Glimpses of the Past
People, Places, and Things in Letchworth Park History


The Stone House

As the visitor travels toward Glen Iris from the Visitor Center in the present day park and Inspiration Point is on the left, the house on the right side of the road deserves attention. Currently it is a rental known as The Stone House and is managed by the concessionaire operating Glen Iris Inn.

Thanks to our contact with former Park Patrolman Don Gibson who started with the park in 1945, we have some more accurate information to relate about the building.

Originally the site was occupied by a two story wood frame house known as the Davis property. The house was occupied by a New York State Trooper ( not park patrolman) named Albert Perry and his wife Jean. We do not fully understand why State Police were there other than the fact that at that time there were no Park Police. The present Stone House was constructed about 1939 behind the Davis property while Albert and Jean lived in the Davis house. They then moved into the Stone House so they were its first occupants. The Davis house was sold and moved to the Village of Castile. When the park took over the residence from the State Police Don Gibson and wife Norma lived there. His title at that time was Park Caretaker. Then in 1952 he transferred to the north end of the park after he had become a Park Policeman.

The house was constructed by park forces, CCC enrollees and some Attica prison labor and was completed by 1940.

Further along this main road, at a point where the First New York Dragoons monument stands, there is a road that forks to the right known as Trout Pond road. This was once a southerly extension of Glen Iris Road ( a county highway) and a main entrance into the Letchworth property. The park office was located on this road, across from the replica school house that stands there now, in a wood frame house known as the McCarthy house. This structure burned in l946. The building that stands in that area now is known as the "Old Office Garage" and is used for storage. Valuable records were saved from that fire by employees like Don Gibson and others on the work force at the time.

Soon after the fire the new park office building was constructed, which is part of the present day Visitor Center. This then became the rental office and the Police office. Stone House became the residence for the Executive Secretary of the Genesee State Park Region. This was the original title for the man who supervised the seven county park region.



Minutes of the Genesee State Park Commission, 1939, 1940

Inteview with Don Gibson, 2004

Tom Breslin

updated 2005

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