John Bunting House

From the Allentown Messenger dated May 13,1920: The house on [31] Church street formerly owned by Mrs. Edmund Evernham, but now in the possession of Edward Otterson and his sister, Miss Maria Otterson, of Edgebrook, claims the distinction of being the oldest dwelling on the northerly side of the said street. Up to about 1845 its location made it very conspicuous, so entirely was it separated from surrounding buildings, its nearest neighbor on the east was the dwelling of Col. David Hay, which stood where is now the store of Mount & Craig [at the corner of Main St.], while at the west it looked on the home of Samuel Cafferty, at the extreme west end of [79] Church street. He it was who founded the homestead so long occupied until quite recently by his granddaughter, Miss Annie Kennedy. At the period mentioned, Hamilton street and Pearl street were not yet in existence, they not having been laid out till several years later. A “worm” fence then extended all the way along the road on the north side to Indian Run.


The date of erection of the said dwelling is not positively known, but in the early part of the last century it was occupied for some time by John Bunting, an old-time shoemaker, who carried on the business in an annex that formerly stood on the southerly side of the house.


One of our citizens who owned and resided in the said dwelling in after years was the well-remembered Dr. A. A. Howell, a popular physician of the old school. It was from the doctor’s estate that the late husband of Mrs. Evernham made the purchase of the home. After the change of ownership and previous to his settling down there the house underwent various alterations and improvements at the hands of its new owner, both in its exterior and interior plans, so that the present dwelling is virtually a reconstruction of the one seen in former times.


Mr. Evernham relinquished farming about a score of years ago, and during the remaining days spent a life of retirement. He took an active interest in the welfare of the Methodist Church and was always known as one of its earnest workers.


Other residents of Allentown who held possession of the above mentioned property prior to Dr. Howell were Charles Britton and Redden Leming. The latter was the father of our townsman George V. Leming, and he lived there before his removal to the central portion of Main street.


In the summer season the lawn and surrounding grounds are made attractive by the fine display of blooming plants and flowers so well arranged by Mrs. Evernham, who has given much care and attention to the ornamental portion of the grounds of this old-time mansion.


Reminders of by-gone days are the stately old pines that still grace the eastern lawn and are the admiration of all tree lovers. These large pines are a well-known landmark in this section and are visible a long distance in the country to the westward. Tradition has it that several trees of this species were once to be seen scattered about the grounds in the early days of Allentown. C. H. F[idler]