Demolition work apparent, felled trees cutting through roofs
OIL CREEK TOWNSHIP — A mansion that had been home to some of the area’s more historically notable names, like the Carters and the Pouxes, will apparently soon be a thing of the past.
The home and its acreage are today property of Hasbrouck Land Company Ltd.; and trees are being toppled into the home after residents of the large, brick manor vacated upon request.
The once palatial mansion, at 11691 Hydetown Road, was built in 1929 and 1930 for Luke Carter and family, who owned the land around the home, once known as Oakwood Farm, according to local historian David Weber.
That farm was a globally recognized jersey cattle breeding farm, Weber said.
Additionally, the Carter family was deeply tied to the industry that brought the city of Titusville and the surrounding area to prominence in the late 1800s.
“The Carter family was in the oil business,” said Weber, “and also in banking,” adding that they also once owned shares in the Titusville Dairy.
Luke’s father, Civil War veteran John Carter, purchased the land for Carter Field, where the Titusville Rockets hold their home football games, according to Weber.
Later, after the 1940s, the Poux family lived in the mansion.
The Poux family founded Skyline Industries, which it relocated to Oil Creek Township from Meadville in 1947.
Skyline Industries is credited by many as being the inventors of the hula hoop, Weber said.
More recently, the home was converted into six apartments.
According to Crawford County records, Hasbrouck Land Company Ltd. purchased the home and its 30.6 acres in December 1998, for $543,375.
In July, the company sent letters to their tenants living in the home, explaining that the company could “no longer support this as a rental unit.”
The letter, signed by Bruce Hasbrouck, general partner, and Bret Hasbrouck, limited partner, said the company’s decision to advise tenants to vacate the apartment building by July 30, was “due to the age of the building,” and the “high costs of maintaining the building, and also the high cost of insurance coverage.”
One former tenant said building had been a great home for eight years.
“It was so private and so nice,” said Susan Bernard, adding that the apparent demolition plans are “just a shame. It was beautiful.”
She said that, entering the home through the main front doors, “you walked into a huge, winding staircase. It was just beautiful.”
A phone call to Bret Hasbrouck was not returned.