Sidway Family - LINKS
Ralph Huntington Sidway House
589 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY
TEXT Beneath Illustrations
The text below is excepted from
Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families, by Edward T. Dunn. Pub. by Canisius College Press 2003
Ralph Huntington Sidway was born in Buffalo in 1877, the son of Franklin Sidway and Charlotte Spaulding, the daughter of Buffalo's Civil War congressman, Elbridge Gerry Spaulding.
Ralph attended the Heathcote School and the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He did not attend college, though one brother, Frank Saint John Sidway, graduated from U.B. law in 1894, and another, Clarence, graduated from Cornell with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1897. This difference was of a piece with their subsequent careers.
Ralph's first business concern was to work with his attorney brother Frank to manage the real estate holdings of their family. Ralph and Frank also became officials of Robertson-Cataract Electric which manufactured electrical equipment. Ralph was also president of Lighting Fixture on West Chippewa Street.
In 1908, he married Stephana Barnum. They had one son, Ralph, Jr.
The elder Ralph Sidway was primarily a sportsman. He joined the Buffalo Launch Club in 1902, soon after its inception, and was commodore 1922-1927. His fleet of hydroplane speedboats were all named Arab., and aboard Arab IV he won the speedboat championship of the Great Lakes.
At his death at fifty-two in 1936, it was noted that he had been a good horseman, an excellent marksman, and the owner of a prize winning kennel of English Setters. Sustaining Ralph's lifestyle was solid inherited wealth. A year after his and Stephana's marriage, they moved into a spanking new mansion at #589 Delaware.
The house is substantially built from the basement with walls of hewn rock to the tiled roof.
To enter, one passes beneath a porte cochere through a side door. Mounting a few stairs, one arrives in the library. All first floor rooms are heavily paneled in oak. The broad oaken stairway rising to the second floor is ornate with carved balustrade and newel posts. The ceiling of the living room is beamed. These massive beams are joined to the walls with decorative carved shields adorned with stars and stripes suggestive of our flag.
A great white stone fireplace contrasts with the dark oaken woodwork of the living room. The dining room is done in golden oak, the walls tapestried above the paneling. The pilasters are carved with fruit and flowers.
The bright solarium affords pleasant relief from the more formal room. In Mr. Sidway's day, a den, a veritable sportsman's paradise of hunting trophies, guns, cups won in speedboat races, and photographs of polo players occupied the room that was later used by Dr. Eckel as an office.
Throughout all the rooms of the first floor, design suggestive of the Gothic arch blends with the Tudor architecture. The second floor with its many windows suggests a second solarium. A recreation room occupies most of the third floor, above which is an ample attic. -- Source: Courier Express, September 28, 1952