Mansion House

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If you grew up in Sodus Point or have lived here for many years, you most likely know the story of the Mansion House and its connection to the Battle of Sodus Point during the War of 1812. But do you know the rest of the story?


Located at 8389 Bay Street, Sodus Point, New York  on the north side of the road.


The plaque reads:


Site of the only building left standing after the burning of Sodus Point by the British. In the old tavern, Asher Warner, an American Patriot, mortally wounded by the British, died June 20, 1813.

During the battle of Sodus Point, Asher Warner was mortally wounded and Charles Terry was seriously wounded. The following day, the British landed again. They then proceeded to capture what few supplies had not been hidden and burned all the public buildings except one.
The story of the Mansion House we have all heard is recounted in the May/June 1994 issue of Drumlins, A Magazine of Wayne County on Page 36:
“The one house that was saved was the Mansion House. Asher Warner was picked up by the British, mortally wounded, and carried into this house where he died. It is said that the British placed a pitcher of water near him and the officers twice extinguished a fire kindled by the men to destroy the building.”
A lesser known story that I came across claimed that a wounded Charles Terry was in the Mansion House for a few hours after the Battle and was retrieved by his son and taken home before the British landed and burned down the Village. Is this story true or simply a folklore muddled version of the Asher Warner story? We may never know.
So what ever happened to the Mansion House? For most of the 19th century, the Mansion House continued to function as a tavern/hotel and remained the oldest building in Sodus Point. Its stay of execution from fire ran out in May of 1881, however, as documented in the Lyons Republican, Thursday, May 12, 1881:
“Destructive Fire at Sodus Point:”
“A fire, supposed to be started by an incendiary, broke out early Monday morning in one of the barns belonging to the Mansion House property in Sodus Point. As the village has no fire engine, the flames soon extended and enveloped the sheds adjoining, thence to the dwelling of Stephen Tinklepaugh, and simultaneously with the hotel, all of which structures were totally destroyed. Most of the furniture was removed, in damaged condition, but the contents of the barn, including two horses, a cow, carriage, hay, etc. were destroyed. The Mansion House was the oldest building in Sodus Point, having been the only one spared by the British in 1812 when they burned the town, because one of their wounded officers had been taken there. (editor’s note: they got the date wrong and the fact that it was an American) The hotel was, in former years, owned and occupied for a long period by William Wood**; but latterly owned by William Lummis of New York City, who, it is supposed, had it insured. It has been kept for a few years past by S. C. Perry. The loss to Mr. Tinklepaugh is severe, as he had no insurance and was ill prepared for such a calamity.”
** Wood family records indicate that it was not William Wood but rather Abner Wood who owned and operated the Mansion House from the 1830s for many years. Information from Tomothy Gunnison April 2019


After the destruction of the Mansion House, which building in the Village of Sodus Point became the oldest building? This is the subject of debate. Silver Water’s Bed and Breakfast is said to date back to 1835.
Silverwaters (Copy)

We have evidence that the Johnson House (Bay Street Hotel) opened for business in 1844 but was build some time prior to that.
johnson house 1905 600x420