The “New” Dining Room

Look into the room at the back of the house.

The dining room was part of a two story addition in the late 1870s.  Sylvester Willard made numerous notations of the materials purchased for this extensive build in his diary. An entry on completion of the work reads, This 25 of November 1876 the workmen finished work on my house. Work was commenced April 9th, 1875. To this date is 1 y, 7 m, 18 days…For cost of the house and furniture in the various items = $37,715.75.

Dining room (west side)

Dr. Willard was extremely proud of the dining room in particular and makes several entries in his diary of the grand dinner parties hosted in this room, including a reception for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Oswego Starch Factory.  Although he delighted in recording large events, a particularly special family occasion was recorded on November 23, 1876. He writes:


This evening at 9 ½ O’clock, Mrs. Willard returned from the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia after an absence of three weeks and four days…At 10 O’clock P.M. on her return we sat down to supper for the first time in The New Dining Room which was just completed and prepared with an oyster supper for her reception. This event was made memorable by the presence at the table of our dear daughter Georgiana who by reason of prolonged illness had not taken a meal with us at the table for 5 years. Present; self and wife, two daughters, and T.P. Case [Sylvester Willard’s brother in law].

The room originally contained a sideboard on the wall opposite the fireplace, which Theodore Case later removed. The two shallow closets in the room were used to store silver and tableware. The small closet to the right of where the sideboard stood still has some of the original wallpaper used in this room.

Dining room east side