If you were to walk down Old Fish House Road today, you would come to the end of the road, literally,,and the lake would be there. If you were there in 1900, you would have continued to walk right to the center of the village. On the right of the road you would have passed the Henry Smith house (a beautiful Victorian), the brick store pictured above, then a small wooden structure (on an old map it was referred to as a barber shop), then a wooden store, and then finally the Fish House Hotel. Pictured below, from Left to Right: Wooden Store, Barber Shop, Brick Store.
The Wooden Store was owned by:
1865 - 1894 Robert Humphrey Sr & Jr
1894-1910 - John T. Moore
1910-1912- Charles Henry Mosher
1912 - 1927 - Delbert Noyes
1928 (circa) - it was moved up to South Shore Road and run by the Stead family
(Harry Noyes (Delbert's brother) was married to Sarah Stead
No where did I find that it was owned by Smith.
The little building still remains a mystery.
On one map, it is implied that it was owned by the Noyes brothers.
There is also reference that at one time, Robert Humphrey owned a barber shop.
The Brick Store was owned by:
1860-Charles Fay Smith
1880 - James Henry Smith
1890-1908- James Henry Smith (son of Charles Fay Smith)
1908 - Harry Noyes
1912- 1924 - Delbert Hoyes
After Delbert's death in 1924, I have not determined who ran the store until
it was torn down before the lake was made in 1930. I read somewhere that the
Stead's ran the store,,,I have yet to verify that.
I have tried to be as accurate as possible, using newspaper articles, federal and New York census records, and family trees. I am not presuming that these facts are rock solid. There are still gray areas...for instance, in the New York 1910 census, it lists John Moore, Charles Mosher, and Harry Noyes all as store proprietors. Was there a third store or was there an overlap of ownership during that year? I might never find out.
As an historian, I have come to the realization, that when I am trying to learn something as simple as the date a building was built, I find out so much more than I had anticipated. Yet, I still don't know when the Brick Store was built. I can hazard a guess, but please remember, it is only a guess. On the 1860 map, it is listed as belonging to Charles Fay Smith. he was James Henry Smith's father. Charles Fay Smith was listed as a merchant on the census and James, at 21, was probably a clerk at the store. Charles Fay Smith died in 1864 and that is when James Henry Smith took over the store. As for when Charles Fay Smith built the store, it is difficult to say. In the 1840 census, he is listed as living in Northampton, but nothing specific. So at this point in time, my guess would be that the store was built between 1850-1860. I will continue to look.
If the above information has not confused you,,here is a little more confusion. The very first store in Fish House was built by John Fay in 1809. It was a brick building that was located across the street from the Fish House Hotel. It was later run by John Fay's son, Charles and then later by Harvey Smith (cousin to Charles Fay Smith). That brick building was torn down in 1887 by Hiram Osborn who built the Osborn Hotel.
In 1895, there was an attempt to burn down three buildings, the Wooden store, the Brick store and the Osborn Hotel. The first two fires were put out, but the Osborn Hotel burned to the ground.