Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clifton Berley

In one of last December's posts I wrote about about Miss Anne Flemming Cameron's wedding in 1895. It mentioned that she and the wedding party left the church to attend a reception at her father Sir Roderick Cameron's Arrochar country steading "Clifton Berley". Well, here it is in a state of fading glory.

"Clifton Berley" was Sir Roderick's 150-acre estate that he purchased in 1861. There, he spent much time and money importing, breeding and raising thoroughbred horses. A listing for a large collection of horse racing documents on Christie's web site included several from Sir Roderick. Apparently, some of Sir Roderick's horses were some of the best of their time.

Clifton Berley Barn - May 4, 1932

Sir Roderick died in 1900 and I don't know how long his family retained ownership of "Clifton Berley". However, by the time of these pictures in the May of 1932, the once beautiful mansion was a decaying hulk. Significant patches of tiles are gone from the roof and I strongly suspect that on the other side of the roof's peak has holes in it. The road around the house is in obvious disrepair. I imagine these pictures are final documents of the house before its demolition.

Today there is almost nothing to indicate the house was ever there. Its rolling grounds and fields are covered with asphalt and dozens of houses. The only vestige of Sir Roderick's forty years of ownership is his name on the small lake to the west of where his home once stood.

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Radcliff Road, northside, between Steuben and Briarcliff

I know posting a mansion so soon after some of my recent comments seems a tad out of place but this was a beautifully serendipitous finding.

Top Map - 1917 - The red circle is the house and the blue the barn
Bottom Map - 2011 - Again, red circle is the barn

Thursday, January 06, 2011

York Avenue, New Brighton

A quick display looking south at the east side of York Avenue between E. Buchanan and Carlyle Streets. Once upon a time York Avenue was a good looking working class street running parallel to Jersey Street. There were large homes on the hill to the west and even a few shops and at one point a German Lutheran church in addition to St Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church.

Today much of York Avenue has clearly seen better days, but this stretch of houses is pretty unchanged from July, 1932.