"PHOEBE " Part II
In 1894 a few years after Joseph F. passed away, the by then famous Knapp Mansion was traded for a house by Riverside Drive in NYC and Phoebe lived in it for a short time. It was located within a block of J. P. and Sylvia's residence on West 77nd St . So she was there right near her son's family along with her 2nd and 3rd very young granchildren, Claire (5) and her husbands namesake Joseph F." Dodi " (2) years . Phoebe's daughter "Netty" and her husband E. C. Wallace had lived next door to the Bedford Ave. Knapp Mansion but by then they were over on 5th Ave. opposite Central Park east. Not sure what prompted the move, but by the end of 1894 Phoebe had moved into the new Hotel Savoy on Central Park South & 5th Av and took an entire suite of rooms .... she even moved her organ in there!
HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL? ....Drop in and see Phoebe, at the Savoy, she will tell you.... PRACTICE! BTW Carnegie is just down the Street 2 Blocks and a block south to 57th .
Emma Thursby 1845-1931 was one of the worlds leading Opera Singers. Emma was a lifelong friend and "discovery" of Phoebe Palmer Knapp. The photograher is none other than Napolean Sarony the lithographer of Sarony & Major who in 1847 hired a young man of 15 named Joseph F. Knapp!
Something always going on at Phoebe's place
She had an entire floor of the Savoy to entertain. But how did the other guest sleep when she cranked up her organ?
Phoebe also was the NY City head of the International Sunshine Society, which did good deeds all through the world. A lot of her inhertance was spread around and just may of planted the seeds in her son J. P.s mind about starting his Knapp Foundation. Phoebe still traveled to Europe with her friends and family but lived in the Savoy up until the spring of 1908 when this ad appeared in the NY Times.
The Savoy On A Rainy Night circa 1900's
"Open The Gates Of The Temple" is a hymn that Phoebe Knapp & Fanny Crosby wrote for Easter. It's probably their second most well known song
This key didn't open the gates that Phoebe & Fanny wrote about in their hymn. But it did open the door to the Poland Spring, Maine Mansion House where she lived for the last month of her life.
I have a very old friend who told me some years ago that he has had the key to the FRONT DOOR OF THE KNAPP MASTIC BEACH MANSION since St. Jude's bailed out of it in the early 1950's.... and if he can ever find it again......it's as good as in my hands!!! NOW THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR!!!
On July 10, 1908 Phoebe Palmer Knapp died at the Poland Springs Mansion House. She was 69. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery with Joseph, Francis, "Netty" her grandson Edward and many other members of her Knapp family. The Palmer family is also buried in Greenwood.
Today her songs play on in hundreds of variations and interpertations throughout the world. Take it from another songwriter that's the best we could hope for.
I think Phoebe's was a life very well lived and frankly without it......well this web site would most likely be very different or not exist at all. I had hoped to close off here with a version of her Open The Gates, but until I find a turntable that plays 78's we will have to settle for one more VERY DIFFERENT version of her "Big One" that I think if Phoebe heard it she just might say, " GENE ..... NOW THAT'S COOL!"
More Links to Learning & Listening About Phoebe Palmer Knapp
"WATCHING FOR PA"
WRITTEN FOR HER THREE CHILDREN MAY BE ONE OF THE FEW SECULAR SONGS SHE EVER PUBLISHED