March 1, 2024


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Former Jerre Wirt Blank Funeral Home and contents to be auctioned in May | News


NORTHUMBERLAND — The oldest constructing in Northumberland Borough and its contents will be auctioned off in May possibly.

Auctioneer Jeffrey Dunkelberger, of Paxinos, mentioned the contents of the former Jerre Wirt Blank Funeral Home at 309 H2o St. will be available for sale in an online auction until finally May perhaps 19, and the constructing by itself will then be auctioned off at a date to be established. Longtime funeral director Jerre Wirt Blank died on Nov. 22 at his home at the age of 82.

“There are not numerous attributes like this that arrive up for auction,” claimed Dunkelberger, with 31 years of auctioneer working experience. “There’s not a large amount of chance for a home like this and objects within to be bought. It does will need repairs, but for it to be largely intact, it’s a neat point.”

Graydon Dunkelberger, auction manager, mentioned a new residence proprietor could change it into a bed and breakfast or significant-end flats.

“It would be nice to see someone restore it back to what it was,” he explained.

Heritage of the developing

The setting up, also previously recognised as the Elliot-Davis Home, is regarded the oldest residence in the borough. The ton was beforehand owned by Joseph Priestley. The house was developed in 3 components. The unique area, at the rear, was manufactured in 1772. Additions have been made in 1811 by John Boyd, a Northumberland service provider, and in 1876 by William Elliot, a railroad contractor. It has operated as a mortuary business enterprise given that 1927, according to records from the Northumberland County Historical Culture and The Everyday Product archives.

The four-tale building has 44 rooms, not which include the cupola earlier mentioned the fourth ground. The making is embellished with a tower, a slate Mansard roof, major cornices, rounded topped home windows and stylized corner quoins. The high windows on the very first, second and third flooring are common of the Mediterranean Italian villa design and style. The packing containers or Mansard roof is regular of the mid-19th century French Second Empire. The early two-story brick structure dealing with King Street is a four around 4 — four rooms on each and every of two flooring stacked on leading of one particular an additional — central hall Colonial, according to historic society product.

The residence has had lots of owners, like the Elliot family members commencing in 1860 and the Davis spouse and children setting up in 1927. Blank ordered the residence in 1977, according to historic culture content.

“Someone reported the proprietor additional the cupola again in the day to make it the tallest creating in Northumberland,” reported Jeffrey Dunkelberger.

Within the building

The building is total of fireplaces, large arched doorways and ceilings, large wooden doorways and ornate stairwells. The mortuary enterprise was located on the initially floor and the next floor was dwelling quarters.

“It need to have been in the 1800s very the location,” explained Jeffrey Dunkelberger. “Both sides of the making are like mirrors of every other. At the time you know the place you’re at on one aspect, you can go on the other.”

The third and fourth floors will need comprehensive repairs. There is drinking water problems, cracking or collapsed plaster, cracked home windows, and uncovered original brick wall and body, between other harm.

The creating also has at the very least 4 horse skulls somewhere in the floorboards. Blank gave an interview with The Day by day Merchandise in Oct 2011 about acquiring two of the four skulls when transforming an upstairs toilet concerning the first and next floor in 1984.

Elliott uncovered the skulls all through his renovations and wrote on them saying, in effect, that they were being found in the ceiling between the initial and second flooring and have been set there “the rationale we know not why.” A second message on the skulls stated the Davis household experienced found out them there in 1926, in accordance to studies in The Every day Product.

There are extra than 600 heaps of own home for sale, which contain mortuary equipment, paintings, photographs, guides, furniture, pre-Civil War paperwork, dishes, kitchenware, trinkets, clocks, appliances, decorations, and hundreds of other merchandise. There is even a wooden indication that utilized to cling on the developing that reads “Elliot-Davis Household. 1772-1875. 1811.”

A daughter’s reminiscences

Penny Hupp, Blank’s daughter, explained her parents ended up divorced when her father purchased the creating. She only expended time there for the duration of the summer time.

“When I was in high faculty, I did have a Halloween sleepover get together with a bunch of ladies,” explained Hupp. “At that time the third flooring was entirely unfinished and super creepy. The great placing. They continue to provide it up when I run into them.”

Blank cherished dwelling in that dwelling and in Northumberland in standard, reported Hupp.

“He was Sunbury born, but regarded Northumberland dwelling,” she mentioned. “His hope was for a person to love, and preserve the heritage of the home he held so dear.”

Hupp’s siblings David Blank and Abby Nunn explained their fondest reminiscences are of annual family KFC Xmas functions. The 6 grandsons would run close to the significant place enjoying chase. David Blank would also operate funerals there when he and his father ended up companions.

Auction facts

The on the internet auction for the contents of the creating can be located at (

Bidding started off on April 16 and will finish on Might 19. The first large amount will start off to near at 5 p.m May perhaps 19.

The auction for the constructing will be held each on the web and in man or woman.


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