Historic Structures

Orringh Stone Tavern, Rochester New York

Date added: April 12, 2010 Categories: New York Commercial House Federal Style

The Orringh Stone Tavern, known as the oldest building in this vicinity, is located on the north side of East Avenue, opposite Council Rock Avenue, it is now occupied (1934) by Miss Ellen A. Tolan, whose father John A. Tolan, purchased the property December 17, 1860.

Orringh Stone, the original owner and for whom the Tavern was named, erected the building in 1790, Here he and his family made their home until death took him away on April 2, 1839. The property then reverted to the heirs; his wife and children, in whose custody it continued to remain until 1849.

Transfers were made by Bronson and Elizabeth (Stone) Hatch, to Charles D. and Harriet (Stone) West in 1844, then to Samuel Moore, Henry B. Moore as Referes to the Rochester Bank in 1849, then to Belden R. McAlpine and John W. Dwinelle in 1859, who finally transferred to John P. Tolan, father of the present owner, who purchased the property in 1860 for the consideration of $2467.88.

It was the first tavern erected between Canandaigua, N. Y. and the Falls of the Genesee, now Rochester.

The home sets back from the Avenue about one hundred feet, and until the recent street widening, there was a picket fence at the street line, enclosing the old planting of Locust trees which marked, and surrounded the property.

The Tavern was undoubtedly built at two periods, with several minor alterations to the exterior, which take away from its original charm. The rear wing, of one story and attic is the older. It was of post and plank construction, with clapboards added on the exterior, with an entrance facing the East. This wing, which is now used as the dining room, and since it once was the only room, serving as both living room and kitchen, had a large fireplace on the West side of the room, opposite the entrance. This has long since been closed up and plastered over. A small room was taken off the north end, and divided by a plank partition from the main room. An outside door on the left of the fireplace was used as a rear entrance to the tavern. This now leads into a new kitchen, in the angle, built by Miss Tolan.

There is a cellar with about five foot headroom under both the old and late addition. The walls in some cases are three feet thick, of local stone, rest on porous limestone bedrock, which serves as a floor.

The front section built sometime before 1820, also of post and plank construction is covered with clapboards. The interior partitions are built of vertical plank, and one and one-quarter inches thick, covered with "split lath" and plastered.

The rooms at either side of the center hall, first floor are similar in size and design. The one on the east was undoubtedly the parlor, while the one on the West suggests that it might have been used as the public, or Tap-room, inasmuch as it has a door in its North wall which leads to the old wing alongside of the rear door. The fireplaces in both of these rooms have been closed up and plastered over. The rooms are similarly arranged to those on the first floor, all having fireplaces originally, that in the west room having been closed up, while the one in the east room has been removed entirely, and the room divided.

The exterior finish on the latter addition has been somewhat marred by the repeated building up of siding material over the original frame, so that an points, the siding comes beyond the quained corners. The gable ends still have the original scalloped rake mouldings, the eaves, which were built from solid plank and provided for wooden gutters, have been replaced by new eaves and hanging metal gutters. Nearly all of the quaint double hung sash still have some of the original glazing of the early blown, flattened sheet glass, uneven in thickness, very thin, and of a sea green color.

Among the list of famous personages who have been guests at the Tavern was the Duke of Orleans Louis Philippe, later King of France; General Gilbert du Mortier; Marquis de Lafayette; Joseph Brandt and Captain Charles Williamson.

The Duke of Montpensier and count Beauyalais, brothers of the Duke of Orleans accompanied Louis Philippe and the Marquis from Canandaigua to the Falls of the Genesee.

Orringh Stone Tavern, Rochester New York 1936, FRONT PORCH
1936, FRONT PORCH