There are no apple trees on Apple Street but there is a bushel of delicious memories. They exist because of the 20 small four-room homes built by Harry C. Eyer, the pioneer developer and Yale Parce, son of village founder Walter Parce. The children and grandchildren of some of the original tenants of these homes still live on the street. Eyer built the 10 homes on the west side of the street and Parce, the 10 on the east side. The contractor was the late T. Joseph Mitchell, who lived on the corner of Lincoln Road and East Commercial Street near Jack O’Brien, whose son Joe went on to become a U.S. Congressman and on the opposite corner Earl Beal, whose son Herald “Cy” was a local Industrial arts teacher.
The homes had no luxuries in their four rooms. Heat for the home came from the wood-fired kitchen range or the pot-bellied stove. There were two rooms on the ground floor and two upstairs. A familiar accessory building on the narrow short lots were outhouses. It was no cause for concern to have the boys and girls share the same bedroom and often the same bed. Many a time the boys slept at one end of the bed and the girls at the other. Often persons owning or renting the homes shared them with friends and borders who were unable to get a place to stay when they came to East Rochester.
In the end, Yale Parce owned all 20 homes. All had dirt floor cellars, light came from kerosene lamps and the fuel was brought in Tony and Maria Chinelly’s general store on the corner. At one time, Emidio Maiorani operated a small grocery in his home on Apple Street around the corner on West Linden Avenue and across the street was Polish town, comprised of immigrants who came from Poland. They were the Ransco’s, Rogoza’s, Kotowicz’s and others. Parce eventually sold the homes to the tenants. They cost about $1,000 to build in the early part of the last century but are worth much more now because of added front and back rooms, modern kitchens, bathrooms and lighting and heating utilities.
It is a one-way street now and its dwellers take pride in their property and when the children of the old-timers who first moved into their homes reminisce, they talk about the days when apple trees really grew on Apple Street.