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16 Park Avenue

16 Park Avenue

16 Park Avenue
Brockport, NY 

History researched and written by Carol L. Hannan
© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan – January 2013 All rights reserved

Calvin C. and Mary Ann Robbins Lyman
Owners/builders: probably 1840s to 1875

Calvin C. Lyman, a farmer, was the son of David and Flavia Collins Lyman. Having left his home in Connecticut by 1830, the whereabouts of the Lyman family was unknown until they settled in this area by 1840. Calvin was an early landowner in the village. One village historian credited him with the building of this home at what was then 2 Mechanic Street, which was identified as his residence on an 1852 village map. Mary Ann Robbins, Calvin’s wife, was also born in Connecticut but her parentage is unknown.

Mary Ann and Calvin had four children: Emily E., George C., Mary J. and Sarah. All but Emily were definitely born after coming to Brockport. Supporting documentation could not be found, but it is certainly possible that Calvin, as reported in a biographical sketch, was prominent in civic affairs and served on the board of the Brockport Collegiate Institute. Lyman Street is reportedly named for this family, which owned land north of the canal.

The Genealogy of the Lyman Family in Great Britain and America notes the role religion had in Calvin’s life. “He was converted at the early age of 12 years, but soon relapsed into a state of indifference, and remained so until his last sickness, when he was fully restored to the divine favor, and his son George C., writes that he died happy, perfectly resigned to the will of heaven, assured of eternal life hereafter.” Ironically, Calvin reportedly had an essential role in the conversion of his father a great many years before his own death, when he appealed to his father to save himself before he perished.

According to the 1860 Special Agricultural Schedule, Calvin owned 46 acres of improved and 20 acres of unimproved farmland, which in total was worth about $5,000. He owned 3 horses, 2 milch cows and 2 swine, livestock which was then worth $3000 and he had produced 80 bushels of wheat that year. After he died in 1868, Calvin’s widow, Mary Ann, served as executrix of the estate and paid slightly more than $5,000 in legacies, on which she owned $38.15 in taxes.

Mary Ann lived until 1875. Her name was recorded on the 1872 village map as still living in what had been the family home for at least two decades. The youngest Lyman daughter, Sarah S., died two years before her mother. Mary was last known to be living with her sister and brother-in-law, Charles Perry, in Clarkson. She died in 1910. George C. was working as a New York City real estate broker in 1910, three years before his death. Calvin, Mary Ann, Mary J., Sarah and Emily Lyman Perry are buried in the Brockport Cemetery.

Dayton Samuel and Susan M. Joslyn Morgan
Owners: probably 1875 to about 1921

The estate of Dayton Samuel Morgan, a self-made Brockport millionaire well-known to many residents as a partner of Seymour and Morgan, the manufacturer of reapers, was identified with this property on a 1902 village map. During the time between the death of Mary Ann Lyman and the purchase of the property by long-term owner Margaret Peshmann, the house was apparently occupied as a rental. Morgan, obviously never lived there.

Two likely tenants were, first, village grocer John R. Davis, who later purchased his own home on the renamed Park Avenue and then (James?) Thomas Tobin, a cooper. Tobin, an Irish immigrant and his wife, who was also born in Ireland, had some sort of working relationship with John Corbett, a fellow Irish-born resident, who built and owned a cooper shop in the location of Corbett Park, which obviously takes its name from the former owner. Whether Tobin and Corbett were full partners or Tobin was an employee of Corbett’s is unclear.

Margaret A. Pechmann
Owner: about 1921 to 1961

Margaret A. Pechmann, the widow of Dr. Henry W. A. Pechmann, both German immigrants, was a long-term owner of this home, according to several sources, including a published obituary and multiple census documents. What is confusing, however, is why on a 1924 village map, the property is clearly identified as being owned by the Henry Harrison Company. Maps are not immune to printing errors and the weight of information leads us to believe that Margaret owned and lived in the home, which by now was number 16 Park Avenue, with her sons, Karl and Adelbert.

Margaret A. Pechmann had a busy life after the death of her physician husband. Although she collected a widow’s pension based on her husband’s service in the Spanish-American War, she also engaged in a number of occupations to support herself and her children. She ran, perhaps as an owner, a “Cash Variety Shop” in Hulberton, then worked as a grocery clerk and a dress and hosiery saleslady after coming to Brockport. Shortly after her husband’s death, she ran a “political ad” in the Holley Standard, calling on all her late husband’s patients and friends of both parties to elect her town clerk, as “I need the office.” Ambition was not only her providence – son Karl graduated as a chemistry major from Cornell University. Private Adelbert “Del” Pechmann served in the military during World War II. In a 1943 edition of the Brockport Republic Democrat, he wrote of hearing from friends; wishing that he could “get one more look at Brockport.” His wish was granted. Del returned here to live the remainder of his life until he passed away in 1983.

Margaret died at her home at 16 Park Avenue in 1961 and was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Holley, where her husband was interred forty years earlier.
(See newspaper articles regarding Pechmann's in the slideshow above) 

Epilogue 2013
The original Lyman lot on the corner of Market and Mechanic Streets has been divided at least twice. On the larger parcel to the north of the original house is a small strip mall/apartment building. A house was built to the south. At one time, a large barn occupied the south west corner of the lot. It’s no longer standing.
The house itself is now a rental but remains a single family home. The interior was extensively renovated by a recent owner.

© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan - January 2013. All rights reserved.