Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Western New York Village

John, of "Going Gently" http://disasterfilm.blogspot.com/ challenged me a few days ago to show you what my village looked like.  Yesterday, I was going stir-crazy after being house bound due to practically incessant rain.  The rain finally ended and I decided that, instead of doing a trail walk, I would take a walk around the village of Webster.

I don't live in the Village, but it's been a part of my life.  When I was a kid, I remember going into Witmer's Dry Goods Store, with it's slightly musty smell and wooden floors.  That's gone now.  We had a locker in the Cold Storage building, and it used to be so much fun to get out the winter coat and head over there with a load of garden vegetables that Mom had prepared for freezing.  That building is now a public storage building, no freezing temperatures any more.  Mason's, where our coal came from is gone.  And, that bastion of my teen-aged years - The Candy Kitchen - the best malt shop around -  burned in a fire and was never rebuilt.

It's a very ordinary village.  It wasn't incorporated until 1905.  Before that, it was part of the town of Penfield.  So there are no ancient buildings there.  It's not exactly a thriving village, but looks kind of tired and run down.  It's just a very typical Western New York Village.

The bars and the funeral home seem to be the only businesses that are really thriving these days.

We do have our own museum, though.  It appears, from the number of cars in the parking lot, to be doing a booming business.  Another day, I'll have to take a tour, and see what there is to see.
I walked down some of the residential streets.  Here, things looked a little brighter.  The houses are mainly Victorian, and many of them have been restored to their "Painted Lady" status.  No more dull white or grey for these girls.  They are once again shining in all of their gaudy glory.



I walked past the town's first High School.  My Dad went there when it was practically brand new.  Now, it's an apartment building.  It looks pretty well kept, though.

Next, I went past the Webster Baptist Church.  Sadly, it's lovely stained glass windows are covered, and it looks like it could use a good refurbishing, though the peeling paint of the tower doesn't show in this picture.

I guess it's still a better fate than that of this church, which used to be a Methodist Church if I remember correctly.  Now, it's a rather tacky mall building.
Western New York is home to a unique type of building known as cobblestone.  It flourished in this area between around 1825 to the start of the Civil War, in the 1860's.  There are a few of these building in other parts of the country, and in Canada, as builders migrated to the areas, but, 95% of the buildings of this type are in Western New York.  The Village of Webster has two of them.

This building was a church, and is now an auto supply business. In the closeup of the marker, you can see the rows of small stones set in morter, that make this such a unique style.  I can just imagine the work it must have taken to get those rows so straight.

Right next door to it is The Dean House, another fine example of this style of building.  You can see the brick corner quions in the second picture.


And, that's the Village.  It took me a little over an hour to make the tour.  John, I want to thank you for giving me this challenge.  You made it possible for me to really stop, and take a look at this place.  I learned things I never knew about the area where I have spent my entire life.

17 comments:

Sharon said...

Hi Louise, I enjoyed the tour too! Don't believe I have ever seen a cobblestone building! If I did, it didn't register in my mind. It looks like a nice, well kept little town!

Woodswalker said...

Thanks for the tour. You make your little town look quite charming, with its lovely old buildings and tidy lawns.

Jabacue said...

Louise, this was great! Thanks so much....for listening to John!!!lol
Webster reminds me of the town of Wolfville here in Nova Scotia......with all the history. Very nice good.
Jim

Madi and Mom said...

OH MY GOODNESS what a beautiful little town....
Upstate NY has so many of these hidden jewels.

Maybe when I retire (4/1/11) we'll head up for a visit.

Madi also uses her voice to wake us and it is not her inside voice!!!
Madi and Mom

Lori Skoog said...

A great challenge indeed! I would love to see where all of my blogger friends hang out.

Judith said...

I loved this post! A really interesting tour, especially from so far away. You have inspired me to do the same thing for my little country village. "The bars and the funeral home seem to be the only businesses that are really thriving these days." - that made me laugh!

Tina said...

So beautiful and quaint.

Terry said...

I loved the tour! Very cool! I enjoy historical buildings, and I've never seen the cobblestone construction before. Thanks!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Very pretty! My lady has only been in Webster village once. I like the cobblestone houses...maybe I can have one built for me!?

Wishing for my turn said...

thank you for the tour...Webster village is wonderful...thanks for taking time out of your day to show it to us!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I'm with everyone else--THANKS for the tour and showing us around your neck of the woods in the comfort of our own homes! :-)

Thank-you for your very kind comment about Sam--No change this evening and no tail wag...

Upupaepops said...

Louise that is great. I had to chuckle because we, too had a freezer locker at the butchers.

I can still remember the smell of the room.. that cold crisp smell of cold.

It was in Columbia City, a neighborhood about 10 miles away. I remember that many of the storfront then ( and still do) resemble this village. Same era and feel.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Found you through Vicki Lane's post about pronouncing words. And I live just off Denise Rd, pronounced as "nice". LOL! Fun to find another blogger in the Rochester area! Look forward to visiting your site again...

Rick

AJ-OAKS said...

What a fun walk with you today. Love the old buildings. And the craftmanship is magnificent. Have always wanted to live in a real Victorian. Maybe one day. It does look very quiet there. Thanks for the tour and history.

Vicki Lane said...

What a nice tour! It looks like a pleasant place. And i love learning about the cobblestone buildings. The house is especially good looking.

Sandra said...

What an enchanting village! Thanks for the great tour. We often don't SEE our hometowns or villages and they seem pretty ordinary or even boring to us when they really are not.

barefootheart said...

I enjoyed the tour too, Louise. The cobblestone building style is new to me, very interesting. The plaques suggest people take pride in their history.