of the young village's commercial district, this lot was originally occupied
by Morris F. Sheppard's "yellow house." Cleveland, writing in
1874, thought the old house was burned in "the conflagration that swept
the Brooks Block," which took place in the summer of 1846. In any case,
there isn't much evidence to show that there was anything at all on this
lot until the house that stands there now was built.
Cleveland thought the
house was built by James Cooley. He might have done, but Henry Hubbard is
shown living there on the 1857 map of the village, and Hubbard sold it to
Cooley's wife Elizabeth in 1859. The lot was part of the land sold by Morris
F. Sheppard to Abner Pierce in 1805; Pierce sold part of his land and lost
the rest to creditors. In 1824 Sheppard got the land back from A.P. Vosburgh,
who acquired it in court. The deed states that Sheppard was already living
there, presumably in the "yellow house."
Cooley is shown as
the owner on the 1865 map, but within a year or two it had passed out of
his ownership and into that of the Bowers family, where it remained until
1915. It was presumably Edmund Bowers, who acquired it in 1868, who undertook
the renovations that transformed a rather late Greek Revival structure into
an early and elegant example of Italianate style. Its present day appearance
owes much to a further set of renovations that were done in 1916 by John
C. Fox, only a year after he bought it from the Bowers heirs.