Eliah Holcomb's plot: 1823


braham Wagener sold the land north of Jonathan Bordwell's 1819 purchase in three pieces: one large one of nine acres; and two house-lot size pieces, all of which are treated here, under the name of the large plot. This was done in 1823:

Abraham Wagener & wife Joanna of Milo to Eliah Holcomb of Benton, Beginning on the East side of Main Street at Joseph Jones' Northwest corner; North 68 degrees 30 minutes East 12 Rods; South 21 degrees 30 minutes East 10 Rods and six tenths of a Rod; South 88 degrees 30 minutes East 33 Rods and eight tenths of a Rod; North 45 minutes East 31 Rods and six tenths of a Rod; North 87 degrees 15 minutes West 49 Rods and eight tenths of a Rod to Robert Shearman's Northeast corner; South 81 degrees 30 minutes West 9 Rods and five tenths of a Rod to Main Street; South 21 degrees 30 minutes East 4 Rods; North 68 degrees 30 minutes East 10 Rods; South 21 degrees 30 minutes East 4 Rods; South 68 degrees 30 minutes West 10 Rods to said street; along it South 21 degrees 30 minutes East 14 Rods and nine tenths of a Rod to the place of Beginning, being 9 acres and 14 perches.

The last mentioned line, the one along Main Street back to Joseph Jones' corner, was nearly 286 feet. One should remember that Court and Jackson (now Linden) Streets had not yet been laid out, so this figure includes the 4 rods (66 feet) allowed for the "public Highway" that became Court Street; and Robert Shearman's northeast corner was the point now at the northeast corner of 307 Main Street, which was the farthest north point of this description.

Holcomb was one of a Benton family who were large land owners during this period (Ebenezer Holcomb owned the Kashong Farm at one time). Cleveland refers to Eliah as a sea captain in his notes on Penn Yan; the only reference to him in the History of Yates County is as the foster-father of the physician Jesse Young, who was "raised in the family of Captain Eliah Holcomb of Benton." For some reason he was transformed in later narratives to an "old English sea-captain;" but there's ample evidence that he was nothing of the kind.

In any case he built a single large structure on part of this plot, a three-story hotel called the Washington House. The lawyers Levi Lyman and Roderick N. Morrison, who were partners, had their office in the Washington House and so advertised in 1825. Holcomb sold off about four acres of his plot to various persons, but the only part on Main Street sold during his time was a strip along the south edge to Joseph Jones, who owned the site of 225 Main Street. Wagener sold the other part of this lot to Jones sometime before 1823, but the deed was never recorded.

The other lot sold directly by Wagener was where 219 Main Street now stands. This was sold to a widow named Elizabeth Chapman, who definitely built a house here and lived in it.

 


The map shows Eliah Holcomb's 1823 purchase (H) of nine acres from Abraham Wagener in yellow. The southern part of 225 Main Street (J) was sold separately by Wagener to Joseph Jones; and the site of 219 Main Street (C) was sold by him directly to the widow Elizabeth Chapman.


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Eliah Holcomb bought about nine acres from Abraham Wagener in 1823; he sold some of it off and built the Washington House hotel on the remainder. Wagener also sold two additional lots to individuals in this block.


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