In addition to an abundant number of antiques shops, another advantage to living in Chautauqua County is the historic architecture. There’s a large number of historic homes and mansions in the area that date back to the Victorian Era (1860-1900) with many in original condition. As a result, Chautauqua Antiques would like to take you on a tour of these buildings. Some are noted as historic places and a few are even available for purchase, but all provide a unique perspective into a time when homes were not only built to last, but also built to showcase the beauty and majesty that lies within.
70 Prospect St.
The Patridge-Sheldon House is considered to be among the most impressive historical structures in Jamestown. The mansion is a three story Second Empire style residence and reflects two standard 19th Century architectural schools. The numerous decorative details – dentils, arched porch, 3-sided one and two story bay windows, cast iron porch roof edgings – all are consistent with Queen Anne designs (English in origin). By contrast, the heavy mansard roof and imposing dormers are an important part of French Second Empire architecture. The overall effect is one of rambling elegance disciplined by the formal roof.
Inside the homes contains much of the original interior, including magnificent fire places, stained glass windows, and highly decorative woodworking and wainscoting in several different rooms. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
This combination of architectural styles may have come about through repeated remodeling procedures. City records mark a building on this site as early as 1845. A builder-carpenter, Joel Partridge, was resident at that time and may also have constructed the house. It’s believed that Partridge is also the one who named the street “Prospect.”
The home is most familiarly known as the residence of the professionally and socially prominent Porter Sheldon family who became owners in 1880. In the 1880s Sheldon was one of the founders of the American Aristotype Co. which produced stable photographic paper. The company later became part of the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester. It was during this time period that the house was elevated to its current mansion status with over 20 rooms.
In 1908, the property was willed to Sheldon’s daughter, Cora Sheldon Tew, and later passed to Granddaughter, Dorothy Tew Johnson. She bequeathed the house to the Jamestown Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the late 1970s. It was at this time the home began to undergo significant restoration.
The handsome first floor rooms, which serve as DAR club rooms, remain open for scheduled tours. The upper floors are private apartments. It also serves as Jamestown’s only Bed & Breakfast and remains available for stay year-round.
For more information, call (716) 484-2350,
(All Photos by Jason Sample)
Ref: Fenton History Center & Prendergast Library, Wikipedia