Historic Significance

TV Show To Focus On Former Moose Lodge Demolition

The former Moose Lodge and Galloway Mansion is in the process of being demolished. The structure will be the focus of two episodes of “Salvage Dawgs” later this year. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Later this year, Jamestown will be the focus of the first two episodes of season 11 of “Salvage Dawgs.”

Earlier this month, segments of the television show were filmed of the Virginia-based business Black Dog Salvage executing the architectural salvage operation of the former Moose Lodge and Galloway Mansion. Last week, Gina Paradis, Chautauqua County Land Bank Corp. executive director, discussed during a regular land bank meeting the events that led to the DIY Network show being in Jamestown.

“We coordinated over a long period of time. It was my hope to provide some national exposure for Jamestown and the (National) Comedy Center,” Paradis told The Post-Journal after the meeting. “We really looked at the architectural items in the original house, the Galloway Mansion. We didn’t want to see those items being sent to the landfill. We knew the market locally wasn’t as great for this type of material as in other parts of the country. We looked at an opportunity to get some national visibility for the city and the comedy center. That is why we decided to go that route.”

Paradis said she invited the crew of “Salvage Dawgs” with her to the National Comedy Center to tour the international attraction that opened in August.

“They spent a couple hours down there, and they were floored by the technology and the interactive experience,” she said. “Before they show the episodes (of “Salvage Dawgs“), they have done three pieces about their stay with us and some of the things they experienced in Jamestown on their Facebook feed. They were really impressed with the city and the comedy center, and their time they spent in Jamestown.”

The “Lady in the Glass Case” memorial of Grace Galloway at Lake View Cemetery has been the focus of several myths that have grown through the generations. P-J photos by Dennis Phillips

Because of the historic significance of the Galloway Mansion, Paradis said she worked with the Fenton History Center prior to Black Dog Salvage arriving in Jamestown.

“We did share a number of items with the Fenton and talked with them about the history of the home,” she said.

The Galloway Mansion was owned by the family of John Galloway, who made his fortune in the Pennsylvania oil business. The site is also famous for its tie to Galloway’s daughter, Grace, a singer who regularly performed at Chautauqua Institution.

Grace died Nov. 2, 1898, in Pittsburgh at the age of 27 due to tuberculosis. Her father, who had seen a monument in a Buffalo cemetery and inspired by its grandeur, commissioned a statue in Grace’s memory. An artist in Pittsburgh used Grace’s last portrait to model a piece of clay, which was then taken to Florence, Italy, where it was carved to life-size scale in Italian marble. The clay statue is still located in Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown.

Myths and lore surround the statue known as “The Lady in the Glass Case.” Speculation ranges from the untimely death of a young bride to the ’50s version of the death on a prom date to the forbidden love between a rich heiress and her chauffeur.

As for the future of the Moose Lodge and Galloway Mansion, Paradis said an asbestos survey is being done so the house can be demolished. She cannot say who purchased the property or what will be done with it in the future. However, she can say that there are plans to redevelop the property.

In other land bank business, Paradis said the board discussed the upcoming county tax foreclosure auction that will happen June 15. She said a new requirement for the land bank is to have a priority list of properties approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature prior to the auction. She added that preparing a list that early is challenging because property owners can reacquire properties right up to the night before the auction. However, she is working with a committee of legislators and County Executive George Borrello to make revisions to the list right up to auction time.

“It is something we will work through this year and, hopefully it will provide more transparency to the legislature and get them more involved in the process,” she said.