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James P. Bartle built this imposing "farmhouse" in 1836, when Newark's West Miller Street connected with Palmyra St. (West Union St.) right about where the Tire Spot is today. If the cobblestone house was standing today, the address would be 312 West Miller Street. Known by some as "the old stone heap" it was one of three homes were torn down to build the new Junior-Senior High School in 1939.

James P. Bartle was one of Newark's early merchants and businessmen. He owned canal boats, steamers, and shipped grain on the Erie. He also operated flour mills and was a member of the New York State Assembly, was Newark's first postmaster and Supervisor of the Town of Arcadia.

Mr. Bartle died in 1863 and the cobblestone home changed hands many times.
Harriet Garlock Dobson of Flushing, N.Y. had inherited the property from her father Frank Garlock and rented it for several years. In the middle 1930's local residents and school officials were beginning to search for a suitable place for a new high school. Although only 44 years old, the Washington School on the corner of East Avenue and Church Street was deemed unsafe and memories of the terrible school fire in Lyons in 1922 lingered in their minds.
The only empty land available or suitable was the Bailey lot (former site of Chautauqua tent shows) at the end of East Avenue. Many residents objected to the remote site.

By 1938, time was running out to take advantage of WPA funds for the school and the Board of Education purchased the Bartle cobblestone and two other homes and called in the wrecking ball.
Perkins Park, located to the rear of the properties would serve as the school sports fields.
The old stone heap became a pile of stone, wood and rubble, stately columns and all. The new high school was built, and is now the Kelley Intermediate School.

Note: One of several fireplace mantels still exists at the Newark-Arcadia Museum and is used in many changing exhibits. The circular stairway was deemed an engineering marvel and was saved by Peter Kemper, a descendant of James P. Bartle. He suspended the stairway from the rafters of a shed on the A.C. Bartle Lumber Co. property for safekeeping. Many years later after the Bartle Lumber Co. closed the shed was rented by a local electrical contractor and the unusual stairway placed outside to rot.

Why were circular stairways built? Here is one story that you can believe or discard. Circular stairways were popular in the south as the temperatures were very high in the summer causing folks to leave all the doors and windows open. At night, livestock would wander into the house but would never climb one of these circular stairways! Hmmmm...


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