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History of the McIntosh Mansion

NcIntosh Mansion

The photo album is here.

The McIntosh Mansion was built on a tract known in the 19th century as "Bowman's Grove." The grove, originally part of the Bowman farm, was utilized in summer as a public picnic site.

In the roaring twenties, Albert Heck, Spencer's foremost businessman, bought the land and built the mansion. It was completed in 1926. Heck, who had come to Spencer with the R. S. & G. Railroad, was a spectacularly successful wildcatter. He had found and developed the Liverpool oil field.

The mansion and grounds were designed specifically for Heck's family. Each bedroom was built for an individual. A tennis court with adjoining locker room was constructed to satisfy Heck's interest in the game. A large fishing pond was placed on the lowest point of the property. Heck imported exotic tree varieties for planting. He named the place "Sylvanius" – his middle name!

The mansion incorporated the latest technology and many unique architectural features. There was a house-wide buzzer calling system, a root cellar, roof ventilators and much more.

Heck Grave

The great depression hit Albert Heck hard and he was forced to sell his property. The McIntosh family purchased it in 1936. Albert S. Heck is buried in Spencer, WV.

For many years, it was the headquarters of F. F. McIntosh & Son, a nationally prominent purebred Hereford breeder. As many as 200 cattle were kept on this and nearby lands. Large show barns have been replaced by the present site of the Roane General Hospital.

The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and under new ownership; the property has been renamed (restored, acutally, to the name of) Sylvanius.