OnCell Cellphone/Smartphone Tours - Site 45

45. L. Frank Baum Childhood Home

Roselawn, L. Frank Baum's childhood home, occupied the lot that now contains this defunct skating rink.
Type: Unmarked Location Involved: Baum, L. Frank
Location: 2601 Brewerton Road, Mattydale, Syracuse, NY Cause: Freethought / Atheism / Secular Humanism; Woman's Rights / Suffrage

Baum scholars generally believe that Roselawn, the mansion L. Frank Baum's father bought in 1866 with profits from the oil business, stood in what is now the parking lot of a defunct skating rink. Roselawn was located on the first plank road in the United States, now Brewerton Road / U. S. Route 11.

L. Frank grew up here with many happy childhood memories. With his brother Frank, he produced a family newspaper on a printing press their father purchased for them. The yellowish hemlock wood of the plank road may have been an inspiration for the Yellow Brick Road.

Roselawn was sold at auction in 1880. Later, a successful L. Frank bought it back for his parents. It burned down in 1958.

Roselawn's historic address, 2299 Brewerton Road, ceased to exist following a general realignment of street addresses to improve access for emergency service providers. The current address corresponding to that parking lot is 2601 Brewerton Road. As recently as the 1970s, a former employee recalls that the skating rink at this location, then named Sports-O-Rama, used the 2299 Brewerton Road address.

Thanks to Gary Karpinski, Ray Leonard, and Jeannine Chubon for research assistance.