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Jonathan Wallace House - 99 Market Street, Potsdam, NY

99 Market St.

By: Mimi Van Deusen

Address:    99 Market Street, Potsdam, NY
Constructed Date:    c. 1830
Stone Description:    Large flat slabs of sandstone laid out to make a sidewalk.

Brief History:

Jonathan Wallace House https://cdm16694.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/wat/id/15187/rec…

Old Houses of the North Country -No. 308 JONATHAN WALLACE HOUSE IN POTSDAM At 99 Market street, one of Potsdam's prominent thor­oughfares, is this unusually fine native sandstone speci­men of Georgian architecture built by Jonathan Wallace, a leading early settler, some time after 1828. Some say the front or main portion of the house was constructed in 1837, but it seems likely that it was earlier than that. It was on April 10, 1821 that Herman Le Roy, one of the early promoters df Potsdam, purchased 8}£ acres of land from Matthew Clarkson. The parcel reached from the Union road, now Market street, to the Racquette river and from about Washington street to the middle of the present Walnut street. It included pasture lot No. 7, out of which came the site of this house. On Feb. 25, 1828 Le Roy sold the tract to Jonathan Wallace for $278, who later built the front part of the house, which had the kitchen in the basement, and a few years later there was erected a rear addition which nearly doubled the house size. This sandstone addition is said have been built by the next owner, William H. Wallace, who bought the place from Jonathan Wallace and wife, Lucy, on Aug. 15, 1846 for $1,261. William H. Wallace, who served as village president 1860-1862, created an elaborate rose garden on the south lawn with a fountain in the center. Many of the roses were imported from England. A few of these cen­tury- old roses still bloom. Included in the collection were some moss roses. Mr. Wallace, who was also on the original commission to procure plans and specifications for the village water­works constructed in 1871, served on the state normal school board from Dec. 31, 1875, to May 6, 1878. William H. Wallace died Sept. 18, 1877. His admin­istrix sold the house and grounds to James Lemon for $3,700 on March 8, 1880. Some time before a ten-foot strip had been sold off to help form Walnut street. In 1854 the railroad crossed the lower end of the properly. Lemon conducted a harness sliop next to the bridge. He died Feb. 11, 1909 devising a life-use of the place to his widow, Weltha A. Lemon. There were some allied conveyances among the Lemon heirs after Mrs. Lemon's death. She willed her own estate to Laura A. Lemon, Anna G. White and Florence M. Farnsworth, to whom the Lemon heirs also gave quitclaim deeds Sept. 26, 1913. Laura A. Lemon then quitclaimed to Anna G. White and Florence M. Farnsworth June 24, 1914 and on May 27, 1915 they sold the propertv to Rlanche S. White, Donald P. White and Frank S. .White for $4,650. On Sept. 28, 1915 Donald P. White and Frank S. White conveyed to Rlanche S. White and on Oct. 15, 1923, Rlanche S. White transferred to Donald P. White and wife, Mariorie S.. White. During the Lemon ownership a gingerbread Victorian porch was added to the house front and they built an ornamental gallery around the edge of the roof. In re­modelling, Mr. and Mrs. White caused these to be re-i :ved, blip* an attractive little portico at the beautiful Georgian ei .nee with its semi-circular transom over the handsome front door, and constructed a sandstone hatch­way at the rear. They also modernized the interior, which retains the beautiful Georgian fireplace mantel and excel­lently crafted woodwork and paneling around the win­dows. Mr. White is president of the Sisson-White Lumber company. Mrs. White's father was Charles H. Sisson, an officer of the Racquette River Paper company. Mr. and Mrs. White are the only owners of this house who have brought up children in it. They have three sons. —Photo and Caption by David F. Lane

Sandstone sidewalks in front of the Wallace residence, built in 1828.

Potsdam's unpaved streets were often muddy and sandstone sidewalks improved pedestrian travel. Concrete was not used for sidewalks until the 1910s - 1920s.
Note: This sandstone sidewalk shown in the picture does not exist today.

 

Sources

Potsdam Public Museum Photo Archive's 

https://cdm16694.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/wat/id/15187/rec…

New York Heritage Digital Collections