Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ghosts of the D & C

The January-February issue of the Rochester Avon Historical Society's newsletter contains an article about the legendary ghost of the D & C store, formerly located in the building at 401 Main St., where Andiamo's restaurant is now. Reading that article sparked my interest in looking for details surrounding one of the people connected with the story of the ghost. The newsletter article recounts store manager Lou Tisch's experiences with unexplained happenings in the building, as well as his conversation with a long-time local resident who connected the ghost to the death of a man named Bill McIntyre. The resident told Tisch that McIntyre, a butcher, had worked in Mason's Market, which was at one time located in the west end of the D & C building. The man said McIntyre had cut himself while butchering meat and bled to death right there in the store. Another resident told Tisch that McIntyre had died from the accident so described, but it had happened in another store on Main St., not at the D & C building.

This all had me wondering which parts of the McIntyre story were fact, and which parts legend, so I consulted the newspaper accounts from the time. Sure enough, the Rochester Era for November 22, 1945, contained this front page headline: “William McIntyre Victim of Freak Accident Here: Severs Femoral Artery of Right Thigh and Bleeds to Death Within 20 Minutes.” Seems that Mr. McIntyre had, in fact, worked in Mason's Market when he first relocated to Rochester from Yale, but he had left there in 1944 to go into partnership with George Forsyth in the Forsyth & McIntyre meat and grocery market. While working in the meat processing room of the Forsyth & McIntyre store at 425 Main on November 15, 1945, the butcher knife he was using struck a bone and glanced off, hitting McIntyre in the right thigh and severing his femoral artery. He was carried to the nearest medical facility, which at that time was a block away at the Woodruff Hospital on Fifth Street (now University Drive) at the foot of Walnut. It was at the hospital that McIntyre, having lost too much blood, died of his wound.

I can't tell you whether the unfortunate Bill McIntyre is the D & C ghost, but it is clear that he did not die in the store. To read the entire newsletter article about the D & C, check out the current issue of the RAHS newsletter, Reliving the Rochester ERA, available here on the RAHS web site.


  1. Alason (Duquette) SchombergJanuary 20, 2009 at 11:52 PM

    My name is Alason (Duquette) Schomberg. I was amazed as to this article as I never knew about the D&C store ghost. I worked there after graduating in 1960 and do not recall anyone every speaking of this ghost. Fascinating article!

  2. Having worked there with Mr. Tisch I knew about the story, and... saw the footprints one day! As a 16-18 year old it was something I will never forget.

  3. I found the name George Forsyth on the back of a trim board during a remodel of my house on Parkdale. A google search led me to this article. He may be the original owner of my house!