20 Second Street


This house was built in 1868 by an ingenious young mechanic named Jonathan B. West.  J. Burns West, as he was known, was first employed in the Johnson and Company Machine Shop on Main Street, and later purchased his own coal business near the Depot, but his avocation was inventor.  As quite a young man, he made two velocipedes which proved so popular that he manufactured several more and opened a velocipede driving school.

He later turned more practical and, over the years, was granted patents on such things as the lightning screwdriver and a machine for setting tires.  His success in this field led to his move to Rochester in 1883 and to the sale of his house to Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Willard.  Mr. Willard was a very successful contractor, who among other things, did the excavation for the Wadsworth Memorial Fountain and the laying of a new water main system in the village.
The Willards lived here until after Mr. Willards death in 1897, and in 1889 the house was purchased by Mrs. Carrie Black.

Well constructed and nicely preserved, this house with its cobblestone foundation is a good example of the transitional style between the Greek Revival and Early Victorian: the door framing entablature of the former; the overhand, brackets and support elements of the porches are unique examples of the latter.