Knauth - Felseck/High Point related correspondence

The following email correspondence is related to recent inquires about Antonio Knauth's vacation home named 'Felseck'. Information in 'Uhlich-Knauth' letters indicates that Felseck was built in Bolton Landing, NY (on Lake George) in 1896-1897. There are other indications in a letter around 1929 that one of the 2 Knauth homes (Felseck vs their other home in NYC) had to be given up or rented out. It is not currently known what the history of Felseck ownership was beyond 1930. However, the following email correspondence depicts history of Felseck (later/currently called 'High Point') over the last 50 years or so to the present.

 

There are also many references to Felseck in Uhlich-Knauth Letters.

 

Antonio's brother, Percival, also had a vacation home named 'Waldeck', next door to Felseck.

Pictures of Felseck and information regarding Waldeck can be found in the Ancestor - Photo Index under 'F' and 'W'.

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From: Susanne Barrymore

To: Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: March 22, 2008

Subject: Felseck as Hotel

It may be that the impression Felseck later became a  hotel may be because my grandmother, Elsa Knauth, for a while, did run it as sort of a bed and breakfast in the 1940s some time, to bring in some additional income, I assume.  She also knitted some things for sale for customers.  However, 1940s is not exactly "later", so perhaps someone else tried it for a while.  My grandmother died in Feb. 1957, down near Kingston, NY, where my mother and her siblings were able to take care of her.

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From: Susanne Barrymore

To: Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: March 12, 2008

Subject: Re: Knauth Genealogy - Felseck/High Point

What a delight to read the varied input from the many descendants of the Knauth clan.  As I go through it I am reminded of so many things.  I notice interesting variations on the spelling of Felseck, and it occurred to me that some may not know the origin of the name.  Fels is rock, and eck is corner, and for those who know the place, you will remember that the granite behind the house was cut to create more space, creating a "corner in the rock".  Percival's house next door, to the south of Felseck, was Waldeck - corner in the woods.

It was so good to have news of my cousin John Peter Knauth, Jr.  I remember him very well, and can see he remembers my sisters Eva and Alice especially.  In fact, Eva went on to become a professional violist, and also played in the Dallas symphony.  But marrying a doctor who was intent upon getting jobs in remote places, like Afghanistan, Coleville Indian Reservation, doing graduate work at Harvard, working for salt company in Inagua, etc., put a crimp in her professional life.  Alice (known in the family as II) never married, but taught sculpture, and was a very productive sculptor, too, for 35 years at Pomfret School in Connecticut.  JP, as we called him, enjoyed drawing maps of imaginary places, and this I found very interesting and absorbing.  I began drawing my own, and I wonder if this is why even now I thoroughly enjoy following trips on maps, and doing navigation while traveling.

I am amazed that JP remembers the name of the street we took to go to Tante Susy's little retreat.  It went past one of the lime quarries prevalent in the area, which the town of Hurley used as a dump.  Tante Susy was Susanne K. Langer, well known in the field of philosophy of art, Prof. at Columbia and NYU, and elsewhere, author of many books on related subjects.  She was always a very close member of our family being the sister of my mother, and rather dependant on us for "family".

Since Uncle Pete (Johann Peter Knauth Sr.) later married Margaret Elton (known as Maggie) he built a  house up on the Eagle's Nest, farther down the  road than Uncle Louie and Tante Ursula's place.  My understanding is that cousins Elizabeth (Zuzu) and Carl (who had a house next door) may still be there, but I have not any current information.  Marno, the oldest, has a Florida address.

I think the entry asking about the Garten House is from JP, and I'm so glad to know he also has good memories of Felseck.  Sadly, apparently long ago, the Garten House, which I knew as the Studio, as well as the boat house burned.  I feel very fortunate to have salvaged a great number of the pictures from Felseck, and made an album of them.  There are several of the boat house, and at least one of the studio.  

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From: Susanne Barrymore

To: Peter Cossman; Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: February 20, 2008

Subject: Felseck/High Point

 

Peter and Ted,

 

It's such a delight to think that the present owner of Felseck/Highpoint would have an interest in some of the materials we have from my grandparents.  I just pulled out my file and found a number of the obituaries for Antonio, which I can easily copy and snail mail, since Ted expressed an interest in that.  Probably better than my trying to make good scans of them.  We have a canon copy machine where I can make copies of that sort of thing.  The record of the land transfer, which came from my great uncle Percival to Antonio, can be copied, and the pages recording the building of Felseck, which had been cut from a notebook, can be laid out chronologically and copied, which I can quickly do.  Better to snail mail that to Peter.  Should I use the Woodbridge Center Drive address for that?  I'm just reminded, I have a memorial booklet for Percival, and in the beginning of the record of the Knauth, Nachod, Kuhne banking company there is an interesting biography of Franz Theodor Knauth, my great grandfather, the founder of the company.  Is there interest in those?

 

A few years ago Huge Miles Wilson, retired pianist and conductor of Glen's Falls Symphony, who lives in Bolton Landing, got in touch with me to send the wedding pictures of Ursula and also Susanne, at Felseck, which his mother had in an album.  He told me that my grandmother had given him the 9 foot grand which I remember from the living room of the house.  He also said when  he was a youngster growing up in Bolton Landing, he use to play with my older siblings up the play room of the house.  I remember well that room with the huge steamer trunks, filled with wonderful costumes for us to use.

 

There was a bronze plaque with the word Felseck which had been mounted in the rock face behind the house, which ultimately was given to Elizabeth, the daughter of my uncle Peter Knauth.  I think she still lives on the "Eagle's Nest" near Kingston, NY, in the house her father built.  A little farther up the road from her place is the log house that my aunt and uncle, Ursula and Louis, built and lived in.  Have you seen that, Ted?  I was thinking, if it were of interest, if it still exists, perhaps the bronze plaque could be returned to its original home.

 

It is such a pleasure to think there are people who still appreciate my grandparent's place.  As a little child it was heaven to visit, give a cursory kiss to my grandmother, and then run down the hill to the boat house, smell the tar smell of whatever was used to protect the wood, climb in and out of the boats in the slips, watch the sunfish, note the garnet grains on the tops of sand ripples under the water, and as I got older, take the canoes out on the lake, where I might see the big snapping turtles swim underneath.  Up in the woods near the small stream which came down, there was a play house which was my aunt Susanne's.  Once playing in the brook she met a neighbor girl, Helen Sewell, and they became close friends.  Helen grew up to be an illustrator of children's books, and illustrated the first issue of Laura Ingles Wilder's "Little House" books.  my aunt Susanne became a philosopher, published under Susanne K. Langer, and noted for her work in philosophy of art.

 

The album I made of the many pictures from Felseck days shows so much from the early days, I'm sure Peter and family would truly enjoy seeing it.  The idea of copying it is a bit daunting, but as I think about it, albums can be disassembled so each page can be laid flat to copy.  The pages are larger than our standard copy machine, but could be done on a commercial one.  It is something to tackle in the future, in which case several copies should be made at once.  Too many irons in the fire to do that now.

 

Susanne

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From: Peter Cossman

To: Susanne Barrymore; Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: February 14, 2008

Subject: RE: Antonio Knauth and Felseck/High Point

 

Hello Ted and Susanne

 

Thanks for keeping me in the loop of your e-mail exchange. My wife and children started renting from John and Martha Kiessling in 1972. For many years we lived on the first two floors and John and Martha lived on the third floor. We remained tenants in the property until five years ago when John and Martha subdivided the property. They kept half the lake frontage with three cottages that they had built over the years and sold the original house and the cottage at the end of the driveway on 2.6 acres to my wife and me. So, in effect, our family has lived there for over 35 years.

 

Susanne, we would love to see your pictures of Felseck. When we closed our purchase, Martha copied two of them and framed them for us. They are now prominently displayed in the front foyer.

 

The records of expense of construction would be especially interesting. I would be so very happy to pay for any copying you might wish to have done by a professional if your schedule permits. One local Bolton Landing resident told me that the architectural drawings might actually be in the Adirondack Museum and we intend to look into that when the Museum opens for the season.

 

If you or any of your family are ever in Bolton Landing, or know you are coming, we would be delighted to entertain you in your family home.

 

John and Martha are very close friends of ours and I will copy them on this e-mail as they continue to maintain a passion for the property which has meant so much to all of us. Thanks for your continued interest in your family genealogy. I now know more of your family than I do of my own.

 

Pete

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From: Ted Huthsteiner
Sent: February 14, 2008
To:
Susanne  Barrymore
Cc: Tiffany Diamond; Peter Cossman
Subject: Re: Antonio Knauth and Felseck/High Point

 

Hi Susanne,

 

I can relate to the difficulty and effort it takes to share docs and photos that aren't in electronic form. I still have to scan more docs and photos I've received to put on the www.huthsteiner.org web site. Just adding text info I get through email correspondence keeps me busy enough.

 

I cc'd Peter Cossman to share the info you provided below. Maybe he can clarify some of the 'Felseck' history questions you noted.

I also cc'd Tiffany Diamond, another Knauth descendant, who contacted me recently with info and questions about Antonio Knauth's brother Percival (Tiffany's great-great grandfather), 'Waldeck' (Percival's home in Bolton Landing), etc.

 

I let them know that you have been my primary source for Knauth related ancestry/history. I hope we don't burden you too much with requests. If you keep me in the loop, I'll keep adding new Knauth family info to the web site to maximize what relatives can find via the internet.

 

Sincerely,

Ted Huthsteiner

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From: Susanne Barrymore

To: Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: February 09, 2008

Subject: Re: Antonio Knauth and Felseck/High Point

 

Greetings, Ted,

 

Just a quick response to let you know I received your email, and am delighted to think there is someone who might really be interested in the information and pictures I have.  There were such piles of pictures from place I decided to put them in an album, along with whatever annotation I could muster.  As copying such things is becoming easier there might be a way I could get the album copied.  I would love to share what I can with Peter Cossman.  As far as obituaries is concerned, it seems to me in my file there are several, even some in German.  Also I  have some passenger lists from trips they took to Europe, and so on. 

 

Right now I don't have time to pursue this, but if anyone interested gets out to California and has time to visit I could show them all sorts of Knauth memorabilia.  I think I may have mentioned to you that I have the record they kept of expenses while building Felseck. 

 

I'm somewhat puzzled by Cossman saying that they were tenants for 30 years, and now have bought the place.  When we stopped there and took pictures of the  house in 1995 there was no one in the house, and we learned from a neighbor, who was doing his job checking up on these encroaching strangers, that the house was owned by John and Martha Kiessling, who were in Florida at the time, with whom we got in touch.  Because they were very interested in the background I made some copies of pictures and sent them to the Kiesslings.  Through them, Hugh Allen Wilson contacted me about the wedding pictures.  Looking back at my records I'm not sure how much I filled you in about him, since he lives in Bolton Landing.  I'm wondering if Peter Cossman is related to Kiesslings, or if Cossman's family was renting from them. 

 

Enough for now.  This genealogy stuff always seems to take more time than I have at hand!

 

Susanne Barrymore

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From: Ted Huthsteiner

To: Peter Cossman; Susanne Barrymore

Sent: February 06, 2008

Subject: Re: Antonio Knauth and Felseck/High Point

 

Hello Peter,

 

It's exciting to hear about you're association with Felseck/High Point. Thank you for sharing recent pictures. I'm amazed at the variety of correspondence I receive as a result of information found on my genealogy web site (www.huthsteiner.org). Antonio Knauth was my great grandfather. Antonio's daughter (Charlotte Ursula Knauth) married my grandfather (Louis Huthsteiner, Sr.)

 

To my knowledge, Felseck was no longer in the family when I was a child, so I never had the pleasure of visiting it, but I recall references to Felseck by my father and other relatives on occasion. 

 

Per your request for historical pictures/info, I just posted Felseck pictures sent to me by Susanne (Knauth-Dunbar) Barrymore to my web site under 'Ancestor Index - under F', for lack of a more appropriate place to put them. They are linked to high resolution images that you can download, save and print, if you wish.

 

Susanne was my source for letters and transcripts pertinent to the Knauth side of the family. As the Knauth historian, she would be the primary source I would look to for further information pertaining to Felseck history. I cc'd Susanne so she would be aware of our correspondence. I'm sure she would not mind if you were to contact her via her email address.

 

You mentioned a local obituary for Antonio Knauth confirming that he passed away at Felseck. Is this document available on line, through the internet or otherwise ?

 

Sincerely,

Ted Huthsteiner

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From: Peter Cossman

To: Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2008 6:01 PM

Subject: Re: Antonio Knauth

 

Sir

 

It occurred to me that you probably have no knowledge of Felseck other than the brief references in the letters I referred to. Iím attaching a few pictures to give you and idea of what a special place it is and how much it meant to our family. It is so unusual for us to have such gratitude for the effort of someone we never knew. Antonio could never have imagined what his house would mean to others after his passing. By the way, his local obituary confirmed that he did, actually pass away at Felseck.

 

Again, I offer my appreciation for your familyís efforts in making this information available.

 

Best regards

Peter Cossman

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From: Peter Cossman
To: Ted Huthsteiner

Sent: February 03, 2008
Subject: Antonio Knauth

 

Dear Sir.

 

I am so pleased to have found your website and the Uhlich - Knauth letters.

 

My family and I were tenants at High Point, named Felseck by Antonio, for 30 years before we purchased it in rather poor condition five years ago.

 

As we have slowly been restoring it, we often sit by the fireplace on winter evenings or on the porch in the summer months and wonder about the people who made this wonderful place possible.

 

It has been the center of our lives for almost four decades with birthday parties, weddings and many wonderful gatherings of friends and family. We would be most appreciative of obtaining copies of pictures and descriptions of how the original owners lived and hearing of the adventures they must have had during the period of construction.

 

Over the years, two of the Knauth family members have come to see High Point (Felseck) and we have been most pleased to meet them. You do have a most impressive family history and we admire the fortitude and courage Antonio must have had to embark on such a formidable project at a time when Bolton Landing was so remote.

 

Sincerely,

Peter Cossman

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