Armstrong House lost in 1931

Richard Palmer
Special to The Chronicle-Express

Cobblestones of the Finger Lakes

The fine old Armstrong cobblestone house on Billsboro Road south of Geneva was built in the 1840s. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire April 23, 1931. It was located on a farm owned at the time by Willis A. White and was a tenant house occupied by the family of Abe Covert. 

Armstrong House lost in 1931

The fire broke out while the Coverts were having dinner. Flames were first seen sweeping over the shingled roof. Fanned by a brisk southeast wind, flames were carried away from the other buildings but embers set fire to trees standing in the orchard some distance away. 

There was no chance to save the structure and Mr. Covert first devoted his attention to saving a quantity of seed beans stored in the house before the planting season. A small amount of furniture was saved. The Geneva Fire Department responded but was unable to save the house. 

It was reported the architecture was somewhat peculiar in that there were no windows on the sides of the second story. There were three rooms on the second floor, the two end ones obtaining light from windows in the gable, while the central one was lighted by a round window in the center of the southern room.

A cobblestone addition contained a side entrance and dining room. It had a wide porch with Greek Revival pillars extended two-thirds across the front, its roof being a continuation of that which covered the building.

The interior finish was unusual, also the door and window casings being carved and railings being hand-carved and an entrancing fireplace gracing the western end of the large living room which faced the south.