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Maps of Main, Elm Streets junction researched, 1854-1881

BeeLines

October 19, 2011
By Marybelle Beigh, Current Westfield Historian
Preparatory to completing the history of the diners at the corner of Elm and Main Streets in Westfield, a variety of old maps were studied to identify the timing of when Elm Street was extended to Main Street and the property owners and structures on that plot of land in that area.

In the Patterson Library Map Cabinet, there are fragments of copies of very old maps surveyed of the Village of Westfield from 1833, 1844, and 1848. The 1833 map is labeled that the survey was done for James McClurgh by Hiram Haight. The maps may have been copied from blueprints, as the background is jet black with white lines and labels. The copies were made in 1943, courtesy Patterson Library. A copy in the Historian’s files of one portion of one map shows Main Street, South Portage, Union Street and First Street enclosing a block of land that contains mostly the Jas. McClurg’s Homestead, with a public Square at the corner of Main and South Portage. Also included on this map is Elm Street starting at First Street and then extending southward to and through Second Street.

A map of Chautauqua County, from 1854, includes a village map of Westfield. As of 1854, Elm Street still ends at First Street. Included in the same block as on the earlier map, are J. McClurg’s house and property, most of the area, plus the Village Common, Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church and several small business buildings along Main Street between the Commons and Union Street. There also is no McClurg Street on any of the maps from 1833, 1844, 1848, or 1854. This 1854 Map has been digitized and is available on a CD from the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society or CCGS.

The next map examined of the Village of Westfield is found in the 1867 Atlas of Chautauqua County, and this entire atlas of maps and information has also been digitized to CD by the CCGS. The Westfield map shows an impressive business district along Main and Portage Streets. Again, as in 1854, the J. McClurg property, plus Presbyterian Church, Park, Episcopal Church, and several business along Main Street, are all enclosed in a single block by Main, Union, First, and S. Portage Streets. In the area where Elm Street and the Main Diner are now located, there are a cabinet shop, a dwelling labeled Mrs. M.M. Jones, and a law office probably belonging to Abram Dixon. By 1867, the Brewer Block Building that stood next to the park in the same location as is currently, in 2011, a telephone building.

The Patterson Library and the McClurg Museum both have 1877 Maps of the Village of Westfield mounted on walls, where they can be studied, and even photographed, but no digitized versions were located. The Brewer Block and Episcopal Church building, much smaller than present, are next to the park. In the space where Elm Street now enters Main Street are an empty lot and two buildings that have a common wall, with the name T. Shaw. Behind these is a building labeled Livery Stable, and immediately to the east of the two Shaw buildings is the Law Office of S.W. Mason. Next building to the east of Mason’s Law Office was the old wood house and secondhand store of A.P. Tew.

The final map discussed in this first background article about the Main and Elm Street location, is also of the Village of Westfield, found in the 1881 Beers Atlas of Chautauqua County. As of 1881, the same large block of land, surrounded by Main, Union, First, and S. Portage Streets, still includes the McClurg house and extensive property, which is now owned by Mrs. C. Moore. Along S. Portage, is the Presbyterian Church, as well as the village park from the church around the corner along Main Street ending at the Brewer block, which contains four address locations for stores and is three stories high. The two lots which eventually become Elm Street have structures that are owned by T. Shaw and Mrs. M.M. Jones. The two buildings to the east are labeled Express Office and M.C. Rice; and A.F. Tew still occupies the large house next door.

The next two BeeLines will describe the streets, buildings, and owners as found on Sanborn Maps of 1886, 1891, 1896, 1902, 1907, 1912, and 1923, for this same location of Main and Elm Streets. The fourth article in this series will identify the owners of the plot of land where Elm and Main Diner are located in 2011, starting from the Holland Land Company in the first decade of the 1800s, from a title search of this property. This research was done to answer several history mystery questions about not only the history of diners in Westfield, but also some of the early business men and women and buildings, long gone.

Marybelle Beigh is the current Public Historian for the Town and Village of Westfield. Her office is located at 3 East Main Street in Westfield, N.Y, 14787 — inside Parkview Ice Cream Parlor. Her scheduled office hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 11 a.m.; other hours by appointment.

Beigh can be reached at westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net or by calling 326-2457 (office), 326-6171 (home) or 397-9254 (cell).

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Maps of Westfield showing the junction of Main and Elm Streets

 
 
 

 

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