Burke Residence – DuBois Street, Livingston Manor, NY


The building that was the DuBois Street residence of Dr. Victor Burke had long been of interest, partly to its rather curious physical appearance of modified craftsman bungalow architecture seemingly enveloping the original structure, as well as the building’s residents, Dr. Victor G Bourke, and before him, Edmund Fish. The “original structure” opinion comes from observing the existing building’s roof, where two gable ends appear to poke through the present roof lines, suggesting perhaps that there is a house within a house. However, never being inside the structure, this opinion may or may not be true. A close inspection of the basement, which assessment records state that it’s only a partial basement, may help to prove, or disprove, that opinion.


The earliest newspaper account that may be related to this structure comes from the April 17, 1890 edition of the Livingston Manor newspaper publication known as The Ensign;


William Smith sold his house and lot on DuBois Street to Edmond Fish of Scranton. Consideration unknown.


A deed search verifies the date of the sale as well as the location of the property. A close inspection showing a portion of the 1894 photograph of the village shows the first known image of this structure;


A picture containing grass, old, field, military vehicle

Description automatically generated


The large three-story building at left center of the image is the Manor Grange Hall, now a vacant lot on the corner of DuBois Street and Main Street. DuBois Street in this image, at its junction with Main Street, begins just to the left of the Grange Hall and follows along the line of buildings toward the right. The Edmund Fish residence [Burke] is the partial structure in view, in line on DuBois Street, behind the Grange Hall.


If anyone has more information please contact us - Fred


Bourke House Livingston Manor DuBois Street--- Fred


During the latter part of the nineteenth century, conflagrations were perhaps the worst calamity any homeowner could face. With this constant threat of structure fires, insurance companies needed information to calculate their liability in insuring community homeowners.  As a result, the Sanborn Map Company issued detailed maps of cities and villages, detailing accessibility to an adequate water supply for fire-fighting capability. These maps provided detailed information pertaining to that community’s water lines and fire hydrants. From a historical perspective, these maps are invaluable, providing detailed information of those structures within proximity of a water supply line. As for Livingston Manor, the first series of these Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps was published in 1892, one year after the Cowen water system began operating.


The 1892 Livingston Manor Sanborn Map shows a section of Dubois Street within the water district but does not show the residence of Edmund Fish. It is unknown why the building is not shown since local newspapers refer to it in 1890. The portion of the building on the corner of Main and DuBois streets that shows on the map was the Manor Grange building.




The subsequent Sanborn Insurance Maps, beginning in 1897, show the Fish/Bourke residence. Each sequence of maps, in chronological order, illustrate how the building, by alteration after alteration, had changed in its physical appearance.






1911 Sanborn Map













This post card shows DuBois Street about the year of 1911. The building on the right, with the picket fence is the Fish residence.





In all the images, the structure is orientated in the same direction, the upper side of the structure is facing north, and DuBois Street. Though more alterations may have occurred since 1936, it is easy to see, by following the changes from 1897 to 1936, how the building has been transformed into its current appearance

< 1924

1936 >













Harold Van Aken