639 Durfee House

 History

639 Durfee House, 1787

            The first frame structure to be built west of Rome, New York, this house was originally a one-room office on the southeast corner of Main Street and East Washington. It was built for Caleb Benton, one of a group of speculators who came to lease land from the Indians. After it was enlarged, it was moved in 1838 by William DeZeng, and Geneva College purchased it in 1840 for the presidentís house. Finding it unsuitable, President Hale purchased and remodeled it. Upon retirement in 1858, he sold it back to the college when that institution was in a better financial situation.

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Written by: Corrine Stoewsand Carey,  Historic Photo's Provided by: Geneva Historical Society