Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Rochester Era Building

The Rochester Era was the community's first successful newspaper, established in April 1873, just a year after the first railroad line connected Rochester with the outside world. Truman Buell Fox and his son, William A. Fox ran the newspaper together until the death of the elder Fox in 1893; Will Fox continued on his own for decades after that. The Era of July 10, 1885 announced that “Will A. Fox of The Era has commenced the erection of a two-story brick office and residence on H.M. Look, Sr.'s homestead, between Main and Walnut sts. It will be 20x34 feet.” The new building was completed in November of the same year, when the editor crowed from the front page that the newspaper was now settled in the new quarters and would entertain visitors. An accompanying article explained that “for nearly thirteen long and rebellious years we had paid office rent,” and tiring of changing locations at the whim of landlords, father and son Fox had decided to put up their own building. A newspaper item that ran two months later with a review of recent construction activity in the village put the price of construction of the Era building at $1,000.

The building has worn a number of color schemes over the years, but one in particular was noted in an October, 1909 newspaper item which reported that the Era building had just been painted: "the brick red and trimmings colonial yellow."

The 1885 Rochester Era building still stands at 114 West Third Street, across the west alley from the Mind, Body & Spirits restaurant. It has housed a number of boutique business in recent decades, and is currently the home of the Talulah Belle Boutique.

The Rochester Era building celebrates its 124th birthday this summer.

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