The home at 136 E. Wheeling St. in Downtown Lancaster.
Art & Culture

Whitman – Guthrie – Triance Home: 136 East Wheeling Street


One of the oldest houses on this block of East Wheeling St., it was built on lot five in the original platting of the town. It is unclear when this federal-style home was built. While the original clapboards have been covered with shingles, many features including the side porch and original wide board oak flooring are still present today.

The lot was sold to Thomas Cissna in 1802. He died about 1825 while on a trading voyage to New Orleans. Upon the death of Cissna, Philemon Beecher acquired the property. In 1832 Beecher turned the property over to the widow of Judge Charles Sherman. In 1835, Samuel Mccracken purchased the property and on the same day sold it to John Fall. Fall became associated with a group of traders (merchants) known as Myers and Fall Company. In 1849, it became the property of Judge Henry C. Whitman who entered into a partnership with William Medill. He maintained a law office down the hill. John T. Brasee purchased the property in 1878, and in 1886 Brasee sold it to the Methodist Church. From 1886 – 1904 it was used as the parsonage for the First United Methodist Church. In 1904 the church sold it to William and Elizabeth Maccracken. They sold it in 1906 to Edward Wetzler. In 1919 the Wetzlers decided to sell and the description of the home describes a sleeping porch, a pressed brick garage, and a backyard full of apples, pears, plums, grapes, and cherries. The house was purchased by Judge Brooks Shell who lived in the home until 1936. He added his own beauty to the yard by growing 45 different varieties of roses. In 1941, the Guthrie family moved in and added the shingles as they re-minded them of their travels to Nantucket. The Triance family purchased the home in 1984 and did major renovations including uncovering walled-up fireplaces.

A fun story associated with this house is that the house was used as a backdrop for a fictional story called “Josie in Mapletown,” which was published in the Godey’s Lady’s Magazine, August 1862 issue. This was during the time when the Whitmans owned it and their niece came to live with them. Mrs. Whitman was also mentioned in an article in 1851. She was seen wearing one of the latest fashions, “The Bloomer Costume.”

This home is a private residence.

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