Cordier Auctions is pleased to announce the auction of an historic commercial/residential property in Millionaire’s Row, Williamsport. 531 West 4th Street, historically known as the “Embick Cottage” was commissioned by Colonel Frederick E. Embick in the late 1880’s to be designed by Eber Culver. Colonel Embick served in the civil war and was a member and at one time the recording secretary of the National Lumbermen’s Association. According to the Thomas T. Taber Museum, Colonel Embick was the director of the Demorest Manufacturing Company which made sewing machines and bicycles, eventually evolving into Lycoming Motors. As the lumber industry was losing its footing in Williamsport, he later moved to New York City and the home was purchased by Joseph B Rhoads.
Eber Culver was responsible for some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in Pennsylvania and West 4th Street, “Millionaire’s Row” was home to many of his designs. His work was largely commissioned by the lumber barons and other entrepreneurs striking gold during lumbering’s “gilded age” in Williamsport. He designed more than 20 buildings and residences in Williamsport. Originally from Auburn, New York, Culver learned carpentry in Ohio, went west for the gold rush in 1848, eventually settling with his wife in Williamsport and going into business manufacturing sawmill supplies. After 12 years in the industry, he turned his attention towards construction and design and became the personal designer for Peter Herdic. Herdic was the third mayor of Williamsport and the owner of the Susquehanna Boom, the logging innovation that made Williamsport such a place of affluence in the late 1800s.
The Journal of the Lycoming County Historical Society reported that during the lumber boom of the 1870s, Williamsport was home to more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world, boasting 18 millionaires out of 19,000 residents. These elites commissioned homes on “Millionaire’s Row” a well-planned section of West 4th Street. Eber Culver designed many different styles of homes in the area, 531 West 4th Street is a great example of Queen Anne Victorian style with its asymmetrical exterior, gables, dormers, and decorative woodwork, steeply pitched roof featuring fish scale shingles, and tall chimney. Open houses are Sundays November 28th and December 12th from 1-3pm. The auction will be conducted Thursday December 16th at 6pm. For more information and bidder registration, please contact Erin Tanner at (717) 731-8662 x 103 or email at [email protected].