Lyon-Hatem House - 1905 - Havre de Grace, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 39° 32.356 W 076° 05.391
18S E 406347 N 4377189
One of many historic homes in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
Waymark Code: WM157QY
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 11/02/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 0

Taken from the website, "George Taylor “Tad” Lyon was born in Havre de Grace in 1896 and was living at this address with his family when he was inducted for WWI in September 1918. Promoted to Corporal in January 1919, he served with the 154th Depot Brigade until his honorable discharge on April 11, 1919. The son of Andrew Lincoln Lyon (1865-1942) and Sarah M. Magowan Lyon (1866-1940), Corporal Lyon became the husband of Helen Hopper Lyon (1896-1983). Named after his Uncle, Corporal Tad died in December 1983 in Havre de Grace.

This elegant house, known as the Lyon-Hatem House, sits on the northwest corner of South Washington and Commerce Streets looking across at Tydings Park and the Marina. It has some spectacular trees on the property, including one of the oldest European Copper Beech trees in the state. The home is an Edwardian Four Square built in 1905 with original stone pillars in the front and side yards and a swimming pool west of the house.

Andrew L. Lyon (the Corporal’s father) bought this property in 1905 and most likely built this house. His parents were George Taylor Lyon (1816-1891) and Maria Lyon of Cecil County who purchased these three lots of land in 1866 and had four daughters and two sons. If another home preceded this building it seems possible that Andrew Lyon and his siblings could have been born on this property. Andrew Lyon opened Lyon’s Pharmacy at 328 St. John Street in 1894 and he died in 1942. He and his wife, Sally, had four sons, one of whom they named George Taylor Lyon (1896-1983) after his uncle.

In 1927, Andrew Lyon and his wife Sarah sold the property to William A. Leffler (1876-1961), a bank official and former mayor, and his wife, Vesperina M. Leffler (1884-1941). After Vesperina’s death, William Leffler married Mary Fahey Clark Leffler (1895-1975) in 1943 and they lived in this home. Mary Leffler had been widowed in 1939 when her husband, John N. Clark died.

As can be seen in Citizens Bank v. Leffler, 228 Md. 262, 264-65 (Md. 1962), the Lefflers’ life changed drastically in December 1954 with a discovery by William Leffler’s employer: "Leffler was insolvent and greatly in debt to his employer, the Citizen's National Bank, as a result of embezzlement, misappropriation, and false entries made in its books and records by him for a period of at least twenty years, which was subsequently established to be $94,945.57, the books and records of the bank having been destroyed up to a period of three or four years prior to December 20, 1954, by or under the instructions of Leffler, or at least with his full knowledge and acquiescence. The cause of action resulting from this situation was fraudulently concealed by Leffler until its discovery by the employer bank on or about that date, when he was dismissed from his position as executive vice-president, after being employed by the bank for approximately fifty years."

In 1955, William Leffler (while federal charges were pending against him) and Mary Fahey Clark Leffler sold this home to Dr. Frederick J. Hatem (1927-2011) and his wife, Arianna. Dr. Hatem was an obstetrician in Harford and Cecil Counties for 40 years—and is said to have delivered 10,000 babies including Cal Ripkin Jr. Dr. Gunther D. Hirsch, another former mayor of Havre de Grace, was a colleague and a longtime friend. In the 1960s, when the Hatems wanted to add a family room to this home, they had architect Poldi Hirsch (the wife of Dr. Hirsch) design it for them.

Dr. Hatem, whose parents (the late Joseph T. Hatem and Nasma J. Hatem) owned and operated a general store at the corner of Stokes and Franklin Streets (326 North Stokes Street), was born in Havre de Grace, where he spent most of his life. In 1955 he was elected President of the Harford County Medical Society and in 1956 began his first of eight terms as President and Chief of Medical Staff at Harford Memorial Hospital. Dr. Hatem was active in the community in numerous capacities, including Boy Scout Troop 966 and as a Coach for Havre de Grace Little League. He also served in the US Army during WWII and was a member of the Joseph L. Davis American Legion Post #47 and VFW Post #8126, both in Havre de Grace. Dr. Hatem was the brother of Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack, M.D. and the late Thomas J. Hatem (1925-1985), for whom the current Route 40 bridge was named in 1986. Thomas Hatem served in the Maryland House of Delegates, as Harford County Commissioner, State insurance Commissioner and as a member of the Public Service Commission. Dr. Hatem’s wife, Arianna, passed away at 83 years of age in 2012.

The Hatem heirs sold the property in 2015 to Edward and Karen Garono of Bel Air who are in the real estate business. They spent a year restoring the home and were able to preserve many historical aspects including the inlaid hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, and stained glass. The Poldi Hirsch addition, however, had to be gutted due to damage from a leaking roof. It is now a spectacular kitchen and family room with marble countertops, new cabinets, crystal chandeliers and a La Comue stove from France. They also restored the roof and rebuilt the turret to complement the grand porch. The Garonos have named this house, “The Grey Lady.”

In 2019, the beautiful purple beech tree on the Commerce Street side of the property was declared the Maryland State Champion Purple Beech. The circumference is 18 feet 11 inches; height is 77 feet, and the average crown width is 95 feet.

County Records
3032 sq ft, 4 beds, 2 stories with attic and basement, 2 baths, detached garage, 36,000 sq ft lot."
Year built or dedicated as indicated on the structure or plaque: 1905

Full Inscription (unless noted above):
The Cafe House C. 1905

Website (if available): [Web Link]

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