SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Two new books are now available in Sharon, both dealing with the city’s most historic homes. Today, we talked with the two authors about the mansions built by steel.
Thursday afternoon, Laura Ackley and Taylor Galaska sat in the parlor of the Buhl Mansion and talked about their new books. Galaska’s is “Grand Homes of the Gilded Age” and Ackley’s is “Built By Steel: Frank and Julia Buhl’s Mansion and Legacy.”
“I would say the definitive information about Buhl Mansion and the things that have made it,” Ackley said.
“We’ve already had to order our second shipment of them,” Galaska said.
Galaska’s book has pictures and histories of 60 to 70 of Sharon’s mansions built from 1850 to 1915, many of which lined East State Street. It started during COVID-19 with a Facebook page dedicated to Sharon’s historic homes.
“They were getting such wide acceptance and I guess a lot of people really liked them that I was starting to get people saying, ‘You should write a book,'” Galaska said.
Among Galaska’s favorites are the Buhl and Bachman mansions, both on East State Street, and the Stevenson Mansion and Perkins Estate which are next to each other at West State Street and North Irvine Avenue.
“I call them the big four. There are four big ones that are very large that are still standing that are really important,” Galaska said.
“So I started doing a bunch of research like 18-19 years ago,” Ackley said.
Ackley has been general manager of the Buhl Mansion Guest House for 25 years, ever since the Winner family bought and renovated it. Her book, too, has pictures — the stained glass window along the staircase, one of the fireplaces and the parlor where she sat for her interview. But her book is not just focused on the Buhls and the house.
“The last probably third of the book is about the Winner family and what they have done in the community in saving this beautiful, historic building,” Ackley said.
“Which is really important to start recognizing what we have and preserving what houses we do still have,” Galaska said.
“Grand Homes of the Gilded Age” sells for $40 while the Buhl book sells for $18. They can be bought online through the Sharon Historical Society or in person at Gifted at Applegate or the Buhl Mansion.