Linwood Avenue - Table of Contents

Interior - Hazel Surdam House
464 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY

Building permit granted:

Apr 30, 1919 to Sara E. Fish, builder

First resident:

Hazel Surdam


Linwood Local Preservation District

Companion page: Exterior photos

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information

Entry hall

Entry hall wall sconce

Colonial Revival staircase

Colonial Revival balusters

Living room

Rope molding - Living room

Colonial Revival fireplace

Fireplace detail

Fireplace detail

Refinished oak floor

Living room

Sun porch

Dining room/breakfast room

Dining room




Fireplace detail

Fireplace detail

Enclosed back porch

According to city records, 464 Linwood was built in 1919 by Sara E. Fish, one of three single-family homes that she and Frank Fish built on a narrow, double lot, the last undeveloped section of what was then the northern edge of town.  Inside all were given the same layout, but only our house was treated to an enormous gambrel roof in the "Dutch" Colonial style. We do not know who designed the structure, since the original plans have been lost, and but the floor plan and style do not match any of the traditional Colonial Revival designs in plan books available from that period. Frank Fish appears to have just been the builder -- the city directory of that year lists a carpenter by that name living in the Broadway-Filmore district.

The property was first sold to its first owner in the fall of 1919 by a Lucia S. Casa Equia. Hazel Surdam and her husband Lewis lived here from 1920 to 1927.  Hazel was from Brookline, Massachusetts where she had played violin in the Boston Symphony. Once in Buffalo she helped to start the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Garrett Club and Westminster Church.  Lewis was similarly notable. In his 20's, he is credited with helping Naismith to develop the game of basketball and coached one of its first teams.  He then joined F.W. Woolworth‚s in 1905 as a stockboy (age 32), worked his way rapidly up to assistant manager and then head-buyer for Europe. He so impressed the owner that he was promoted to vice president. He established the first five & dime department store on Fifth Ave in NYC, before coming to Buffalo in 1920 to run the local store. He was a member of the Saturn and Buffalo Country Clubs.

The house changed hands again in 1927. Richard Ullman ran a contracting firm headquartered in the Liberty Bank Building, then moved into real estate, before joining the Buffalo Broadcasting Corp., where he working his way up from sales to an executive position. His wife Ruth owned the Savoy Shop on Delaware Ave. The Ullman‚s occupied our house from 1928 to 1945, and during the 1930‚s they employed a Polish maid, Mary Sikore, who lived on the 3rd floor.

In 1945 the house was bought by Elbridge G. Spaulding, Sr., for his daughter-in-law, Helen (Eddy) Spaulding.

Elbridge Jr. was descended from a former Buffalo mayor and the "father of the greenback." Co-owner of Spaulding & Yates, the main colliery in Buffalo, he lived in the large apartment complex at 800 West Ferry.  His son, E.G. Spaulding, Jr., attended Nichols School and then Williams College. After serving in WWII, he worked for his father as a salesman.  He and Helen had two children, Varney and Elbridge Gerry III ("Mike").

When the couple's marriage failed, Spaulding Sr. settled Helen on Linwood, where she lived until she died.  Helen was very active in the community, president of the Frontier Club of Republican Women, but also a member of Planned Parenthood, as well as the Junior Board of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Junior League of Buffalo. She was also on the Women's Committee of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Garrett Club for 67 years. Her daughter Varney (Greene) ran the local history room at the Buffalo Public Library for many years.

We bought our home from Helen‚s estate in 2003, naming it the "Dragonfly" for its green colors and "scale" roof.

- Kellyne Brown and Hugh Jarvis

Special thanks to 2009 owners Kellyne Brown and Hugh Jarvis for their cooperation

Photos and their arrangement © 2009 Chuck LaChiusa
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