Great Homes of Rochester

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Sibley Watson Library
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Sibley Mansion

Rochester’s Renaissance Man

He was, by turns, the visionary publisher who introduced T.S. Eliot to America, the groundbreaking medical researcher whose work still resonates today, avant- garde movie maker, wealthy patron of the arts, and silent recluse. James Sibley Watson remains one of the great untold stories of the Flower City as is what’s left of the family’s huge estate: a pretty, band-box of a building that seems plucked from Florence or Rome.

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Buy Alaska. Stop. Great Investment.

Hiram Sibley could have stayed in his early career as Monroe County Sheriff but his mind was working on a far different problem: how to unite the many small, often warring telegraph companies. He bought one, then another and soon there was Western Union. And in the course of trying to tie in Europe and Russia, Sibley saw what he thought was an even better investment. He told his good friend, the Secretary of State about it. That’s why his friend got the scorn for what some called Seward’s Folly, Alaska.

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