Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: The House That Philip Taylor Built


Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County’s past. Today, the history of Philip Taylor is highlighted.

[Pictured above: Philip Taylor, Jr. inherited this elegant home on Brookville’s east side when his father died. Today it is still impressive and serves as the home of Brookville Behavioral Health. (Courtesy Brookville Heritage Trust)]

(Article submitted by Carole Briggs, Jefferson County Historical Society.)

THE HOUSE THAT PHILIP TAYLOR BUILT

An etching in Caldwell’s Atlas shows an elegant Italian Villa home atop a hill east of the Sandy Lick. A gazebo, greenhouse, fencing, plantings, fountain, and pond complete the scene. Of course, pictures in the atlas are not the same as photographs. The artist may have added the frisky dogs and the elegant ladies strolling the paths with parasols open to protect their pale skin. Nevertheless, when we compare the residence with photographs of the Philip Taylor House, now owned by a Brookville firm, we recognize the same place.

The structure “is well named Glen Cove. It was the homestead of his father, and while preserving many of the better features of the property, he has modernized the residence, built additional buildings for stables, carriage house, &c., removed whatever was unattractive, and beautified the grounds according to the latest rules of landscape engineering. The view in any direction from the premises is lovely. The mansion is situated in a bend of Sandy Lick, with hills crowned with evergreens in nearly every direction. A view of Brookville is seen at the right, and the rippling waters of Sandy Lick are in front and to the rear; the humming of the Red mill is heard to the left, and a railroad station on the Low Grade….Art and nature are well combined, and it is a home of which any man of aesthetic tastes might be proud.”




Who was this man of aesthetic tastes?

He was Philip Taylor, Jr., youngest child of Philip Taylor. After his father died, he assumed ownership of Glen Cove and made the changes pictured in Caldwell’s Atlas. His older brother, Reid, lived on Western Avenue near Glen Cove, as did another lumberman, James Elliot Long.

In the spring of 1882, Philip Taylor, Jr. died at the age of twenty-seven. After his death, Long leased the Red Mill and operated it for several years, before buying one-half of the Taylor estate in 1885. A newspaper item that spring described work as “progressing rapidly on the new hotel buildings of Messrs. Taylor & Long, at Taylor’s siding.” We assume the Taylor referred to is Philip’s older brother, Reid.

James Elliott Long and Reid Taylor envisioned a summer resort hotel anticipating that city people would travel to the cool woodlands during the heat of summer. The vision failed. People did not come. Instead, the Episcopal Church rented it for three years and operated the Female Episcopal Academy. Finally, in 1889 the Women’s Relief Corps purchased the Longview Hotel for $30,000 and transformed the facility into the Pennsylvania Memorial Home for Civil War veterans, their wives, widows, and children.

In 1977, the east section was demolished and replaced by a new section of the Pennsylvania Memorial Home. Today Brookville Borough owns the newer additions and Brookville Behavioral Health owns Philip Taylor’s home.

[email protected] County Historical Society, Inc.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Matson Insurance in Brookville.

Submitted by the Jefferson County History Center.


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