39 South Street


The original part of the house at 39 South Street was built by Master Carpenter Frederick Butler (he also superintended con­struction of the original Livingston County Court House and many other early homes in the village) for Orlando Hastings about 1820. Orlando Hastings was a prominent lawyer in Geneseo until he moved to Rochester in 1833.

The house then changed hands several times until 1845 when it was purchased by William Bond, Jr. Mr. Bond retained possession unti1 1853 when he sold it to James and Ann Wood. James Wood was a lawyer who became a partner of John Young (later Governor Young) in 1863. He attained the rank of general in the Civil War and served as New York State Senator from 1869-1873.

In 1860 the Woods sold the house to Carlo Bassini, for many years a conductor of the Normal Singing School, who in turn sold it to Judge and Mrs. Solomon Hubbard in 1864. The Hubbards enlarged the dwelling in 1870 and, after a serious fire in 1901, made extensive repairs and improvements.

After their deaths the house was purchased in 1910 by Mrs. Isabelle Valle Austin. Mrs. Austin and her husband had built Sweetbriar in 1897 and after living there several years they separated. Mrs. Austin, wrote poetry and was very active in the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  She spent the milder months at her South Street home and the winters in New York City, Washington, or abroad. She improved the property in 1922. Two years before her death in 1947, she sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Sanders.

An elegant house in the Federal style, it has a wooden fence, coach block and brick wall emphasiz­ing the early 19th century character of the property. The fence and gateway were featured in Carl Schmidt's Fences, Gates, and Garden Houses.