Saturday, July 5, 2014

At Home in Rochester: The Peter Lomason House

In September 1900 the Rochester Era newspaper opined that "when completed, Peter Lomason's new house on East Fifth street will be one of the finest residences in Rochester."  The next time you pass this house at 113-115 East University, look up - all the way up - and you will see some of the details that led the Era to make such a statement. Although the rest of the house has undergone many changes and additions in the past 114 years,  the ornamental iron work and slate roof are still its crowning glory, a testament to a different era in house construction.

Peter Lomason was a descendant of Rochester's pioneers. His mother's family was among the first non-native settlers of the Township of Avon. Peter Lomason served as Justice of the Peace for Rochester and held a number of municipal offices. Only a few years after building this house he moved to Bad Axe, where he ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature.

Lomason died in August 1919, and just a few weeks prior to his death he sold his Rochester house to local merchant Camille DeBaene. DeBaene owned the property until 1936, when it went to the First National Bank of Rochester. The bank immediately disposed of it to James Stackhouse and his wife, Jessie McDonald Stackhouse. James Stackhouse was a Rochester meat merchant and his wife was the postmaster of Rochester from 1934-1945. In 1946, after the death of his wife, James Stackhouse sold the house to Oral E. Camp and his wife Jane. The Camps were the proprietors of Rochester Lunch and Camp's Cafe in Rochester from 1944 to 1965. The Camps are shown in the 1948 Rochester telephone directory as residents of the house. In 1977, the house was sold by the Camp estate and was thereafter used for commercial and office purposes.

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