Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Walrath House

The main house was built in 1842 by Charles Walrath, a descendant of the pioneer, Walrath, who ran the old ferry and blacksmith shop on the King's Highway. The original 1 1/2 story house was built of cut stone and had a small front entrance with four white pillars. After Walrath, it became the home of James MacIntryre Edwards who lived there with his children, four sons and four daughters, while they were growing up. Son James Keller Edwards married Kittie, daughter of Joshua Vedder of Nelliston. Edwards conducted a hat and cap store in Fort Plain, then later, a furniture manufacturing business.

Later residents were G. W. Spraker and Henry Sponable and his son-in-law, Clark Wagner. The latter, about 1895 enlarged the house by raising the 1/2 floor to a second floor and added a third floor. In the third floor, a copper and wood holding tank held rain water and was used to flush the toilets and provide water for the sinks. The basement held a cistern for rain water too. Wagner removed the pillars on the house and changed it to a mansard style. While these changes were being made, the family lived in the other building on the property. A driveway circles between a well house and small stone building known as the stone kitchen. It contains a huge fireplace with a crane and a large iron kettle. Attached to the stone kitchen is a large frame building which was the living quarters of the hired men and servants, once needed on the large farm, now nearly all a part of the village.

Experts from Waymarks of Nelliston by Ruth Lupo 1978.

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