100 Main Street
Wickham Clark was a furniture manufacturer, dealer and undertaker, who moved from Warwick, New York, to Newton in 1874. In August 1885, he tore down the barn on his lot to make room for a much larger one. In May 1892, he purchased the Henry J. Rudd property facing Main and Church Streets and engaged veteran mover, Andrew J. Hill of Blairstown, to relocate the old house from Clark's lot at 100 Main Street to a vacant l
ot at 86 Main Street (where it still stands) where it would be renovated as a double tenement. This was the second time that this old dwelling had been relocated. In 1847, it had been moved from the Martin Ryerson property on the opposite side of the street to 100 Main Street. This was done by placing it on heavy planks, thoroughly greased with tallow, and pushed along with heavy poles by main force. The work was accomplished without cracking a single wall in the building and it was considered a great feat. The new foundation for its third location at 86 Main Street was ready by June 1892.
In August 1892, Mr. Clark employed Walker Brothers of Newton to construct his landmark residence at 100 Main Street.
This magnificent frame mansion is transitional, being "a combination of colonial and Queen Anne architecture," according to the design of architect H. Galloway Ten Eyck. It was built by Walker Brothers of Newton with masonry by Henry N. Dunlap, at a cost approaching $10,000. It has an irregular shape covering 1,600 square feet of ground. The spacious piazza "extends across the front and returns at either end." Visual diversity of forms and textures, typical of the Queen Anne, included "the handsome round tower with bent glass, the balcony, bay and dormer window, the most green shingled roofs and many other exterior features." The outside of the house was originally painted "a colonial yellow and trimmed an ivory white."
The vestibule is finished in antique oak with glazed floor tiles. The hall, library and dining room were also "trimmed in old oak, with parquetry floors. The broad staircase is of old oak, fitted up with carved newels extending to the ceiling. Between the columns are placed transoms, filled in with spindle work, and lighted through windows glazed with delicately tinted glass, shedding a soft and pleasant light over upper and lower halls. The parlor is spacious and well lighted, is trimmed in mahogany, with handsomely carved mantle trimmed with tile, bevel edged mirror. The library has open fire-place, with tile hearth; facing and mantle of carved oak." North Carolina pine, finished in "natural wood," was used to trim and wainscot the kitchen, pantry and laundry. All boasted hot and cold water faucets. Four sleeping rooms and a sewing room, "trimmed in poplar, finished in natural wood," occupied the second floor. A bathroom "wainscoted and trimmed with ash, finished natural," was also located on the second floor. The plumbing was described as "open work." Windows on the second floor possessed "inside venetian blinds made of quartered oak, finished natural." Woodwork throughout the house was "highly polished."
Wickham Clark retired from the furniture business on January 17, 1896. He died at Warwick, New York, on July 13, 1905, aged 64 years. In January 1922, Robert H. Snook, retiring as proprietor of the Cochran House, purchased the Clark Mansion. He died June 25, 1931, aged 77 years. Vito A. Concilio purchased the Snook property in August 1944.
Copyright 2000 Kevin W. Wright. All rights reserved.