THE “BIG HOUSE” ON KYLE AND MAIN ST • CLICK TO ENLARGE
Some of you might remember a post I did awhile back about The Elmcrest Inn. As I remembered it, the Elmcrest was a grand old building that sat on the corner of Main St. and Kyle St. at the current site if the CVS. Thanks to Cathy Deschu, whose grandparents once owned the house, we now have a nearly complete history of this great historic building. The Elmcrest Inn (as most townsfolk remember it) was around barely into the 90’s and was tragically and hurriedly destroyed while a concerned town resident, and a family member were trying to get it listed on the national historic register, and for good reason. First let’s look at the abridged history…
The house was built sometime in the 1800’s and was the residence of Captain Fredrick Davey. At some point in time there was a Ballroom attached to the house, and a barn somewhere between the house and the railroad tracks. Both of which had allegedly burned to the ground. It had been once told through the word of an old elementary school teacher that her grandmother had attended a Ball there which was also attended by then General George Washington. During the Depression, it also operated as “The Weston Hotel” And at some point in it’s history the property included the “Liberty Hall” building, which was a community center & concert venue that supported such great artists as Jimmy Dorsey and Guy Lombardo. If that’s not a matter of significant Manville History than I don’t know what is. Here is a copy of a business card from “The Old Reliable Weston Hotel” Signed Louis Nebozinsky “Proprietor”… Cathy’s Grandfather.
When Cathy’s grandparents Louis and Katherine Nebozinsky left their jewelry business in New York City to run a General Store on 11th and Washington Ave in Manville in 1919 Main Street was still a dirt road. Her mother recalls that cows and chickens would roam carelessly into the road at will.
At At the time the Nebozinsky’s bought the Property on Main & Kyle, the house was in great disrepair. The man who previously owned the home before them allegedly had mental problems, which contributed to the poor condition of the home and property. The Nebozinsky’s put their 10 children to the task of helping whip the place back into shape. Cleaning the cupola at the peak of the house fell to the task of Cathy’s very young mother and uncle Dan (aged 9 and 7 at the time respectively), who recalled it’s steep rickety stairs, trap door access, and browsing through found Revolutionary War newspaper issues, and sending them as instructed to the trash.
That cupola would become a haven and art studio for one of their daughters Molly, who was a talented artist (she would later refuse an art scholarship in Paris). She loved the cupola for it’s surrounding windows and ample natural light.
When their 10 children grew older, the Nebosinskys sold the house to the Esterhoy family and moved into the smaller house on Washington and 11th that they had previously bought and used as their General Store. Due to water damage and leakage, the Esterhoys unfortunately opted to tear the amazing cupola off the top of the house. Eventually the house turned into the string of restaurants and inns until it was eventually torn down. Losing a building of this calibur seems like such an incredible loss for a town with such a proud past. In honor of this great lost building, here is a historic Illustration from a prouder time. Click the photo to enlarge it.
Later on in 1983 Dan Nebozinsky sat down for a 3 part interview with Joe Patero of The Manville News to recall his families rich history… here is part 1 I will be on the lookout for parts 2 and 3 and hopefully get them up here ASAP. Thank you Cathy Deschu for this priceless wealth of lost Manville history, the photos, the illustration, and for sharing your family’s story. This is incredible.