COHOCTON - Small towns across America have their own unique beginnings. But few have had such a grand scale impact, in one particular way or another, on our great country. Fewer even have the fortunate ability and assets to preserve these decaying memories or landmarks to a growing generational gap as Cohocton recently had.
Thanks to a energy grants from the windmill construction in Cohocton and the timing of the gifting of the Larrowe House back in 2009 to the Cohocton Historical Society from the town. The Historical Society will be able to preserve this important part of theirs and U.S. history.
“We are really happy we got (the Larrowe House),” said Jane Towner Cohocton Historical Society trustee. “It was in need of a lot of work, and the village and town really couldn’t take it on because they are bound under prevailing wage, where we aren’t completely tangled into that, so we can get volunteer work.”
Some may ask, what is the Larrowe house?
Albertus Larrowe built this Italian style, two story home back in 1856 after he successfully founded his buckwheat farm and mill in the Chocoton area, or as it was known then as the Larrowe Milling Company. For those that haven’t heard of this company, maybe you would better know it as General Mills.
Thats right this small town in Western New York was one of the original companies that help found General Mills and was the largest buckwheat mill in the U.S.
This amazing feet came from a man who was oppressed while living in Europe, coming to America and making what we call “The American Dream” come true through hard work and determination.
Albertus wasn’t the only man to succeed in his family. The Larrowe’s were noted for helping layout the roads in Cohocton and play a key note in the towns growth.
Another family member, Walt LaRue, was a famous Rodeo star. He even had cartoons depicting his events and exploits that kids or adults could buy and read about.
After Albertus passing, the home changed hands, but then the family eventually donated his historic home to Cohocton, so it could still continue to help serve the community as a municipal building. This is where the boys scouts and others organizations held town meetings for decades.
This long tradition of helping the community seems to be what this building is about and the Historical Society instills that during the tour there.
Even in its remodeling the Larrowe house keeps helping the community of Cohocton.
The Historical Society, keeping the with traditions of the Larrowe family, made sure to try and keep most of the work as local as possible. The contracts that are out for bid, for the most part have been won locally and that's because the community members are offering their services so cheap, just to make sure this piece of heritage gets done right and has a locals seal of approval on it.
“People are taking a huge interest in seeing the house now that the building is coming back to life. We see people coming in and out all day,” mentioned Towner
Even after his passing Albertus Larrowe’s pride and spirit still rests in the people of Cohocton and his house stand testament to it, no matter the coat of paint is on it. Thanks to this new make over however, future generation will know of him and his accomplishment.