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As the Main Street of the Village of Sharon Springs experiences a continued rebirth, we look back 20 or more years with the purchase and rehabilitation of the building now occupied by Cobbler and Company. Located within the Village’s Historic District (180+ structures), the building was originally owned by Florence Fonda where she and Mrs. Guy Swift operated a milliner shop.
Built in 1898 as a one story commercial vernacular version of a Queen Anne gable front house, a second floor was added shortly after the turn of the 20th century to serve as Miss Fonda’s living quarters. In 1935 Miss Fonda sold the building to Frank D’Amico and his family to be operated as a seasonal shoe repair/boarding house to serve the visitors coming to Sharon to take the waters and pick hops.
The shoe repair business only needed a small area in the front of the downstairs. They converted the rear portion of the downstairs to their living quarters and rented the rooms upstairs to boarders. It operated as such until the 1960’s when Mr. D’Amico passed away and the family never returned. It remained completely furnished but unoccupied until 1994 when Maureen and Peter Lodes purchased it. Cobbler and Company was “born” in 1997 when, with the help of friend Kathy Spofford, Maureen opened a gift shop occupying all 12 rooms called Cobbler and Company.
Cobbler and Company is one of the first commercial structures to be rehabilitated along Main Street and in the year 2000 was awarded a Special Nomination as a Commercial Revitalization Project by the Otsego 2000 Preservation Award Committee. Cobbler and Company operates to this day as a 12-room eclectic gift shop and boutique. The structure’s original charm has been retained by leaving the building very much as it was found. The shoe repair equipment and original cash register act as a backdrop for the checkout area. Shoppers enjoy seeing how the original features of the building (footed tub, cooker stove, boarder’s kitchen) have been incorporated into their creative displays.
You can still imagine what it was like to have lived here so long ago, while visiting and shopping at Cobbler & Company.