Old Reed Homestead

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4233-4343 Reed Rd
Livonia, NY
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Old Reed homestead
First brick house in Town of Richmond
Built 1803 by Philip Reed


By the State Education Department — 1932

What was there

The brick home on the estate of Pioneer Settler Philip Reed of Pawlet, Vermont, who arrived here in February, 1795.  He gave his sons farms along this road (now called Reed Rd). The brick home was built by Reed and longtime friend and distant relative, Lemuel Chipman, who later became a county judge and then state senator. Philip Reed also built a grist mill and saw mill to the north at Richmond Mills (where Reed Rd crosses the Hemlock Lake Outlet). Mr. Reed also served as town Justice of the Peace and the first Poormaster for some time.

The house cost $400.00 for local labor to build. $50 in cash, and the balance in “good cattle, wheat, and pork.” The labor contract also called for each worker to receive a half pint of whiskey per day.

What is there now

The house still stands, reconditioned and serving as a private rural home. Across from the property and much of Reed Rd remains farmland. Richmond Mills along the Hemlock Lake Outlet no longer exists. All the mills and homes along the creek were demolished when the City of Rochester purchased the land surrounding the lake for its use as a water supply.

More information

An excerpt of “History of Ontario County”, compiled by Lewis Cass Aldrich; edited by George S. Conover (1893), reads:

Philip Reed and his descendants have constituted a large portion of the inhabitants of Richmond.  The oldest ancestor which can be traced is Jacob, who went from Saybrook, Conn., to Pawlet, Vt. Philip, his son, came to Richmond with Lemuel Chipman (afterwards judge and congressman) and Dr. Cyrus Chipman, in June, 1794, on a prospecting tour, and in February, 1795, he arrived with his wife and children, John Fitch, Silas and Wheeler, together with a slave girl, and Isaac Adams, his assistant. With Philip came the families of the Chipmans. Sleighing was good, and the trip was made in eighteen days.

Philip was the owner of $3,000 and considered a rich man in those days. He bought in the western part of the town about 1,000 acres, to which he added later on, and gave each of his sons a farm. Squire Reed was a prominent man of the town. He built a grist-mill and a saw-mill. He was justice of the peace for many years and the first poormaster of the place.  His wife was Margaret, daughter of Colonel Fitch, one of the “Bennington Boys.” After coming to Richmond they had three children: William Fitch, Philip 2d, and Alta Fitch.

Mr. Reed built the first brick house in town, from brick and lime manufactured on the place. The compensation for the construction and painting was to be $400.00 of which $50 was to be paid in cash and the balance in “good cattle, wheat and pork,” and a provision in the contract was that Reed should “board the contractor, Lewis Morey, and all the men he should employ, and to give each man during the time he should be employed two gills of whiskey per day.” The original contract is now in possession of Mrs. F. D. Short, who occupies the old house, which was built during the year 1803. Philip died in 1828 and his wife in 1833.

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We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Matthew Conheady


Posted: October 8, 2012


Category: Finger Lakes, Locations, Ontario County

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