Daniel and Minerva DeLand House and Barn
185 North Main Street, Fairport NY 14450
The Daniel and Minerva DeLand House and Barn were designated local landmarks in 2011 by the Fairport Historic Preservation Commission. Due to the efforts of the owners, the property is now (2020) listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The nomination application was developed by Laura DiCaprio, who resides there with her family. She volunteered her time and expertise to work with the NYS Preservation Office to champion the property.
The property meet the criteria for designation because of the signficant contribution of the DeLand family to Fairport and its distintive Italianate festures.
The house shown here in 2019 with the DiCaprio family has large paired brackets under wide eaves, deep trim band and Colonial Revival porch.
In the 1976 survey of the Village of Fairport by the Landmark Society, the house and barn at 185 North Main Street were ranked in a category of “good architectural significance” and having “great” importance to the neighborhood.
This circa 1856 Italianate house is a well-maintained residence at the north entry to the Village.
The DeLand Family
The building has cultural and economic significance as the family home built by Daniel B. DeLand and Minerva Parce DeLand. Daniel and Minerva moved to Fairport after their apprenticeship with Minerva’s parents who, taught them the business of manufacturing saleratus or baking soda from wood ashes. In 1852, after the apprenticeship and two trips to Europe to study methods of production, they started the saleratus business in Fairport. The Fairport Chemical Works, later named the DeLand Chemical Company, was Fairport’s earliest successful manufacturing business.
This lithograph from the History of Monroe County published in 1877 shows the house, barn and gardens at 185 N. Main Street in Fairport.
The barn on the property represents Perinton history as an agricultural community, and is one of a few barns within the Village that was a part of a farm business. The 1860 agriculture surveys indicated that D. B. DeLand had 45 acres in Perinton of improved land worth $14,000, and produced corn, oats, Irish potatoes, butter and hay. His livestock consisted of horses, cows and cattle.
The barn was one of a complex of approximately 4 barns. It appears to be a 4 bay English type barn, typical of early threshing barns in Perinton. The presence of stall windows indicates that the DeLand’s kept horses in the barn.
As the saleratus business prospered, the home was expanded, and the grounds became a park with rare trees, shrubs, and flower gardens. The gardens also had a windmill, gazebo and summerhouses. Later this land was sold for development and became DeLand Park A and B.
Architectural Style - Italianate
This two-story asymmetrical Italianate house has large paired decorative brackets, wide overhanging eaves, deep trim band, round eave windows, a two-story bay window and tall windows with decorative Greek Revival “ears”.
The front-pillared porch is Colonial Revival with dentils decorating the rim band. The tall wood paneled front doors have glass panes surrounded by a row of smaller panes. There are wood screen doors over the front doors with a transom window.
The barn is likely a 4 bay English type barn typical in this area between 1790 and 1850. It is rectangular with a gable roof with doorways located on the long side. The doors are opposite each other on the north and the south side, indicating that this may have been a threshing bay. The vertical wood siding remains on 3 sides, and the barn is built low to the ground, all features of an English type barn.
Italianate details of the barn include round-headed windows on stall windows and an attached shed, cupola with gable peaks, and transom windows (original north-side) over the larger doorways.
The DeLand Chemical Company
At first, the manufacture and packaging of saleratus was done in the kitchen of the DeLand’s home on the corner of South Main and Pleasant. Daniel collected ashes from local farmers. By 1854 the business had outgrown the house and was moved to Main Street on the northeast side of the canal. The DeLands moved into their home on North Main in 1856.
In addition to running the business, Daniel, known as Judge DeLand after his appointment to the bench of the local judiciary in Rochester, was also active in the Democratic Party and the First Baptist Church of Fairport. After his untimely death in 1872, when he fell down an elevator shaft at the factory, his brother Henry, Minerva and son Levi took over the business.
Daniel’s brother Henry was a highly successful salesman for the business, traveling all over the country. Under his leadership, the company became the largest manufacturer of saleratus and soda in the nation. Between 1853 and 1874 sales went from $9,000 to $500,000, and the company's “Cap Sheaf Soda” became a common household item. The DeLand Company put Fairport on the industrial map and greatly impacted Fairport’s development.
Unfortunately, the 1890’s did not bring continued growth. A disastrous fire in 1893 leveled the factory, and although the company rebuilt, due to increased competition and rising costs, it was not able to sustain itself and closed in 1903.
The factory was moved in 1854 to the north east side of the canal. (image is from 1881)
Established Familiar Feature
When entering the Village from the north, one’s eyes rest on the house and barn at the corner of Main and Whitney, announcing that visitors have arrived in Fairport. They are the only remaining structures of this era at the intersection, and one of the few in the area that has retained the architectural details of the 1800's.
The house and barn remind us that this property was once a farm with livestock and crops. Together, they represent prosperity in former times, and are truly visual features of the neighborhood. The house and barn were designated landmarks in 2011.
For more information about Daniel B. DeLand.
For additional history on manufacturing in the area see; History of Agriculture & Commerce in Perinton, by Dr. A. Porter S Sweet.