Self-guided walking/driving tour of the Historic
Village of Naples and the surrounding area
ABOUT THIS TOUR
Welcome to the self-guided walking/driving audio tour combined with images of our historic landmarks in Naples, New York. The adjacent map shows the location of selected historical sites and buildings. The short videos (below) provide a brief description of each. The complete list of videos can be viewed on YouTube by clicking the link Full Tour.
The selected locations represent just a few Naples historical sites and structures. The Naples Historical Society will periodically update this tour with new additions and improvements.
The Naples Historical Society would like to acknowledge the assistance of many individuals in the completion of this tour:
Mary Ann Banaszewski,
Board Member, Naples Historical Society
(Text preparation and editing)
Board Member, Naples Historical Society (Text preparation)
Assistant Director, Pioneer Library System (Video preparation)
Past President, Naples Historical Society (Narrator)
Clerk, Naples Library (Brochure design, Text preparation and editing)
Recording Studio Manager/Technical Specialist at CCFL
(Audio preparation and editing)
Board Member, Naples Historical Society (Photography, Image preparation, Webpage Design, Text preparation and editing)
Board Member, Naples Historical Society
(Project coordinator, Text preparation and editing)
Special thanks to various property owners that provided access and information.
Self-guided walking or driving audio tour of our historic landmarks in Naples, New York.
1-The Clark House
Near Junction of County Rd 12 and Rt. 21
Colonel William Clark, an officer in the Revolutionary War, built this house in 1795. Except for the porch, it is little changed. This house has been owned by only two families: the Clarks and the Hanggis.
2-The Williams House
208 N. Main St.
Oliver Williams built this house in the early 1790’s. This is one of the oldest dwellings in Naples. South of this house, Nathan Watkins, one of the village’s first settlers, built his home.
3-The Town Square or Common
N. Main across from Rt. 245
In 1793, a plot of one acre was given to the town by the proprietors to be used as a town square for religious, recreational and educational purposes. The first Naples church was built here. Inns and homes were built around the square.
4-The First Church*
N. Main across from Rt. 245
On this site was organized the “First Religious Compact of Middletown 1800.” The Church was built in 1824. Middletown became Naples in 1808.
5-Naples Pioneer Cemetery
N. Main across from Rt. 245
The original Naples cemetery (located West of Bob’s & Ruth’s Restaurant) was first used as the sacred burial grounds of the Seneca Tribe of Native Americans. For the first 60 years, Naples’ dead were buried here. Here lie the bodies of 11 Revolutionary War officers and soldiers, as well as nine soldiers who served in the War of 1812.
N. Main across from Rt. 245
Canesque, Chief of the Senecas at Nundawao Village, returned from the Genesee Reservation in 1794 to die and be buried in his beloved Kiandaga Valley.
7-The Cleveland House
Corner of Main St. and Rt. 245
This beautiful colonial home was built by Capt. Ephriam Cleveland, a Revolutionary War officer, in 1797. The house was one of the first frame homes in the village, and is today almost as it was in 1794. The Tellier House is noted for its excellent wall stenciling, the work of Stephen Clark, the son of Major Joseph Clark and grandson of Col. William Clark. Stephen was Naples' first college graduate and was the author of the widely used Clark's Grammar.
8-The Red School House
Corner Mt. Pleasant and Main
This was the site of the first school building after districts were formed in 1828. It was designated “District No.1, School #9" by the community. The present building was built in 1870 and used until 1935, when schools were centralized.
9-The Joseph Clark House
4 Mt. Pleasant St.
Built in 1813 or 1814 by Joseph Clark, son of Col. William Clark, this house contains original log beams, hand-hewn boards, and other examples of early building construction.
10-Last Reminder of WWII POW Camp
Naples was one of 40 communities statewide that housed a POW camp during WWII. More than 200 POWs lived in barracks between Academy St. and beyond Lake Niagara Lane. Widmers contracted for the assistance of POWs in the grape harvest due to the worker shortage as a result of WWII. In 1943, about 233 Italian POWs assisted in the harvest. In 1944 the Italians were gone and there were 219 German POWs helping. This continued for several years.
11-The Early Store & Cigar Factory
Main and Tobey St.
This early Naples building was used as a saloon, a general store, and finally Samuel Howse’s Cigar Factory. Built in the early 1800s, it became a family residence in 1924.
12- Hazlitt Winery
Lake Niagara Lane/West Ave.
After starting operations in the cellar of his home in 1888, John Jacob Widmer built a wine cellar below his vineyards. A museum of wine-making tools is open to the public in the “Niagara Chalet” and conducted tours of the modern winery are available.
Academy St./West Ave.
The first train to arrive at the station from the Middlesex Valley Railroad was from Stanley, NY, on August 28, 1892. The railroad was purchased by the Lehigh Valley Railroad on December 1, 1895. Naples was the end of the Lehigh Valley line, so the engineers had to turn the engines around in order to make the return trip. The last train run was in the Fall of 1970.
14-The Octagon House
Corner of West Ave/Lyons St.
This unusual house was built by E. A. McKay, a Naples lawyer, in the 1840’s. Behind this house and to the South, he set out the first vineyard in the Naples Valley in 1844. By 1848 he had a full acre of grapes in production.
15-The Naples Fairgrounds Entrance*
In 1879, land across Naples Creek was leased from James Monier and used as an agricultural fair site. Stock was sold locally and an annual fair was held in September until 1941. The property is now owned by the New York State Conservation Department and has a number of hiking trails.
16-The Dana Luther House
45 East Ave. (east side of street)
This was the home of D. Dana Luther, Naples’ self-made geologist, surveyor and author. He discovered the “fossilized” Naples tree displayed in the State Museum.
17-The Memorial Town Hall
Main at Monier St.
This hall was built in 1872, as a memorial to those who fought in the Civil War. The plans and all of the building materials were supplied locally. Meetings, school events, dances and entertainment of all sorts were held here until the 1930s. Village boards met here. Various businesses occupied it for a number of years. The building was saved by a group of volunteers in the 1970s. The Town of Naples sponsored the restoration of the exterior in the 1990s. This is one of the few Civil War memorial buildings in existence.
18-The Pottle House
134 N. Main St.
This beautiful home was the residence of the Honorable E. B. Pottle, first member of the assembly from Ontario, Yates, and Seneca districts. He was one of the founders of the Republican Party in New York State and was a strong abolitionist. His son, Emery Pottle, known author, actor and playwright, lived in the house next door to the South, and was known as "Gilbert Emery".
19-The Jane Mills House
4 Dumond St.
Jane Mills was born in 1815 and moved to Naples in 1843. She was the author of a history of Naples, poems, stories and a text book, "Elements of Botany". For many years, she was Town Historian.
20-The Marks House
1 Mechanic St.
Here lived William “ Billy” Marks, Naples merchant, undertaker and abolitionist. His home became a principal station on the Underground Railroad as he helped formerly enslaved people on their way to Canada. Hiding them in his small hearse, he successfully transported, according to his own calculations, 150 freedom seekers over the hills to the next station, the Pitts Mansion in Honeoye.
21-The Red Mill
Corner Mill and Wall St.
This old mill is the second to stand on this site. The first, built by Lyons, Watkins, and Story in 1815, was torn down in 1850. Lyons and Hamlin then reconstructed it using the original basement and timbers. The last miller was James Slayton. William Vierhile donated the mill to the Naples Historical Society in 2015 The Society is currently securing the structure and inventorying artifacts.
22-The Morgan Hose Building
22 Mill St.
The “Bee-Hive”, as it was called, was built in 1830. It first was a home to Mr. Lyon, then a rooming house that survived the fire of 1890. The Morgan Hook and Ladder Company acquired the building in 1891, added the tower for drying fire hoses, and bell, and used it as a firehouse. The basement was used as a jail. The Historical Society undertook a major structural repair project in the 1990s. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now the headquarters for the Naples Historical Society.
23-Rose Ridge Cemetery
West Hollow Rd.
Caroline Porter was buried on the ridge overlooking Naples in 1854. Her father offered adjacent land for other burials. In 1868, William Marks purchased this land and gave it to the community as a cemetery. In 1882, the property was taken over by the Rose Ridge Cemetery Association.
At the end of Vine St.
This beautiful glen was named for Paul Grimes who lived near its entrance. A knife factory was built at the second falls in 1889 and it operated for many years. D. Dana Luther found the fossilized specimen of the oldest form of known tree here in 1882.
25-The Morehouse Car*
Mill and Cross St.
In a wagon shop near where the firehouse currently stands, Fisher Morehouse built a three-wheeled gasoline powered automobile in 1893. This was one of the first automobiles driven on New York State highways. A New York City doctor purchased the car from Morehouse and drove it for many years in New York.
26-The Vierhile House
166 S. Main St.
Major Benjamin Clark, who built the first saw mill, erected this house in 1804. It originally stood on the high ground across the street. but was moved to its present location in 1923.
27-The Griswold Mill*
Main St./Mark Circle
Also known as “the old mill”, it is unknown who built it. Records indicate that Paul Grimes was an early operator. In its “hay day”, it is said that two shifts operated sawing stovewood, lumber to make grape trays and baskets, shingles, lath, molding and general building material.
28-The Maxfield Wine Cellar
12 Clark St.
The wine cellar was established by Hiram Maxfield, Jr. in 1880. Widmers purchased it in 1941. In 2003, Lake Country Woodworkers renovated the winery to use as their factory for making fine commercial furniture.
29-The Sutton Company
120 S. Main St.
This store was built in the mid-1800’s. From 1898 to 1936, the building housed the famous Tobey Clothing Store ,“Clothiers to the World”. Jim Stafford continues to manufacture the equally famous Sutton fishing spoons here. The store still sells clothing in an old-time store setting.
30-The Naples Hotel
111 S. Main St.
The first “uptown” hotel was built just north of this site in 1820 by Simeon Lyon. In 1895, J. F. Brown erected the brick Naples Hotel. Hotel service has been continuous at this location since 1820. You can contact the hotel for information on ghost tours.
31-The Corner Store
102 N. Main at Mill St.
This store may be oldest store still standing on Main Street. Built in the early 1800s, it has housed the following businesses: Welton & Dart, M. & W. T. Polmanteer, Dunton & Dunton, S. A. Wilbur, Levi Thrall, William H. Wisewell, E. Booth Arnold’s Restaurant, Bea Gerould Gifts, Bud Ryan Homes, Bodine’s Square Dance Shoppe, Miller's Floral, and J. Robinson's Law Office.
32-The Maxfield House
105 N. Main St.
One of Naples’ stateliest homes, this pillared white building with its Colonial revival front was built by Calvin Luther for his childhood sweetheart, Rebecca, in the 1830s. D. Dana Luther, noted geologist, was born in this house. In 1865 it became the home of Hiram Maxfield, banker, and later, his son Dennison, a banker and winery owner. The first savings and loan of Naples was started in the house behind the round porch. The house remained in the Maxfield family until 1973, and has since been a private residence and a bed and breakfast. It is currently under extensive authentic renovation and will be an elegant inn when completed.