This old native
limestone house near Camp's Mills on the Middle road to Sackets
Harbor (see map below) was purchased by Edward
E. Cobb and Maude H. Cobb
on 5 July 1923, and has remained in the Cobb family ever since.
Ed Cobb purchased the house with its 95.75 acres of land from Miss
Carrie M. Membery, daughter of
George O. Membery and Melia
I. Babbitt. Prior to that, the property had been
owned by the Membery family for 80 years.
The Memberys were of an old English
family, of which there were several among the first settlers of
Sackets Harbor and the town of Hounsfield. Amos
Membery came from Devonshire, England to Sackets Harbor
in the early days of this town, and later removed to Canada, where
he died. Of his eight children, George
was born in England, and in 1831 immigrated to America and located
on a farm in the town of Adams, finally removed to Hounsfield, where
he died in 1852, aged 49 years. He married Martha
Orchard, daughter of Abram Orchard,
of England, and they had one son, George O.
George O. Membery
was born in the neighboring town of Adams, where he lived many years,
when he removed to Hounsfield and settled on this property, then
owned by the Clark family. He married Melia
I. Babbit, daughter of Daniel
G. Babbit and Almira Ralph,
of Pickney, New York and they had two children, George
and Carrie M.
The Membery house may have been constructed
better than 180 years ago, but for whom it was built seems uncertain.
It is located in a great limestone area of Hounsfield, an area where
there were not only quarries but kilns as well. In spite of
the fact that the Membery house follows extremely simple Georgian-colonial
architectural lines, it is quite attractive. The Masonry is
exceptionally well done and enduringly sturdy. The huge semi-circle
of a gable window is a feature which seems to have not been duplicated
in the other stone houses of this section. Its immense size
not only provides a large amount of light for the attic, but affords
plenty of ventilation.
Records in the county clerk's office
state that the property of which this house and its 95.75 acres
was a part was sold to George Membery May 9, 1843 by the heirs of
Stephen Clark of Hounsfield
for $3,800. Stephen Clark was a native of Rhode Island, who
removed to Madison County with the early settlers, and in 1836 located
in Hounsfield on what was then known as the "Merrell premium farm,"
which he occupied until his death.
Clark had purchased it April 11, 1836
from Hiram and
Caroline Merrell for $7,500 and the land consisted of
181 acres three roods and 16 poles. Merrill had acquired the
property from Stephen and
Elizabeth Seamans (Simmons), prominent settlers of Hounsfield,
for $3,000 and Seamans had bought the property from Ezra
Hounsfield and Peter Kemble,
owners of the township for $1,500 on Sept. 9, 1810. In fact,
the town was named for Ezra Hounsfield, one of the original owners
of this farm.