Thursday, October 13, 2011

The mitigation fund for the Cohocton Wind Project was a total of $200,000- $150,000 went to the Larrowe House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and $50,000 was awarded to the Naples Memorial Hall for a study for restoration of their structure. The SHPO mitigation was awarded for visual impact compensation of the project. The "siding" finish is unique, similar to the Rustication siding of Mt. Vernon. The original finish was a concrete, resin and paint finish applied over a wood siding, scored to resemble a block building. The "new" faux finish is a similar product produced by Sherwin Williams in their Historic finish line called Conflex. The Sherwin Williams district manager, and the manager of the Geneseo store have been on site from the start. They analyzed the original finish so we could determine the product used and color. Sherwin Williams has also joined the restoration with an offer to restore all of the shutters on the building to an original color of dark green, they will be installed in the spring. We will have funds left from the first phase of restoration to restore the porches in the spring. The windows are also being re-glazed, and cracked windows replaced with new glass that replicates the old wave glass of the 1800's. This will be amazing when completed. The siding is expected to be done before winter. The score marks you seen in the photos are painted in by hand, the faux texture looks and feels like a block building, even with an up close inspection. The block chimney is also being removed and a vent place behind the shrubs. The cupola, eaves and overhangs were restored before the siding was started. This project is funded by First Wind and private donations, no state grants have been used.

The contractor for the project, Jeff Fox, is a resident of Cohocton. His crew of four also has local ties, so we kept the money local. Larry Mehlenbacher from LMC ( Foster Wheeler) loaned the project the lift free of charge, saving the Historical Society thousands. Larry and his business benefited from the Cohocton project from storage at his facility in Dansville, he is also a Cohocton resident. It seems many are interested in giving back to help the project, since the initial kick off from First Wind.

The funds also replaced the heating system, stabilized the beam in the basement, installed new bathroom fixtures and provided the paint and floor finish for the interior of the Larrowe House. We are so fortunate to have First Wind in Cohocton.

At the time the Larrowe House received the funds, the structure was owned by the Town and Village of Cohocton. A special committee was set up for the disbursement of funds for restoration. Representatives from the Town, Village and Historical Society serve on the committee, headed by Dave Simolo. The committee monitors the spending and makes decisions regarding the priority of needs.

Albertus Larrowe II was inducted into the Steuben County Hall of Fame last year, he founded the Larrowe Milling Company (Buckwheat) in Cohocton and built the house for his son Charles and his wife, Minnie. Charles and Minnie were childless, when they passed the house was willed to his half-brother, James E. Larrowe and wife Amy Bell. After the death of James, Amy gifted the Larrowe House to the Town and Village of Cohocton in 1948, shortly before her death, for use as a Municipal Building. The Town and Village moved their offices to Atlanta approx. 2 1/2 years ago, and gifted the structure to the Cohocton Historical Society. James E. Larrowe was instrumental as one of four companies who combined to form General Mills. The history of General Mills is told in the book "Business without Boundrys. He, Larrowe Mills and Cohocton are noted in the book. The family is buried in the Larrowe Cemetery at the end of South Main St. in Cohocton.

Monday, August 29, 2011


More to follow, watch our progress!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PHOTO FROM THE EARLY 1900'S - received from Shirley Schneider, great granddaughter of Albertus Larrowe, founder of Larrowe Mills, granddaughter of James E. and Amy Bell Larrowe who gifted the Larrowe home to the Town and Village of Cohocton in the mid 1940's. Notice the buffet in the photo, and the camera that took the photo reflected in the mirror. Evidence has been found that indicates the molding throughout the house was originally finished in gold leaf. The buffet is now back in its original space. The dining room table and six chairs are being restored as well. We hope to have them back in place for Fall Festival 2011. Stop by and take a look!

By Jeff Miller
Genesee Country Express
Jul 07, 2011
Cohocton — Larrowe House Sideboard Buffet
A piece of Cohocton history is restored and back where it belongs.
The Cohocton Historical Society publicly unveiled a century-old sideboard buffet which belonged to the Larrowe family, who owned the Larrowe Mills in Cohocton, which once prided itself as being the largest buckwheat mill in the world.
The buffet had been in the home’s basement for decades. Ryan Towner and Matthew Fairbrother hauled the 1,000-pound dining room piece out of the basement and to Towner’s home where he and Fairbrother spent three weeks, and between the two of them, more than one hundred hours restoring it back to its original glory.
This was their first project together.
Among some of its restoration, one side had to be re-carved by hand and matched perfectly with the rest of the piece, as well as one of the front panel doors and some of the footing. Towner recreated the carving by careful studying of the existing pieces.
The interior of the drawers were relined with velvet; and two drawer pole handles had to be found that matched well with the rest of the piece.
Denise Fairbrother, Matt’s wife, also assisted the two in the refinishing.
The buffet’s mirror had been hanging on the dining room wall, and was placed back onto the back of the buffet where it belonged.
When the buffet is placed back in the dining room where the Larrowe’s originally had it, many wondered if it was custom fit for that particular spot.
Also, when put back in the dining room, the mirror ends up being placed in essentially the same spot where it had hung for many recent years.
Although there isn’t a date on the buffet, the restorers believe it predates 1913 based on research from the sticker found under one of the drawers, and from the date of an old photo.
It is believed the quarter-sawn oak buffet (inside is birdseye maple) was built by Stowe and Davis, a company from Grand Rapids, Mich., but there is no real defining mark stating so.
“You can’t really narrow down the company...there were so many furniture companies at that time,” Fairbrother said.
“This is by far one of the nicest oak carved pieces I’ve probably worked on,” Fairbrother, who has been in the restoration business for 17 years, and has worked on pieces as old as 16th Century, said.
In addition to unveiling the piece in front of historical society members, Society president Ron Towner explained that a piece of gold leaf molding had recently been discovered in the home.
The molding matched the front room, and it is surmised that all of the molding in the house, which had been painted over, was once gold leaf. The Society is planning on eventually restoring all of the home’s painted molding back to gold leaf.
As far as the rest of the buffet’s set, the dining room’s table and chairs are planned for restoration as well. A serving table and china cabinet that was once part of the dining room are no longer in the home.

The Larrowe House Buffet/Sideboard Restoration