Harriman House

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The Harriman House (8387 Bay Street)


William Nixon Lummis was a practicing physician in Philadelphia, PA.  He made a tour of inspection to the
Genesee Country soon after 1800 and decided to make Sodus Point his home.  He made considerable investments in land and moved with his family to the Point.  He resided at the Point until the beginning of the War of 1812 when he moved two miles farther up the lake, where he purchased lands and erected a flouring mill ( Preston Mills).  His house at the Point was burned during the British attack.  In the late 1850s, this house was built by his son, Benjamin, who gave up a successful career in New York City to “bury himself and his young wife in the solitary scenes of his childhood”.  Benjamin had first built a home on one of the islands which he called The Homestead, but this was his home on the “mainland”.  It was Benjamin’s daughter Rose for whom the Catholic Church in Sodus Point is named., St. Rose. The excursion boat presently on Seneca Lake is named the Rose Lummis in honor of this lady. It was previously on our Bay. There is a biography written about Rose Lummis, The Annotated Rose, by Alan Firstone.


The house was sold in October of 1883 to E.H. Harriman who had come to the Point, along with his Railroad, in anticipation of the growth of the Point.  The Harrimans did not stay long in  Sodus Point, but kept this residence as a summer home until 1913, when Mrs. Harriman gave it to the Episcopal Church for use as a retreat house.  It was used as such until 1942 when it was sold to private owners. In the 1970’s it was owned by the Philip Lucias, who operated as the White Pillars Antique Shop.  Today, it is the home of Tom and Martha Lightfoot.


Celebrities at the Harriman House


For ten summers in the 1920s, the Harriman House was the home to two girls who would become famous actresses. For their story please click on the following link:  https://historicsoduspoint.com/people/celebrities/