109 Main Street: The Raymond Block

109 Main Streethe history of the Raymond Block stores is complicated by the fact that before the 1857 fire there were four stores instead of three, and taken together with 111, there were six stores instead of four.

The lot where 109 is now was part of a 66-foot frontage sold to Joseph Jones in 1824 by Abraham H. Bennett (then publisher of the Penn-Yan Democrat, and not coincidentally, the first Yates County Clerk) and Scofield Seeley. The north part of this lot, 36 feet wide, was sold by Jones to James Harris and Samuel Stevens, who built a double store on it that included the land where nos. 111 and 109 stand now. When the partnership split in 1836, the nThe Raymond Block, 1907orth half of the store (that is, no. 111) was quitclaimed by Stevens to Harris. The south part, quitclaimed by Harris to Stevens, eventually became no. 109. Several occupants of this store were mentioned in deeds transferring its more northerly twin. Among these were Harris himself, Martin Kendig and James McVey, the last of whom also owned no. 111 for many years.

There is no deed documenting who Stevens ever sold no. 109 to, unfortunately, but it was John T. Rugg who owned the property in 1857 when the fire razed it, and who afterwards built the building we now call the Raymond block, including no. 109. The 1853 tax roll shows Rugg with a single shop and lot, worth $1000, and in 1856 he paid tax on four stores, worth $4000. His loss, obviously, was significant.

Stephen Raymond acquired the block (now three stores instead of four) in 1860 from Rugg's widow Emily, and it stayed in the Raymond family until 1911 when the first Stephen's granddaughter Emma Raymond Botsford sold her store to Edward M. Scherer. The Scherers were also long-term owners, holding onto their property until at least 1946. A 1961 directory shows Elizabeth Allen's Hat Shop at the address, and in the 1970s it was Curron Florist & Cigars.

hot spot map


Bordwell homestead

George Shearman's homestead

Joseph Jones plot

Raymond block

Top: 109 Main Street in the Raymond Block, as it looks today. It and 107 were in common ownership by the Raymond heirs when the recessed ground-floor facade was built in 1910.

Far right: 109 Main Street and the Raymond Block in the first decade of the 20th century. Nos. 107 and 109 were jointly owned by Emma Botsford and Frank Raymond. No. 105 was separately owned. Notice how the paint job was meant to denote the two stores.

People related to this lot and structure:

     Abraham Wagener
     Jonathan Bordwell
     George Shearman
     Eben Smith
Stephen Raymond

Other related structures:

     107 Main Street
  105 Main Street

Related sites:

     111 Main Street

Related history:

     Before the Storm


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