Abraham Flory’s House
The highlight of my recent trip to York, PA was confirming that the house I thought might belong to Abraham and Susanna Flory was actually their home. The home is currently occupied as a residence. To protect their privacy, the names of the current owners and location of the house will not be revealed. At the York Historical Society, I found a two page article from the York Dispatch dated October 14, 1973 entitled OLD FARMHOUSE FULL OF SURPRISES: CLAPBOARD-COVERED STONE. This Wrightsville area home that was formerly occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Daugherty before the present owners moved in has a date stone carrying the legend “Abraham and Susanna.” Actually the date stone is rather fancy in its design and is in German:
Erbauer Von Abraham Flory & Susanna F im jahr 1771
I think it says “builder was” or “built by.” “im jahr” means “in the year.”
In the article, Mrs. Daughtery said they bought a 1771 stone house covered with clapboard. One prize was the living room oak flooring, believed to be the original. A stairway led from the kitchen to the second floor. Mrs. Daugherty stated that hers is not the average modern kitchen. In addition to the interesting stairway, there’s a fireplace corner that boasts a Queen Anne table and two chairs, and it is one of the coziest spots in the house. “When people come into the kitchen and sit in this corner, it’s hard to get them back into the living room.” The house is larger than a farmhouse. It is not the regular farmhouse of that era; it is more sophisticated and more formal, and it is Germanic in architecture as opposed to English style which had the entrance centered with the same number of windows on each side.
The original owner was, apparently, well-to-do, according to standards of that time, because the home has 21 windows. At that time, homes were taxed by the number of window panes. Mrs. Daugherty said they had early American furniture when they moved in, and it looked terrible. The more formal furniture seemed to fit better, so they tried to keep with Queen Anne and Chippendale. She added that they had not been interested in antiques until they bought the house and learned its history. In keeping with the period, chair rails lined the living and dining rooms. Her husband, a department store executive, has furniture refinishing as his hobby and that proved useful.
The prized possession is a Pennsylvania clock, said to have been made the year that Gen. Washington was born –1732. She said that is hearsay. Another legend that Mrs. Daugherty was skeptical about is the following: During the Civil war escaping slaves were sheltered in the vaulted cellar of the home. “I really don’t believe that, but I think originally it was a cold cellar.” The original blacksmith shop is still on the property, along with a smokehouse and summer kitchen which Mr. Daugherty uses as a work shop. The original door jams were intact throughout the house, as is most of the original hardware. She stated that old houses have good and points–wide window sills, good wood for instance, and a definite character.