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Marker installed to honor Buffalo’s oldest home

A historic marker was dedicated Saturday at the Coit House, Buffalo’s oldest home at 414 Virginia St., Allentown.

The marker commemorates George Coit and the home, which was built circa 1814-1815 after the British burned Buffalo on Dec. 30, 1813, during the War of 1812. The house, originally located at 53 Pearl St., was moved to Allentown about 1867.

“Those of us who are aware of the contributions of George Coit and the significance of the house have always been very proud that we have it in our neighborhood,” said Jonathan White, president of the Allentown Association.

“We could not be more pleased that this marker will share our pride with all who will now pass the house, and learn about the significant contributions of Mr. Coit to our city.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown declared “George Coit Day” in Buffalo and presented a proclamation to descendants. Fillmore Council Member David Franczyk presented a proclamation on behalf of the Common Council.

Coit, with business partners, signed the promissory note in 1819 for funds to construct a harbor at Buffalo to serve as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. The success of the canal would, by the time of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901, help make Buffalo the eighth-largest city in the United States.

The Coit House fell on hard times by the late 1960s, sinking into disrepair.

Appleton Fryer bought the house to remove it from the demolition rolls, and Linda and Henry Priebe would later restore and live in the house for three decades.

The Allentown Association and Gerhardt Yaskow also presided over the upkeep of the house, currently occupied by Timothy Boylan and Sue-Jolie Rioux – both the recipients of praise for their stewardship in remarks by the mayor.

email: msommer@buffnews.com