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