(Photo by Richard F. Hope)
Slough House (327 Spring Garden Street, now owned by Chauncy D. Howell, Jr., newscaster).
The modern property (measuring 60’ on Bank Street by 22.58’ on Spring Garden Street is the westernmost strip of original Town Lot No.148 as surveyed by William Parsons when Easton was established in 1752. The original Lot ran all the way along Spring Garden Street from North Third to what became Bank Street. It was acquired by Anthony Rose from the Penn Family in 1789, with no indication in the deed of any building on the land. For many years in the 1790s, an “old colonial limestone” tavern known as the Rising Sun was operated at the corner with North Third Street.
In 1803, a retired blacksmith originally from Bethlehem Township named Philip Slough (also spelled Schlough) acquired the property “in consideration . . . of the maintenance and support heretofore had and yet to be had and rendered unto” Anthony Rose. At that time, the property included a stone building – presumably the Rising Sun tavern at the corner with North Third Street. “After conducting the business for about a year he discovered that the hotel business was rather strenuous for a retired blacksmith. He then transferred the hotel to his son . . . .” In 1808, Philip Slough built astone house in the rear of the property as a retirement home for himself. This may be the stone house that currently stands at the corner of Spring Garden and Bank Streets today. In 1819, he transferred to his son the middle portion of the Lot – apparently land between his stone house and the hotel previously sold to his son (John). At that time, the deed indicates that Philip Slough (there spelled “Schlough) had left Easton to become a farmer in Forks Township, while his son John’s profession was now listed as a blacksmith.
[In 1869, Christian Fleming died and willed to his daughter Susan, wife of Dr. Samuel Sandt, “four houses on the corner of Bank and Spring Garden streets”, as well as a house on South 5th Street opposite the Catholic Church, and another house on Northampton Street occupied by Dr. Sandt. ]
In 1873, the resident in this building at the corner of Spring Garden and Bank Streets was Gustavus Eschenbach, who sold umbrellas. In late 1873, in preparation for the inauguration of the modern street numbering scheme, Nos.327 and 329 Spring Garden Street were assigned as the residence and store of “Gustav” Eschenbach.
In 1890, this was the residence of clerk Samuel S. Yohe and his family. By 1894, it had briefly become the residence of Dr. H.D. Michler. Dr. Henry D. Michler (born 1856) was the surgeon-in-chief at Easton Hospital for 33 years.
In 1900, this was the home of Walter Anthony, a salesman.
C. Albert Sandt acquired the property at some point, and his will devised it to M. Elizabeth Sandt after his death. After Elizabeth Sandt herself died, her executors sold the property to Morris S. Rosenzweig in 1919 – which at that time included both 327 Spring Garden Street and the adjacent property at No.325. Rosenzweig sold off No.325 three months later -- it is now incorporated in the large Sovereign Bank property running from North 3rd Street – and on the same day sold No.327 to Oscar and Sadie Smith. Another three months later, the Smiths sold the property to Edgar M. Green for a quick profit.
Edgar M. Green was the son of Easton physician and civic leader (and Lafayette College professor) Dr. Traill Green. Dr. Edgar Green died in 1935; his widow, Mary, held the property until 1961, when it was sold to Bixler Realty Inc. for $8,000. A photograph probably dating from about this time shows a bake oven in a stone house “excavation” at the corner of Bank and Spring Garden Streets, that appears to relate to this property and suggest that significant work was done on it. At all events, the Realty company sold the property to Kathryn Shirer Howell and her son, Charles David Howell in 1965, for a substantial profit. The present owner (in 2009), Chauncey D. Howell, Jr., acquired the property in 1986. Chauncey D. Howell is a television reporter on Long Island News Channel 12, and has been doing interviews for New York television news since the 1960s.
See Northampton County Tax Records map,
SeeA.D. Chidsey, Jr., The Penn Patents in the Forks of the Delaware Plan of Easton, Map 2 (Vol. II of Publications of the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society 1937).
Deed, John Penn Jr. and John Penn Sr. to Anthony Rose, H2 292 (24 Oct. 1789)(Lot No.148, no mention of any messuage or tenement).
James A. Wright, Colonial Taverns of Northampton County, Pennsylvania 6 (1993).
Deed, Anthony Rose to Philip Schlough, H2 293 (13 Sept. 1803)(Lot No.148 measuring 60’ X 220’, with a “Stone Messuage”; recites that Schlough was a blacksmith, but identifies him as already being from Easton); see William J. Heller, Historic Easton from the Window of a Trolley-Car 67 (The Express Printing Co., Inc., 1912, reprinted by Genealogical Researchers 1984)(states that in 1806 by Philip Slough Jr., a retired blacksmith from Bethlehem Township, “went to Easton”, bought the land and “erected thereon a stone hotel” ).
William J. Heller, Historic Easton from the Window of a Trolley-Car 122 (The Express Printing Co., Inc., 1912, reprinted by Genealogical Researchers 1984)(transferred the hotel to his son in approximately 1807).
William J. Heller,Historic Easton from the Window of a Trolley-Car 122 (Express Printing Co. and Harmony Press 1911, reprinted 1984).
The exterior construction appears similar to stone houses built in Colonial style. But see City of Easton, Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form, Attachment: Building Description Survey Area 1 Zone A (City Council Resolution approved 12 May 1982)(built c.1870 in “Neo-Colonial” style). By contrast, the Howell Family had thought that the house dated back to Colonial times.
Deed, Philip (Catherine) Schloughto John Schlough, D4 269 (9 Sept. 1819)(sale price $100 for a part of original town Lot No.148 with 20’ frontage on Spring Garden Street X 60’ deep, lying between other parts of Lot No.148 on the West and on the East, the eastern part having previously also been sold to John Schlough).
Article, “The Will of Christian Fleming”, Easton Free Press, Thurs., 19 Aug. 1869, p.3, col.3.
Jeremiah H. Lant, The Northampton County Directory for 1873 69 (1873).
Article, “The New Numbers”, Easton Daily Free Press, Fri., 5 Dec. 1873, p.3, col.7; see D.G. Beers, Atlas of Northampton County Pennsylvania, Plan of Easton (A. Pomeroy & Co. 1874).
Census Directory of Northampton County, Eleventh U.S. Census, 1890 (Joseph H. Werner, assisted by Geo. W. West 1891), Q-Z transcribed online at
George W. West (compiler), Directory of Easton [Etc.] 179 (George W. West 1894)(H.D. Michler, M.D., residence at 327 Spring Garden Street). By 1896, Dr. Michler’s office was listed at 37 North 3rd Street, and by 1898, both his practice and residence were at 120 North 3rd Street. George W. West (compiler), Directory of Easton [Etc.] 176 (George W. West 1896); George W. West (compiler), West’s Directory of Greater Easton 165 (George W. West 1898).
Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania 923 (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co. 1894, reprint by Higginson Book Co. 1970); accord, 1900 Census, Series Series T623, Roll 1447, p.70A (Henry D. Michler, born 1856, resident at 120 North 3rd Street).
Obituary, “Dr. Michler, Surgeon, Dead”, Easton Express, Tues., 22 June 1926, p.1, col.1 & p.3, col.3 (elected surgeon-in-chief in 1892, and gave up the office to become surgeon-ermitus in 1925); seePortrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania 923-24 (Chicago: Chapman Publishing Co. 1894, reprint by Higginson Book Co. 1970); John W. Jordan, Edgar Moore Green & George T. Ettinger, I Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania 220 (New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co. 1905, reprint by Higginson Book Co.)(Henry D. Michler, surgeon at Easton Hospital since it opened). See generally separate entry for Dr. Michler’s Practice at 134 North 3rd Street.
1900 Census, Series T623, Roll 1447, p.69B.
Deed, C. Albert Sandt and C. Flemming Sandt, Executors of the Will of M. Elizabeth Sandt, to Morris Rosenzweig, G46 288 (13 Sept. 1919)(sale price $6500, included both 327 and 325 Spring Garden Street).
Deed, Morris S. Rosenzweig to Rosa Barto, G46 433 (9 Dec. 1919)(sale price $4,000).
Deed, Morris S. Rosenzweig to Oscar G. (Sadie) Smith, G46 434 (9 Dec. 1919)(sale price $4,000).
Deed, Oscar G. (Sadie) Smith to Edgar M. Green, H46 611 (1 Mar. 1920)(sale price $5,500). This sale price is 137.4% of the $4,000 the Smiths paid for the property the preceding December.
Compare1900 Census, Series T623, Roll 1447, p.69B (physician Edgar Green, age 37, at 340 Spring Garden Street) with1880 Census, Series T9, Roll 1161, p.380C (Edgar Green age 17, son of Traill Green, at 222 Spring Garden Street). See generally entry for 222 Spring Garden Street for history of both the Drs. Green.
Deed, Mary B. Green to Bixler Realty Inc., 149 67 (5 May 1961)(recital).
See1910 Census, Series 624, Roll 1381, p.24A (physician Edgar M. Green at 222 Spring Garden Street with wife Mary B. Green); Deed, Mary B. Green to Bixler Realty Inc., 149 67 (5 May 1961)(recital).
Deed, Mary B. Green to Bixler Realty Inc., 149 67 (5 May 1961)(sale price $8,000).
Photograph of bake oven in stone house excavation, Marx Room Folder 3 1901 00328 7820 (Dwellings -- Pennsylvania -- Easton (Folder 1)) DocNo 6 (Easton Area Public Library Photograph Files). The source of the photograph was the Valley Federal Savings Bank, which was the predecessor of the Sovereign Bank whose building stands at 100 North 3rd Street and whose parking lot lies next door to the Slough House.
Deed, Bixler Realty, Inc. to Kathrun Shirer Howell and Charles David Howell, 261 10 (31 Dec. 1965)(sale price $12,000). This represents a 50% profit from the $8,000 cost of the property sold four years earlier.
The family relationship of mother and son is evidenced when Charles David Howell transferred his half interest to Kathryn Shirer Howell the next year, and avoided a transfer tax by identifying the transaction as one between son and mother. Deed, Charles David Howell to Kathryn Shirer Howell, 281 397 (7 Oct. 1966).
Deed, Kathrun Shirer Howell to Chauncey D. Howell, Jr., 710 5 (24 Sept. 19896); see also Northampton County Tax Records,
See, e.g., Resume of Martha Walker, (accessed 16 July 2009)(Achievements, 2007 “Featured on Long Island News Channel 12, Chauncey Howell interview”); News Highlights, “Councilman mark Cuthbertson Promotes Tulip Festival with Chauncey Howell from News 12”, town.huntington.ny.us/newsdetails.cfm?id=501 (dated 29 Apr. 2004, accessed 16 July 2009)(includes picture of Howell).
See Internet Movie Database (IMDb), “Chauncey Howell”, (accessed 16 July 2009)(lists his news reports from 1968 and 1975).