107 Main Street: The Raymond Block

hot spot map


Bordwell homestead

George Shearman homestead lot

Joseph Jones' plot

Raymond block

107 Main Streethis larger part of the Raymond Block (107-109) encompasses a lot that was sold by Eben Smith in 1835 to Israel F. Terrill and Anson C. Gillett, for the handsome sum of $800. Smith reserved to himself the privilege of removing a store already standing on the southern part of this lot, which was only 22 feet 8 inches wide on Main Street. No. 107 is 14 feet, 10 inches wide; so Terrill & Gillett's store lapped over onto the lot now occupied by 109.

A year later, in 1836, the partnership between Terrill and Gillett was terminated; the former, whose residence was by then in Geneva, sold out his entire interest to the latter. The 1841 tax roll shows Gillette as the owner, and the property worth $600; in 1850 the place is specified as a "tin & tailor shop," assessed at $1000. It remained in Gillett's name until after his death soon afterward, when in 1852 his son Edward M. Gillett, of Syracuse, sold the store on the lot to Morris Earle, a Penn Yan tailor. Earle sold out in 1855, to Stephen Raymond of Jerusalem, who sold in 1856 to John T. Rugg of P107 Maainenn Yan. Poor Rugg owned the store in 1857 when it burned to the ground, along with much of the rest of the block.

He proceeded to take out a mortgage to raise money for rebuilding, and in 1858 Rugg's 46-foot-wide group of four vacant store lots was rebuilt as a single building with three narrow storefronts: 109 and 107 are both 14.8 feet wide, and 105 is 16 feet wide. Rugg died soon afterward and his widow sold the whole three-store building back to Stephen Raymond (the mortgagee), whose descendants held it or part of it until at least 1908.  For much of the time 107 was a meat market, shown as such on 1865 and 1876 maps, and again (or actually, still) in the 1894/5 directory, when the business belonged to Leander D. Sprague. It was still a meat market in 1903.

Raymond's will dispersed his extensive property in Penn Yan and Jerusalem to his children. His daughter Anna M. Raymond Agate and his son Stephen J. Raymond acquired what was now called the Raymond Block, and Anna sold her interest to her brother in 1890. He sold no. 105 to Theodore Denniston that same year, and retained nos. 107 and 109.

After their father's death, Stephen J. Raymond's children had joint ownership of the part of the block that contained 107 and 109. These were Emma Raymond Botsford and B. Frank Raymond. The latter kept 107 when their joint ownership ended in 1908. The middle store in the Raymond Block finally passed into other hands, and in 1943 the then-current owners, Spencer E. White and S. Earle Miller sold it to John E. and Laverne C. Calvin, who still owned it at least five years later. By 1961 it was Tilton's Book Store; after that it was Eaton's Groceries and Long's bookstore.

Top: The Raymond Block as it looks today. Just as Nos. 109 and 107 were held by joint owners for much of their history, in 1910 the separate stores were again joined, at least visually, into a single entity. The show windows are separated by a recessed bay, the ceiling of which is supported by two slender cast-iron columns, whose Classical Revival character is quite in keeping with the building's overall Greek Revival style.


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

People related to this lot and structure:

     David Wagener
  Abraham Wagener
  Jonathan Bordwell
     George Shearman
     Eben Smith

Other related structures:

     105 Main Street
     107 Main Street

Related history:

     Before the Storm
     The White City


Above: The Raymond Block as it looked during the blizzard of 1929. Nos. 107 and 109 were separate stores by this time, and the facade much as it is today, with two front doors flanking an upstairs entrance in a single recessed bay between the show windows, and separate awnings. In the picture, 107 is the one without a sign across the second floor, and with its first-floor awning closed. The two stores
both had little hood-like awnings over the upstairs windows, and those are drawn up on 107 as well. The blizzard was in February, so it was months before the stock market crash; on the other hand there had been a rather severe agricultural depression for some years before; it's quite possible the store was vacant.