Thursday, October 26, 2006

Penwood History - September 30, 1953 to Present

Albert and Dorothea Rosenthal Gordon purchased Kenwood from Marjorie and James Kennedy on Labor Day weekend 1953. They renamed it Penwood after the family business, Penfield Mfg. Co., a regional mattress manufacturing company located on Salina Street in Syracuse, New York. The Gordons installed the first telephone service by running a line under Fourth Lake from Cohasset Point. They also rebuilt the main dock, the bridge, and repaired the porches. The first washing machine was installed.

After Albert Gordon's death in 1967, Mrs. Gordon sold Penwood to her daughter and son, Margery G. Burstein and Charles Louis Gordon. Mrs. Burstein in 1981 purchased Mr. Gordon's 1/2 undivided interst as tenant in common after which Mrs. Burstein owned lots 41, 42 and 43 with Mrs. Gordon retaining a life estate in Lot 40. Mrs. Burstein sold two lots from the original parcel, Lot 42 to George Spoll, of West Hartford, Connecticut, who built a home there and named it Pine Bay, after the name of the bay. Lot 43 was sold to Joseph and Josephine Testa of Syracuse, New York, who built a house there called Duck Haven, which thereafter was sold twice to new owners.

The Bursteins replaced the boathouse with a new two slip boathouse, replaced the dirt floors of the basement with concrete, and rebuilt the lean to. They removed the decayed pump house by the bridge and also rebuilt the bridge. The entire porch and stairway up to the house was rebuilt. The porch was significantly enlarged. The screened in porch was enclosed to house a large kitchen. A Smaller screen porch was built where there was formerly an open area on the porch. The back entrance was rebuilt and the back porch was rebuilt. Trees were removed throughout the property. A breakwater was built around most of the main peninsula. The biggest project was replacing the wood bark with cedar shakes after an unusual storm rotted out the south part of the main house. The two upstairs bathrooms were modernized. A clothes dryer was added for the first time. The electrical system was modernized.

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