Musical Weekend at The Oldest House Honors Last Owners
This weekend, July 15-17, The Oldest House will host “In the Mood With the Morrisons,” a weekend devoted to the music and pastimes of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and honoring the last family to live in the House.
Gordon & Katie Morrison
Gordon Morrison was one of the last owners of The Oldest House. He purchased the house in 1947 and lived in it with his wife Kathryn and three children (Frank, Patricia and Elizabeth Jane) until 1954. Gordon died two years later but Kathryn, known as “Katie” lived there until her death in 1965, deeding it to her daughter, Elizabeth Jane and her husband Ben Young in 1964. Following the Young’s tenure in the house, Elizabeth Jane’s sister, Patricia, and her husband Rexford Grose and their children lived in the house until 1973 when it was sold and used as an antique store.
In 1976, the Laceyville Area Oldest House Historical Society purchased the house, and it has been operated as a living museum ever since. As such, the Morrison’s and their children represent the last family to live in the house. They are also credited with making very few renovations to the house and thus preserving its historic qualities despite the modern innovations that were available.
Gordon Morrison was born in 1898 in Cuba, MO. He served in WW I and gained the rank of Corporal. He was awarded the Purple Heart. Following the war he started working for Celotex Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, and was a sales training manager by the end of his career. He and his wife Kathryn (Katie) eventually settled in Laceyville in 1945 and two years later bought the House. Gordon in particular was a fierce lover of music, especially jazz. He and Katie would often have friends over for refreshments and an evening of listening to the latest records. Additionally, Gordon was a semi-professional musician, holding membership in the Sayre Local 645 of the American Federation of Musicians. He and several of his musician friends would get together often in the “keeping room” of the house, on the ground floor, and have jam sessions that made the house’s timbers ring with harmony. Gordon died in 1954 at the age of 58. Katie continued to live in the house until her death in 1965. Both Katie and Gordon are buried in Lacey Street Cemetery.