Eshelman, J., and Company Store
Posted by: Rayman
N 43° 00.630 W 078° 38.238
17T E 692550 N 4764689
Quick Description: The former Eshelman General Store was once the center of community activity in the small hamlet of Clarence Center, NY.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/10/2006 7:49:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM117R
During the fourth quarter of the 19th century, the Eshelman store was perhaps the most important retail commercial structure in Erie County outside the city of Buffalo. Remarkably well preserved, it exemplifies the type of brick and cast iron commercial building common to the region from the 1850s to the 1880s. Built by a leader of the large German population in the area, the store evokes the economic prosperity that came to Buffalo and the surrounding countryside after the Civil War. In its dual function as store and meeting hall, it embodies the sense of community pride that affluence awakened in this and other rural communities in Western New York. In the 19th century the Italiante style store appeared in atlases as the chief landmark of its village.
John Eshelman had a general store in Clarence Center since the 1850s. In 1872, John and Andrew Eshelman purchased the land and built this building with bricks made in a nearby kiln operated by Jacob Eshelman. The building incorporates an auditorium on the third floor and a smaller meeting room on the ground floor where trials were often conducted. Thus, the building became the scene of cultural, political, and judicial events in the community.
The Eshelman store is a fine example of the standard type of cast iron and brick commercial architecture commonly built in Buffalo and Western New York in the 1870s. Many of these structures have either been demolished or greatly altered. Thus it is rare a building of this type and size remain in the area.
6000 Goodrich Rd
Clarence Center, NY United States
County / Borough / Parish: Erie
Year listed: 1982
Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering
Periods of significance: 1850-1874
Historic function: Commerce/Trade, Social: Department Store, Meeting Hall
Current function: Retail Store
Privately owned?: yes
Primary Web Site: [Web Link]
Season start / Season finish: Not listed
Hours of operation: Not listed
Secondary Website 1: Not listed
Secondary Website 2: Not listed
National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.