The articles in the Brighton-Pittsford
Post written by Brighton experts regarding the "Brighton Bricks" have
been very enlightening. Pittsford also had a brickyard that supplied
materials for some of the earlier homes near the center of the village.
That brickyard was located in "Lusk Hollow" near the corner of Stone
Road, & South Main Street. That yard contained the type of clay needed
for making good, substantial bricks and was operated by Elihu Doud.
The brick house about which this article is
written, sits well back from the road and is currently adjacent to St.
Louis Roman Catholic Church. Augustus Elliott who operated a general
store in Pittsford where the building that used to be the Methodist Church
and is now Pittsford Picture Framing built the home about 1814. He also
operated a distillery located across the street from his house. It was
reported that Mr. Elliott made a great success of his business during
the War of 1812 and reputedly sold large stores of whisky to the government
for army supplies. The house which he built, was supposedly for his bride
to be, Jane Penfield. Jane jilted Elliott shortly before the wedding
and it was reported that he was so despondent that he committed suicide.
That legend has been proven untrue, for he left his beautiful home and
moved to Pennsylvania.
Few changes have been made to the exterior
of the home. A "herringbone" design can be noticed when the building
is closely studied. At each gable end there are four chimneys very similar
to the Phoenix building which leads many to believe that this house and
the Phoenix were designed by the same architect and built by the same
builder. Steel rods were secured at each end of the home to make sure
it stood straight and tall for many years.
Minor changes have been made to the interior.
The home is entered through the beautiful doorway with its fan light,
into a spacious hall, where a gracefully curving stairway with smooth
balustrade of mahogany leads to the upstairs rooms. The mantles over
the numerous fireplaces are Adams in design and were depicted in 1904
in the "American Architect".
Elliott sold the home to Judge Sampson who,
in turn, sold to Mr. James Guernsey, of Lima, one of the first preachers
in the community. Mr. Guernsey installed an elaborate system of water
supply from "Osgoodby’s Hill", about where the south end of Eastview
Terrace is located. He also had a very successful business of exporting
ginsgeng that he grew in the gardens behind the house. The property extended
to Rand Place and Locust Street.
The home had many owners from the time of
Elliott. It eventually sold to the Hargous Family, members of New York
City’s "Four Hundred" and used it principally for a summer home. This
house is often referred to as "The Hargous House".
In 1921, Mr. William Briggs and his family
purchased the home. At his death, his son, Mr. Theodore Briggs inherited.
Theodore was the City Manager for a time and then president of Lawyer’s
Cooperative in Rochester.
St. Louis Church acquired the house and grounds
in 1955 and turned the home into a Parish House next to the newly erected
church. It has been used as a school, a library, a convent, and now a
parish house. The home is still beautiful and well cared for and stands
as a special landmark in the Village.