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Celebrating the history of doctors in Pittsford


There have been a number of doctors in the community of Pittsford and for the next few articles, I shale concentrating on their stories. This article will focus on Dr. Hartwell Carver, a very colorful character.

Dr. Hartwell Carver was a descendant of John Carver of Mayflower and Plymouth fame. Hartwell was born in Rhode Island in 1789 but his family moved to New York State when he was five years old. He attended Hamilton College in 1813 and was graduated from Harvard Medical School and came to Pittsford that year. A former historian says that he lived, for a short time, on West Jefferson Road.

This old place was razed when James Gillis built the large home at No. 65 where C.L. Whiting lived for many years. In June of 1828, Dr. Carver purchased an acre of land from David Sutherland on Monroe Avenue and built the striking Gothic revival home that is currently there at No. 41. This home was a remarkable change from the Greek Revivals and the Colonial revivals found in this village. He had seen this style in New York City, copied the architecture and built the house of bricks, which were immediately covered with board and batten siding.

Dr. Carver practiced medicine for over 50 years, but was often away for extended periods. He traveled to Europe and England and studied medicine in those places. He became enamored with the railroads in those places and in other parts of this country. Dr. Carver had a dream about connecting the west coast and spent considerable sums and effort trying to make this dream a reality in the form of a transcontinental railroad. After many years and considerable effort by thousands of people, the dream did become a reality and Dr. Carver was present at and participated in driving the golden spike at Provo, Utah.

Dr. Carver died in 1875, and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. It is said that he has the tallest monument in that cemetery which was paid for by the grateful Union and Pacific Railroad.