Saturday, May 4, 2013

Subdivision Stories: Oak Bluff

Lying east of North Main Street and south of Romeo is the Oak Bluff subdivision, platted in 1948.  Frank R. Chapman and his wife, Lou Blackwood Chapman, along with Frank's sister, Doris Chapman Blackwood, developed the subdivision on family property which had originally been part the the Charles Sherwin Chapman estate.  Frank and Doris had grown up in a grand, shingle-style estate house that stood atop the bluff north of the downtown area, overlooking the Western Knitting Mills pond, sometimes known as Chapman Pond. Charles S. Chapman had built the house in 1899, when he was serving as president of Western Knitting Mills, which was at the time Rochester's largest employer.

The Chapman siblings named the streets in the new development after their father, Charles, and their uncle, William Clark Chapman.  They retained ownership of the property on which the estate home stood, but did not live in the house.  After several failed attempts to find a suitable use for the house, the property on which it stood was sold for development in 1968 and the house was razed.


  1. I love these Subdivision Stories, especially when they link back to previous blog entries! Do you have any information about Parkdale Heights?

  2. My boyhood was spent in Oak Bluff in the 60's in the house on lot 21. It was a great place to grow up, and I have many fond memories of my boyhood friends and their families. We picked raspberries down by the old Chapman estate house, spent many a summer day exploring the undeveloped area around Paint Creek, and played ball in the then empty lot 20. Thanks so much for this posting.