Tramps Take up Abode in Rich Man's Mansion

January 4, 1908


Two tramps in Philadelphia take up residence in a wealthy family’s closed home, and when they depart steal hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and leave behind damaged property.


Philadelphia -- Living for several weeks in the palatial country home of C.R. Wannemacher, drinking his choice wines, wearing his silk underwear, sleeping in his bed and making free use of the larder and pantry, was the experience of two tramps who, discarded their old clothing, dressed themselves each in one of Mr. Wannemacher’s $89 suits and disappeared.
The Wannemacher family closed their Glenside residence recently, returning to this city. Soon after their departure, neighbors noticed lights at night about the house, but thought that the Wannemachers had returned. Two men were seen moving about the place. Mr. Wannemacher was notified and he went to Glenside. From cellar to garret the home bore the marks of vandalism. Empty wine bottles were scattered from the wine cellar to the garret . In the dining room dishes were broken and the furniture was scratched and cut. Lace and chenille curtains were torn from their fastenings; in fact, the men broke everything that they could not or cared not to carry off.
On the upper floors the men wrought much havoc. They slept in Mr. Wannemacher’s room, used his night clothes and wore his silk underwear. They took a shotgun and a revolver, 12 dress shirts and a quantity of underwear and other clothing when they departed. Before leaving they visited the other rooms and wrecked them. The total value of articles stolen is less than $200, but the damage done exceeds $2,500. The police are of the opinion that the intruders were tramps and will make a general roundup in the hope of catching them.
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Emma Alvarez




“Tramps Take up Abode in Rich Man's Mansion,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2019,