famous as a hostel under the American Youth Hostels Incorporated, the Manor caters to other worthy organizations ... When permission came to the reverend to begin these operations, he immediately began rebuilding the two houses behind the Mansion. The one, the old Casino, now houses as many as 35 girls upstairs, and 35 boys downstairs, with a large recreation floor separating the two sleeping quarters. If that is overcrowded, the old playhouse, or the "Bubble-over" as it is affectionately called, is put into use. A handful of guests can always live comfortably there. Tremendous improvements costing thousands of dollars of the Evans' savings, but not no financial help was forthcoming from hostelers, who do not pay more than 50 cents for a night's lodging. (Montour Falls Scrapbook)

December 10, 1952 - FOR RENT - 3 room apartment, furnished or unfurnished. Magee Manor, Watkins Glen. Phone 338R. (Watkins Express)

December 22, 1959 - The Magee Mansion in north Watkins Glen will be torn down to make way for a modern motel ... the decision to raze the nearly 90-year old mansion was announced by the owner, Albert Bischoff of Montour Falls. A bowling alley and recreation building on the north edge of the property will be torn down at a later time ... In 1927, the property which included the mansion, a large stable, tenant house and the Magee Point lake frontage was presented to the village by the heirs of the late Emma Magee ... For a time it (Glenfeld) was used as a school of the New York State Newark Colony. The village sold the entire property (in 1946) to Charles Richtmeyer for $10,000. The tenant house became the headquarters for a time of the William Coon Post VFW. When the veterans moved to a downtown location, this became the home of Frank Whelan. The stables became a milk processing plant. (Elmira Star-Gazette)

August 8, 1984 - The subject of Magee Manor [property] came up again at the Watkins Glen Village Board of Trustees meeting this week ... chief Joseph Matwiejow asked for a new roof for the present firehouse ... He said (Mayor) Scuteri opposes the use of the Magee Manor property for political reasons ... Although he says he originally favored the purchase of the Magee property, Scuteri says he has changed his mind because it is a piece of valuable property that should be on the tax rolls. The purchase of the property was a political issue in Watkins Glen mayoral elections last year ... (Watkins Review)

April 10, 2014 - Initial bids are advertised for the controversial Seneca Terrace Apartments project, to be located on the former Magee property, on North Madison Avenue, Watkins Glen, NY

April 16, 2014 - The final site plan for Seneca Terrace Apartments was approved by the Watkins Glen Planning Board.

November 14, 2014 - Final permitting expected for stormwater discharge on the Seneca Terrace Apartments, which will consist of 2 buildings with a total of 22 housing units, a new access drive from North Monroe St., and a secondary access from North Jackson St. on property located at 304-306 N. Madison Ave. and 307 N. Jackson St. in the Village of Watkins Glen, Schuyler County.

 

Glenfeld - pre-demolition
Only a shell, Glenfeld in 1960 prior to demolition
Photo: Steuben County Historical Society

 

Thanks:

Kimberly & Aiden Voorheis provided the enthusiasm and initial research that began this attempt to further document Glenfeld. She continues her research to discover new and illuminating details.

Jim Treakle contacted us to add detail from his continuing research, and shares Kimberly's enthusiasm.

We are all indebted to Robert Hartman for his paper "Glenfeld (Magee Manor)," written for Architecture 348, April 15, 1976, and very thankful that some of the detail of this unique home was so extensively captured.

And we thank the Schuyler County Historical Society and its Director Andrew Tompkins, for preserving and providing the Hartman paper, and other materials. as well as responding to many inquiries from us.

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