164 85th Street – The Meaders on 85th Street

164 85th Street – The Meaders on 85th Street

Home Description

Construction on the cape cod cottage began in 1950 – originally owned by Stephen W. Meader. He was a talented author who wrote over forty books. Kay Williams has owned the house since 1984.  Kay keeps in touch with the Meader family and connected us to Julie Seder, Stephen Meader’s granddaughter.

Life of the House

Julie shared her family history and memories.

Once the home was completed, my grandparents, Steve and Betty Meader, spent May to October there every year.  Gen 2, the four Meader kids (Steve, Jane, Beef, and Peggy) and their offspring spent weeks there every summer.

In 1962, Betty died, and in 1963 my grandfather married Patience Ludlam, the widow of his college roommate Jesse Ludlam (Jesse and Patience were the parents of Stephen C. Ludlam, for whom American Legion Post 331 was named.) My grandfather passed away in 1977, leaving the cottage to Patience.  Patience’s heirs eventually sold it back to my uncle Beef Meader and his wife Joan, and they rented it out for the summer months until Beef retired.

Once it left the Meader family in 1984, my brother and I (Gen 3s) have rented the cottage every summer since then.  Sometimes together, but primarily separately for over 25 years or so.  I’ve included pics of events and gatherings to illustrate the span of our commitment!  Kay has been such a blessing to our family.  Every year we hold our breath, fearing 164 has been sold, razed, and replaced with a McMansion.  But I can tell Ms. Williams loves it as much as we do, and we were thrilled to see the Historic Home plaque appear on the wall.  The Elementary School Library was named for my Grandfather.  I spoke at the rededication years ago.

Childhood and Other Memories

  • Watching the 4th of July fireworks from the sundeck.  They were launched from the ballpark only 3 blocks away, so the view was awesome.
  • Riding with my Gamma in her yellow Buick convertible to the market.
  • Sitting in my Gampa’s lap while he told me beach stories (see photo in SH centennial book)
  • Endlessly weeding and sweeping stones from the pavement (my summer job).
  • Cocktails for the grown-ups (Quakers) at 4 pm daily.  “Would thee care for a refill of thy martini?”
  • Caroms, word games, and singing Gilbert and Sullivan while doing the dishes
  • Peering down from the balcony while the grown-ups watched TV after we were supposed to be in bed.
  • Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean through the open window at the head of my bed (no AC yet)
  • “Visits” from family members who have passed — always pleasant and welcome.
  • The feeling of being hugged whenever I enter the house.

164 85th street

Stephen W Meader (Steve) in front of the cottage in July, 1954.

The early years

The early years

Steve Meader enjoying the beach at 85th Street

Jim McClelland and sister Julie McClelland

Group photo in wood paneled room :  Gens 2-4  Far left are Beef and Joan Meader.  Middle row, 3rd from left is their son Steve (Gen 3)  My brother Jim and I are on the right couch between our spouses (Gen 3).  Various Gen 4s scattered about the floor.  Circa 2000

Julie (McClelland) Seder and husband Jim Seder in 2007.  Jim Seder died from cancer in 2009, so this was his last trip to the shore.

Springers photo :  The first Gen 5 (my grandson Kyle in the center), and the last visit by Beef and Joan together.  2011

Christmas card: My most treasured Christmas gift this year was from my daughter.  She found this ancient Christmas card in the back of a drawer.  In addition to being an award-winning author and advertising copy writer, my grandfather was also a talented artist.  This was the family Christmas card in 1950!