Historic Buildings / Landmarks

Windows in Time – 145 Front Street

Windows in Time, located at the Parkview Restaurant on 145 Front Street, Owego, are historic murals created by local artists who envisioned realistic and historical scenes of people and activities as might be seen in the windows in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Historic Home – 396 Front Street

396 Front Street – The structure is one of the larger and more fashionable homes on Front Street and has the Susquehanna River at the rear. Like others in the historic district, it was the home of one of Owego most prominent citizens. The structure is a rather unusual variation of the Second Empire style and one of the relatively few in Owego. Its curiosities in design include a rather inconspicuous entrance on the west side and no entrance at all on the more public north facade. Also, the arched stone sills on the west are of the same pattern as the recessed openings at pointed lintels on the north. In effect the sills on the west are up-side-down lintels. Of special note are the intact cast iron balconies. In 1864, John J. Taylor lived on Main Street but by 1867 had this unique residence built for the Taylor family. Taylor was born in 1808 and came to Owego in 1834 and became one of the Village’s most distinguished and wealthy citizens. Among his many distinctions were that he had been Oswego’s first Fire Chief, was a bank official, vice president of the Southern Central Railroad and a U.S. Congressman. Taylor died in 1892 and his grandson, Emile G. Taylor continued in the house as occupant/owner. The 1912 and 1920 directory listings name Sarah J. Taylor, John Taylor’s daughter-in-law, as the occupant. Mary L. Taylor resided here during the 1930’s and 1940’s. By 1968, the home had passed out of the Taylor family.

Historic Home – 317 Front Street

It was in a second floor room of this house that world famous parliamentarian, General Henry Martyn Robert wrote his most important work, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised in 1915. General Robert, who made Owego his retirement home, also lived at various times at 250 and 255 Front Street and several other Owego addresses, and he wrote several books on parliamentary procedures in those places.

Historic Home – 118 Front Street

Built in 1879, this is part of a row of 19th century residences in the historic district. The yard has stone carriage step-down and slate sidewalks. Notable features of this building and site are the Mansard roof with trapezoidal gable with elaborate barge boards, porch with columns and intricate balustrade. Interior has large oak double doors with arched transom with leaded lights. Lyman Truman was the bank president of the First National Bank of Owego and continued as such after the merger with the Bank of Owego in 1856 until his death in 1881. He also served as State Senator between 1851 and 1861.

Historic Home – 113 Front Street

This is the oldest brick house in Owego. Built in 1830, the house exhibits the finest in architecture of the transition period from Federal to Greek Revival styles. The house is graced by one of the finest leaded glass doorways in Owego. The house has been continuously occupied by members of the same family since its construction. John M. and Charles E. Parker, state Supreme Court Justices, were among the early members of the family.

Historic Home – 100 Front Street

This large Greek Revival house is of a design unique in Owego. Basically a “U” shape, the house has smooth faced, flush-fitting clapboard siding on three sides. Built in 1835 by Dr. Ezekiel Lovejoy, there were no windows on the west side because the doctor did not want his “nosey” wife spying on him at his office which was in the small house next door.

Heritage Mural Collection

Heritage Murals on County Ofc. Bldg.The Heritage Mural Collection: Located at the Tioga County Office Building 56 Main Street, Owego. The windows on the front of the building represent the treasured and historic points of interest from all the towns and villages of Tioga County.

Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery, opened in 1851, contains several old and interesting graves including Sa Sa Na Loft, a Mohawk Indian maiden, who, with her family was conducting a singing concert tour to raise money to aid her tribe on a reservation in Western Canada, when she was killed in a train wreck nearby in 1852. The view from her grave is the most spectacular in Owego. Also, E.T. Gibson, who erected a tombstone honoring his ancestors and family, with one of the longest epitaphs in the United States (135 words). Located at Prospect and Erie Streets in Owego. For more info about Sa Sa Na Loft, click here.

Tioga County Historical Society & Museum

This is one of three mid-20th century buildings in an otherwise exclusively 19th century and very early 20th century area in the historic district. Notable features of this building and site include that persevered as the entrance to the auditorium in the museum is a Federal Doorway with fine sidelights and a fan above, which was salvaged from the James Pumpelly house. A marble fireplace from the Minnie Wade House, the earlier site of the museum, has been preserved in the exhibit room to the right (west as one enters). The historical and architectural importance is that it was built on the site of the first Greek Revival house in Owego (built in 1827 according to an article in the Society’s scrapbook). The museum organization was established in 1914 and opened its new museum, at 110 Front Street in 1960 with many displays of local Indian, military, craft, family and industrial history. In addition to its regular displays, the museum maintains an excellent genealogical file; programs of artistic and cultural appeal are held regularly in the museum auditorium.

Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Monument: The Civil War monument, in honor of the soldiers and sailors of Tioga County, was unveiled and dedicated on July 4, 1891. It stands 50 feet high and is made from 100 tons of granite from the famous Barre, Vermont quarries at a cost of $8,000. The cast iron cannons were installed in 1900. By mistake they were mounted upside down, standing on the “vents” instead of the upright position.

The Gazebo

The Gazebo: The original gazebo was erected on the northeast corner of Courthouse Square in 1883. It remained until 1953, when it was removed because of disrepair. To commemorate the village bicentennial in 1987, the Tioga County Council on the Arts, in cooperation with the Owego Bicentennial Commission, erected a replica of the original one. The replica was designed by Owego architect, Richard L. Elbert, and was a gift to the village, funded by the Fannie C. Hyde Trust.

The Fire Bell on Courthouse Square

This is the original fire alarm bell purchased by the village in 1867. At first, it was hung in a 44 foot wooden tower at the north end of the park. When the new courthouse was completed, it was put in the northeast tower, where it served very well for 48 years, and in 1915, it developed a crack. It was at first sold back to the bell company, but sentimental citizens started a movement to save “Old Joe” named after one of Owen’s most famous fireman, Joseph S. DeWitt. To save it, the committee sold shares of “Old Joe” stock at 25 cents each and collected enough money ($600) to buy it back from the bell company. It was set up on this pedestal on August 25, 1915 and formally dedicated as a memorial to Mr. DeWitt.

Owego Academy Building

The old Owego Academy Building on Court Street was built in 1827 and for over 50 years was recognized as one of the finest secondary schools in central New York. Not always a “free” school, tuitions of $2, $3 or $4 per term were charged, depending on courses taken. At its peak in the 1850s, the enrollment numbered well over 300 students. Among the alumni are included nationally known figures in every field of endeavor including John D. Rockefeller and Benjamin F. Tracy, who served as Secretary of the Navy under President Benjamin Harrison.

Baker Memorial Fountain

Baker Memorial Fountain: The gaily painted Fireman’s statue and fountain in Oswego public park was erected in 1914 as a memorial to one of Owego early fire chiefs, but serves as a reminder of the service and dedication of all of Owego volunteer firemen that have served the village since 1828.

Tioga County Courthouse

Tioga County Courthouse: This courthouse was the second one to be erected in Owego. It was built between 1871 and 1873 on a plot of land donated for public use by James McMaster in 1799. It is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in New York State. It is the first building in Tioga County to be placed on the National Historic Register on December 26, 1972. The original towers (two stood 115 feet high, and two stood 92 feet high) were lowered in 1931 because of decay. The pair of lions on the steps of the south entrance has an interesting story. An Owego physician purchased them for his wife, who had often admired them when she lived in New York City. When he discovered that the building where the lions sat was going to be torn down, he purchased them and put them at the entrance of the home that once stood on the northwest corner of Main and Central Avenue. After their deaths, the house was sold and the lions were removed. Years later they were found in a cellar and then placed at the Courthouse in 1975.