Monday, March 5, 2012

A surprise inside tour of Linden Hall

Sue and I went on a photo day to Dawson and Vanderbilt,PA  to take some pictures.
There isn’t much to the towns now but at one time they were home to some of the richest coal and coke barons in the area.
The Cochran family immigrated from Northern Ireland. Philip Cochran was the eldest son of James. During the winter the Cochrans would mine coal and manufacture coke. In the spring when the Youghiogheny River would rise with the spring rains, they would float coke down the river in flatbottom boats to Cincinnati. The coke was then used in the production of iron. The first 12,000 bushels they sold for 7 cents a bushel. In spite of this, they amassed a large fortune in the coal and coke business.
The Cochrans lived in the Dawson-Vanderbilt area where descendants of the family still reside.
cochran house
On September 25,1879 Philip Cochran married Sarah B. Moore, a plain farmer's daughter from, Lower Tyrone Township. They had one son, James, born September 21, 1880 named after his paternal grandfather. Philip died in 1899 at the age of 50, leaving Sarah and their only son a huge fortune. In 1900, in Dawson, Mrs. Cochran built a beautiful stone church in memory of her husband, named the Philip G Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church.
leave the light on
The church is massive, made with beautiful stone work.
Located in the scenic Laurel Highlands, in Dawson, PA, Linden Hall stands testimony to the area's rich coal and coke history and splendor.  Linden Hall's elegant English Tudor Mansion was built in 1911, at a cost of 2 million dollars, by Sarah B. Cochran, widow of coke and coal pioneer Philip Cochran. The mansion contains 35 rooms, 27 fireplaces, and 13 baths, with 8,720 sq. ft. on each of its four floors.  The basement contains a billiards room and a bowling alley.  Linden Hall gets its name from the Linden trees brought from Germany by Mrs. Cochran.  The estate  was purchased by the United Steelworkers of America in 1997,  restored to its original grandeur, and maintained in conjunction with their Walter J. Burke Labor Education Center.  The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Sites and has been featured on America's Castles on the A & E Television Network.
A film for the ABC family network called Elixir starring Jane Seymour was recently filmed there.  It will air sometime this summer.


After Mrs. Cochran’s husband died she  traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Orient. It was while she was visiting St. James Palace in London that the idea of the English Tudor Mansion was born. Construction of the Mansion was started on June 3,1911, and was dedicated on December 25,1913. When the house was built, the stone was quarried on the property. Mrs. Cochran brought 60 stonecutters from Italy and they hand-cut the stone for the house. Craftsman were brought from Europe to help with the baroque woodwork and interior designing. Many local craftsman also worked on the Mansion, which is profuse with marble, crystal, gold leaf, and sterling silver.
The Linden Mansion cost over two million dollars when it was built, and much of the original furnishings were imported for Mrs. Cochran by Joseph Hornes of Pittsburgh. There are 35 rooms, 27 fireplaces, 13 bath and powder rooms, a finished white tiled basement with a game room complete with billiard tables and bowling alleys.
Linden Hall
When we drove up the drive we were awed by the beauty of the house and grounds.
We saw a sign that said the Hall was closed, so we decided to take some photos outside.

linden hall 2

linden hall 3
A man there who was painting the inside of the Hall, asked us if we wanted to come in and take some photos of the inside, how cool was that!
He took us on a tour of the entire inside and it was amazing.
The house is full of stained glass windows. At  one time they were Tiffany windows but it got to be too expensive to insure them so they were replaced.
linden hall 5
Mrs. Cochran had a room she called the devil room that was for men to use to smoke in the house. The wallpaper were these images of devils.
Linden Hall 6
There are so many beautiful things to see, you can barely take it all in.
Linden Hall7
linden hall 8
linden hall 9

Linden Hall 10
We really enjoyed our tour.
Book this week
Love this tv series, so had to read the book.