110-114 Main Street
In 1808, Ashbel Aikins purchased this property from James Wadsworth for $35 and built a two-story clapboard building known as the “Farmers Exchange.” In 1850, the Farmers Exchange was purchased by Mortimer Reed who continued to operate it as an exchange and also as a hotel until his death in 1863. About 1867, the building was sold to Samuel Birge and Horace Cole who reconstructed the building by putting up a new front and remodeling the interior into two stores.
In 1870, the north store was sold to Bernard McBride who opened a grocery store here. He died in 1876 and the building was purchased by John O’Connor who operated a restaurant here for several years. Some years before his death, he rented the building to Albert Jameson who ran a lunch room and billiard parlor. In 1922, fire damaged this building and the two to the south. Mr. Jameson’s was less severely damaged and he rebuilt immediately, adding a new roof and repairing the upstairs apartments. Mr. O’Connor died in 1928 but his widow retained ownership of the building. In 1929, it was remodeled and opened as the Normal Coffee Shoppe. A 1933 newspaper noted that it had a “red front carried out with stucco and tile.” Lawrence Carr purchased the building in 1938 and opened the Spanish Lantern Restaurant. The Spanish Lantern closed in 1956 and the building was sold to Carl Windrum.
The south store was sold in 1872 to Jeremiah Cullinan, who opened a grocery store here. Cullinan was a native of Ireland who came to Geneseo in 1869 and became one of Geneseo’s most popular and successful businessmen. He enlarged the store in 1876 and continued his business there until his death in 1904. In 1909, William Dwyer, who had been associated with Mr. Cullinan, purchased the building and continued to operate a grocery there. In 1912, he put an addition on the rear and in 1922-23 he remodeled, putting in a new plate glass front. He sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Fitzpatrick in 1944 but retained possession of the building. After Mr. Dwyer’s death in 1952, the block was purchased by Glidden Galleries.
In 1956, the south store was purchased by James and Dorothy Wright for use as Wright’s Florists. The north building was occupied by James Brunner’s Lantern Book Shop in 1964, when the second stories of both buildings were severely gutted by fire. These second stories were not replaced. The present occupants are Stagecoach Florist and Pizza Paul’s.