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Zane Grey House

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1905, 1912, Romer Carl Grey. 135 Scenic Dr.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Just above the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Delaware rivers stands a generous but simple Colonial Revival house that marks University of Pennsylvania–trained dentist Zane Grey's escape from his dental career. Designed by his brother in two phases, its construction coincided with Zane Grey's marriage and his decision to pursue his writing career; the rear wing marks his rapid commercial success. The house is now celebrated as the site where Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was written, but it was also the scene of some of Grey's best outdoor writing, including The Lord of the Lackawaxen (1909) that celebrated “the brown water that turns and whispers and tumbles” across from his own house. It is of course the juxtaposition of Grey's house with Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct ( PI13) that fires the imagination. In little more than half a century, a region known for its exploitation of natural resources had been transformed into a recreational leisure zone. The course of the American empire was represented within the thousand or so feet from the wilderness to the industrial landmark and then to the nostalgic return to the woodlands that is at the heart of the American love affair with our nation.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Zane Grey House", [, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-PI14.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 530-530.

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