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Stone's Folly, Topeka, Kansas

View at Kansas Memory

Date: Between 1899 and 1901

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: FK2.S5 T.75.S *4

Unit ID: 216406

Summary: This black and white photograph shows Stone's Folly at 17th and Stone Streets in Topeka, Kansas. Construction on the three-story eighteen room mansion began around 1887 when Erastus R. Stone purchased a thirty acre tract of land west of Washburn College. The castle like structure embodied Stone's vision of the finest mansion in Kansas. Unfortunately, an economic depression and a drought halted construction on the home. Without the financial means to finish the mansion, Stone's castle became know as Stone's Folly and was eventually sold to the American Bible Society of Philadelphia. The home, never occupied by Stone and his family, remained vacant for over a decade until 1900 when the Rev. Charles Fox Parham rented the residence for his Bethel Bible College. From October of 1900 to July of 1901, Parham and his wife Sarah used the home as a gathering place for the teachings of the Pentecostal faith. When their lease on Stone's Folly was not renewed the mansion was sold, on July 20, 1901, to bootlegger Harry Croft who converted the residence into a roadhouse. Tragically, a mysterious fire destroyed the gothic structure on December 6, 1901. Today, there are no remnants of the mansion but the site is the home of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

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Title (Main title): Stone's Folly, Topeka, Kansas


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