The Minotti-Gilmore House

Gilmore house

This imposing structure is one of only two houses left standing on Broad Street  (Leon Sullivan Way). Oddly enough,  they were both funeral homes at one time. This house was built by an immigrant from Italy,  Dominic Minotti.  The home, constructed by 1900, is a two and a half story, brick Classical Revival  style residence,with a columned portico.  That an immigrant could do so well in America is a testament of hard work and why,  people from around the world flocked to the U.S.. It's probably one of the reasons why there were so may Italians in this area.  Leonoros restaurant was just across the street,  and many Italian business and homes were nearby.   Lets take a further look at the history of this house....

Dominic Minotti.

 Daily Mail article from 1925.  Minotti's wife would die about 12 years later and the property became a boarding house for awhile.  In the meantime,  the house was put up for sale....



ENTER HARDEN-GILMORE

Elizabeth Harden Gilmore

Elizabeth Harden Gilmore lived and worked in this house from 1947 until her death in 1986.

It's my understanding the Miss Harden was the very first female mortician in the state.



Harden



MISS HARDEN AND MY FIRST CAR

When I turned 16,  I wanted my own car to drive.  Problem was that as a poor kid, I didnt have much money.  I knew Miss Harden (what we called her) from simply growing up in the area.  I'd see her out all the time and she knew my family.  Somehow, it was brought to her attention that I needed a car.  I received word one day to go over to the funeral home and talk to her.  She told me that she had a car,  a funeral family car, that I could have for $50!   We walked out back where the cars were kept, and there.... looking showroom new... was a 1950 Cadillac Family Car in forest green.   As I recall, the car had around 31 thousand miles on it.

My Caddy
My car looked close to this in body style.  It was really long,  a 4 door with a rear seat area that was so large, it had jump seats in it.   These were fold down seats facing rearward so that the family could sit facing each other.   This car was HUGE, and an early Automatic to boot.  This meant that after you stepped on the gas, you could wind your watch as you got up to speed because you had plenty of time.  Showroom new... $50.  Breaks my heart when I think of it.




caddy

I had the car less than a day when I came to a stoplight and the car died.  I was pretty sure that it was the generator because the car simply died and had no power.  I knew little about cars at the time, especially cars that were the exact same age as I was.  So since I was close to the funeral home (by a matter of feet actually)  I went to Miss Harden and asked for my $50 back. Without question or hesitation she gave me back my money.  I sure wish I had that car today...



Gilmore

 


 
Miss Harden would occasionally stop by  Bernies, my Aunt & Uncles beer joint for a bowl of soup.  It was more a neighbood tavern that sold hotdogs & soups,  and Elizabeth spent some time talking to my grandmother who also worked there.  
 Now,  to finish this up with a mystery.....


Dryden Street

This photo was takem on Court & Dryden Streets at the very start of Urban Renewel.  See this same photo earlier HERE.   You can see the railroad bridges that cross the Elk River on the right.  But look to the left:  See that painting?   Let's blow it up a bit......


Edith Brown

This painting on the wall area of the chimney is of a woman named Edith Brown.   Elizabeth Harden had a sister named Edith Brown and Elizabeth owned several pieces of property on Couth Street.  Was that her sister that someone skilfully painted on the wall?   I would bet money that it is.

The Minotti-Gilmore House is a landmark placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

 

n


Back to index