Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hurstmont ~ An Update

I started this blog with a post that included information about Hurstmont, the estate of my paternal great-grandparents, James Tolman Pyle and his wife, Frances Adelaide (McAlpin) Pyle.

I later shared some photos of the estate in its heyday, as well as some photos we took when we visited. This post includes a link to the June 1907 issue of American Homes and Gardens in Google Books which had an extensive article about Hurstmont, photos of which are included in the first video below.

I also found that I have an aerial photo of the estate.

Click here to read more about James Pyle and Sons successful Pyle's Pearline soap business.

Thank you to my cousin, who shared the link to a July 19, 2013, article in the Observer-Tribune (a New Jersey Hills Media Group newspaper) entitled "Three new homes OK’d for Hurstmont property in Harding". I'm glad that the current owner, an architect, was able to come to an agreement with the local Board of Adjustment that saves at least part of the mansion.

In addition, my cousin also suggested that I search on YouTube for Hurstmont and check out some videos that have been posted there. I found the following videos (really slideshows) which are from the local realtor's YouTube page. These give you a wonderful sense of the beauty of the landscape, the former grandness of the estate, and the wonderful potential of these four new and renovated properties.

Update: Because the property has been sold, the realtor's videos are no longer available to view, so I have removed the links from this post.

The former mansion will be renovated and diminished in size.

The former carriage house, which is behind and to the right of the mansion, will be renovated.

This will be a new home called the Tennis Cottage, which looks like it will be built to the right of the current driveway just after you turn off Mount Kemble Avenue.

And this will be the Garden Cottage, which looks like it will be built where the former gardens were.


  1. Hi Elizabeth-- wow, this was so neat. I remember reading about the soap company awhile back, and thought that was really interesting. And isn't it great when family members collaborate to give each other info?

    1. Yes, I have connected with a couple of second cousins on my dad's side and a cousin on my mother's side who enjoy reading my blog and sharing stories with me. Thanks for reading and for the comment. This was fun to put together and figure out how to embed the videos.

  2. Hi Elizabeth-

    I was wondering if you have been keeping up with the current happenings with Hurstmont. It looks like the remains of the mansion (what is left after it has already been partially demolished) will be completley demolished and replaced with housing units. I'm sure you were already aware of these plans. But I wanted to let you know in case you wanted to go back one final time to say goodbye. I have admired hurstmont from afar since I was little. I have already dreamed of getting to see it up close, even just the outside. I'm a photographer and I have wanted to do a series of photos of the home entitled "Hurstmont: The Final Moments." But like I said, I have never been able to see the mansion, or what is left of it, up close. I hope I will somehow be granted permission to photograph it before it is gone for good in the coming months. It is such a shame to think of what has happened to it.


    1. Brian,
      I had not heard this update. Too bad, but I'm not surprised. If you do get permission to photograph it before it's gone for good, please let me know at eizhandler -at- gmail.com.
      Thanks for the comment.