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Susan Bowers, President
Martha Muniz, Vice President
Jim Steiner, 2nd Vice President
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Monongahela Area Historical Society
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A bit of Washington County history went up in smoke on Tuesday, April 3, 1973 when the George Mansion was destroyed by fire. Built in 1839, the mansion was first owned by Major Robert Love, who built it, and later became the summer residence of Anne George and her mother. Miss George’s mother was the daughter of Major Love.
The mansion, on 300 acres on Route 136 near Ginger Hill, featured an exact replica of the winding stairway in Longfellow’s home, and at one time the home had several pieces of invaluable furniture.
The mansion had 14 rooms and five baths.
Two years after Miss George died, in 1941, the property was purchased by John W. Butler of Mckeesport, who told the Washington Observer he planned to build two or three nine-hole golf courses on the property and use the mansion as a clubhouse.
However, the golf courses never came to be, and the property was again sold to owners who used it as a private home for a short time.
They then leased the property to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Paulich, who turned the mansion into a meeting place. The building was used primarily for events such as wedding receptions, and featured a restaurant, catering, and a beautiful interior.
The George Mansion remained as a meeting place for many years, finally becoming a health club, which soon folded.
The property was sold again, and was used as feeding grounds for cattle, with the caretakers occupying the building.
Most recently, the house was rented by a group described by nearby residents as hippies. The Longellow replica staircase was reportedly torn down and used for firewood.
Tuesday afternoon, all that remained of the building was four brick walls. The roof and the entire inside of the mansion was destroyed, but fire officials said only “junk furniture” was inside.
Both the Valley Inn and Finleyville Volunteer Fire Departments fought the blaze using a total of 34 firemen and five trucks. They were called at 4:20 a.m.
The state fire marshall is to be contacted, but arson is believed to the cause.
OLD TIME PHOTO
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