In the late 1800s a man named Simeon Bullock Robbins, the son of
early settlers in this area, contracted gold fever. He was not a young
man at the time of the Klondyke Gold Rush, having been born in 1832. He
was, however, one of the few who actually prospered from his trip to the
Yukon Territory. He struck it rich.
Upon his return he purchased a lot on Pine Street, removed the
dwelling already present upon the premises, and built an elegant home.
The house soon acquired the name, indeed the title, of The Miner's
The word Miner's was obviously used because of the source of the
money which built it; the word Cabin was just as obviously employed
because the house in size and elegance could not have been any farther
in the extreme from a cabin.
The house was finished in 1895, and with its parquet floors, curved
windows, balconies, third floor ballroom and grand staircase, immediately became the
grande dame of village houses.
It was here that the society of the town gathered. However, Simeon
his wife Sarah Chandler Robbins had only a few years in which to enjoy
and entertain in their gracious new home. Sarah died in 1902, Simeon in
1905, at the age of 72.
But there is more to the saga of The Miner's Cabin.
In April, 1911, at the age of fifty, Dr. Clarence King and his wife
of twenty five years, Alta S. King, moved to Franklinville and bought
The Miner's Cabin.
Mrs. King was an artist and, as such, a member of the Buffalo
Society of Artist. Her work had on several occasions been accorded a
place of honor in exhibits. Her work in oils had been considered
exceptionally good and she had painted in New York City as well as in
Buffalo. Eventually she came to specialize in China painting, very
fashionable at that time.
Just before the Holidays of 1913 Alta King organized the
Franklinville Women's Exchange in The Miner's Cabin. It was a clearing
house for hand made articles which contributors left with Mrs. King for
sale to people who could afford to buy the carefully constructed and
unusual items as gifts or for their homes.
Eventually, in the natural course of human existence, the Kings
passed away. The house then passed from hand to hand, many of the
subsequent owners being unable to maintain it in the style it deserved.
At one point it was a nursing home. Slowly the house fell into a state
of total disrepair, its appearance not offering a clue of its lofty
In 1971 the Ischua Valley Historical Society purchased the house
and have spent the ensuing years restoring the house to its former
elegance. Today the house, in addition to the rooms in which social
gatherings are held for various purposes, is an archival source for
persons seeking family genealogy or local history.
Do you have more to add to this story? If so, contact Lorraine Sonnenberg Newsome