The Davis homestead next to Dehgayasoh Creek was standing when Mr Letchworth first walked the area in 1858. It remained in the Davis family as the Glen Iris Estate expanded, eventually remaining one of the few parcels along the gorge the Mr. Letchworth was unable to acquire.
According to Mildred Anderson in Genesee Memories "Nathan Davis Sr came to a home at the foot of Eagle hill in 1840 which had been a public house owned by Alvarius Willard....he had a furniture factory on the creek. He sold the place to his son, William T in 1854. It was left to his daughter Maria who lived there alone as long as she was able...." (p8-9)
Black and White Photograph
Dehgayasoh Bridge and Davis Homestead
The date of this wonderful image is not known. A facade has been added to the eastern side of the Davis homestead. This false front was probably added to create the illusion that the house fronted onto the road coming down Eagle Hill. See image 42 for another view showing the facade.
What is most remarkable perhaps is the amount of human activity on the hillside - it is hard to believe that a house, fences, fields, and barns all stood on the spot. If you visit the spot today it seems impossible!
Also - can you spot the people in the photograph?
Photo courtesy of Letchworth State Park
Real Photo Postcard
"Davis Homestead at Letchworth Park."
In the 1880s Letchworth had the old Dehgayasohbridge replaced at his own expense. His bridge was still standing when this image was taken sometime around WWI. Note that the facade is gone and a porch has been added.
Maria Davis lived out her life at the old homestead. She died in March of 1915, and was the last person buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. The Davis home burned a few years after this photo was taken, not long after the property was finally acquired by New York State.
Photo courtesy of Castile Historical Society