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The Laban Capron House in snow

The Laban Capron House

The Laban Capron House is an 18th century post and lintel New England style home – the oldest-surviving house in the township of Harford, originally known as “Nine Partners”.

Nine Partners was founded in 1790 when a group of nine men from Attleborough, Massachusetts emigrated into the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. Laban Capron became the first addition to this settlement in the spring of 1794 and he built this frame house to accommodate his family.

Like all the frame houses in the settlement, the Laban Capron House is constructed on the “Attleborough plan” with two stories and narrow eaves, recalling the New England homes the settlers left behind. The virgin forest in the area had an abundance of beech, maple, and pine, and was of great service in building.

View over the mist-filled Beaver Meadow with the Endless Mountains beyond

View over the Beaver Meadow and the Endless Mountains

The Laban Capron House was built at the southwestern end of the settlement, on a lot originally set aside for common use. It sat close to the Beaver Meadow, at the junction of the paths now known as Jeffers Road and Nine Partners Road.

After many changes of ownership, the property was acquired in 1939 by Jeffers Farms. In 1978, they sold the house, but not the surrounding land, to Dr and Mrs Weigel.

A 24-acre tract of land was chosen overlooking the valley in which the house stood, and the Weigels constructed a walk-out basement as a new foundation for the building. Many remember the day when the Laban Capron House was moved the quarter mile up the hill to its new site among the meadows and woods in which it now rests.

The Weigels’ restoration showcases the 18th century features of the house, including the original wide-board maple flooring and wainscoting, and the hand-adzed beams.

The fireplace in the keeping room

Keeping Room Fireplace

The house is built around a central chimney stack of masonry supported on massive 9 x 18 inch beams. Each of the original six fireplaces is carefully preserved; the eight-foot-wide fireplace in the keeping room features a beehive oven and a hand-wrought chimney crane.

In the 1990s, the house welcomed guests as the “9 Partners Inn”. Now the Laban Capron House is once again a private family home and you can contact the owners here.


References

Thacher, Wallace L. (1907). Harford Fair. Binghamton: Barnes, Smith & Company
Blackman, Emily C. (1873). History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger