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Chez Shermour: 1910

Chez Shermour: 1910

Utica, New York, circa 1910. Title on jacket: "Ex-Governor Seymour's house." Frank Tomaino, history columnist at the Observer-Dispatch of Utica, avers that this is actually the home of Vice President James S. Sherman. Another possibility is that both are true. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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The VP's House in 1909

The address of the house is 413 Genesee Street. The 1910 U.S. Census shows this to be the residence of the Vice President of the United States, James S. Sherman, along with his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two servants.

The 1900 census also shows him at this address along with his wife, three sons, a sister-in-law, two servants, and a coachman. The 1890 census was mostly destroyed in a fire so who lived there in 1890 is unknown from census data.

Efforts to place Horatio Seymour in this same house have not met with success. The census data shows him as a resident of Deerfield, New York in both 1870 and 1880 (as a Former Governor & farmer). The 1867-8 and 1874 Utica City Directories show that he has an office at 69 Genesee in Utica, but it also states that he resides in Deerfield.

The car in the driveway has what is refered to as a prestate New York license plate from 1909 or earlier. License plates in New York from 1901 to 1909 were the responsiblity of the owner to make or have made. The owner of a car was issued a small round disc by the State of New York that had the license number on it.

From 1903 to 1909 New York mandated that the license plates be black lettering on a white background with the letters "NY" on the right hand side. Hardware stores sold kits to make license plates and many blacksmith shops also made early plates. Wood, leather, and metal were all common materials used to make license plates.

New York did not have state issued license plates until 1910 which, in 1910, were white lettering on a dark blue background. The number on the license plate in the photo was originally issued in 1907. Below is a New York license plate and disc from 1909.

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It's a parking lot now, of course.

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