The Three Bears Ovid

Learn more about the history of the beautiful Seneca County Courthouse Complex

The Three Bears Ovid

Ovid, New York 14521, United States

Created By: Friends of the Three Bears

Tour Information

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The Three Bears is a group of three buildings built in 1845 and 1860. These buildings are rare in that they are believed to be the only three buildings that are graduated in sizes built in a Greek Doric style with fluted columns in the USA. Sitting atop the hill right off of Main Street, it is hard to miss the Three Bears when visiting the village of Ovid.

Please note that all information in this tour can be found in a compilation of information by Wayne E. Morrison, cited below.

For any questions about this tour or the history of the Three Bears, please email or stop by Mama Bear during our open season (see below).

May11th- October 12th

Thursday through Saturday: 10am to 2pm

Sunday: 12pm to 2pm

Source: Morrison, Wayne E. Town and Village of Ovid, Seneca County, New York: An Early History ... 1789-1889. W.E. Morrison & Co., 1980.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Before we can introduce you to the Three Bears, we need to provide some insight on how they came to be. John Seeley is often referred to as the “pioneer” of Ovid. This is because he bought 900 acres of land in 1792 including what is the... Read more
Built in 1845, Papa Bear was the home of the first brick courthouse in Seneca county. It also holds living quarters for the undersheriff, and three jail cells in the basement. The jail cells held individuals who had committed misdemeanors o... Read more
The middle building, also known as Mama Bear was erected in 1860 and finished in 1862. This is because town members were beginning to petition for the original county clerks office (Baby Bear) to be expanded. This request was denied, as a n... Read more
The smallest building, also known as Baby Bear was built in 1845 to be the county clerks office. The office was built with a layer of ash in the ceiling to make it fireproof. Because of the dual county seat with Waterloo, the contents of th... Read more


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