In 1817 Matthew Dryer brought his family from Rehobeth, Massachusetts, to a small arm house near Rattlesnake Springs in newly created town of Brighton. He had purchased 100 acres in this sparsely settled area; the Orringh Stone Tavern was his nearest neighbor. Over the years that house grew into a 10-room home on what is now 248 South Landing Road. Generations of Dryer descendants added to the farmhouse -- a gable roofed wing to the west, an extension on the kitchen and a long extension to the north. And in the 1850s a hipped roof front porch with Italianate features sheltered the welcoming front door. The result is a house full of contrast, surprises and interest spread over 3400 square feet of living space.
A tour of the house begins in the kitchen with its plain board cabinets, wrought iron latches and a small pantry. In contrast, the dining room with its wainscoting, built in corner cupboard and moldings recalls a distant past through Colonial Revival features. Just off of the dining room is the present owner’s art studio. With its closet space and full bath, it could become a first floor bedroom. The front hall has simple pine flooring and is a contrast to the Italianate front porch. Off the front hall the living features a wood burning fireplace that invites a family gathering in the evening. Tucked behind the front hall and living room is a cozy library or den with a second wood burning fireplace and built in bookshelves, a perfect place to curl up in front of the fire with a good book. Turn from the fireplace and walk out onto an expansive, light-filled porch. This all-year-round porch is another room with a wood burning fireplace. The extension at the back of the house contains another surprise – a bedroom and full bath, just waiting for guests or in-laws.
Upstairs, reached by the sturdy stairs and railing, each of the three large bedrooms has its own full bath. The master bedroom has a large dressing room and closet.
Step outside into the backyard encircled with thick undergrowth and tall trees, a reminder of the wilderness that must have encircled the original farmhouse. A footpath leads down through the Rattlesnake Spring ravine to join the Allens Creek public footpath at the back of the 1.6-acre lot. Well-tended gardens give color and texture to the area surrounding the house; a very old cherry trees shades a small patio. But the real surprise is the tennis court in the backyard. On the west side of the house, still sheltered by trees, a large modern garage offers storage space for two cars. Additional space is available in an older one-car garage with an attached garden shed.
248 Landing Road South is part of Brighton’s history. A plate issued for the Brighton Sesquicentennial included a picture of “the Dryer “house. Although a part of Brighton, the home lies within the Pittsford School district. Taxes are $20,890 and the list price is $269,900. To take tour or for more information, call Pam Roby of Nothnagle Realtors® at 389-4067.
Lea Kemp is a Landmark Society volunteer as well as librarian/archivist at the Rochester Museum & Science Center.