Follow the Cobblestone Trail for Architecture, Agritourism, Antiques and Art
A leisurely drive along Ridge Road (Route 104) between Lewiston and Rochester makes a perfect one-tank trip. This route, which is referred to as the “Cobblestone Trail,” has the distinction of having the most buildings of cobblestone construction than any other highway in America. However, you’ll find more than just great architecture near and along this route; you’ll also find agritourism in the form of farm markets, as well as a number of antiques and arts related stores.
First, let’s talk about the architecture. A cobblestone can be defined as a small round stone; these are very prevalent in this area as the result of glaciers retreating millions of years ago. Cobblestone masonry was developed in this area during the early 1800’s. At that time it was considered a status symbol to be able to have a house built out of cobblestones.
Numerous cobblestone buildings can be found right along Ridge Road; however, most are private residences, so please just view them from the roadside and don’t trespass. A good reference guide to bring along is the book, Cobblestone Quest by Rich and Sue Freeman, which has information about all the cobblestone buildings in the area, as well as maps and suggested driving tours.
Naturally, the best place to learn about cobblestone construction is the Cobblestone Museum Complex at the intersection of Routes 104 and 98 in Childs, just North of Albion. There are eight historic buildings in this complex; three which are of cobblestone construction and designated National Historic Landmarks. These include the 1834 Universalist church, which is the oldest church of cobblestone construction in North America, the 1840 Ward House, which served as the parsonage and also an 1849 cobblestone schoolhouse.
Another cobblestone building of note that is open to the public is the Babcock Cobblestone House Museum on Route 18 in Barker, an 1848 Greek Revival farmhouse which now houses the Town of Somerset Historical Museum.
Since Niagara and Orleans counties are noted for the agriculture, you’ll find a number of farm markets near and along Ridge Road. These markets not only offer fresh, in-season produce, many offer fun family activities and other interesting things to do.
In Medina, you’ll find Lynoaken Farms retail market, which is located right on Ridge Road. Lynoaken Farms, which is best known for their apples, was originally started by Leonard Oakes in 1918. In addition to apples and cider in the fall, they also sell a variety of locally made foods, candies and arts and crafts, as well as seasonal produce. They recently opened a winery and tasting room, Leonard Oakes Estates, which features a number of wines, including whites, reds, fruit wines, and ice wines. A short distance down the road you’ll find Bashford’s Farm Market, which offers seasonal fruits, vegetables, and flowers, along with a playground and mini golf.
In the Albion area, there are two farm markets of note; Browns Berry Patch, located about 5 miles north of Ridge Road and Watt Farm Market, located two miles south of Ridge Road.
Brown’s Berry Patch has been a farm since 1804 and their farm market offers a large selection of fresh fruits and produce, as well as u-pick fruits, a gift shop, deli, bakery, and ice cream parlor. In addition, they have a Barnyard Adventure play area and farm animal petting zoo for kids.
Watt Farm Market, also offers seasonal produce, as well as a variety of u-pick fruits, including cherries, raspberries, blackberries, apricots, plums, peaches, pears, and apples. Their country store has a variety of gift and decorative items, as well as 35 flavors of homemade fudge, an ice cream shop with 32 flavors of Perry’s ice cream, plus soft serve. If you visit on a fall weekend, you can take a ride on their Orchard Express train ride.
If you continue heading east on Ridge Road to the village of Holley, you’ll find Hurd Orchards, a family owned farm that has been operated by the same family for 200 years. In addition to fresh produce, jams, jellies, and baked goods, they host a variety of luncheons and other special events throughout the summer and fall. You can also pick your own fruits.
About four miles north of Ridge Road, just over the Monroe County line, Partyka Farms in Kendall is part of the Country Barn Quilt Trail, which was actually started by farm owner Lora Partyka in 2006. To date there are over 40 barns and buildings adorned with hand painted wooden quilt squares throughout the neighboring farm communities. At Partyka Farms you’ll find in-season produce, as well as u-pick strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and tomatoes, along with ice cream, baked goods, and homemade jams.
Antiques & Art
You’ll also find a number of antique and art related businesses along and near the cobblestone trail. Described here are just a few; keep in mind that many antique shops are open limited hours or by chance, so call first before heading out.
In the Medina area, right on Ridge Road, you’ll find Jeddo Mill, a circa 1858 gristmill that has a variety of antiques, primitives and collectibles. Next, head south to the village of Medina to Canal Country Artisans, a craft co-op, where you can choose from a large selection of quality hand-crafted items and gifts.
A little off the beaten trail, but definitely worth the trip, is Another Time, Another Place, located a few miles east of Medina. Located in a historic 1870’s church, this shop is stocked with antiques, plus craft items by local artisans, jewelry, candles, and more. They even have a small tea room where you can enjoy light fare.
Another shops that’s off the beaten trail you should check out is the Carriage Place Crafts & Antiques Co-op in Brockport, which carries furniture, primitives, florals, collectibles and hand-crafted items.
Liberty Hollow, located right on Ridge Road in Spencerport, is jam-packed with all sorts of primitive décor items, furniture, and country crafts. Browse through 15,000 square feet of antiques, collectibles and gifts.
The perfect place to end your journey is at The Shops on West Ridge (formerly known as the Craft Antique Co-op) in Greece. Over 200 shops on two levels, carrying quality antiques, home décor, and gifts are located under one roof. It is the largest store of this type in the state.
Cobblestone Museum Complex, 14389 Ridge Road, Childs, 585-589-9013, www.cobblestonemuseum.org. Open June 23-Sept. 2, Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm.
Babcock Cobblestone House Museum, 7449 Lake Road, Barker, 716-795-9948. It is open Saturday and Sunday 1-4pm, late June to October.
Lynoaken Farms, 10609 Ridge Road, Medina, 585-798-1060, www.lynoakenfarms.com. Open Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 12-6pm.
Bashford’s Farm Market, 11074 Ridge Road, Medina, 585-798-0235
Brown’s Berry Patch, 14264 Roosevelt Highway, Waterport, 585-682-5569. www.brownsberrypatch.com. Open daily April to October.
Watt Farms, 3121 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98) Albion, 800-274-5897, www.wattfarms.com. Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-8pm.
Hurd Orchards, 17260 Ridge Road, Holley 585-638-8838, www.hurdorchards.com.
Partyka Farms, 1420 County Line Road (Route 272), Kendall, 585-659-9131, www.partykafarms.com.
Jeddo Mill, 10267 Ridge Road, Medina, 585-735-3535, www.jeddomillantiques.com. Open Thursday-Sunday 11 am-5 pm.
Canal Country Artisans, 135 East Center Street, Medina, 585-798-7460, www.canalcountryartisans.orleanslife.info.
Another Time Another Place, 12338 Maple Ridge Road (NY 31A), Millville, 585-798-0501, www.anothertime-anotherplace.com
Carriage Place Crafts & Antiques Co-op, 6000 Sweden-Walker Road, Brockport, 585-637-6224, www.thecarriageplaceco-op.com.
Liberty Hollow, 4975 Ridge Road West, Spencerport, 585-349-4500, www.libertyhollow.com .
The Shops on West Ridge, 3200 West Ridge Road, Greece, www.theshopsonwestridge.net.