Friday, December 24, 2010


Jan 15

James D. Bemis arrives in Canandaigua to open a bookstore.

Feb 6

Pennsylvania-born diplomat and New York State landowner William Bingham dies in Bath, England, at the age of 51.

Feb 29

Federal authorization is granted for a lighthouse on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Niagara River. It will be the first on the Great Lakes.


Holland Land Company agent Roswell Turner settles in the future Wyoming County’s Sheldon, at what will become known as Turner’s Corners.

Mar 24

New York annexes part of Cayuga County to Ontario County.

Mar 31

Parker and Stevens are granted their Utica to Canandaigua stage line monopoly.


St. Louis fur trader Charles Gratiot forwards a note for 1,000 pounds sterling to John Jacob Astor to secure debentures for goods sent across the Mississippi. He suggests Astor looks into shipping furs from St. Louis to Europe via New Orleans. ** New Jersey farmer Samuel Bryant, his wife and young sons James and Jacob, having come through the Delaware Water Gap by sleigh and oxen, take to a Durham boat in Ledyard, and travel on to the Lyons area.

May 15

Levi Stevens announces stage service between Canandaigua, Utica and Albany.


Danby, Vermont, residents Ezekial Smith and Amos Colvin (a Quaker) contract to purchase large tracts of land in the future Orchard Park Township in western New York.


Irish poet Thomas Moore, traveling across New York state, stops in Geneva

Jul 24

Levi Stevens announces his stage line will now run twice a week, leaving Canandaigua every Sunday and Wednesday.


David Morse, cousin of Branchport landowner John Beddoe, marries Mary Boyd. The couple moves to nearby Bluff Point, on Keuka Lake.


James D. Bemis sells his bookstore to Myron Holley and becomes a joint proprietor of Canandaigua's Western Repository and Genesee Advertiser, paying $700. He soon becomes sole proprietor. ** Danby, Vermont, transplant David Eddy (a Quaker) buys Lots 7 and 15 of the future Orchard Park Township for 2.25 an acre.

Oct 1

Geneseo landowner James Wadsworth marries Naomi Wolcott.

Nov 1

Newspaper editor Frederick Follett is born in Gorham.

Dec 22

The future site of Wyoming County’s Town of Sheldon is transferred from the Holland Land Company to Oliver Phelps and Lemuel Chipman, Jr.


Seneca County is formed out of Onondaga County. The county seat is established at Ovid; the Seneca County Court House at Waterloo is built. . Lodi resident Silas Halsey is elected county clerk. ** Adam Hoops chooses the name Olean for his new settlement, corrupting oleum, the Latin word for oil. ** Philip Church builds a home in Angelica, which he calls The White House. ** Eleanor Brisbane, sister of Batavia postmaster James Brisbane, arrives there along with her friend Mary Lucy Stevens to settle. Mary paints the post office's first sign. She will marry James Brisbane. ** Lewis Morgan is elected governor. ** Irish poet Thomas Moore travels to the Buffalo area, stopping overnight in Batavia. He will write the poem Lines Written at the Cohos, or Falls of the Mohawk River, inspired by his trip. ** Twice weekly mail service begins between Utica and Canandaigua. ** The Reverend David Higgins establishes the first church at Aurelius. ** William McKinstry opens a distillery on Penfield's Irondequoit Creek. ** Vermonters Josiah Jackman and Gideon and John Walker arrive in the Canadice Lake area, build farms and return home for the winter. ** The state legislature declares Mead and Mud Creeks to be public highways, over the veto of Governor Clinton. ** The town of Chautauqua is founded. ** Farmer William Markham returns to Rush and builds the Elm Place mansion. ** The legislature does away with the freehold suffrage requirement for male voters. ** Joseph and Andrew Ellicott complete their survey for New Amsterdam (Buffalo), the plan influenced largely by their work with Pierre L'Enfant on the Washington, D. C. survey. ** The first settlers arrive in the Genesee (later Wyoming) County Town of Genesee Falls, above Portageville. ** James and William Wadsworth begin building a large house in Geneseo. William travels to Albany to sell their wheat, because of higher prices there. ** Educator Timothy Dwight travels across the state. At the Genesee River he spends the night in a Caledonia inn. He visits Niagara Falls. ** The approximate date Connecticut Tory William Peters, avoiding his patriot neighbors, arrives in the Triangle Tract and builds a cabin in the northern part of the future Town of Bergen. ** Judge William Cooper builds a house at Main and River streets in Cooperstown for his daughter Ann when she marries druggist George Pomeroy. ** Johnstone Beddoe is born to John and Catherine Beddoe in Branchport, their first child. ** A new road is cleared from Salina to the mouth of the Genesee River. ** Ridge Road is cut from Greece to Parma. ** The wooden bridge across the northern end of Cayuga Lake collapses. ** John Warren and his family settle the future Town of Aurora. ** Matthew Dunham and his sons arrive from New England, settle in Kuckville (Orleans County). ** State surveyor-general Simeon De Witt discusses Gouverneur Morris's plan for a cross-state canal, which he does not believe practicable, with Onondoga County land surveyor James Geddes, who become intrigued with the idea. ** Genesee County day laborers earn ten to fifteen dollars a month plus their board. Sheep sell for between two and four dollar apiece. ** John Tryon opens a grist mill on Allyns (Allens) Creek in Brighton.


A building is erected for the Canandaigua Academy on land at Fort Hill and Main streets, donated by Phelps and Gorham. ** A Quaker meeting house is built at Allan Padgham Road and County Road 8 to replace one destroyed by fire.


Ellen (Ginne) Munson Barker, wife of Northfield (later Pittsford) mill operator Jared Barker, dies at the age of 47. ** Mill owner Simon Stone, wishing to concentrate on his inn, sells his Stone Mill to John Mann, from New Jersey.


The approximate date Josiah Fish abandons the Indian Allen mill site on the Genesee, now owner by Nathaniel Rochester and his partners. ** Colonel Isaac Castle founds Castle Town at the rapids of the Genesee River. ** Lenox, Massachusetts transplant and local School Commissioner Enos Blossom buys 210 acres in the future Browncroft area. Blossom Road will be named for him.

Steuben County

The county compiles its first list of citizens eligible for jury duty and fixes compensation at $1.50 for a full day; 75รต for a half day. ** The Board of Supervisors fixes compensation rates for elections inspectors at $1.50 per day. The inspector who delivers the ballots to the sheriff for certification receives $4.00. ** The first appropriation, of $500, is made for improving local navigable waters. ** The Board sets compensation for assessors at $1.25 a day. ** The sheriff is appointed custodian of the court house. $25 is authorized for the purchase of a jail house stove. ** The board of supervisors of Painted Post approve an application for a new road, with compensation provided to landowners David Trowbridge ($39.00) and Charles Wolcott ($16.50). Howard Buell is hired as surveyor with future pay set at a dollar a day for him and 75 cents day for his chain bearer.

(c) 2010 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Tomorrow's meeting of the Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable at LeRoy has been cancelled due to the weather.

Earl McElfresh's talk on Mapping the Gettysburg Campaign will be rescheduled for 2011.

Roundtable meetings will resume on the third Wednesday of March 2011.

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ghost Ships

Historian Jim Fischer will present “Ghost Ships of Lake Ontario” at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Chili Public Library, 3333 Chili Ave.

Dressed as a sailor, he will tell the story of two battleships (the Hamilton and the Scourge) that sank in Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.

Fischer will tell of the 53 crewmen who died and of the ongoing efforts to recover the ships and bodies of those lost. No registration is required.

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Mar 1

The towns of Northampton, Southampton, Leister and Batavia are formed in Genesee County. Elections are held at the house of Josiah Fish, Captain Curtis, Joseph Smith and Peter Ven Deventer, respectively.


Canadian hunter and fisherman William Walsworth crosses Lake Ontario in an open boat with his family, settles at the mouth of Oak Orchard River, in the future Orleans County.

May 9

Edwin Scrantom is born to Rochester pioneer Hamlet Scrantom, in Durham, Connecticut.

Jul 20

Buffalo area resident Louis le Couteulx writes to Joseph Ellicott suggesting the natural barrier across the mouth of Buffalo Creek be removed.


Didymus C. Kinney, his wife Phoebe Hartwell Kinney, and family, are one of of the first settlers to purchase land in the future Orchard Park Township.

Oct 7

The approximate date Carroll, Fitzhugh and Rochester leave Hagerstown, Maryland, for New York's Genesee Valley, where they have previously purchased land. After visiting their property in Geneva and prepareing to return to Maryland, land agent John Johnston(e) persuades them to detour to the falls of the Genesee.

Oct 21

Brothers-in-law Robert Rose and John Nicholas leave Hampstead, Virginia, along with their families and 75 slaves, head for New York State, in a number of coaches, four horse wagons and a phaeton.

Nov 8

The Hundred-Acre-Tract, on the Genesee River, site of Ebenezer "Indian" Allan's abandoned mill and the future site of Rochester, is bought from Pulteney Associates by Major Charles Carroll, Colonel William Fitzhugh and Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, a few days after their first visit, for $1750, payable in five installments. John Johnston acts as Sir William Pulteney's attorney.


John J. Gould begins publishing the Western Repository and Genesee Advertiser. ** Isaac Tiffnay begins publishing the Ontario Freeman. ** Three Pennsylvania pioneers found Fredonia. ** Three Quaker missionaries buy 609 acres of land that later give birth to Salamanca. ** Triangle Tract land agent Richard Stoddard persuades some settlers from Killingsworth, Connecticut, to settle in the Le Roy area, rather than proceeding on to Ohio's Western Reserve. ** Elizur Webster settles the future site of Warsaw. ** An extra half-story is added to the courthouse in Bath as well as a steeple, and windows are replaced. Total cost - $215. Six staffs are purchased, at $3 a piece, to be used by constables acting as court attendants. ** Joseph and Andrew Ellicott begin their survey of the future site of New Amsterdam (Buffalo). Surveyor William Peacock comes to work for them. ** Vermonter Orange Carter settles the Genesee County town of Darien. ** Brothers James and William Walsworth first settle the Carlton area of Orleans County. Matthew Dunham and sons Matthew, James and Charles, of New York City, settle near James Walsworth on Johnsons Creek. William Walsworth has settled on Oak Orchard Creek. ** A road is surveyed between Oak Orchard and the new Genesee County, twenty miles north of Batavia, following the Niagara Escarpment. It will become known as Ridge Road. ** The Painted Post Tavern's innkeeper Benjamin Patterson quits and buys a farm in Irwin. ** Abner Sheldon settles the Monroe County town of Mendon, on the site once occupied by the Seneca Indian town of Totiakton. ** Vermonter David Eddy makes the first settlement in the Erie County town of East Hamburgh. James and Asa Woodward make the first settlement in the Town of Lancaster. ** Thomas Slayton and Gad Warner settle the Niagara County village of Royalton. ** The towns of Southampton, Batavia and Leicester are taken off the Town of Northampton. ** Scots pioneers build the first schoolhouse west of the Genesee, in the newly-formed Southampton (later Caledonia). ** Genesee County's first militia unit is mustered in. ** Ontario and Genesee counties have a combined total of 1877 active voters. ** The Cowing family settles in the area west of Seneca Lake. ** Rose and Nicholas arrive in the Geneva area with their entourage. ** Land speculator Oliver Phelps begins representing the Genesee region in the Eighth U.S. Congress. ** Gouverneur Morris presents the outline of his 1800 proposal to build a canal across the state to Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt, who is quite skeptical. ** The approximate date thirty-year-old Connecticut resident Jesse Hawley, an early proponent of the future Erie Canal, moves to western New York. ** Daniel Penfield builds a grist mill on Irondequoit Creek. ** Connecticut-born New York settler and land speculator Nathaniel Gorham represents Ontario County in Congress.


Adam Hoops and three business partners make the first purchase from the Holland Land Company. Joseph Ellicott has the log office torn down and moves business into a frame building on the site. ** Batavia is named county seat of Genesee County. ** The approximate date Mechanic Street (later renamed State Street) is laid out, perpendicular to Main Street. ** Ellicott's 15-year-old nephew David E. Evans arrives from Maryland to serve as a clerk in the land office.


Monroe County's first library - The Northfield Library Company - is established, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Patterson, on Mendon Center Road. Its forty subscribers pay dues of one dollar a year. ** English-born Vermonter William Thornhill (spelling changed to Thornell by Vermonters), settles on Phelps and Gorham land in the area.


Spring flood waters carry the former sawmill belonging to Ebenezer Allen and subsequently to others - over the falls of the Genesee.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte