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Bertram Theis House

Cochecton Turnpike, Tyler Hill This house was built in the early 1900's. Irving and Hattie Peck purchased sixty perches from William Smith in 1909 for six hundred dollars. The Pecks sold the property in 1918 to a newly-wed couple, Bertram and Hattie Theis. Bertram was a carpenter by trade and delivered mail in the early years with a horse and buggy. After Bertram Theis died, his widow sold the house to James McLaughlin in 1964. It had been the Theis homestead for forty-six years. John Riefler, Jr. and his wife Mary purchased the property from Helen Barlow in 1979. Mr. Riefler passed away in 2006. His father, John Riefler, Sr., was a former Honesdale mayor. His uncle, Edward (Ted) Riefler, was a Wayne County sheriff from 1944 until 1955. In the 1930s, during Gov. Gifford Pinchot's administration, two hundred miles of rural dirt roads were replaced with hard-surfaced roads. One of those roads goes in front of this house. Some early Tyler Hill settlers, including the Theis, Welsch, Lord, Diehl, and Fortnam families, lived along this road. Tyler Hill was a vacation area, and it was common for property owners to rent rooms to vacationers. The first Wayne County summer camp for children opened in Tyler Hill in 1909. This one and one-half story Folk-Victorian house has many of its original features, including the front porch. In 1981 Mr. and Mrs. Riefler hired William Adams, an interior decorator from Hawley. to make extensive renovations to the interior. This included the kitchen, staircase, bedroom, and bathrooms. A bay window on the upper side was removed, and a fireplace was added to the area. A focal point of the house is the front dormer with elongated windows.

Text by Marge Hook and Gloria McCullough

Line Drawing by William Amptman

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.