Main Street Buildings from the Civil War Era
8, 10 & 12 Main Street
Preservation architect Paul Malo, in his summary of the architectural importance of Main Street, felt that it should be viewed as a composite. Each era of historic architecture is well represented, with no single period predominating. The small buildings should be considered as important in the overall picture as their larger neighbors. The Civil War era, for example, is well represented by some fine structures of modest size. The original part of the house at 12 Main, known to have been built before the war, has the thin cornice detail and two-over-two sash windows, both features typical of that period. The cellar beams in this house are trees split down the middle with bark still visible. The building at 53 Main, formerly Pauper Jack's and Pictures and Presents, was built as a home about 1858. It has the narrow eaves and rather small windows fashionable then. The two small houses at 8 and 10 Main are of the same basic type, as is 2 Main, which was built shortly after 1858. According to Mr. Malo, Main Street's "diversity and variety of representatives from different periods" is what makes it rich in architectural importance.
The original part of the house at 12 Main Street is one of the oldest in the village. It was built for James Wadsworth and in 1853 was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo French for $700.00. Mr. French advertised as a “House, Sign and Ornamental Painter,” and conducted his business from this residence. It can be assumed that he made improvements to the house since he sold it to George Barclay in 1867 for $2,300. Mr. Barclay operated a machine shop near the Depot at the foot of Court Street and carried on an extensive business throughout Canada and the West. He enlarged and improved the house in 1882 to accommodate his family of five children. Mr. Barclay died in 1909 and his widow sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Lester Howe. In 1924, Mr. Howe, then a widower, sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Champ.