We love 102 Main Street!

Recently, Mrs. Mary Honeyford commented about a new Facebook profile photo I posted.

The historic home at 102 Main Street has attracted the interest of our web visitors since the first post I made in 2011.  Art Humphreys commented that his wife, Marion Stuart Humphreys, her brother Bob Humphreys, and sister, Barbara grew up at 102 Main St. (presumably before the Honeyfords owned it).

A search of our site reveals that while the topic of 102 Main has come up before, the information is strewn about in different places. This post is an effort to collect it together.

When the impressive home was to be featured on Riverton’s 1986 Candlelight House Tour, Betty Hahle, then Editor of the Gaslight News, did a deep dive into the provenance of the property.

102 Main St history by Betty Hahle 1986

This sheet summarizes her research.

You won’t have to squint if you open this PDF.

Following the scan of Betty’s sheet in the PDF is the readable text as well as a section about 102 Main copied from the 1999 Riverton National Register Historic District Inventory.

The house has a remarkable history going back to the very founding of Riverton.

Chalkley Gillingham, c1870

The following links and images will serve to illustrate Betty’s findings, quoted below.

“History: In 1851 this lot and that next to it (#16 and #17) on Plan of Riverton were assigned to founder Chalkley Gillingham, who lived in the area and did not build and move into the new village.

detail noting location of Gillingham lots – Plan of the New Town of Riverton
Charles Hall, June 22, 1853 Public Ledger Volume XXXV Issue 78 Page 4

Lot #16 was deeded to Charles Hall in January 1852 from Riverton Improvement Co (which officially incorporated March 1852). Hall thought to have put aside the liquor restriction in his deed (think he planned a hotel with bar), but lost his suit,…

Riverton Journal, July 15, 1881, p2

…and sold property back to the Riverton Improvement Co, which then built (or, possibly, continued to build) an “overflow” boarding house to supplement the Lawn House on the Riverbank. The new building was called “The White House.”

detail noting location of Riverton Co Bldg in 1860

Apparently the company kept an office in this building for a time, and the 1860 Stone & Pomeroy map labels the building as “Riverton Company.”

John Seckel, proprietor of the Lawn House, was instrumental in founding the Christ Episcopal Church* here. The first meeting of the church’s founders was held at the White House, according to church records, having gotten permission from D.L. Miller, Jr., one of the founders and the treasurer of the Company at the time. Later they met at the Lawn House stables, then moved inside when the season was over for boarders, and cold weather made outdoor meetings impractical. They continued to meet there until their church was erected, in 1860…

…In 1868 John Seckel purchased the White House, and his daughter Sallie ran it until it burned down in 1904…

…In 1905 Samuel J. Allen purchased the property, and the following year moved, with his family–wife Henrietta and sisters-in-law Bertha and Helen Robertson–into the new house, which had been built on the old foundation.”

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What connections to Riverton’s history does your home have? -JMc, Editor

* This Church Had Three Homes

Tracy and Nancy Brown, 2010 parade

ADDED 2/5/2023: Jim Lockhart and Tracy Brown asked about the “haunted house” notation on the old postcard.

Tracy remarked, “…What haunted house? Are these houses still here? Wish I lived near there these days.”

(Both Jim and Tracy did live here but moved away many years ago. You can take the kid out of Riverton, but you can’t… well, you know the rest.) Lots of former residents check in from time to time to check on the old neighborhood.

101 Main St., 6-24-2-22

Yes, the homes are still there. I don’t have the original 1908 postcard – just the scan – so I don’t know the name of the sender. Zoom in and see that the scribbled message refers not to 102 Main but to 101 Main, the house across the street. It sure looks awesome now.

Circling back to 102 Main, it’s also still there and definitely not haunted.

102 Main St., 2-5-2023

PS: I only recently realized that it might not be clear that larger views of many images are available.

Everyone knows that hovering your cursor over a picture and clicking will enlarge it.

After clicking reveals the larger view, if you see an “information icon” on the lower right side of your screen, click on that – then look for the “view full size” icon. Click on that to see the largest view. It doesn’t work with all uploaded images.

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Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

4 thoughts on “We love 102 Main Street!”

    1. Thanks Joe we’ve had lots of parties and fun here.! Riverton was a great place to raise kids. Remember you taking Ben to your shore house and swimming in your pool. Thanks

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