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(Read more of the history below)
The Phi Delt Mansion
also known as Holland Hall
You can read a story about the September 2017 tour of the Holland House as reported in The Campus newspaper (click here).
While the story notes that the mansion is now owned by an Allegheny alum from New York, it is actually owned by the nonprofit Holland Hall Foundation. A 1966 classmate is the president of this foundation and was instrumental in recent preservation work at Holland Hall.
For historical accuracy please note corrections to the Campus article:
The story identifies "Arthur Clark" and his wife Frances as last owners to live in the mansion before it became the Phi Delt house, however, the correct names are Arthur Clarke (A.C.) Huidekoper and Frances Reynolds Huidekoper. The original house was built between 1806 and 1807 by James White. It was the first brick house to be built in Meadville, and was quite large for its time. It was a very substantial wedding gift that William Reynolds gave to his daughter Frances, when she married A.C. Huidekoper in 1869. The couple resided there comfortably for almost 30 years, until a major expansion of Holland Hall was completed in 1899.
The Campus story described A.C. as "a simple man with a couple of rusty engines and a truck." Actually, A.C. Huidekoper was from the wealthy family of dutchman Harm Jan Huidekoper, who came to Meadville in the late 1700s, and was appointed as agent of the Holland Land Company in 1804. At one time, that company was the largest landowner in the U.S., and owned much of western Pennsylvania and western New York.
A.C. Huidekoper made his fortune by investing in railroads and steamship lines, before his ranching days in the Dakotas. It was in 1884 that A.C. and his partner, Henry Tarbell, started the H-T Ranch in North Dakota. A.C. developed a horse breeding business there and shipped horses east, building a mammoth stock barn along Conneaut Lake. A.C. got into plenty of trouble with the government and with President Theodore Roosevelt, and he was even convicted and fined for fencing in federal land in North Dakota.
To read more of the fascinating story of A.C. Huidekoper's Dakota Ranch and Federal Indictment, click here.
A.C. died at Holland Hall in 1928 and his sons sold the mansion to Allegheny several years later. It was the home of the Phi Delts from the 1930s until the 1990s.
In 1998 A.C. was inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame! He seemed to be quite a legend wherever he went!
On Friday, September 22, the History Department coordinated with the Crawford County Historical Association to lead a group of more than 70 community members, including many History faculty and students, through a local historical site. Holland Hall, the former Huidekoper Mansion (located near campus at 681 Terrace Street) was built in 1899 for Arthur Clarke and Frances Reynolds Huidekoper, daughter of the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum’s William and Julia Reynolds. Dutch Revival in inspiration, the home served the family until the 1930s when, after the owners passed away, their children moved to Conneaut Lake and deeded it to Allegheny College. It served as the Phi Delta Theta House for many years, and now, after a period of private ownership, work is underway to return it to its former beauty. The Department was delighted to have the opportunity to connect the College community with our local history.
The mansion is owned by the nonprofit Holland Hall Foundation. A 1966 classmate is the president of this foundation and was instrumental in recent preservation work at Holland Hall. The foundation is currently pursuing plans to have a restaurant or Bed and Breakfast in the mansion.