Who built the home and what did they do?

Paul Arthur Sorg was the son of an affluent resident of Middletown, Ohio. His father, P.J. Sorg, was associated with the American Tobacco Company. The family spent summers in Lakewood in the 1890’s and early part of 1900’s.

Paul Sorg completed this mansion he called “Bide-a-Bit” in 1906. It was designed by an English architect and combined Tudor-style elements with aspects of a Scottish hunting lodge. The carvings of the exceptional interior woodwork include figures from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”.

Paul Sorg died in 1913 and his wife, Jennie, continued to summer in Lakewood until she died in 1929.

Who was Paul Sorg?

Sorg was born on July 22, 1878, in Middletown, Ohio to Paul John Sorg and Susan Jennie Gruver (1854–1930). On June 22, 1904, he married Grayce Aull of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Education

Sorg went to Yale University but left after his freshman year.

Inheritance

In 1900, Sorg inherited $10,000,000 from his father, who died in 1902.[1] He inherited a majority interest in, and was elected president of, the Merchants’ National Bank. At that time, he was the youngest national bank president in the United States.[3]

Residence

Sorg lived at 12 E. 87th Street New York City, where his living quarters included the entire top floor, 22 rooms in total with 8 servants on staff. He also built this house in Lakewood, New York with 180 degree views of Lake Chautauqua.

Horse racing

Sorg frequently competed with, and beat, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt family in horse racing and horse shows. He set world records in many multi-day racing events. In 1910, Paul set a record previously held by Alfred G. Vanderbilt racing from New York City to Atlantic city in record time using over 40 men and 75 horses. Vanderbilt used over 12 drivers to complete the race, whilst Sorg drove most of the distance himself.

Death

Sorg died of heart disease in New York City on May 4, 1913.

History of the home in Lakewood, New York

After Jennie died, John Coe, a local resident, opened the mansion as a tearoom called the Sorg Manor. It continued as a tearoom under the ownership of Edward and Augusta Green in 1950. The new name, The Green Farm, was carried from their previous tearoom in the Stow area. In later years the tearoom was closed and the Greens developed an elegant gift and clothing shop. It was closed in 2000 and sold to private interests.