The Old Stone Bridge
The bridge you now see is a new one, built in 1995 on the site of an earlier stone arch bridge. The stones from the old bridge have been used as a facing for the new one, to preserve its appearance. The stone bridge was of corbelled design: that is, the stone was laid up in an arch without mortar and held in place by a center keystone. While some form of bridge was surely necessary at the time of the mill and dam construction, it appears that the stone bridge that we are familiar with was constructed in the 1850’s although it is possible that at least part was built before 1800.
Map location 42
Old Stone Schoolhouse
Believed to be one of the original one room school houses constructed in Monroe, it was located in front of the stone wall at the end of the sidewalk just past the intersection of Oakland Ave and Stage Rd. It was built around 1820, its remains were most likely removed when the sidewalk was constructed in the 1940’s. The stones from this school house were brought to Museum Village by Roscoe Smith where a replica of the building was constructed and can be seen today.
Map location 47
The National Hotel
The National Hotel building is located just before the present Police Station. In 1883, the National Hotel was the property of J.T. Rogers, but in 1908 was bought and operated by George Valentine. The National Hotel was changed to the Empire Hotel in 1925 and operated as such into the 1930’s. Today there are apartments upstairs and storefronts at the street level. Squeezed between the hotel and the agency building is an apartment building which is almost identical in design to the hotel, but is a separate structure was never a part of the hotel.
In this rare and unique period photo of the hotel only two of which are known to exist, a horse drawn sleigh can be seen passing by. circa 1895.
Map Location 42
Historic Buildings and Locations around Monroe alphabetical N - R
The Old Train Station
The first train station in Monroe was established at Seamanville. Shortly thereafter, a group of businessmen purchased an existing building next to the railroad track. They petitioned the Lake Erie and Western RR to make it the station for Monroe. They offered free rent and renovated the purchased building for them. The RR could not pass up a good deal and moved the station from Seamanville to this location. However, In the 1850’s, Clarence B. Knight bought his partners out and began to charge rent to the RR. Eventually, in 1913, the RR built a new building on what is now Carpenter Place. The new building burned down in 1976, an has been replaced with the Erie Depot strip mall. The original building outlasted its predecessor having been converted to a candy store in 1914, then later a bar in the 1940’s.
Map Location 7
The Police Station
In 1897 there was a variety store on this site with a horse shed in the back. Clarence Knight ran his hardware store for many years, until the store was moved around the corner to Lake Street. In the early 1940’s, the building housed a Chinese laundry, before burning down and consuming upstairs apartments in the blaze also.
In 1953, a brick building was built on this location which was to be the new home of the Monroe Post Office. The post office moved to this location from the current DeAngelis Hall building where it had been since 1912. In 1976 the post office moved to a bigger building on Rt17m and the Monroe Police Department moved here from it’s location in the Village Hall across the street. The brick building was demolished in 1999 to make way for the present enlarged Police Station. Mack Place, a street between the Police Station and the hotel building and connecting Stage Road and Carpenter Place was eliminated at that time.
Map Location 20
This is the Presbyterian Manse located at 131 Stage Road, across the street from the church. It was converted from an old house in 1868. The entire house was moved about 15 feet, the roof raised, and an addition of 16 ft. built on the North end, a dining room and kitchen were finished in the basement.
Map Location 30
Hidden behind Maple Ave and unknown to many is the famous Monroe Racetrack.
From 1907 up until the expansion of the Elmira track in 1927, Monroe was a major attraction for horse racing and was a significant part of the horse racing circuit at that time. The track still exists in its entirety with exception of the grand stands and the clay bed which was dug up shortly after it’s closing and moved to the track in Goshen. The purse paid for the final year of racing totaled $30,000, one of the largest paid at that time.
Map Location 36
Nick Reed’s Bakery
The space between the Village Hall and the Professional Building was home to a building occupied by Nick Reed’s bakery, grocery store and job printing shop. Nick was George Reed’s father. Later W.J. Stephenson also operated a bakery in the building. It was destroyed by fire in 1915 and never rebuilt; the space now serves as a driveway to the municipal parking lot. The side of the Village Hall building can be seen in the background.
Map Location 17
The Reed & Conklin Buildings
The first building was constructed by George Reed in 1894 to replace buildings destroyed in the fire. Reed was an affluent Monroe businessman who was engaged in printing as well as the publishing of a local newspaper. Constructed shortly after 1894 adjacent to the Reed Building, the Conklin Building became the second largest structure built in Monroe at the time. It was constructed in the same style and of the same material to match the Reed building; so much so that most people do not realize that they are two separate structures.
Like George Reed, George Conklin was a prominent businessman; he dealt in lumber and feed throughout the county. It cannot be said if the buildings were built in competition or in complement, but certainly, both men left their mark, architecturally, upon Monroe.
It is interesting to note the variety of window styles on the face of these buildings which was an early deco influence.
As the largest buildings in the area at the time, outsiders would come to town to perform “feats of daring”, a thing popular then. They would draw a crowd by scaling up the side of this or the adjacent Conklin building and then sometimes top off with a handstand at the pinnacle. This was all done, apparently, for the hopes of some pocket change in an up-turned hat. Surprisingly, no tragedies were ever reported.
Map Location 14 & 15
Revolutionary War Camp
Several historic references are made to a lot on Stage Road where a revolutionary war encampment was located during George Washington’s era. The most popular reference is in Freeland’s 1898 History of Monroe. Here he describes the encampment as being located “on the west side of Stage Road, second lot from the homestead now residence of Clarence Knight.” Early references can also be found in a newspaper from the turn of the century describing its location for a “village walking tour.” This same paper also describes the believed location of the Claudius Smith house.
Map Location 46