houses can be quite plain or very rich in detail, depending on the taste
of the builder and on the time in which they were built. This one is very
rich indeed, a beautiful example of the woodworker's art.
The lot was sold by
Wagener in 1824 to Abraham H. Bennett, who was publisher and editor of the
Penn-Yan Democrat, the first of the village's newspapers. Bennett
bought a double lot, 8 rods (132 feet) wide. He sold a piece of it, the
northern half, to David G. Caywood in 1825. Caywood lost the property to
a Sheriff's execution in 1827, and the entire lot was again Bennett's. Sometime
later the lot was again split, and by 1844 Bennett only retained the southern
part of the lot; the north half was sold to Elisha Hopkins in that year
and is the lot where #210 now stands.
It is known that Bennett
built a house and lived here, and even printed off his newspaper in an upstairs
room for a while. The present house is actually the same building, but so
altered in 1873 as to look now so completely different it's hard to imagine
the place with any other appearance. It was one of Myron Hamlin's sons,
Charles A. Hamlin, who made the alterations that so transformed his house.
He bought it in 1863 from Fanny Robbins, widow of Samuel Robbins.
Hamlin held onto the
house for 15 years, selling it in 1878 to another representative of the
village's mercantile class, George H. Lapham. It is often nowadays called
"the Lapham house," though as far as can be ascertained Lapham
did not contribute any more to the appearance of the house. He did live
there however for quite a long time.
John T. Andrews 2nd
bought the place from the Laphams soon after the turn of the century, and
sold it in 1913 to his son Charles T. Andrews. It only passed out of the
family's hands in 1965 when it was sold by Charles Andrews' widow Edith
to John J. Cahill. After the Historic District was established in 1985 the
house and its carriage house in the rear were renovated and restored. It's
worth comparing it with 328 Main Street which is identical but has never
been painted to show off the decoration.