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Cobblestone Architecture in the Finger Lakes

The architecture of the Finger Lakes is as varied as the people who live here. But one type of architecture better represents the Finger Lakes than any other. Cobblestone masonry construction was used between 1825 and 1860, employing the water-rounded, fist-sized stones found mostly along the shore of Lake Ontario.


It is thought (but not known for certain) that cobblestone construction was brought to this area by English laborers who came to work on the Erie Canal. Cobblestone construction has been used in England since the Norman invasion in 1066 but has also been used in Italy and other countries.


Since 1825, more than 700 cobblestone structures were built in the Finger Lakes and nearby regions of New York State, and not all of them were houses. Barns, churches, schools, stores, a Quaker meeting house, a pump house, and even a vault and a mausoleum were constructed of these sturdy stones, and examples of each are still standing intact today. The majority can be found in the counties that border Lake Ontario especially along Ridge Road (State Rt. 104), but some are located in Bath, Elmira, and further east and west.

Red Lake Ontario cobblestones in concrete on the Thomas Barton House in Geneva, Ontario County, New York

Cobblestone Museum

The Cobblestone Society was established in 1960 to preserve the First Universalist Church on Ridge Road in Childs, Orleans County. The oldest cobblestone church in North America, it was built in 1834. It now houses the Cobblestone Society Museum.

Cobblestone Bed and Breakfasts 

Maxwell Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast

7563 Lake Rd.

Sodus, NY 14551


This 1846 Wayne County inn sits on six acres on Maxwell Bay, Lake Ontario. Like many other homes along the lake, it too played a part in the Underground Railroad.


Peppermint Cottage & Jackson Schoolhouse Bed and Breakfast

336 Pleasant Valley Rd.

Lyons, NY 14489


Enjoy two for the price of one--a cobblestone house and a cobblestone school, both on the same property. Located in Wayne County near the Erie Canal.


Cobblestone Restaurant

Pasta Only's Cobblestone Restaurant

Hamilton St. (Rts. 5 & 20) at Preemption Rd.

Geneva, NY 14456


This 1880s former stage coach inn and tavern is owned by Susan Cohen and former lieutenant governor Mary Anne Krupsak.


Cobblestone Farm

Varick Winery & Vineyard

5102 State Rt. 89

Romulus, NY 14541


Early July is their annual cherry festival with hay rides, food, wine tastings, and entertainment. Sweet and sour cherries available, both picked and U-pick.


Updated 30 June 2014








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