Conant-Boyland House and Carriage Barn
30 West Street, Faiport NY 14450
The house and carriage barn at 30 West Street was designated a local landmark by the Fairport Historic Preservation Commission (FHPC) in April of 2016. As of August of 2016 it has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Conant property met two National Register criteria for designation: it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to our history and is a distinct architecture style.
This Gothic Revival has a front facing cross-gable form that is less common for this style and ornate trusses that identify it as a later, post 1860 example.
The property was home to several notable families, the Conants, Ayraults, Hobbies and Boylands. It was built in the Gothic Revival or Carpenter Gothic style in 1876. The property met three criteria for local designation; economic and cultural significance, historic personages and is representative of an architectural style.
Austin R. Conant originally purchased land from Martin Wood in 1876. Austin Conant worked for the DeLand Chemical Company. In 1886, Celestia Ayrault and Emily Ayrault Hobbie, both daughters of John Ayrault, purchased the property. William H. Boyland and his wife bought the home in 1910. Mr. Boyland owned and successfully operated a mill and feed store in Fairport for 40 years.
Austin R. Conant
Austin R. Conant was Head Accountant for the DeLand Chemical Co. for 40 years. The company, in business from 1852 to 1903, is said to have put Fairport on the industrial map and contributed to that era of growth and prosperity in the village. Austin Conant had a high level position in the company and was likely instrumental in making it a success.
He had married Mary T. Harwood in 1864 and they became members of the First Baptist Church. By 1875, Austin was listed in the census as “Head Bookkeeper, Saleratus Factory”. In 1885, Austin and his son Newton opened A. R. Conant & Son, a clothing store. They were only in business for a few years, selling it when Newton left to attend medical school in Philadelphia.
In addition to 30 West Street, Mr. Conant had several other houses built in the village - 36 West Street a Shingle Style cottage and 30 Nelson Street.
The Ayraults & Hobbies
Celestia Ayrault and Emily Ayrault Hobbie, who was married to Captain Isaac S. Hobbie, were in their 60s when they purchased the Conant home in 1886. Three children of their brother Allen, whose wife had died, were brought to live with them so that they could attend the “superior” schools in the village. The children were Allen, Jr., John Winthrop and Edith Celestia.
Emily’s life with Isaac took her to Rochester, then Elmira and Tonawanda, NY. Mr. Hobbie was a Captain in the 54th Regiment in the Civil War. He owned a company that manufactured wood water and gas pipes and contracted to construct pipe systems.
William H. Boyland
William H. Boyland headed the third family, who lived in the house. He had purchased the Fairport Mill circa 1892. The Boyland Mill bought feed of all kinds and manufactured pastry flour. He sold his goods locally and shipped to New York City and Boston. The Boylands owned the home from 1910 to 1960, the longest resident.
Gothic Revival or Carpenter Gothic Architecture
The Gothic Revival architecture style of the Romantic Era was popular between 1840 and 1860. It was used in the design of homes through the 1890s and churches into the 1940s. The Carpenter Gothic term came from the decorative details of this era made possible by machinery to plane and turn wood.
This is the south side of the house in which you can see two porches. There is also one on the north side in the rear of the house. The details of the railing and skirting are carried through on all three porches.
This Gothic Revival has a front facing cross-gable form that is less common for this style and ornate trusses that identify it as a later, post 1860 example. The truss designs have four outside triangle sections with cutout patterns. The inside sections are arched. The end posts have a decorative pendant detailing with cutouts and brackets. These pendants have a chamfered straight section that ends in a turned finial. There are brackets on each side of the pendants with milled floral patterns. This same pendant drips from each corner of the roof-line.
The windows are very tall with elaborate three layer pent hoods with milled support brackets. The upper story windows have the same hood with a peak and delicate cut out patterns. The peaked window frame is a key feature of Gothic structures. On the south side there is a one-story canted bay window with stick-like chamfered braces. The windows have hoods, shutters and pendants.
The home has three porches with the front porch being the most elaborate. It has cutout patterned frieze panels and skirting, square posts with chamfered edges and molding, pendants and bracketing. The porch balustrade is three rows of an alternating pattern of open wood squares.
The front entrance has tall wooden double doors with octagon panels on the top half with glass inserts, the corners of which are curved and concave. The bottom panel is rectangular with a second set of panels with the center curved to fit around a round panel. The all-natural wood shows off the details of the paneling and deep molding. The right hand door has the original brass mechanical door chime.
This grand house has a carriage barn that was built prior to 1885. The original barn was likely an English type. It was lower to the ground with vertical boards, key features of this style. There are hand-hewn mortise and tenon joining with treenails.
The barn originally had 2 bays and a shed or small building attached to the north side. There are 4 intact stall windows, owl holes (see photo to right) evidence of cribbing, hay drops, loft door and block and tackle and winch.
The barn has oculus windows in the gable peaks, horse stall windows and owl holes. It was used for carriages and horses that provided transportation to work, church and social events.
Also specified in the designation is a cement hitching post with chamfered edges and a large European Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica L.) in the front lawn area. The mounting block/carriage step in front was designated along with many others on the Village owned treelawn area in 2011.
The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
For more information on the FHPC and designated landmarks, go to the village preservation page or the village website.