Historical Spotlight - 1496 Clover Street

Are you a Rochester history buff? If so, you may recognize one of our listings located at 1496 Clover Street. This enormous home, referred to historically as the Isaac Moore-A. Emerson Babcock House, was built in 1829 by Isaac Moore and played a small role in American history in the ensuing 40 or so years.


Isaac Moore was a well-known Rochesterian, acting as businessman, landowner, political party leader, and Brighton community leader in the 1830’s. The Isaac Moore Brick Company was responsible for manufacturing and supplying large quantities of brick all throughout Rochester during a time of rapid growth and expansion. In 1829, Moore built this 5,500-square foot architectural masterpiece with all of the extraordinary detail, woodwork, and artistry that one would expect from this time period. Some of the home’s best features include six chimneys and accompanying fireplaces and three grand entrances, one of which originally opened to a porch where New York Governor William Seward gave a speech in the 1830’s.

In 1895, the then-new-owner, William Babcock, was attempting to install modern plumbing throughout the property when the basement stairs collapsed. What was revealed was a secret room that is said to have held up to twelve escaping slaves at a time during the pre-Civil War Era. The home’s proximity to the Erie Canal, as well as an arched-brick entrance to a tunnel that connected to a neighboring property, suggest that the Moore-Babcock House was part of the Underground Railroad.


Today, the owners have made sure to meticulously respect and preserve the historical integrity of the home, which is now designated a landmark home by the Town of Brighton. While you can still appreciate the secret pre-war tunnel, prospective buyers will also enjoy a newer tear-off roof, exterior and interior paint jobs, an updated kitchen with quartz countertops, rebuilt patios, re-landscaped and manicured gardens, new carpeting and flooring, etc. If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a piece of Rochester’s history, call us today at (585) 218-6275.