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Enoch Matlack House


The Enoch Matlack House (250 East Main Street) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Enoch Matlack House is located at 250 East Main Street, Hummelstown. This two and one-half story brick house is built on a T-plan with a two story rear section and cross-gable roof. Each side of the rear section has a second story balcony. The cornices are ornamented with heavy paired brackets, dentils and carved scroll-work. Two brick chimneys are located in the center gable area.

The house is three bays by six bays. The front facade has a center door with segmental arch doorway and fanlight. The (paired) first story windows have carved frames and six-over-one lights. The second story has a double 10-light window flanked by 6-over-1 windows with wooden shelf hoods. A small, 6-over-1, window with a wooden shelf hood is located in the front gable.

A one story porch lines the front and east facades. Double wooden columns with brownstone pedestals support the flat roof porch. This porch does not date from construction of the house but was added after 1875. A small one story brick addition was made to the west facade by Dr. Earnest as his office.

The interior is in harmony with the exterior in period and style. The open central stairway has turned balusters, newel and a mahogany rail. Original moulded baseboards and cornices are still extant. The finished wood floors are solid oak supported on wood framing.

A small summer kitchen is located to the rear of the house and contains a built in oven. A modern three-car garage is located on the rear of the lot.

Significance

Hummelstown is one of Pennsylvania's older towns. It was established in the early 1700's by Frederick Hummel and thrived due to its proximity to transportation modes such as the Swatara Creek and, in subsequent years, the Union Canal, two turnpikes, and the Reading Railroad.

Many of Hummelstown's early buildings remain — some beautifully preserved, many with substantial modifications. Of the structures built in the latter part of the 19th century, the Enoch Matlack House stands out as one of the truly impressive examples. Even in its day it was considered sufficiently outstanding to be pictured in the 1875 Combination Atlas Map of Dauphin County. It is the only house of its type in the borough.

The Enoch Matlack House was the home of several prominent business and professional men over the years. Mr. Matlack, himself, was a tanner. His tannery was located along the banks of the Swatara not far from his home.

William and Mary Fox were occupants of the house from 1887 to 1907, a period of 20 years. Mr. Fox was co-owner of the firm of Walmer and Fox, carriage makers, and was active in the borough in various capacities.

The Foxes sold the home to Dr. Simon F. Earnest, a prominent Ear, Nose and Throat physician who lived and practiced in the home until his death in 1935.

Currently the building is being considered for use as the Hummelstown Community Library.

The Enoch Matlack House has changed little since its construction. This structure was pictured in the 1897, Combination Atlas Map of Dauphin County and barring the small brick addition and the porches, the structure is identical. The changes made to the Matlack House are reflective of the use of the structure and the development of the town during the early 20th century.

Architecturally, the Matlack House is a prestigious house of large proportions. Hummelstown is rich architecturally with the Matlack House being one of perhaps ten larger mansion type structures. Brick, limestone and brownstone are the major building materials used in these structures. The Matlack house is the only one of its style in Hummelstown and is clearly reflective of the money available for building during the height of the quarrying industry of Hummelstown brownstone.

References

Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, Chambersburg, J. M. Runk and Company 1896.

Boyd's Business Directory of Pennsylvania Counties, p. 218, 1860. (Reel #1057-2 on microfiche at State Library)

Census records — 1850-1880.

Combination Atlas Map of Dauphin County, Everts and Stewart, Philadelphia, 1875.

Courthouse records. (deeds)

Interview with Mrs. Kathryn Zeiters, great-great-granddaughter of the Matlacks.

  1. Cladel, Nancy, Enoch Matlack House, nomination document, 1978, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Enoch Matlack House Map

**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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