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Ivanhurst - Smith
By Karen Cuccinello 3-2019

I found this photo in the Smith folder at the Stamford Village Library. Written on the back in lovely legible handwriting is Stamford in Catskill Mt's Mrs. Smith's boarding house July 3, 1925 and the three gentleman's names. So who was Mrs. Smith and which boarding house was it. Perhaps that is Mrs. Smith far right in the picture?

I could not search old newspapers with just Mrs. Smith nor Stamford boarding house because I would get over 5000 hits so in order to narrow down the scope I looked at boarding house photo's and figured out that it was the Ivanhurst at the corner of Lake and Harper Streets. When searching Ivanhurst in newspapers I found Mrs. C.E. Smith was the proprietor of her newly built boarding house in 1907. Now on to census reports to find people that lived in Stamford and had male names starting with the letter “C”. I finally found Charles Earl Smith (1868-1957) who was married to Harriet (1868-1942) with one son Ivan Leslie. So guess how they came up with the name of their boarding house. By the way the suffix “hurst” in old English means wooded hill.

Charles was born in Lansing, MI July 10, 1869 to Charles H. and Mary Smith. Harriet L. was born June 1868 to Mary Jane (Skinner) Ferguson (1846-1926) who referred to her daughter as Hattie. Harriet and just her mother are in the Lee, Oneida County, NY 1870 census. In the 1880 Lee, NY census she is the only child with her mother and step father James Clayton Eames (1841-1913). Her parents are living with her in 1910 and buried in Stamford Cemetery.

Charles married Harriet 1888 in Cortland, NY where Charles apprenticed as a tailor and their son was born February 3, 1890. They moved to Stamford in 1892 and Charles set up his tailor shop. Charles moved to his grandson Leslie's in 1952 after he was struck by an automobile, at age 82, that broke his arm which caused his retirement. He sold his business place, at the corner of Main and Church streets to Dude Armstrong. In a 1952 Stamford Mirror-Recorder article about Charles retiring he said they built the Ivanhurst because his wife wanted a big house and in order to pay for the house they took in boarders and kept on taking in boarders for about 35 years.

Their son received his education at Fishburne Military Academy, Waynesboro, Va., and Yale University in New Haven, CT. During World War I he served as a first lieutenant with the 106th infantry in Belgium and France, and was discharged April 1, 1919. He first married Helen Louis Wood and following her death he married Barbara Noyes Bolles. Mr. Smith was a sales correspondent for Oneida Silversmiths and later became Pacific coast manager for the Oneida based firm in California. He returned to the home office in Sherrill, NY in 1955 and retired in 1963. At the time of his death, August 1970, he was survived by his wife, one son, Leslie I. Smith and one daughter, Mrs. Robert D. (Helen) Hodgkin, all of Kenwood, NY.

The Ivanhurst was usually only open to guests in the summer as was the case with most of the boarding houses. They offered entertainment, card parties etc. and meals prepared by Harriet. A sun parlor was added in 1919 and an annex/cottage was built in 1927 to accommodate the Ivanhurst overflow. The Govern Brothers built a two car garage at the rear of the annex in 1935. Harriet was sick for a few years up until her death September 14, 1942. She and Charles are buried in the Stamford Cemetery.

The next owners of the Ivanhurst, following Harriet's death, were the Mueller's. I found numerous first names for the Mueller's; F.C., Frank, Fred, Carl and A.M so I am not sure who was actually on the deed. In 1957 Anthony “Toni” and Liesel Ott of Richfield or Stamford, CT bought the Ivanhurst and ran it as a hotel until about 1969 when the contents were auctioned off. The Ott's only purchased the Ivanhurst, the Mueller's retained the annex/cottage. William “Bill” and Emma Turner, of Long Island, bought it in 1973 and turned it into Maplehurst Adult Home. Next came Nancy Bellinger who named it the Seventh Heaven adult home. Then Pat Ryan and now Collin Ryan turned it into an apartment building. It is so nice that the building still looks great.

Thanks to Pat VanNortwick for the last and current owners.

More articles by Karen Cuccinello

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