17 Church Street
Pittsford, New York
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Cobblestone Academy built by stonemason, Samuel Crump in 1842 as the village school. Home of Northfield Masonic Lodge since 1892.
Town of Pittsford — 1994
What was there
Samuel Lee Crump, an accomplished stonemason from England, traveled to America for his honeymoon in 1842. While visiting relatives in Rochester, he became aware of a search for someone to build a cobblestone school in nearby Pittsford. The old-world art of building with cobblestones was not widespread at the time. Crump walked from Rochester to Pittsford, met with the schools’ trustees, convinced them he was the man for the job, and was hired on the spot. Built by Crump in 1842, the structure was originally called the Stone Academy. Crump remained in America, settled and raised a family in Pittsford, and went on to build other cobblestone homes in the the village.
This was the first school house to be built within the village. Prior to this, students living here would have to walk one mile to District #1.
In 1892, the building became the Northfield Masonic Lodge and remains so to this day. If you look carefully at the inscription over the front door (see photo gallery), the words “District No. 6” are still visible underneath the layer that reads “Masonic Temple”.
What is there now
The Cobblestone Academy became the Northfield Masonic Lodge in 1892 and remains so to this day. Community functions such as picnics and meetings are often held here.
- Crump also built the iconic Wiltsie & Crump building that now stands at the Four Corners in Pittsford. It was originally a general store and was run by Crump’s son for over 50 years. Crump’s home and barn stood next door, and there he sheltered runaway slaves en route to Canada traveling on the Underground Railroad. He fed and clothed them, and would sometimes transport them, hidden under a tarp, in horse drawn wagons, to the Port of Charlotte where they could board a boat to freedom.
- Northfield Masonic Lodge – website
- Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, Monroe, NY, May 7, 1906 – obituary excerpt:
Samuel J. Crump, of Hadlow, Kent, England, married Sarah Cutting, of Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, at London, April 24, 1842. They then sailed for New York – a six weeks’ voyage – and traveled up the Hudson to the Erie canal. Coming thence west by packet boat, they settled at Pittsford.
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