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Sanborn maps researched regarding the junction of Main and Elm Streets, 1886-1902


October 26, 2011
By Marybelle Beigh, Current Westfield Historian
Examining Sanborn maps from 1886 through 1923 shows what buildings were located along the south side of Main Street in Westfield in the area between the Brewer Block, where Elm eventually entered, and Union Street. The following paragraphs detail these findings for 1886, 1891, 1896, and 1902.

In 1886, Elm Street still did not extend to Main Street, nor was there even a McClurg Street, so Elm ran from First Street south to Third Street only. There was a cabinet shop in part of the space which is now Elm Street at Main. At that time, there were lot numbers to designate the frontages on Main Street. Lot numbers 547 and 548 are what Elm Street at Main now encompasses. So the cabinet shop was on lot 547, and a dwelling, the Macomber House, was on lot 548. Sometime between 1907 and 1912, the current address numbers were instituted on Main Street, and lot 548 became numbered addresses 36 and 38. So the Macomber House would have been either 36 or 38 Main Street. Lot 549 would become address 40, and had a millinery in 1886. Lot 550 would become address 42, and had another millinery in 1886. Lot 551 was an old rambling wooden house structure which was Tew’s second hand store for many years, with a Tin Works in the rear.

In 1891, there was still no Elm Street, but lot 547 was a vacant lot where Elm would later enter Main. The Macomber house dwelling was still on lot 548, and the two millinery stores were still on lots 549 and 550. A grocery and Tin Works were in the wooden house structure at 551.

In 1896, Elm Street had been extended to Main Street, but was quite narrow as it only used lot 547. Lot 548 was still the house building, Macomber house, but now had Western Union Telegraph as a business at what would later be the 36-38 address. The millinery was still at lot 549 — perhaps Macomber was still running it and living upstairs and partly in the back of the house at 548. There was a jewelry store at 550, and at 551 there was still the grocery and Tin Works.

In 1902, the centennial year of the first settling of what was to become Westfield, the Sanborn map shows the following — lot 547 is Elm Street, lot 548 is still Western Union Telegraph, lot 549 is still the millinery, lot 550 is still the jeweler, and lot 551 is still the house containing a grocery and Tinworks.

Next week, the remaining Sanborn maps of 1907, 1912 and 1923 will be discussed regarding the streets and buildings in Westfield near the junction of Main and Elm Streets.

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 or by calling 326-2457 (office), 326-6171 (home) or 397-9254 (cell).

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Maps of the junction on Main and Elm Streets between 1886 and 1902



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