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The oldest house in the Town of Pittsford


If someone asked, "Where is the oldest house in the town of Pittsford?" how many people would know? Or if asked, "Does Pittsford have a historical district?" - how many people would know?

There is a house set among numerous trees near the heavily traveled corner of Stone, Tobey, and Cricket Hill roads - where those three roads converge. This small, white, cape cod-style home is located near the road, surrounded by several red outbuildings but is probably overlooked by many as they travel that "fast track." The date on one of the barns is 1793, and that is probably a good estimate.

The house has changed some - it has central heating, electricity and indoor plumbing. Other than that, there have been minor updates. The home has had three, perhaps four, owners in its life. The first occupant was Simon Stone II. This was not the Simon Stone, one of the founders of the town, but rather his nephew, Simon, who came here as a lawyer. (Actually, early records list him as a pettifogger," but that description really doesn't fit, since he was an honorable man.) Simon was a farmer as well as so many other early residents of the community. His farm extended from South Main Street down Stone Road to what is now Tobey Road. Simon's neighbors were the Lusks, on Mendon Center Road, the Nyes on what is now Tobey Road, and the Pattersons further south on Mendon Center Road - originally called the Road to Lima.

When the Lusk Farm was sold, the area on the north side on Stone Road was retained as a viewshed in the historic district. This rolling acreage serves as a reminder of how early settlers made a modest living from the land and how they fed their families by raising crops and maintaining feed for their livestock. It is an important part of the settlement in the town with the school, the cemetery, and two very early farmhouses nearby.

The house was originally a four-room home with two bedrooms above. As with many capes, some of the ceilings were sharply slanted. Wide-board plank floors, the prevailing materials of the day, were in every room. The foundation was rubble stone. Windows may have been added later but many are of blown glass; shutters, which actually closed over the windows, were attached. The front door was covered for many years, but when uncovered, a transform window above the sturdy door was found. The staircase and railings are made of beautiful wood and the stairs are surprisingly wide. There was a dirt basement that has now been covered with cement and houses the modern furnace. Two additions to the home include a small study, whose exterior wall is cobblestone, and a screened porch. The outbuildings may have been added in the 20's or 30's and include a pump house, a chicken house, a small barn that serves as a garage, and other barn-type structures.

The house and grounds had fallen into serious disrepair when Dr. and Mrs. Clifford Ford "discovered" the home in the 1950's. They were both lovers of antiques and had been searching for a home they could restore. This was a labor of love and the renovations they made were in keeping with the age of the home, but included the necessities of the day. They both lived in the home until their deaths, when it was bequeathed to the present owner, who is looking for a new person or persons to acquire and become stewards of this important property.

By Audrey M. Johnson, Historian, from notes in the Historian's office.