The Octagon House . Barneveld . NY . by Jacob Wicks 1852 . Updated


oct house 1

The Octagon House . 1852 . Barneveld . New York . William S. Wicks’ Boyhood Home

The Photo shown here is Courtesy of a Blog Written

by: The Date Nut

“A catalog of a 28 year old woman’s daily survival in New York City. Oh Yeah, and a lot of random stuff from the web.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Octagon House

My latest obsession is checking the National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s list of historic properties for sale. Some of them are as little as $100. My favorite is the 1852 Octagon House in Barneveld, New York (right near the Adirondack Park!). It’s so lovely. Here’s another photo. I’m definitely going through a phase where I want to just sell all my possessions and move to the country. This seems like the perfect bed and breakfast, no?”

Origin of Photo is from the list of historic properties for sale.

The Octagon house was built in 1852 by Jacob Wicks, father of William S. Wicks, and my Great Grandfather, Architect and partner of Green & Wicks Architectural firm in Buffalo New York. The Octagon House is located at 107 Vanderkamp Avenue, Barneveld, New York.

jacob wicks 1903

Jacob Wicks . Born 1823 . Died 1884 . Father of William S. Wicks

Photo is from the Wicks Family Archives and Courtesy of Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann

 Great Great Granddaughter of Jacob Wicks

The Octagon House is across the street from the Old Unitarian Church in Barneveld. When I was young, it was always pointed out to me, but I don’t remember why, other than it was an eclectic curiosity of a house in a very tranquil setting. I just remember my mother saying, “There’s the Octagon House!”

I have been looking for information on the Wicks family, I wonder how many brothers and sisters he had. I have found two sisters so far. Where did the family come from originally, how did they come to Barneveld, what was his profession?

William S. Wicks father was Jacob Wicks born in 1823 and his mother was Mary F. Morse. Jacob built the Octagon House in 1852. William was born in 1854, so I assume Wicks grew up in the Octagon House. His sister Ione was born in Newport, New York where their parents lived before their move to Barneveld.

Wicks returned to Barneveld some years later and purchased the most elegant home in Barneveld, Rubble Manor, on the main street & on what is now called Wicks Ave., just around the corner from the Octagon House.

barneveld home

(Rubble Manor Postcard)

I find that interesting. I wonder if his parents, siblings, cousins, Aunts or Uncles were in Barneveld as well during this time. Jacob lived until 1884 and his mother until 1904 so they were probably home in Barneveld when Wicks was in town.

It seems to me there was a natural proclivity toward form, shape, and the whimsical nature of what architecture could be starting at least with his father, Jacob. Maybe growing up in the interesting shape of an octagon house with its angles, nooks and crannies inspired the mind of a young boy, who became a part of a very small group of the first professionally trained architects in the United States. His final years of formal education were at M.I.T,  the first college in the United States to offer a Professional degree in the discipline of Architecture.

Jacob Wicks was also responsible for creating and eventually building the Barneveld Library shown here:

barneveld library

Remembering Wicks and getting a better understanding of why I have always loved (some) buildings so very much, without knowing why.

a wicks photo

William S. Wicks

(All rights reserved, duplication of original content is forbidden without consent of author.)


One response »

  1. I too have fond memories of the Octagon House. My grandfather Chester Arthur Martin owned it from the late 1930s till his death in 1972. I grew up playing all around it, exploring it’s many rooms. It’s great seeing it renovated and looking so beautiful.


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