Guskie’s Gold (1910)
Welcome back. Located in the westernmost area of town is a four-way intersection, where daily, cars slow and roll right through the stop signs. Isn’t that every intersection in town lately? To be more specific, I’m referring to the intersection of Hattertown Road, Huntingtown Road and Quarter Horse Drive in Upper Stepney. Our historic spotlight this week is on the property located at the northeast corner of the intersection at 362 Hattertown Road.
This remote area of Upper Stepney has been known as Blanket Meadow since the 1700s and one of the earliest families to settle there was the Leavenworth family. At least three generations of Leavenworths settled in Blanket Meadow. According to town records, the home currently standing on the property was built in 1935, but our earliest maps show a residence there in 1856 associated with Miss Abigail Leavenworth (1799-1875). Abigail was one of three daughters of Captain Andrew and Miriam Seeley Leavenworth; the Captain being locally famous for his store and numerous mills on Maple Drive down in Stepney Depot.
Upon Abigail’s passing, the home was purchased by Zachariah White. Zachariah then passed in 1893, leaving his widow Pauline and their son to press on in his absence. In 1904, Pauline made the decision to move to Huntington to live with her daughter’s family and sold the farm to Frank Guskie from New York. The Guskies carried on farming the land as the Whites had until a fateful day in 1910 when Frank Guskie unexpectedly made a golden discovery inside the home; a find that dated back to the days of the Civil War. The supporting newspaper article provides all the exciting details of his find. Why not take a moment now to read it?
Despite his fortunate financial windfall, Frank Guskie passed away unexpectedly in 1912, presumably with a smile on his face and ample money in his pocket for the afterlife. The home and farm stayed in the Guskie family for years to come, and although they’ve since moved on, the large pond located behind the home to the north still bears the Guskie family name. Do any of our readers live in Blanket Meadow today? If so, you might want to invest in a metal detector. Hey, you never know.
I hope you enjoy this week’s historic spotlight on the hidden riches of Blanket Meadow. Please share this history with your family and friends. As always, thanks for your continued support and interest in Monroe history. Now, before any of you comment on the proper spelling of the Guskie name, in researching this post I have found it spelled as Gusky, Guski, Guske and Guskie. The famous pond is spelled as Guskie today, so I respectfully went with that. Until next time, Monroe. Have a lucky day!
Historian, Monroe Historical Society
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