William Dobbin House & Carriage Barn
141 West Avenue, Fairport NY 14450
This article was written in 2012 and does not include any changes occurring since that time.
In 2012, the Fairport Historic Preservation Commission (FHPC) designated the home and carriage house located at 141 West Avenue in the village of Fairport. The house built in 1875, by William H. Dobbin is a fine example of a cross gable form in the Italianate style. The property has a large and elaborate carriage house with features that are both Italianate and Gothic Revival.
William H. Dobbin
William H. Dobbin was a builder and carpenter who moved to the area in 1866. He had a successful business in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds. This innovation allowed for uniformed stock of doors and sashes. Dobbin partnered with Clarence C. Moore in 1879 to form the firm of Dobbin & Moore. They were in business for 24 years. The lumberyard was located along the canal on the south side between Main and Parker Streets.
Mr. Dobbin, an active member of Fairport society, was one of the most extensive dealers in real estate in Fairport. He engaged in building homes for the working classes which were sold on easy terms "a form of practical philanthropy worthy of wider emulation".
Architectural Style – Italianate & Gothic Revival
The home at 141 West Avenue is an Italianate, a style popular between 1840 and 1885. It has wood clapboard siding, wide overhanging eaves, single and grouped tall narrow windows with crowns. There are two groups of segmentally arched windows with crowns, and a set of three windows (one large, two small) with rounded tops and inverted "u" shape crowns.
The front porch posts have beveled edges, molding, elaborate arch supports and decorative brackets under the eaves. The entrance has tall paired doors with large segmentally arched windows. There is a one-story cutaway bay on the east side with decorative brackets.
The carriage house is a combination of Italianate and Gothic Revival styles. It has board and batten wood siding, a projected centered gable with cross bracing, picket fence patterned trim, a loft door and window in the peak with rounded top and crown. There are two stall windows on the east side, and in the gables the same cross bracing and windows. There is a cupola on top with louvers, decorative brackets and a weather vane.
Editors Note - The Fairport-Herald reported in 1875, under the title "Building and Improvements " that "The larger dwellings going up this year are quite elaborate in design and will be first class in all their appointments. Mr. Elebach has the contract for those of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Dobbin which will be finished in superior style." For a clip of the article download Fairport Herald 5/14/1875.
In the February 2014 issue of the Historigram Willaim Dobbin recalls the circumstances of 1859 which caused him to meet his future wife, Miss Margaret Calder, their courtship, and early married life together. Download the PDF of the February 2014 Historigram issue to read The Reminiscences of William Henry Dobbin.
Published in the April 2014 issue of the Historigram is a story from Mr. Dobbin recalling a story told to him by his father, which vividly illustrates the tremendous challenges of daily life in the wilderness of Canada in the early 1800s. Download a PDF of the April 2014 issue of the Historigram to read the article, Going to the Mill with Eight Bushels of Wheat.