Art & Culture

McNeil – Whiley – Peters – Reynolds Home: 129 East Wheeling Street


The home was built in 1868. This handsome Italianate home features bracketed cornices, bay windows, curved windows, stone window hoods, and a handsome drawing room with unusual moldings that are typical of its period. Built as a wedding gift from John D. Martin (who lived in the Georgian) for his daughter Clara, who married John McNeil, it is said that he told his daughter, “I deed this house to my daughter for the price of a kiss.” The deed dated January 26, 1869, says, “John D. Martin & wife Mary Jane, ‘for natural love and affection’ and $1.00 in hand paid to us by Clara Martin McNeil, the following premises (Lot 127) is given to our daughter.”

In 1883, a fire broke out in the bed chambers that ruined the curtains and shutters. That same year Clara was appointed as a representative to the World’s Exposition in New Orleans. In 1893 the McNeils divorced. In 1894 another fire broke out when Clara accidentally set her dress and hair on fire. Later that year, Clara moved out and took a room at the Hillside Hotel. She took a job as the manager of the Chestnut Street Opera House and was described as “a lady of refined and excellent judgment.”

In 1897 the home was purchased by Charles B. Whiley to accommodate the growing needs of his daughters. He remodeled the inside of the home including changing the stairway and turning the two parlors into a drawing room.

In 1935 the Phillip Peters family moved in with Mrs. Peters’ mother, Mrs. Whiley.

In 1992 the home was purchased by Jack Reynolds. He did renovations inside the home including new wiring, plumbing, and gas lines. Reynolds owned the property until 1999.

This home is a private residence.

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