Livingston House Debate

If you could believe the local historians, then the New York State historical marker located next to the firehouse, stating that this is the location of the Livingston homestead, would be correct. This marker states; "1824-1864 Site of the Manor House of Dr. Livingston for whom Livingston Manor was named."

Just where these local historians received their information is unknown, perhaps by word of mouth passed on by earlier "old-timers". Or perhaps from Joe Willis' writing, back in 1939, of "The Pioneer", which states on page thirty-eight; "Dr. Edward R. Livingston.....resided at our Livingston Manor on the site of the present Manor House or John R. Baldwin property."

Now, I know what my own memory is like nowadays, and there is one conclusion I've made in talking to today's "old-timers"; don't believe everything you hear. For me, though, seeing is believing, and the 1893 overview, shown on the Livingston Manor history site, shows me that this presumption of the Livingston home may not be correct. The Baldwin property is indeed on the present day site of the firehouse, but that doesn't necessitate the conclusion that this is also the site of the residence of our town's namesake. - Fred

Looking at the 1893 photograph, start at the clump of trees in the left of the image. The grayish building immediately to the right of these trees is the H.L. Sprague & Co.'s store(1), which was located next to the railroad depot. Main Street passes in front, from left to right. The next structure to the right, the smaller, lighter, building, partially hidden by a tree, is the Finch & Smith store, later known as the Tartikoff building(2). Both are now gone, having been replaced by the firehouse parking lot. The next building, taller, with the dormer, is the Manor House(3), or the Baldwin Hotel as it was later known. Notice that all three fronts of these buildings run parallel with Main Street. That cannot be said of the next structure to the right.(4) - Fred


This building is the one with two additions(4), both gabled ends facing us, and a cupola on the main roof. This structure appears not to run parallel with Main Street, and for good reason; it existed well before the street was made. For those who would look at the 1875 Purvis map, you'll see this same building, labeled the Davis Hotel, having the same configuration. This is the Livingston residence. If you look at the "pre-1900" page on the LM history site, you'll see this same house, from the other side, with the same cupola. The Baldwin House was only an addition, and a large one at that, added by H.W. Clay, the proprietor of the house, in the 1880's. That makes the location of the Livingston residence not on the firehouse lot where the Baldwin Hotel was, but on the lots that now has the town hall and its neighboring garage.- Fred

I was talking to Katie Loucks today and she was saying that the Livingston House was  the one Betty Stafford had on the corner of De Boise and Main and that is where the gas station is. It was an empty lot there with a short cut path through it and they played ball on the lot. She was telling me about the Baldwin House and the other buildings down towards the tracks she said that she would go into the one store and look at the cookies (I think) and wish that she had money for some. She knows Fred because she mentioned him in regard to manor history.- LM Lurker

The picture below is the site where the Livingston House was and the Bank was built. The house in the back right would be on DuBois Street and Scotty's gas station was on the corner of Main and DuBois Street. NEW

Livingston Manor National Bank Site - picture posted by Fred
As a new bank building is prepared for opening in Livingston Manor, we print a bit of nostalgia with pictures supplied by Mrs. Joseph MacDonough, the former Irene McGrath, of the survey and dedication of the then Livingston Manor National Bank, now a brance of the Sullivan County National Bank.
Identification of many appearing in the photos has been done by those mature enough to remember.
Among those shown in the survey picture is: first man unknow, then Lawrence McGrath, John Baldwin, the next man was the architect but his name has been forgotten, the three men in back of the wagon are unidentified, standing at the right corner is Charles Hartig. The surveyor's helper at far right was also unknown.
Identification by Wilfred Smith of the buildings was that the Manor House icehouse was to the left. In back of the men is veterinarian J.C. Smith's barn with his home at the far right. Also visible are parts of homes of Leonard Quinn, Bardenstein and August Johnson.

The Manor House was built next to and attached to the Livingston House

Manor House - New picture of the Manor House that was in the location of the Firehouse today.  The postcard was mailed from the Livingston Manor post office in 1911
 click for full-size