Monday, September 20, 2010

The Davis mansion - Town of Gorham

by George Henry, Historian

Three brothers Phillip, John and William left Wales and migrated to the new United States. Philip settled in Pennsylvania. He early came to Hopwell in 1789 where he purchased in township ten, second range, lot number five ( this is in the Chapin area) two hundred ninety three acres for 44 pounds. In 1790 he purchased lot number seven, joining the above property, two hundred and ninety three acres for 43 pounds. He built four mills and sold the property.

Then in 1796 the same Philip Davis of Northumberland PA. purchased from Nathaniel Gorham in township number nine`town of Gorham east side of Canandaigua lake 1051 acres for 163 pounds. (this is $270.00 at current exchange rate) The description of the property is as follows.

"Beginning at the north line of the town and the lake 186 perches east to a stake.
Then south two miles and 186 perches to a stake.
Then running west 270 perches to the lake. Then north along the lake to the beginning."

Thanks to Mary Jo Lamphear at the county archives I was able to find what a "perch" is. It is a rod or about 16.5 feet. The property then is about one half mile east along the Hopewell Gorham town line, then south two and one half miles about to the Kipp road then west to the lake.

This track was later taken over by Philip's son William. He planned to allow use of the land for a limited period in consideration for it's improvements. When the land was in condition for crops a rental was taken of five to seven bushels of wheat per acre.

Ezekel S. Davis born 1818 in Northumberland PA was a son of William and Mary Davis. In 1840 he came to Gorham and took possession of the remaining 300 acres left him by his father. The Davis tract then extended from the Turner Rd. to the Hopewell town line. He built his home on the corner of the Turner Rd. and the East Lake Rd. He married Elizabeth Thorp from Gorham in 1841.

Edmund Davis born 1848 married Anna Spry in 1873. They lived in the home built by his father Ezelel. Both Edmund and Anna are buried in the Reed Corners cemetery.

On March 17, 1928 Edmund and Anna Davis sold to Clarence J. and Frierda M Averill the remaining Davis land. Mr. Averill, commonly known as Jack, operated a gas and oil business. He also had another branch on the west side of the lake. Jack added a large circular porch to the House.

On April 1, 1944 Clarence J. and Frieda M. Averill sold the property to Donald M. and Louisa R. MacKinzie. On April 10 MacKinzie filed a DBA for the MacKinzie Inn. And the old Davis mansion became a Restaurant and Inn for the next fifteen years.

The MacKinzies sold the property to Edith Perger on July 1, 1959. Who sold it to George Chapelsky and Leah Parry on July 16, 1962. They filed a DBA on December 12, 1962. It then became known as the Parisian Manor.

This last part is a bit fuzzy and taken from memory of three different people. There was never a DBA filed. But sometime between 1962 and 1972 it was leased by a Mr. Streeter and became known as the Chula Vista.

On June 30, 1972 Edith Perger foreclosed on the mortgage and again retained title to the property. On February 19, 1975 Edith Perger sold the property to Joseph E. And Dorothy A. Kennedy. Today the Davis mansion has been converted to apartments.

Source material
Conver-History of Ontario county
record of deeds Ontario County Archives
Ancestry genealogy records
Ontario County Clerk

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