Reference Information

Image courtesy courtesy Richard Palmer blog. Attribution not provided.

Cobblestone Construction

What would look better, and be better, on our farms than stables, turnip houses, piggeries, etc. constructed of materials which would not perish in ages, and which could be obtained and put up at an expense within the ready of almost every independent farmer! The stone must be picked up at all events and we might as well put them together for a building. -- Genesee Farmer, January 13, 1838

"A Master Builder of the Early Nineteenth Century", By Marc W. Cole, Country Life in America, February, 1916 PP 22-23
"Architectural Introduction", by Gerda Peterich, Cobblestone Society & Museum 5th Annual Tour pamphlet, 06/12/1965
"Building Cobblestone Houses", a letter to the editor, The Genesee Farmer, March 8, 1838, Vol. 8 No. 9
"Cobblestone Architecture", 1944, Carl Schmidt
      Four Windows from Cobblestone Houses, Page 93
      Interior Molding Profiles from Cobblestone Houses, Page 87
      Sections Through Various Stone Courses, Page 85
      Typical Molding Profiles from Cobblestone Houses, Page 86
"Cobblestone Architecture of New York State", National Register of Historic Places, Multiple Property Documentation Form
"Cobblestone Buildings in Niagara County", by Douglas Farley, Executive Director, Cobblestone Society
Cobblestone Buildings in Yates County, By Richard F. Palmer
"Cobblestone Foundations in the Late Cobblestone Era" by Richard F. Palmer, published in the "Bulletin" of the Cortland County Historical Society, August, 2018
"Cobblestone Landmarks of New York State", 1978, by Olaf William Shelgren, Jr., Cary Lattin, and Robert W. Frasch, Photographs by Gerda Peterich
      Historical Anticendents, page 7
      Masonry Construction, page 15
      Texture and Pattern, page 25
"Cobblestone Masonry", 1966, Carl Schmidt, pages 1 - 3
      Early Period 1825 - 1835, page 4
      Middle Period 1835 - 1845, pages 4 - 5
      Late Period 1855 - 1860's, pages 6 - 9
      Cost of Cobblestone Masonry, page 9
      Quoins, pages 9 - 11
      Mortar, pages 11 - 12
      Cobblestone Buildings, pages 13 - 14
      The Cobblestone Masons, pages 14 - 15
"Cobblestone Masonry", by Carl F. Schmidt, 1st Cobblestone Tour 06/10/1961
Cyrus Witherhill, "A Master Builder of the Early Nineteenth Century", by Marc W. Cole, Country Life in America, February, 1916 PP 22-23 (scroll to page 22).
"Early Cobblestone Construction" Paul Briggs Youtube presentation Cortland County Historical Society. Published on Nov 23, 2018
"Facts About Cobblestone Dwellings, Penn Yan Chronicle Express, August 13, 1936
"Moulding Profiles from Cobblestone Houses", "Cobblestone Masonry", 1966, Carl Schmidt
      Interior Page 303
      Typical Page 304
"New Genesee Farmer", Volume 2 No. 5, 1841. A detailed description of materials, construction techniques, and comparisons to other types of construction of the period
"Pardee House", article Museum Service Magazine JUL1940. Richard Palmer email 08/27/2019.
"Small Houses are Big with Her", by Doris Wolf, Finger Lakes Times, Monday, November 30, 1981. Featuring Cobblestone Doll Houses made by Gertrude Bennett.
Tentative List of Existing Cobblestone Structures in New York by County, Journal Register, Medina, N.Y., July 6, 1990
"The Cobblestone House", Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Sept. 11, 1930, Courtesy Richard Palmer email
"The Deep Greek Roots of Cobblestone Construction", by David Hanna, PhD, Courtesy Richard Palmer blog

Cobblestone History

"Age of the Octagon House"
"An Unknown Colonial Type", By Christina Livinson Rose, Country Life Magazine, June, 1917
"Brief History of Cobblestone Architecture", by Richard F. Palmer
"Cobblestone Folk Tales Fact or Fancy", Bethinking of Old Orleans Vol. XII No. 27, C.W. Lattin, Orleans County Historian
"Cobblestone Examples Noted in Genesee Recall Construction Over Century Ago", by Charlotte M. Reed, Genesee County Historian, Batavia Daily Press, April 23, 1966
"Cobblestone Houses That No Wolf Could Blow Down", by Michelle York, The New York Times, N.Y. Region, March 16, 2008
Cyrus Witheral, Stone Mason (1817 - 1893), circa 1840's and 1850's, built some of the most outstanding cobblestone homes in the Town of Gaines, Orleans County. Buried at Otter Creek Cemetery, Tour of Historic Cobblestone Homes 10/17/2009. See article above under "Cobblestone Construction" heading. Editor's Note: There is a contradiction in the spelling of the name, Witheral, Witherell or Wetherhill.
"Did cobblestone masons come from the Erie Canal?", by David Hanna (PhD)
"Historian Notes Three Periods of Cobblestone Architecture in N.Y. State, and in Local Area, by A. B. Gregg, Guilderland Town Historian, Altamont Enterprise, July 7, 1961
"Did cobblestone masons come from the Erie Canal?", by David Hanna (PhD)
"Historical Notes", by Robert W. Frasch, Cobblestone Society & Museum 5th Annual Tour, 06/12/1965
"History of the Landmark Tavern in Bouckville", Information collected by Jim Ford
"The American Cobblestone House." ThoughtCo, by Jackie Craven, Oct. 16, 2018
The Stones and the Style, page 1, "Cobblestone Landmarks of New York State", 1978, by Olaf William Shelgren, Jr., Cary Lattin, and Robert W. Frasch, Photographs by Gerda Peterich
Wikipedia List of cobblestone buildings

Cobblestone Society and Museum
"The Cobblestone Museum Properties", Pages 2 and 3, The 17th Annual Cobblestone Society & Museum Tour pamphlet
The Cobblestone Society and Museum Website,

Cobblestone Restoration and Repair

"19th Century Stone House Raises Problem", Buffalo Courier-Express, September 7, 1947
"Getting Help for Repairing and Restoring a Cobblestone House", By Richard F. Palmer
"How to Repair a Cobblestone Wall", by Old House Online
"Restoring Cobblestone Buildings", by Jim Salmon

Cobblestone Tours and Guides

"Cobblestone Homes and Legends" of Town of Wilson, NY
  • "Draft of Cobblestone Homes and Legends"
  • Digitized text and map/key from pamphlet.
  • "Cobblestone House Tour Scheduled For Southern Part of County Saturday", Citizen-Advertiser, Auburn, N.Y., May 29, 1963
    Hartland's Cobblestone Houses, Town of Hartland, Niagara County.
    The Cobblestone Society & Museum tour pamphlets for Cobblestone and local historical structures.


    Definition of terms and phrases encountered in text about cobblestone structures.


    Association of Public Historians of New York State - Listings have the best contact information.
    "Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning bulletin", by Anne Derry, H. Ward Jandl, Carol D. Shull, Jan Thorman 1977, revised 1985, by Patricia L. Parker
    Historical Societies
  • Wayne County
  • National Heritage List for England is the only official and up-to-date online access to all nationally designated heritage assets in England.
    Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) search
    National Registry of Historic Places, Multiple Property Documentation Form: The history of cobblestone masonry in New York State.
    Researching a Historic Property, by Eleanor O'Donnell 1991 revised 1998, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register Bulletin
    Towns and Historians of Cayuga County, New York
    Wayne Historians Organization (WHO) has created a Historic Sites Inventory. It's a "work in progress" and can be found at Richard Palmer email 13May2018.


    Map of Cobblestone buildings in Monroe County with locations marked by Dorothy Pease, 1940
    There are two methods to convert GPS Degrees Minutes Seconds to Decimal Degrees.
    1. To view the GPS coordinates in decimal value, go to the Google Maps insert provided in Map Location of the structure page and click on View larger map button. Move the cursor over the cobblestone structure and double click to open a window at the bottom of the view which provides the GPS decimal values.
    2. The 43°02'58.82"N 77°16'40.80"W configuration provided in the Info Base is the most accurate and is accepted when input into the Google Maps Side Panel search box; however, a degrees-minutes-seconds value (seconds rounded to one decimal place) and decimal value (rounded to six decimal places) are then both displayed on the Side Panel as well.
    3. The website converts GPS Degrees Minutes Seconds to Decimal Degrees. The Info Base states GPS position as degrees, minutes, seconds (43°02'58.82"N 77°16'40.80"W). At the site, input the just the numbers for the "W" value (77°16'40.80") in the "Degrees of Latitude" boxes, and the "N" value (43°02'58.82" - must round seconds to a whole number to input, 58.82 = 59) in the Degrees for Longitude boxes. Click on "convert to Decimal Degrees button to view answers. Google Maps only accepts the decimal numbers in the reverse (W Long.), -(N Lat.) order, and will round the displayed numbers to 6 decimal places (43.049672, -77.278000).

    National Register of Historic Places

    Cobblestone Info Base Index of Cobblestone Structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Albany County
    Cayuga County
    Chemung County
    Chenango County
    Cortland County
    Erie County
    Genesee County
    Herkimer County
    Jefferson County
    Livingston County
    Madison County
    Monroe County
    Montgomery County
    Niagara County
    Oneida County
    Onondaga County
    Ontario County
    Orleans County
    Oswego County
    Otsego County
    Saratoga County
    Seneca County
    Steuben County
    Tioga County
    Tompkins County
    Wayne County
    Wyoming County
    Yates County

    Historic Places - Search historic places and landmarks in the USA
    List by county of Historical Markers in New York State, Wikipedia
    National Register Content and Copyright
    National Register Database and Research
    National Register of Historic Places "Multiple Property Documentation Form", Cobblestone Architecture of New York State
    NP Gallery Digital Asset Management System, Digital Archive on NPGallery, Digital Asset Search for National Register of Historic Places
    Wikipedia: List of Cobblestone structures on the National Register of Historic Places by state
    Wikipedia: WikiProject National Register of Historic Places - Style guide
    Wisconsin Historical Society Register of Historical Places


    On behalf of Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo, we grant you [The Cobblestone Society and Museum] permission to make available on the Cobblestone Museum and Landmark Society of Western New York websites, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license, the following works of Carl F. Schmidt to which Milne Library holds the copyright. Copyright License Letter:

    "Cobblestone Architecture", by Carl F. Schmidt 1944. Html Info Base version.
          The book does not have a table of contents or an index.

    "Cobblestone Masonry", by Carl F. Schmidt 1966.
          Index A-Z

    "Cobblestone Landmarks of New York State", by Olaf William Shelgren, Jr., Cary Lattin, and Robert W. Frasch, Photographs by Gerda Peterich. Html Info Base version.
          Table of Contents

    Bibliography of Cobblestone related publications.