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The Mather House (1869) – Greenwood Street

The Mather House Greenwood
This Greenwood Street house is a wonderful home with a charming history. The lots for #9 and #11 were purchased together (as part of the Bishop Tract) in the mid to late 1860s by William Bishop, an attorney, senator and son-in-law to Colonel Rochester.  

William Doody constructed the gracious house in 1869.  In 1872 the home was sold to Sarah Mather, daughter of John Chapman (a soldier under Lafayette during the Revolutionary War) and wife of Cotton Mather’s great grandson.  In 1867 Cotton Mather (age 15) was the youngest graduate of Harvard College; he went on to become an influential Puritan preacher and is thought, by some, to have been the primary inspiration for the Salem Witch Trials.  It is for this history this home is not only part of the Corn Hill Landmark District, but also a Rochester Landmark Society Covenant Home and part of the National Landmark Registry.

Sarah Mather and her sister lived in the house until 1941. During the 1960s, like many Corn Hill homes, the house served as an RIT fraternity house.  The house underwent a major renovation during the Urban Renewal Program of the 1970s.  Mrs. Rex Rial remodeled the original one-family house into one large family dwelling and one micro/efficiency rental unit (which you can view when exiting the home on the driveway side).  Mrs. Rial also reclaimed the garden area, restored the wide yellow pine floors, and added the salvaged Italianate staircase window.  

The house was built in the East Lake Victoria style with Italianate porch and accents.  The home’s current owner has cared for and enjoyed the home since 1996.