Monday, November 23, 2009

The Victorian House of Westminster Manor

This mansion at South Street was built for Gordon W. Allen and his second wife, Ada, whom Allen married in November 1890. Allen had moved to Union Springs as a youth. In 1861, Allen came to Auburn to read law at his uncle's firm. In 1863 Allen enlisted in the 160th New York Regiment. Allen returned to Auburn in 1865 and wed Caroline Osborne. For 10 years Allen served as treasurer of the D.M. Osborne Company. In 1894, Allen joined with William J. Henry to form the Henry and Allen Company. This firm manufactured reaper blades, chains, and implements at its plant at 231 Wadsworth Street. In August of 1893, the wedding reception of Allen's stepdaughter, Anna Dennis Myers and William H. Seward, Jr. was held in this home.

Many elderly Auburnians associate this mansion with Charles A. McCarthy, who lived here from 1911 until his death in 1937. In 1889, McCarthy joined with John Dunn to create The Dunn and McCarthy Shoe Company. Located on Washington Street the company became a leader in the shoe industry as well as a major employer in Auburn. McCarthy's philanthropic endeavors were numerous. McCarthy gave to the Auburn Theological Seminary building fund and to the construction of the original Auburn City Hospital.

Today this mansion serves as a senior apartment facility for Westminster Manor. Westminster Manor purchased the property in 2002.

Information compiled by Sheila Tucker, Cayuga County Historian

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