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Home Explore downtown walking tour final 6-7-19

downtown walking tour final 6-7-19

Published by george.almeter, 2019-06-15 08:25:13

Description: downtown walking tour final 6-7-19


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A Walking tour of Downtown Warsaw’s Historical District Listed on the National Register of Historic Places - 2012 From the Wooden Storefronts of a Stagecoach Town to a Downtown Rendered in Brick Presented by the Warsaw Historical Society 1

Welcome to Downtown Warsaw You are about to walk in our Downtown Warsaw Historical district. Your guide will discuss Warsaw’s 1803 settlement and three later periods of prosperity which made Warsaw what is it today. Warsaw was born in a log cabin in a forest where no white man had stepped before. Elizure Webster had purchased 3,000 acres of the former hunting grounds of the Seneca Indians, then in Genesee County. He saw potential for farming and milling using waterpower from Allen’s Creek, today’s Oatka. Webster’s vision brought hardy New England folks to the frontier. Their work would lay the foundation for three later waves of prosperity. Pioneers began clearing the land, built crude, log cabins followed by simple frame homes, schools, churches and a few storefronts. Life as expected was hard—cash was scarce. More difficult it became when 60 of Warsaw’s men left to fight in the War of 1812 and in 1816 the year without a summer. Rudimentary manufacture of diverse products eventually brought profits to some. Warsaw’s first real growth commenced around 1841. Genesee County was divided with Warsaw named seat of the newly formed Wyoming County. Lawyers, doctors, merchants, blacksmiths and other service providers flocked to the village. Varied businesses opened in new storefronts, homes were moved, remodeled and new homes including the then popular Italianates. 2

Manufacturing grew from hand work to basic machine operations. By 1852, Warsaw had a bank and goods could be shipped by rail. By 1872, two railroads, freight and passenger, gave Warsaw’s industries and residents many advantages. Downtown underwent dramatic change after the Civil War ended in 1865 and disastrous fires. New brick store fronts replaced most frame buildings and in 1878 the Civil War Monument erected. By the late 1870’s, downtown had emerged from the appearance of a western stagecoach town to a village downtown rendered in brick. Discovery of salt brought the second period of prosperity adding more than a 1,000 residents. In1882 refined salt began shipping from 13 area plants. By 1894, Warsaw was said to be the largest producer in the U.S. and boasted the first Salt Bath Sanitarium in the nation. New streets were opened, new homes built or remodeled into trending styles such as the Queen Ann. Unfortunately, the industry collapsed around 1900 caused chiefly by over-production. Salt left its legacy, however. A bustling downtown, skilled workforce and passion remained. The stage had been set for the building of new post-1900 industries which brought Warsaw’s third period of prosperity with some disruptions until the 1940’s. The rising tide of foreign imports and competition resulted in the de-industrialization of Warsaw. We will begin our walk at today’s Dollar Store on South Main across from the Masonic Temple. 3

MAP OF THE WALK  Start at the Masonic Temple  Stop along the way  End at the Methodist Church and Monument End Here North h Start Here 4

SOUTH MAIN, WEST SIDE Where it all began! Masonic Lodge. The cobblestone named the Warsaw Academy opened in 1846. One of several consolidated grade schools, it served high school students in the 1860’s. The Masons acquired the Academy in 1907, recently removing the cupola. A plaque on the large stone on the front yard marks the then exact center of the township and site of Webster’s first log cabin home in 1803. Next door is the 1893-built, First Baptist Church which had taken a stand against slavery in the members’ early wood- frame church. Next is Bud’s Deli formerly the ca. 1843 Hanigan’s Monument Works. Around 1890, Hanigan built the larger structure for a work and showroom. Hanigan’s survives today as Carmichael’s Monuments and is Warsaw’s oldest business at the same location since before 1843. By 1975, many of Warsaw’s land-mark buildings had been razed in the name of progress. 5

SOUTH MAIN, WEST SIDE (Continued) Oddfellow’s Hall razed The 1870’s Oddfellows Hall and Kendall Station were demolished to build today’s Post Office in 1936. Treutleins’ Spotlight Theater is a modern incarnation of the 1903-built Farman Opera House, renamed the Farman Theater. Three other entertainment venues operated on the west side of North Main. Warsaw’s first opera house, the Irving, opened on the third floor of a massive 1870’s brick building on the west side of North Main. Nearby the later short-lived Amusement Palace operated. Condemned, Irving closed soon after the Farman opened in 1903. The Oatka Movie Theater, today’s Rexall Drug opened in 1913 and closed in 1938. Locals today remember when the Farman and elaborate interior backdrops were dismantled in 1948 for reconstruction into a modern movie house. Next door is today’s two-story multi-plex. It was built after a landmark three-story burned to the ground in xxx. Occupancies included the Western New Yorker newspaper, Lawrence’s Undertaking and sales floor for the Warsaw Furniture Company. No one knows what was on the third floor. 6

SOUTH MAIN, EAST SIDE Today’s United Church of Warsaw is composed of two magnificent ca. 1865 brick churches, the Congregational and Presbyterian. Early on both held similar abolitionist ideologies. The Presbyterians had raised the earliest church edifice (1817- 1821) in the region. In 1839, the first Liberty Party, whose sole platform—the complete abolition of slavery, formed at the church. Differences grew over mission-spending in the slave-holding South. Vocal Presbyterians against such spending joined the strident, anti-slavery Congregationalists and in 1841 built their first church adjacent to the 1821-completed Presbyterian. The churches remained separate for the following 140 years until united in xx. Fargo Home. A gas station, now Seven-Eleven replaced the Fargo House in xxx. Branches of the 1803 Fargo settlers had operated for more than a century their first 1840’s grocery, meat and dry goods stores. The Fargo home was one of several built in what would become today’s downtown. With the home gone, only one remains. Inside the Amber Lantern’s facade is a remodeled ca. 1840’s home, a few years later Dr. Bartlett’s Office. The Warsaw Button Company opened in xx at one time employed over xx workers but closed in xx. The factory and several other post-1900 producers greatly fostered Warsaw’s third period prosperity. Let’s go Five Star Bank on North Main. 7

North Main, East Side at Genesee Street At Laurie’s Restaurant Fire ravaged the entire corner building and the 2nd floor of its companion in 1962. CPA Mungillo’s office is in the rebuilt, single-story today. Next door, Laurie’s offers specialities in the quaint eatery on the surviving first floor. The Amber Lantern operates its pub and brewery in a former ca. 1840's home. Next door was the 1840’s Gates and Garrttsee Company which manufatured and sold thousands of cast iron cook stoves across the region. Razed in 1962 for construction of today’s one-story modern, it was then Warsaw’s oldest surviving building. The Bartlett Block housed many business including a grand hotel. Today it adjoins the one-story modern. Both are occupied by Spectrum. Physican Ethan Bartlett, had developed the entire block. The iconic 1870’s three story at the traffic light contained four businesses on the first and second floors with living quarters on the third. Adjoining on the left is Stephano’s Pizzeria, formerly another hotel built at the height of the salt boom ca. 1895. Let’s walk back to Five Star Bank. 8

CORNER of MAIN AND GENESEE These seven beautifully designed buildings were erected after the McElwain Hotel and all other buildings on the Genesee Block burned in xx. The hotel had been built around 1841 by John McElwain ran stagecoaches and worked to secure formation of Wyoming County. The robust economy brought by Warsaw becoming Wyoming County Seat and the Erie Railroad produced fashionable hotels downtown as well as three on the West Hill close to the 1852-built railroad depot. We will now walk back to the Bartlett Block and look across to the west side of North Main. 9

North Main, West Side The west side extends from the traffic light all the way to the Methodist ME Church and adjacent Civil War Monument. Storefronts in groups of five to seven will be discussed. 1868 - 1880 These five stately buildings replaced “rickety wooden” storefronts that burned in Warsaw’s first disastrous fire in 1867. Before Warsaw became Seat, downtown gave the appearance of a western stagecoach town. Wood- frame buildings dominated, some well designed while others were shacks. By 1880 most on both sides of North Main had been replaced by fine brick structures. Wyoming County Bank, renamed Trust Company of Wyoming County now Five Star, established in 1851, owned the corner. The bank, hardware, clothing and shoe stores were also rather quickly rebuilt. Warsaw’s first department store, Glover’s also reopened in its new three-story but replaced in 1916 by the Trust Company of Wyoming County, 10

Mid-block, West Side of North Main Across the street is the main branch of Five Star Bank. It replaced five distressed buildings in 1972-1975: the massive three-story and four other adjoining buildings. A century before, the1870’s three-story with balcony known as the Irving Opera House seated 345 on the third floor. On the first floor, enterprising owners Brininstool and McElwain ran their grocery store offering everything from tomatoes, to fany teas and chocolates. Adjoining were four thriving enterprises including the Wyoming County Times newspaper, Congressman Augustus Frank’s Bank of Warsaw plus the Amusement Palace. 11

Main Street, West Side to the Monument continued The next group goes back to the1870’s through 1913. Next to Five Star bank is the Double Happiness Restaurant, the xx and DiMatteo’s Law Office. The razed Clinton Hotel and adjoining building becoming the bank’s 2nd location sharing with the Oatka Theater. Today, Rexall Drug operates in the remodeled building. Gas Company 12

Main Street, West Side to the Court house (continued) The Ace Hardware and Week’s Funeral Home. Ace evolved from a WT Grant store which replaced the Gridley Hotel in xx. Locals remember with sadness the day a wrecking ball took the 1903-built Gridley down. Weeks Funeral Home occupies two lots once occupied by the Farmers Supply and the first home above. After the Farmers Supply burned in 1938, Weeks bought the lot and demolished the first house for constructing its modern funeral home. The second house was moved. Finally, today’s immense Methodist Church ME replaced its first frame in xxx. The church, Wyoming County Court House, the 1850 Frank Mansion, now Artisan Villa, and 1905 Warsaw Public Library surrounding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The high style buildings, monument as well as homes on East Court and Park Streets were listed on the National Register as the Monument Circle Historical District in zz. 13

Before our walk concludes, we should return to the year 1878 when the Soldiers & Sailors Monument first appeared on North Main. Dedicated during Warsaw’s 1903 Centennial Celebration to the more than 1,500 Wyoming County volunteers who made the ultimate sacriefice to preserve the Union. Today’s Civil War Monument also reflects the county’s strong abolitionist heritage including Warsaw’s remarkable story. In 1833-34, the Warsaw Anti-slavery Society was formed. Five delegates sent to a Utica meeting of the State society returned to grow a stronger voice against slavery. In 1836, the American Citizen, an anti-slavery newspaper first printed in Warsaw. Three years later, the Liberty Party formed in Warsaw’s Presbyterian Church nominating candidates for national offices. Later that year Warsaw’s aboliutionists were mobbed in Batavia while attempting to spread the cause. Seven conductors of the Underground Railroad helped runaway slaves through Warsaw to Canada. Warsaw became known as a hot-bed of abolitionist activity and a reason, many believe, early anti-slavery tensions resulted in the formation of Wyoming County. In 1865, Congressman Augustus Frank co- introduced the 13th amendment which forever abolished slavery in America. 14

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