CONESUS — One of Long Point Park’s first cottages was owned by Charles Bates, and it remained an important part of history for decades.
Charles Bates loved Long Point Park and wanted to have a cottage built there at the edge of the lake. He worked the Long Point Park Livery, which involved great fishing on the lake. Bates also helped with the ice harvesting, and there is a great photo of him enhanced by Long Point Park Historian Lore DiSalvo.
The cottage had been owned over two decades by Long Point Park Manager Rick Pieper. However, last June the historic cottage was sold to Rochester- native Phillip Geiger, who works for XL Construction Services. Geiger said he is sensitive to the fact that this is an important part of history, and he is keeping that in mind during his renovations. The original Bates Cottage was said to be built in the early 1930s, and it was no bigger than a shack.
“I am always looking to renovate homes, and was in the market for a new one when I stumbled on this,” he said. “I was looking at one on Lake Road that sold, so I noticed the sign at Long Point Park. Rick (Pieper) had just put the sign up about 20 minutes before, and we made a deal right on the spot. I just got very lucky.”
DiSalvo said that Geiger has been very interested in collecting the photos and history of the cottage, as well as Long Point Park. He is helping to keep the history on the lake alive.
“There is something about the lake that takes the stress levels down,” Geiger said. “It is very peaceful here.”
Several copies of the restored photos of Long Point Park DiSalvo has been working tirelessly on are now hanging in the cottage. Geiger has created his own gallery with the enhanced photos and local artwork.
“The original cottage was just the size of a room,” Geiger said. “There were about five different sections added on through the years.”
Geiger said there are only small things being done to the cottage itself, because he wants to keep it like the original. However, he turned Peiper’s old office into a bunker for extra rooms. His two young daughters, Abra, 12, and Greta, 10 just had a sleepover party there.
The crew at XL Construction Services have helped with restoring the roof, porch, siding and bunker.
“This was Charlie Bates home, and I feel lucky to have it,” Geiger said. “I want to keep a good representation of the park alive. I am collecting Long Point Park photos from 1887 to current. It is important to support the local people.”
“The only thing I am going to do is straighten out the floors a little bit,” Geiger continued. “I love the old cottage feel, so I am not going to change much.”
Peiper is planning on retiring from the park at the end of the season after 28 years of loyal service, and has offered his other cottage next to the Bates Cottage to Geiger as well.