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HPC honors home of former funeral parlor

The home on 130 East Genesee St. -- part of the Fayetteville Historic District -- was built sometime in the mid 1800s by Mr. C. Cunningham, who resided there with his wife. Ira L. Blanchard, a Civil War veteran, later acquired the property and stood as second owner, according to documents found at the Fayetteville Free Library.

In 1910, Chester R. Eaton opened a business at his residence that would soon become a well-known landmark in Fayetteville. It was the Eaton-Tubbs-Schepp Funeral Home, as most people would know it today.

Now, the former funeral parlor is home to Shirley and Michael Kennedy, and the Historic Preservation Commission has honored them with a plaque featuring it as "Home of the Month."

"They've really done a terrific job in renovating and restoring the property," said Craig Polhamus, chairperson.

The building, which housed the funeral home for more than 80 years, was renovated into a three-family house after Minoa native Thomas R. Schepp purchased another building in 1992 and moved the business down the street to 7191 East Genesee St.

Buffalo native Shirley Kennedy bought the home in 1998.

"My daughter and I, and my son-in-law were out looking to buy a two-family home," she said. "We just happened to drive by here, saw a sign and fell in love with the house."

She and her husband Michael eventually turned the three-family house back into a one-family home, investing in re-flooring, re-painting and other major renovations along the way.

"When I was looking at the house, I didn't know it was a funeral home," she recalled. She found out when she spotted gurneys in the basement. "I just went white," she said laughing.

The two-story brick home is distinguished by paired brackets with pineapple pendants and unusual beaded cornice molding. In 1950, a chapel was built along the east wing and in 1951, an extension was built on the south.

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