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Somerset County Then and Now

Then and Now

107 West Patriot Street

107 West Patriot Street


Address: 107 West Patriot Street
Built: 1894
Builder: Elias Cunningham
Previously: Home of Francis E Weimer
Owners: James McKelvey
Extant: Yes

James M McKelvey was born on a farm in Indiana County, Pennsylvania in 1851. The farm life didn't appeal to him and by the age of 18 he was working in a rolling mill in Cambria County. He married and in 1878 he moved to Somerset to work in the charcoal business. He inherited a charcoal business from his father-in-law and built it into a vast business which included lumber, real estate and finance. In April of 1893, for $2,800, he purchased the home of Francis E Weimer, a blacksmith and son of Frederick Weimer, pioneer blacksmith of Somerset and patriarch of the well known blacksmithing family. It was a fire in Mr. Weimer's stable which caused the Great Fire of 1872. Construction of Mr. McKelvey's house began in 1894 and in October of that year the family took occupancy. The move was nearly aborted due to a fire in McKelvey's stable next door only a week before the move. The saving of the house was attributed at the time to the new city water supply. The contractor of the house was Elias Cunningham who also owned a building supply company in Somerset located on Pleasant Avenue across from the train depot. The house is a 3 story Victorian with an exterior of cream fire brick with maroon mortar. The original slated roof is still intact. The interior has red oak and pine woodwork. It was considered to be very modern at the time by being completely wired for electricity and water and heated with a hot water boiler. Mr. McKelvey died in 1917 and since that time the house has been used as a private home and several doctors offices, most recently by Dr. Iraj Shariat who has had the house on the market since 2017.