Miss Cassandra Small’s Country House
One of my readers provided a photograph of this front elevation of a residence for Miss Cassandra Small of York, PA. The plans are the property of Olmsted National Historic Site. Olmsted was doing the landscape design for Cassandra’s property.
The site plan indicates Miss Small’s property is situated to the west side of Grantley Avenue. Beyond the residence, further to the west, is a lake and property of George Small surrounds Cassandra’s property.
The 1916 plans are by York architect Robert A. Stair; who apprenticed under noted York architect John Augustus Dempwolf. The 1903 Atlas of York indicate that Small owned land adjoining the west side of Grantley all the way from Kings Mill Road southward until nearly the top of Grantley hill.
Other posts in this series include:
- Site for Cassandra Small’s Country House nestled between Prominent York Estates
- Cassandra Small married Walter Franklin, who became President of the Pennsylvania Railroad
- Letters in the Attic, by Cassandra Small; the Discovery
- Letters in the Attic, by Cassandra Small; Letter of June 30th, 1863
I do not believe that this residence was ever built for Cassandra; with her getting married less than three years afterwards. However, do any of my readers recognize this residence; possibly built somewhere else in York County? The rest of this post provides the background for my explorations of where Cassandra Small’s property was located.
The Small family in York County had a propensity to continually re-use given names. This condensed Small Family Tree shows three generations of Cassandra Small. Miss Cassandra Morris Blair Small is the one whose house we’re looking at in this post. A correction from 1917 to 1920 has been made on the year her mother Kate M. Small died; see this link for details. Cassandra’s full given name is based upon that of her Aunt and Great-Aunt Cassandra.
Links to other posts related to this family tree:
In 1809 George Small established a hardware store on the northeast corner of Centre Square in York. When George Small retired in 1833, his sons Philip A. Small and Samuel Small continued and significantly grew the business in many other directions as the firm P. A. & S. Small. The enormous success of P. A. & S. Small resulted in a philanthropic windfall for York and also allowed indulgence in lavish homes and country estates.
The middle generation George Small, on this condensed family tree, started purchasing hundred of acres of land in Spring Garden Township in 1879. He named the estate Grantley after the Grant name that went back through his wife’s family. The road on the east side of the property originally became Grantley Avenue and eventually changed to Grantley Road.
The Grantley Estate was a summer home for George & Mary Small. County histories indicate, most notably, the family of his brother W. Latimer Small also spent their summers at Grantley; George & Mary Small had no children.
I examined the Will of George Small (1825-1891). Following the death of George’s wife and his brother William Latimer Small, Article 12 states that Grantley is to be divided between George’s two nephews Philip A. Small and George Small. These are brothers of Miss Cassandra Morris Blair Small.
Thus in 1916 the property surrounding Cassandra Small is that of her brother George Small. The George Small (1825-1891) Will states that the division line through the Grantley Estate is:
Beginning at the main entrance or Gateway, thence along the main road or Driveway to the point where it divides, thence by a line parallel with and ten feet West of the Eastern branch of the said road or Driveway to a point opposite the northwest corner of the farm house garden fence thence due east to the Public Road.
Cassandra’s brother George Small inherited that part of the Grantley Estate that lies north and east of the said division line. This is the area I’m examining deeds to locate where Cassandra’s country house was to be located. It may be challenging, since the deed for Cassandra’s property does not appear to have been recorded.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts