702 St. Mary’s Villa Road
Elmhurst Twp. PA 18444
This magnificent period home was built in 1897 by Colonel U.G. Schoonmaker, developer of Elmhurst. The architect was F.J. Amsden and the grounds were designed by William Webster, a landscape architect from New York who was a student of Frederick Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture and designer of New York City’s Central Park. Colonel Schoonmaker and his wife, Louise Reed, named their lovely home Oak Terrace because of the extensive variety of oak trees planted there. The “oak theme” is also depicted in the handcrafted architectural detail of the woodwork in the grand foyer. Other architectural features include magnificent stonework and maple floors with distinctive oak inlays. Upon the death of his wife, Colonel Schoonmaker sadly sold his beloved home to the Honorable W.L. Connell, former mayor of Scranton. Connell’s eldest daughter’s wedding was held on the grounds in 1908 and was highlighted as the social event of the year.
In 1925, the property was sold, renamed St. Agnes Place and was used as a convent by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary until Marion Convent was completed on the campus of Marywood University.
The estate was bought in the 1950’s by Attorney William Zacharellis who made extensive restorations and renovations to the home and maintained it as his private residence until his death in 2008. His passion for landscaping is reflected in the arboretum style of the grounds and its many unique species and varieties of trees and shrubs. To Attorney Zacharellis, uncle of the current owner, Zacharellis Gardens was his dream and his paradise.
The estate is recognized as one of the most historical and architecturally significant homes in Lackawanna County and is the recipient of the Architectural Award from the North Pocono Cultural Society.