59 Center Street


In 1850 Chauncey Martin Dake, M.D., purchased a lot at 59 Center Street in Geneseo for $500 and was shown as the owner on the 1852 village map. The original house was only two rooms, but by 1857 the house was converted to a two-family dwelling, with an east and a west wing, as well as a second story.

Chauncey M. Dake, born in 1816, was the first doctor to practice homeopathic medicine in Livingston County.  In 1840, Chauncey, his wife Harriet, and their son Dumont lived in Mt. Morris. Harriet died in 1848, and Dr. Dake remarried that year to Eliza Kirby. Dumont Dake at age 23 enlisted in the Civil War, stating that his occupation was Gentleman.


In 1853, Dr. Dake sold 59 Center Street to James S. Orton, a banker who became the President of the Genesee Valley National Bank and Trust.  James Orton moved to his new house at 71 Center Street in 1857, and he sold 59 Center Street to Henry V. Colt and his wife, Sarah. Henry Colt served in the Union Army in the 104th Regiment, New York Infantry, Wadsworth Guards during the Civil War.  He enlisted in 1862 in Geneseo and was promoted to Full Major by 1863.  In 1868, he was a lawyer with an office on Main Street in Geneseo.

In 1866 Rhoda Bond purchased the house and sold it in 1871 to George and Abbie Phelps.  During the years the Phelps owned 59 Center it was rented to Sarah Norton, widow of James H. Norton.  He was the owner and publisher of the Livingston Republican and was succeeded by his son, A. Tiffany Norton.  The newspaper office then was located over 49 Main Street.

In 1877 the Phelps sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. James Patterson, who owned a clothing store on Main Street. The house remained in the Patterson family until 1934 when Geneseo Supervisor James W. Sinclair and his wife Jane bought it. In 1967, Virginia Kemp purchased the house.  She was a faculty member and administrator at SUNY Geneseo for 29 years.  She lived on one side of the house and her mother lived on the other. Tim and Leslie Nieves purchased the house in 1997, remodeling it as a one-family home.