315 Main Street: The J. J. Rosenbury house


reek Revival houses were in most parts of the country becoming somewhat old-fashioned by the 1840s when this one was built. It seems to have been the first one on its lot, which was purchased from the VanPelt subdivision in 1834 by Samuel S. Ellsworth. The latter sold it to Henry Plimton, who sold it in turn, until in 1843 William M. Oliver sold the lot for $275 to Lucy Wilber.

Soon afterward it was purchased by John J. Rosenbury. both Cleveland and Frank Swann thought it was Rosenbury who built the house. He lived there long enough to be shown as the occupant on the 1857, 1865 and 1876 maps of the village. In 1854, however, the occupant is shown as "Rev. Eels." During this period the house was rented as the temporary residence of a number of Presbyterian and Episcopalian clergymen. In 1888 it was sold to Lida Johnson, the wife of H. A. Johnson who is shown as the owner in 1896. The Johnsons owned the house for decades after that: in 1946 it still belonged to the "Lydia Johnson estate."



Above right: 315 Main Street, built about 1843 by Lucy Wilber, who bought the lot in that year from William M. Oliver. The house is a very simple temple-front Greek Revival structure, a fairly old-fashioned style for the 1840s but still going strong in places like Penn Yan. The square pillars are an interesting diversion from the otherwise quite pure original style.

People related to this lot and structure:

     Abraham Wagener
     Meredith Mallory
     William Cornwell
     Samuel S. Ellsworth

Related history:

  Boom Town