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More paintings, drawings and names in the mystery room

The 42 North Portage story continues

May 17, 2017
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Town & Village Historian , Westfield Republican

Well, it seems that the mystery room is of interest to my readers but the Westfield Historian is still hoping that some of these names will trigger some memories and provide some more clues or leads to solving the mystery

Meanwhile, please enjoy the more photos from the Thayer family, and information discovered while researching the "handwriting on the wall."

The second painting, shown with this BeeLines, that was discovered soon after the first painting of Bruce Fishing (see an earlier BeeLines), shows ice skaters on a pond or lake, but this one has no names, and the scene is not recognizable to those who have examined it. Again, if anyone has some suggestions, please contact Marybelle Beigh, Westfield Historian, at or 716-397-9254. Thanks!

Article Photos

Photos courtesy of Connie and Jack Thayer
Above: Drawings and printing on interior wall of Mystery Room at 42 N. Portage including “locked door.” Below: Photo in Mystery Room at 42 N. Portage of second discovered painting showing ice skaters on a pond or lake.

Several photos have been taken of the interior wall of the mystery room, showing the "locked door" and some drawings and signs as mentioned before, one of which is published with this BeeLines. To the right of the door is the beginning of the Lager Beer sign, and to the left of the door, a painting of a man in a top hat, and some large letters.

There are photos of several portrait-like drawings of women's faces, and some showing names, flowers, and even the head of a dog or horse, which will be posted on Westfield Historian Facebook site when this BeeLines is posted there.

As described in the second BeeLines about the mystery room, the name of "Bertha Spencer" appeared on the wall, and was one of the earlier names researched. Using, several census records and a family tree were discovered for Bertha Amelia Spencer who was born in Nebraska in 1890, lived in Wayne, Erie, PA in 1900, lived in Westfield NY in 1910, and was married to James Roger Reid, October 26, 1910.

According to the 1920 Census, Bertha and James lived on the Sherman-Westfield Road and had two children, Edith age 6, and Edwin age 3. In 1930, James and Bertha were living on Campbell Street in Westfield, Edith M. was 16, Edwin C. was 13, and there were two more children - Nina I. age 7, and J. Donald age 5.

New York State Marriages records show that James and Bertha Spencer Reid's daughter, Edith, married Harlow L. Woleben on July 30, 1932. Sadly, Edith Reid Woleben passed away on June 6, 1933, in Jamestown, NY. But apparently, from further census records, Harlow and Edith had a daughter, named Sharon, who appears on the 1940 Census as a granddaughter of James and Bertha Reid, living with them on South Campbell Street in Westfield, and their remaining children, Edwin (22), Nina (17), and Donald (15).

Meanwhile, the 1940 Census also shows Harlow Woleben (28), and wife Margaret (23), living on Terrace Street in Westfield NY, with a nine-month old daughter, Jo-Ann Woleben. (Your Westfield Historian does remember a student at WACS named Jo-Ann Woleben, who was about one or two years older, and the name of Harlow Woleben is also familiar.)

So far there is no clear connection to the Bertha Spencer name researched above, that was discovered, along with several others, on the wall of the mystery room at 42 N. Portage. Although, it is possible that the names and drawings may have been young folks at play while their dads or moms were also "at play" in that place.

And there is one other name, Addie, that so far has escaped any discovery during research! Hmmm..!!!!



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