The Oliver Phelps house was built in 1813 and expanded in 1830. An example of Greek revival architecture, it retains lovely features for today’s guests: twelve-foot ceilings, wide plank floors, blown glass window panes, old-growth trees on the grounds, and the spaciousness of a great Federal period home.
Oliver Phelps, together with his partner Nathan Gorham, were the original ‘land-developers’ in America (between 1787-1788). They purchased six million acres, essentially NY west of Geneva, with plans to sell to settlers expanding westward in the newly independent United States. It is recorded that they paid $1,000,000.00, less than 25 cents per acre. Gorham and Phelps chose Canandaigua (derived from the Iroquois word “Kanandarque” meaning chosen spot) for their headquarters Making Canandaigua the headquarters for Ontario County.
Judge Oliver Phelps III, his grandson acquired this house in 1830. It remained the Phelps family home until 1928 when it was sold to the Christian Science Church. It served as their place of worship for several decades. Returning to private ownership in 1977, it became the first bed and breakfast in Canandaigua. It has been successful as one ever since.
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