The original main house that was to become Kevin Guest House stands at 782 Ellicott Street in Buffalo NY and was original constructed in 1869. The land was deeded to a Jacob Fisher and in 1904 the Speyser family purchased the Victorian era home which stayed in the family until sold to the Garvey’s in 1971. Theophil and Ernestine Speyser are pictured here with their children Clara, Louis & Mathilda and hangs inside Kevin Guest House today (gifted by the Beer family) in the original gold color frame that hung in their family home for nearly 70 years.
The Speyser family immigrated from Germany and settled in this part of Buffalo which was nicknamed the Fruit Belt because many of the German families would commonly plant fruit trees. Theophil owned Buffalo Trunk Manufacturing on Cherry Street which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Their youngest daughter Mathilda married Louis Beer in 1914 and after her father passed away, they moved in with her mother to help care for her. Ernestine ordered extensive remodeling that would include a wall to divide the house, one side the mother, the other for the Beer newlyweds. Louis owned Buffalo Leather Goods in downtown Buffalo.
The Speyser Beer family enjoyed decades of family memories even into the 1960s but ultimately sold the house to Cyril & Claudia Garvey in 1971 after the house remained vacant for a few years. The Beer family hosted a family reunion at our 42nd Anniversary Celebration in the healing garden and travelled from all over the country including Rochester, Michigan and even China. We are honored the original property owners continue to support our guests as annual donors & visit when they can.
Here is a photo of the family in the garden in the back in 1906. Then a photo of the house at 782 Ellicott in 1906 where you can see the original porch was much more detailed and the changes to the porch by 1915 in the last photo. Photos courtesy of the Speyser Beer family.