Built in the mid-1800's for Maria Britton, the building was sold to Ralph and Elizabeth Starkes in 1854 where they raised their four children. Elizabeth Starkes was educated at the Troy Female Seminary. Ralph Starkes, descendant of Revolutionary War General Starkes, was a prominent Troy businessman, and a founder and President of the State Bank of Troy. When asked by John Bates to recommend a "bright, honest, pushing man" for a business partner, Ralph Starkes pointed to Russell Sage, an impoverished but ambitious young man. The resulting partnership laid the foundation for Mr. Sage's fortune.
Edson Starkes, son of Elizabeth and Ralph, continued to live here until 1912, at which time he donated the home to the Presbyterian Home Association, and it became a residence for retired Presbyterian clergy. The building was sold to Russell Sage College on February 13, 1985.