Sarobia: The Saga Continues

Old Aerial Photograph

Aerial Photograph of Sarobia from 1938

For a full-size shot of the above photo, please click here.

From using the search term “Humpty Dumpty,” Jack M. introduced himself to me via my blog e-mail after discovering my photos and posts about Sarobia in the search engines. I’ll refrain from using his full surname to protect his privacy.

Humpty-Dumpty-Sarobia-s

Humpty Dumpty sits atop the wall at Logan’s Garden.

My new contact told me he lived next to the estate as a youth and has been answering graciously a boatload of questions I’ve had about the property and the Logans ever since.

Jack has many color slides of Sarobia from that period, which he has begun to share with me; and maintains a wealth of knowledge about the grounds including tidbits regarding Richard Blossom Farley, the early 20th-century, American impressionist painter, sculptor, poet, architect, builder, and classically trained artist, who lived there as well.

As a teenager, Jack was friendly with Robert Logan who allowed the youngster and his brother to work on automobiles in a section of Sarobia’s barn.

Living in a house with his family as caretakers of the adjourning estate owned by Major Frank Ehlenfeldt—owner of several gas stations in Philadelphia called “Bonded Ethyl”— Jack became best friends with the neighboring caretaker’s son, Henry, who lived in Sarobia’s gatehouse on Dunks Ferry Road nearby. The two boys had the run of both properties.

Sarobia-Sara-Deborah-s

Sara Logan and her daughter, Deborah. Photo courtesy of Jack M.

Sara and Deborah Logan, Robert’s wife and daughter respectively, died roughly a year apart: the mother in 1938, while in 1939 Deborah was found hung in the basement of Friends’ Hospital in Philadelphia, run by the Quakers.

Born in 1937, Jack never met either one, but was told later by the caretaker that before Deborah was committed to Friends’, she had been locked up in a second-story bedroom in the mansion.

Logan’s daughter had been brought back from California by her parents allegedly after a forbidden marriage to a man out there, totally against Robert’s wishes. According to another report, she had gotten divorced and went mentally deranged as the result.

Andreas Eisenmann, Sarobia’s caretaker, had found the young woman on the roof of the house, attempting to jump off a few times, successfully foiling her undertaking.  He thwarted her future efforts by placing bars over the windows of her room, but Deborah had become evidently out of control and ended up institutionalized.

Deborah’s death was blamed on suicide. Nothing else was reported about Logan’s daughter’s demise, which sounds really fishy to me. What kind of mental institution would allow a patient to slip away to the basement with a bed sheet to hang themselves?  We’ll never know otherwise.

In the next installment, more of Jack’s photos and stories about Richard Blossom Farley will appear. Thanks for stopping by, and as always for your continued support.

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Comparison Aerial Shots of Sarobia in 1938 vs. 2011 – Both Black and White Aerial Photos on this Page are Courtesy of Jack M.

For a full-size shot of the above image, please click here.

 

 

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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