105 Main Street: The Raymond Block

hot spot map


Bordwell homestead

George Shearman homestead lot

Joseph Jones' lot

Raymond block

105 Mainhis was the southernmost limit of the great American Hotel fire of 1857, where the brick walls of number 103 stopped its southward spread. Stores did stand on this site before then, however.

It's known from references in deeds to other lots that Alva Clark had a general merchandise store here in 1832, and that J. T. Rugg had a store of the same type here by 1857.

No. 105 is the southernmost of the three-store block built in 1858 by Rugg to replace his burned stores (he had two), and the width of the entire lot was only 46 feet, 2 inches. This is the same building, still with its brick walls intact and its very unusual wooden cornice, now in need of repair and missing its pediment and extensions. Number 105 is 16 feet wide, the largest of the three stores, with two widely-spaced windows on the second floor. The lot was sold by Eben Smith to E. L. Jacobus in 1848. Jacobus was a grocer, and apparently ran this store as such until the 1857 fire razed most of the block. Rugg acquired this and the adjacent property to the north the following year, and built the present building; Rugg's widow Emily sold it to Stephen Raymond in 1860.

The ground-floor facade has changed somewhat, as can be seeRaymond Block about 1860n by comparing the two photographs showing the place as it is today (above) and as it was in the second half of the 19th century(below). Originally 105 had one show window, with the entrance door at the store's north end. The change was made in 1910, when the fronts of 107 and 109 were recessed. The owner of 105 had access to the second floor through the door and stairway between 107 and 109, and this access was protected by an easement after the three stores came into separate ownership in 1890.

In that year, Stephen J. Raymond (the first Stephen Raymond's son) sold 105 to Theodore F. Denniston, who had a bakery and confectionery in it, as did succeeding owners for decades. Denniston's widow Fanny sold the property in 1914 to W. H. Fiero. It was a few years later that the store was taken over by a succession of owners of Greek descent. In 1925 Frank Sikaris and his wife sold it to Eleutherios Manikas, whose estate sold it in 1928 to Peter G. Costes and his wife Winifred.

In 1961 there was a coffee shop at 105, and around 1970 the Open House Bakery, with Beneficial Finance upstairs.

Top: The Raymond Block as it looks today. Except for some minor changes to the ground floor, the whole building is pretty much as it was in 1858 when it was built. No. 5 has always been a little distinct from the other two in the block, even being in separate ownership longer.

Far right: The Raymond Block, probably photographed soon after 1858 when it was built. No. 105 was a grocery store, run by E. L. Jacobus, as can just be made out on the sign under the windows. Jacobus had actually owned the site of the building; it was he who bought the original lot from Eben Smith in 1848 and then sold it to Stephen Raymond. At the time this photograph was taken, however, the building belonged to J. T. Rugg, and Jacobus was presumably renting the store.

People related to this lot and structure:

     David Wagener
Abraham Wagener
     Jonathan Bordwell
     George Shearman
     Eben Smith

Other related structures:

     107 Main Street
     109 Main Street

Related history:

     Before the Storm


Raymond Block

Left: The Raymond Block, taken sometime between 1864 and 1885, probably sometime about the middle of that span. This picture, taken by Dr. Horace Mills, is certainly the best 19th century photograph of this part of Main Street. No. 105 at this time held a store called "Pratt's," which sold cigars and other tobacco products. The block is one of the few Greek Revival commercial structures remaining in Penn Yan, with the grilled "eyebrow windows" above the main unmolded windows with plain stone sills and lintels, and the little shallow pediment with horizontal extensions (which has since been removed) topping the cornice .


Click a button for an overall view of the whole south end of the 100 block.