This particular picture is of the south side of the Hannibal Village Square in probably the 1890's. At the time it was referred to as the Brewster Block basically because the better part of it was owned by the Brewster family. Silas Brewster started a dry goods business in 1836 on the right corner location. Alvah Worster built the three-story building on the left in 1857.
The building was later purchased by Silas Brewster who then moved his dry goods store to that location. Silas died in 1882, and his son, Wadsworth J. Brewster inherited the business under the name of W.J. Brewster & Co. In 1884, W.J. Brewster erected the center section between the two corner stores.
With the completion of the new construction, the Brewster commercial operation encompassed 5,000 sq. ft. of floor space and was considered one of the largest and most successful store complexes in the county. The Brewster concern also included a large banking and exchange business, a drugstore, a clothing store and a spacious public hall on the second floor of the center section. At the time of this photo, The corner building on the right was occupied by David Bothwell's hardware business. It was also the location of the post office.
The left half of the block was destroyed by fire on October 22, 1942. It was rebuilt by the Masons in 1945. The right half of the center section was heavily damaged by the 1942 fire, but the better part of it still exists. Salvatore F. Lanza, a Fulton attorney, is currently the owner. He had the entire front of the building reconstructed in 1992. The building on the right corner is currently occupied by Cook's Manufacturing Jewelers. It still looks much the same as in the old photo. The old original windows in the front were all replaced within the last couple of years . They were about to fall out into the street! The Cook building is the oldest commercial building in the Square and was constructed with bricks made in the old Pierce Bros. brickyard in Hannibal. Incidently, the Pierce brothers were cousins of Franklyn R. Pierce, the 14th President of the United States.
Picture and information generously contributed by Lowell C. Newvine, Hannibal Historical Society. *Click on photograph for a larger image.
This is the Bicentennial
Year For the Town of Hannibal.
TOWN OF HANNIBAL
Information was obtained from the Historical & Statistical Gazetteer of New York State, R. P. Smith, Publisher, Syr., 1860, by J. H. French.
HANNIBAL----was formed from Lysander, as a part of Onondaga co., Feb 28, 1806, and embraced all that part of Oswego co. lying W. of the river. Oswego and Granby were taken off in 1818. It is the N. W. corner town of the co. Its surface is gently undulating, the ridges being 30 to 50 feet above the valleys. In the E. part are several swamps, one of which covers 500 acres. The soil is a rich, sandy and gravelly loam. A salt spring, from which salt has been manufactured, is found in the N. W. corner. Springs of brine, characteristic of the Medina sandstone strata, have been discovered in several other localities, but none of sufficient strength to render their working profitable. The principal manufacturing establishments are those of leather, lumber, and the products of wood.1 Hannibal, (p.v.,) on Nine Mile Creek, a little W. of the center of the town, contains 3 churches and about 60 houses; Hannibal Center (p.v.) contains 20 houses; and Hulls Corners (South Hannibal p.o.)18. Wheeler Corners is a hamlet in the N. part, and Kinneys Four Corners is a p.o. Settlement was commenced in 1802, by Thomas SPRAGUE and his sons, from Milton, Saratoga co.2 The first church (Bap.) was organized in 1815.3
1. There are 18 sawmills, a stave factory, 2 gristmills, and 2 tanneries in town.
2. Watson EARLE, Samuel BARON, Joseph WEED, Sterling MOORE, David WILSON, and Israel MESSENGER settled at Hannibal Center in 1805.
The first birth was that of Carr SPRAGUE, in 1805
The first marriage, that of Daniel THOMAS and Prudence SPRAGUE, in 1803.
The first death, that of a daughter of Thomas SPRAGUE in 1806.
The first gristmill was built by Earl & Colton, in 1805.
The first sawmill, by Silas CRANDELL, in 1811.
The first inn was kept by Henry Jennings, in 1808
The first store, by Benj. PHELPS, in 1815.
The first school was taught in 1810.
3. The census reports 4 churches: 2 Bap., Cong., and M.E.
1999-2007LauraPerkins / Lowell C. Newvine