Transcribed from the Wellsville Daily Reporter by Crist Middaugh.
Passing through….Wellsville’s State Street
By Kelly Dickerson
Wellsville - State Street’s claim to fame could be that it was one of the original 15 streets laid out in Wellsville. Or it could be the it is one of the longest streets in the village - reaching from Highland Avenue on Wellsville’s west side to its intersection with Route 417 on the east side.
But both those designations pale in comparison with State’s most famed landmark - the Pink House.
Wellsville was named for Gardiner Wells, the largest landowner in the fall of 1832, when the town’s leading residents decided a name was needed. The name held until April 4, 1871, when unbeknownst to most Wellsville residents, the name of the village was changed to Genesee.
It seems several influential people pressured the state legislature for a name-change. It didn’t last long. On April 11, 1871, residents voted to reincorporate their village as Wellsville. By a special act of the Legislature on June 14, 1873, the name was officially changed back to Wellsville.
According to Martha How’s 1963 “A History of the Town of Wellsville,” the Pink House was built about the time of the name change.
Edwin Bradford Hall, founder of a drug store in Wellsville that once bore his name, moved to Wellsville in 1852. He was married to Antoinette Farnum, daughter of Edward Farnum.
In 1868 he built the Pink House at the corner of Brooklyn and West State Street. It’s official address is 195 W. State St.
While legend has it that the color of the house was stipulated in his will, there seems to be no fact to back that up. At the time the house was originally painted, the pigment was mixed in Italy. Hall may have chosen pink because working with interesting pain combinations was one of his hobbies.
Because the large, pink orange house is such an imposing structure in Wellsville, it has been the subject of many myths and rumors.
One sad tale apparently is true. Howe reported in her book that Hall’s granddaughter wandered out of the house and fell into a water fountain pool and drowned.
Sadly, Howe said, the grandfather sat on the porch in full view of the tragedy, but was unable to offer assistance because he was paralyzed.
The pool was subsequently drained and filled with flowers.