Historic Structures

Samuel Gilbert Hathaway House (Hathaway Hall), Solon New York

Date added: February 11, 2010 Categories: New York House

Samuel Gilbert Hathaway (originally Hatheway) came to this area in 1808 at age 28. In 1810, he was made Justice of the Peace. From 1814-1818, he was a State senator and in 1832, became a United States congressman. In 1823, he had been commissioned a Major General. Two Presidents, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, are known to have visited the mansion. There is a family cemetery on the hill back of the Hall, originally walled with the same stone as that used for the house.

Central hall plan, two stories, plus attic, plus a wooden kitchen wing at the rear. Native stone walls 18" thick, planked inside with rough pieces of sawed timber, later plastered. Four chimneys; attic beams 12" x 12" joined with wooden pegs; floors of double parlors of wide pine boards, others of alternating maple and cherry. First floor rooms are 12' high, second floor 10'. A full attic is ample for a ballroom. Interior walls were finished in marble dust. Mrs. Edwin Bickford Sr. explains that the marble dust was mixed in the plaster and so skillfully applied that the walls are remarkably smooth, fine textured and very hard. Trim is ashwood. Water was brought 1 1/2 miles from a spring by wooden pipes. The house was heated by stoves and fireplaces.

In 1857, a sunroom was added to the east side, adjacent to the sitting room. In 1866, the wooden kitchen wing was removed and a stone wing matching the rest of the house, and doubling the size of the house, replaced it. Four more chimneys were added. In 1959-1960, Mr. Robert Hall restored the interior, and later added a terrace room, adjoining the north wall of the house and west wall of the 1866 addition. The house now has 25 rooms.

Occupants/Owners

  • 1844-1867 Samuel Gilbert Hathaway, builder and owner until his death.
  • 1867-1908 Elizabeth Hathaway, daughter of Samuel Gilbert Hathaway, until her death in 1908.
  • 1908-1920 A caretaker.
  • 1920-1956 Edwin Blake Bickford, great grandson of Samuel Gilbert Hathaway, had it until his death in 1956.
  • 1956-1958 Edwin Blake Bickford, Jr., son of Edwin Blake Bickford, inherited the property. It was held in joint trust by descendents until cleared to be sold.
  • 1958-1969 Mr. Robert Hall purchased the property and ran an inn and restaurant in it.
  • 1969-1972 House unoccupied because of proceedings by the County against Robert Hall.
  • 1972 Frank Tinelli purchased property and with his father and brother have redecorated some rooms and plan an expansion on the rear.