N. Wise, the "Fruit King," built this house in 1879 on part of
the old Episcopal Church lot, where that building had stood since the 1830s.
The house was originally
built in the Eastlake style, known for its elaborate pierced and carved
woodwork, but much of that was lost when the clapboard was covered with
shingles. A very striking panelled chimney remains on the north side.
St. Mark's Episcopal
Church was built on lots 10 and 11 of the VanPelt subdivision, on land donated
by John Plaisted, an English immigrant.
The congregation split,
as did the Presbyterians and the Methodists, over the abolition of slavery,
but unlikr the others they did not end the schism when the Civil War made
the discussion moot. In the 1860s the part of the congregation that had
seceded raised enough money to begin building a new church. The foundation
was laid in 1870 for what was to be Grace Church on the south corner of
Main Street and Clinton. The congregation finally got back together, but
there was no money for church-building. The church on the corner wasn't
completed until 1879, and it became the house of worship for the reunited
worshippers belonging to the parish of St. Mark.
Meanwhile, the old
church was razed and the lot sold. This house and the one next door at #317
were built on the church lot, and they remain there today.