spring of 1863 Clark Lane started a house for his family. It was a
good time to build, for other than war construction it was a quiet
economic period and labor and material, he recorded, were probably
cheaper than in any future time. It took 11 months from commencement
to completion. After the work was nearly completed, he noted, costs
for labor and material had doubled, tripled and in some instances
was already occupied by the family in early 1864 when Lane returned
from a business trip to New Orleans. The house which is widely regarded
as Hamilton's most unique residential structure was sometimes called
Lane's Folly. The octagonal house, built by master carpenter
and contractor James Elrick, was the Lane family home for more than
11 years. Its doors were always open for every charity and aid society.
The largest entertainment numbered over 300. It was subsequently the
home of a prominent banker and industrialists.