c. 1820 – West Edmeston, NY

Added to OHD on 6/6/17   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   26 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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2398 Beaver Creek Rd, West Edmeston, NY 13485

  • $89,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 3368 Sq Ft
  • 1.32 Ac.
This historic home has belonged to this family for 75 years! It had been home to visits to Civic leader Calvin Whitford and his family, by people like Gerrit Smith and Fredrick Douglas. On the Madison County Architectural Heritage Trail,is full of period pieces, and history! Wide plank floors, ornate cast iron steam radiators, and an upstairs Victorian Parlor are just a few of the unique aspects of this lovely home. The house was painted in 2014, and a new mansard roof with insulation was built. The interior needs a loving hand to bring it back to its glory days. This wonderful home would fit a family who wishes to begin to make its own history! or it could be an historical museum/point of interest, or a perfect Bed and Breakfast! Within walking distance of town center, Madison County fairground, state lands & horsetrails and hiking systems. A Must See!!!
Contact Information
Ellen Murray, Suzanne L. Martin Real Estate,
(315) 824-2203

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26 Comments on c. 1820 – West Edmeston, NY

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11886 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Address also shows up as Brookfield, NY.

  2. Lindsay G says: 531 comments

    Holy national geographics Batman!

  3. Doreen Moore says: 234 comments

    The date seems WAYYYY off, even if they just did the Mansard in 2014. I have always thought Empire houses were just Italianate homes that someone wanted to “modernize” with a Mansard (I know that’s not the case, but you have to admit it rates merit!). If this one is REALLY 1820’s, it’s been remuddled beyond recognition. I would say more like 1870’s.

    The side ell is probably the oldest part, and it looks 1845-1850 Greek Revival.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 938 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      The back portion could date to the late 1820’s. I’m sure someone can find more info on this. 🙂

      • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Yes, there is an older rear section.
        Brookfield is a wonderful little place. The Whitfords were Seventh Day Baptists from Rhode Island originally. They came here in 1794 and were prominent throughout the 1800’s, do-gooders all. Calvin Whitford was a farmer and produce broker, and founded a small bank here. He was a well known abolitionist and temperance activist.

        Kelly, if you haven’t seen it, check out the sad old Italianate across the road.

        Madison County Architectural Heritage Trail
        Babcock/Whitford House
        2398 Beaver Creek Rd., Brookfield
        This handsome, Second Empire style house in the Town of Brookfield, with its bracketed cornices, projecting entry bay on large brackets and mansard roof—is an architectural match with its important history. Oliver Babcock, the town founder, built the original rear section about 1820. Calvin Whitford bought the house in 1850 and added the five-bay front portion. Whitford was an active Abolitionist, and his house served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. In the 1870s the third floor within the mansard roof was added along with the Italianate brackets and the larger-paned two-over-two window sash.

        • RosewaterRosewater says: 6728 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          Well that certainly explains the beyond curious proportions of this house; so very at odds with the style generally.

      • Cynthia Lambert says: 22 comments

        Agreed. The original home is in the back, and dates from the 1820s. Later, they enlarged it a great deal with the Mansard addition. I wonder what the Mansard looked like before the redo? It was Mansard before, one can tell, by the upstairs windows. But the curvature isn’t right. It would take a special roofer to know how to treat it, and this one wasn’t that special, I am afraid. And the shingles are all wrong. Still, it has potential.

        • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Cynthia, I’ll agree that it’s not the most graceful roof, but it may have been that way from the start, with the original upper cornice still in place. I doubt an architect was involved, and not all builders back then had the skill to make it elegant, especially as an addition to an existing Italianate. I’ve seen mansard profiles that are straight, concave and convex – most in Paris are straight!

          • Donald C. Carleton, Jr. says: 268 comments

            Totally agree with you on the roof, Jim H.

            I don’t think there’s any question that the mansard is authentic to the cited 1870’s date of its addition. The roof may have its awkwardness in terms of proportions, but to me it looks way too “real”–as an 19th-century American provincial interpretation of the form–to be some sort of recent add-on.

            By “new mansard roof with insulation” the Realtor must have meant a new roof surface with insulation, possibly a job involving re-framing. The interpretation that some readers are having that more extensive (re-)structural work was involved simply stems, I think, from infelicitous phrasing on the real estate blurb writer’s part…

    • CharlestonJohn says: 1091 comments

      There were three periods of construction during the 19th century according to historical records. The rear section is circa 1820 by the founder of the town, Oliver Babcock. The front section was added in the 1850s by a Calvin Whitford and was likely in the Greek Revival style popular at the time. Sometime in the 1870’s the house was remodeled in the Second Empire style, which explains the mansard, roof brackets, etc. that we see today. The listing refers to the roof being repaired/ replaced in 2014, not that they decided to add the Mansard at that time.

      • Cathy F. says: 2192 comments

        Ohhh, so then hence Babcock Hill Rd, a few miles NE of this house? (I’m in Utica, but am a transplant – albeit long ago – to this area.)

      • Rosalie C Keith says: 1 comments

        OK, all of you relax! People often don’t consult “experts” when redesigning their buildings. They do what strikes them as pretty or regal or useful or whatever they can afford.The house is important because of the people who lived there. “a Calvin Whitford” doesn’t rate a citation. Mr Whitford was a farmer, then a banker in Brookfield ( his safe is still in the house ), he built onto this house as he wanted and as his family grew. He was a noted Abolitionist (“noted” except in your limited knowledge), and this house , according to other histories, was visited by Gerritt Smith, and Frederick Douglass, who also spoke at the Brookfield, Madison County Fair Oct 6, 1856. By all your critiques, it should be razed for not conforming to your concepts of “periods” and styles. WTF cares? Some of the furniture in it was built IN the house by Brookfield carpenters and furniture makers and remains there today. The house, until 8/13/2018, remained in the Whitford family since 1850. THAT is the value of this building. I believe it’s worthy of stabilization and I hope you’ll visit some day in the next few years after I have had the work done!

        • JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Congratulations and good luck with the house!

          I think you misinterpreted the comments. We appreciate the architecture and history of the house – that’s why Kelly posted it here on OHD and why so many of us admired it and remarked about it. The observations about the construction of the house are objective, and the history posted is true.
          There’s simply no reason for your snarky rejoinder. We’re on your side when it comes to preserving and restoring old houses!

  4. Jeff Myers says: 67 comments

    Now that’s a real farm home.

  5. JimHJimH says: 5105 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The DeRuyter Gleaner, Thursday, November 6, 1930:
    Mrs. Whitford, 97, Dies in Brookfield

    Known as the second oldest resident of Madison County and one of the foremost in the community of Brookfield, Mrs. Emeline Burch Whitford, 97, died Sunday at her home. She was born March 27, 1833, daughter of Nathan Burch and Temperance Brown. She married Calvin Whitford Sept. 26, 1854. Twins were born to them. One, Dr. Edward E. Whitford, is now a professor of mathematics in City College of New York, while the other son, William, now deceased, was professor of Hebrew and Greek at Alfred University. A daughter, Angelette, died in 1869. One grandson and four great-grandchildren survive. Funeral services were conducted Tuesday afternoon from the Brookfield Seventh Day Baptist Church, the Rev. Herbert L. Polan officiating. Mrs. Whitford was a student at the old DeRuyter Institute in 1847.


  6. Laura says: 20 comments

    I would love to get my hands on this beautiful project! Love that spinning wheel❤️

  7. SadieSadie says: 46 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This is an very interesting home with some fantastic antique furniture!

  8. Lissie says: 238 comments

    Gorgeous home. Love the exterior brackets and the cute little porches. Interior needs some work but it’s doable.

  9. Oh boy, take a look at the sad old girl down the road at 2707 in streetview. I sure would like to see inside that one.

    • Lindsay G says: 531 comments

      Good eye Shellbell. That old home looks like it had once been a magnificent place at one time. I would’ve liked to have seen it in its heyday. I hope someone spiffs her up soon…she looks like she might collapse at any moment.

  10. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11886 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I saw the Italianate down the street, wowzers. But it’s sad what someone is doing to the house next to the church. Before (hopefully the link will take you to the 2009 view. And the after.

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 6728 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Oh brother —. Why can’t people who do “that” to old houses just go buy a tract house instead. Sheesh.

      • Joe says: 748 comments

        _ Jeff, I know that you were asking rhetorically and already know this, but…..
        -My thought is that for those who do “that” to an old house, it is often a simple lack of education. How many people actually know the difference between old house styles? How many have any idea which features are real or original to a house or have learned the importance of restoring those features in the materials with which they were built? How many are motivated by the resale value enhancement statements that they hear?
        -I know that I, who thought myself to be so knowledgeable before I started following OHD, have learned a great deal in the the less than two years as an OHD follower than in all of the years before. I have learned so much more from seeing the houses posted, reading comments on them, and following the ideas expressed on the link and exchange on this site, that my previous, twenty year attempt at restoring a house would be an embarrassment to my current aesthetic. THANK YOU, KELLY!
        -When one is young, one listens to the “words of wisdom” of their carpenter or contractor who might say something like, “vinyl siding has the appearance of the old wood siding without requiring the maintenance cost of painting.” (You may insert the word windows or the word for any number of new material replacements for original materials in place of the word siding in the previous sentence.)How does one who has never experienced the feel of vinyl siding, not think it is ideal?
        -Fourteen years ago, my cousin’s three year old son, who lived in a brick house, ran his hands over the wall on the way in the door. He said to me, “Is your house plastic?” He instinctively felt that it was shoddy beyond his experience and immediately turned me into a vinyl naysayer. The siding for which I had paid good money in order to have a maintenance free old house, became, instead of a vinyl upgrade, a phony plastic cover up.
        -Imagine the number of knowledgeable adults who politely said, “very nice” as I unerringly demonstrated what a fool I was by pointing out my wisdom in installing maintenance free plastic on an old house. My young cousin reminds me of the kid in the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
        -The ill informed buy an old house for the look, never realizing where the value really is. They might love the stairway or some other distinctive feature without realizing until too late (or never) that it is the sum of the details that make it a great house. How one defines better or worse is mostly based on others’ perceptions that have been shared with them. One only has to see the comments in the link and exchange about the TV decorating channels to know where many of these ideas have come.
        -Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something that we could do about it? -Kelly has!

        • RosewaterRosewater says: 6728 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          Yeah Joe, it would be great if there were more efforts to educate folks about the value in preserving antique structures, inside and out. We are fortunate that Kelly values the preservation ethic – for sure.

  11. Gregory K. Hubbard says: 456 comments

    From my perspective, the many awkwardly proportioned alterations like this are delightful. They document the local builder’s unsure handling of new styles.
    There are similar houses across New England with Mansard additions that are oddly proportioned. There’s a dozy near Somersworth, New Hampshire.

    It would be interesting to know if this design was inspired by a pattern book. There is a very similar house in Northwood, New Hampshire, at the intersection of route 4 and 43/202. Perhaps the single pile New Hampshire design with a bay over an entry porch was simply a commonsense design solution, and the similarities are coincidental. The Northwood example has stick style decorations. They do not look like alterations to an existing Mansard roofed house.

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