GENEALOGY OF AN OLD HOUSE
Bernhard's Bay, Town of Constantia
and
GENEALOGY OF THE MARSDEN FAMILY:

Many thanks to Carol White-Hammer for sharing her memories of Bernhard's Bay, in the Town of
Constantia. I did the research myself and know the house. Personally spoke with "old timers" who know the town history and so on. She has also sent the genealogy of the Marsden Family, original builders of this grand home, which is below.  Carol will be sharing more interesting stories as host on Bernhard's Bay in the future, and we welcome her.  She has sent in other articles on the area and they are linked on the Town of Constantia index page.
 
 

She is a charming, grand lady resting on the North Shore of Oneida Lake in the tiny village of Bernhards Bay, New York. She was once, in her heyday, elegant, dressed all in white, her Italianate roofline
supported by heavy carved corbels. The deep curved front porch that
swept to one side  grounded her and lent an air of welcome to everyone that graced her steps. 

She was built circa 1890 by Linus Parker Marsden, son of Richard Lee
Marsden and his wife Marcia Miranda Matthews, daughter of Levi Matthews and Polly Blodgett. Richard and Marcia married in New Hampshire and soon moved to the vast western New York wilderness  and were among the first settlers of what is Camden, New York. With the arrival of their first chld, they began a family that saw six children borne to them. 

Linus Parker Marsden, their second child and second son, was born on
the fifteenth day of September 1826 in West Vienna, New York. He
married Hepsey Dawley with no family increase, and after Hepsey's
death, Linus married her sister, Mary Dawley. Mary brought two sons and a daughter to the Marsden line: Frank Lee, Edward Everett and Jane May.

After his second wife Mary died on January 28, 1874, Linus choose Jane Lydiatt to be his third bride on March 4, 1875. Two  more sons, Lloyd Elbridge and Howard Ernest, and four  more daughters, Eva Belle, Mary Edith, Bessie Anna and Mildred Emma were added to the family with this marriage, bringing Linus a total of nine children to add to the Marsden family.

Linus was active in local activities serving as the town Supervisor for
the Town of Constantia in 1877. Around 1890, Linus built the house in
Bernhards Bay, on the North Shore of Oneida Lake, giving the town a
gift of a lovely home as well as a place to mourn their deceased
friends and families. 

It is unclear when the house became a funeral home; quite possibly it
was intended from the beginning and not used for many years. Future
owners would discover archecturial elements in the house that were
clearly designed and built into the house for the use of morticians.

This home has had only five owners over the course of its 112
years-----1890 to the present. Linus Marsden being the original
builder, died in 1914 and the house passed into the hands of the Winn
family. The Winn family owned the house until 1955 when Rees White
bought it to shelter his growing family of four children.....soon to be
five. Four sons and a daughter lived in the house from 1955 to 1962,
made friends, attended schools and otherwise endured the usual and not so usual trials of growing up in the Fifties in middle class America. 

The Ken Powell family lived in the house after the Whites moved to
Chicago, and the Powell's were very similar to the Whites in some ways: they, too, had four sons and a daughter; maintained the same family atmosphere and homey conditions of living that the Whites had. While the Powells enjoyed the house, they had other plans for retirement and more private living than residing in town could offer, so once again this grand lady found a "for sale" sign on her front lawn. The fifth owners of the house were a family by the surname of Ayers, and not a lot is known about them.  They had the house a short time, and for reasons unknown to this author and former resident of the house, lost ownership. As of this writing, the house once again finds a "for sale" sign on her lawn, but this time she stands empty and dark.....waiting for another family to fill her with the noisy sounds that family life brings to a grand old gal.

 


GENEALOGY OF THE MARSDEN FAMILY


GEORGE MARSDEN BORN 1737 LEEDS, ENGLAND----MARRIED NOVEMBER 25, 1775 IN MYSTIC MA. --DIED NOVEMBER 12, 1817 VIENNA, NY
 

MARRIED WILMONT LEE BORN JANUARY 21, 1757 NOVA SCOTIA--DIED JANUARY 31, 1850 VIENNA, NY

CHILDREN:

WILLIAM B JUNE 14 1778 MEDFORD, MA

SARAH B OCT. 29 1780

THOMAS B JULY 22, 1782

ELIZABETH B MARCH 25 1784

JAMES B DEC. 2, 1785

CHARLES B JULY 17 1787

EDWARD B JAN 4, 1792

ANNE B APRIL 10 1793

JOHN B JUNE 17 1795

RICHARD LEE B APRIL 21 1797 IN BERNHARDS BAY, NY  ***

MARY  B SEPT 5 1799
 

CAPTAIN GEORGE MARSDEN SERVED IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR WAS AN ADJUNCT FOR GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON AND FOUGHT AT THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. STARTING HIS MILITARY CAREER AS A LOYALIST, HE SOON SWITCHED ALLEGIANCE TO THE AMERICANS. HE FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA AND WAS PRESENT AT THE TAKING OF BURGOYNE IN 1775. HE SETTLED IN THE WILDS OF BERNHARDS BAY, NY AFTER HIS SERVICE N THE WAR, ON 400 ACRES OF LAND AND BUILT A LOG HOME FOR HE AND HIS WIFE, WILMONT LEE.  IT IS SAID GEORGE WASHINGTON PAID A THREE DAY VISIT TO GEORGE AT THIS HOME IN 1783.

**Note: 7/2002
I received an email from Richard Palmer who states: 
       "Since Marsden did not settle in Jewell until 1796, according to his pension papers, I don't think it was possible he could have been visited by George Washington in 1783. This is listed on many resources without fact or documentation. I am a descendant of George Marsden, and his pension papers and service record are completely different than what has been cited by many resources."
Thank you, Richard Palmer.


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Copyright © April 2002 Carol White-Hammer
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