Friday, December 30, 2011


Jan 14
Pittsford pioneer Colonel Caleb Hopkins, who gave the Village and Town its name (after his Vermont home town) dies at the age of 47.

Jan 17
The Reverend Comfort Williams of Ogdensburg, newly arrived in Rochesterville, is installed as the city's first pastor, for the Presbyterian Society.

Mar 6
The Orleans County town of Shelby is formed from Ridgeway. ** The Wyoming County town of Bennington is formed from Sheldon. ** Rochester bridge builder Thomas Leighton is born.

Mar 13
The Monroe County Town of Rush is formed from Avon.

Mar 19
The New York State legislature declares the Genesee River a ‘public highway’.

Mar 27
The Monroe County Town of Henrietta is formed from the Town of Pittsford.

Buffalo's Niagara Journal begin intermittently running an ad of a tavern for sale, recently owned by Gaius Kibbe.

Apr 4
The Steuben County town of Troupsburgh annexes part of the town of Canisteo. ** The first steamboat on the Great Lakes, Walk-in-the-Water, is launched in Buffalo.

Apr 10
The Niagara County town of Wilson is formed from Porter. ** The Erie County town of Amherst is taken off of Buffalo. ** The Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley is taken off the town of Perry (now Perrysburg).

Apr 15
The Erie County towns of Holland and Wales are established.

Apr 18

The Great Lakes shipping season for the Genesee River opens. In the next four months 1158 bushels of pearl ash and 120,000 barrel staves are shipped out for export. The total value of the shipments for the season will reach $300,000.

Apr 20
The Oswego County town of Oswego is formed from Hannibal.

Apr 21
The New York State Library is founded, located in the upper stories of the Capitol.

May 12
Engineer Josiah Wolcott Bissell is born in Rochester.

May 27
Suffragette Amelia Jenks Jenks Bloomer is born in Homer.

Jun 14
The first loaded boat, with its 16-ton cargo – from Schenectady - passes through the newly completed locks of the Seneca and Cayuga Canal at Seneca Falls, New York. The toll is 50 cents. ** Rochester businessman Daniel Powers is born in Batavia.

Jul 10
Contractor Josiah Olcott signs a contract to build Erie Canal Section 40, east of the Nine Mile Aqueduct, with the exception of the embankment in the immediate vicinity of the aqueduct, which William Melville undertakes. Henry Bogardus and Andrew and William Thompson contract for Section 41, west of the crossing. Benjamin Gumaer contracts for Section 50 and part of 51, to the west of Skaneateles Outlet.

Jul 15
Genesee Valley Canal surveyor and minister William Newell Cobb is born in McLean, New York, to William and Achsah Bradley Cobb.

Aug 23
Walk-in-the-Water, leaves Buffalo on its maiden voyage, stopping at Dunkirk, and continuing on to Cleveland and Detroit.

Rochesterville bookkeeper Charles J. Hill leaves Bissell & Ely to go into the mercantile business with partner A. V. T. Leavitt.

Nov 21
Pioneering anthropologist-ethnologist Lewis Henry Morgan is born near Aurora, to farmer Jedediah Morgan and his wife Harriet Steele Morgan.

Nov 23
Rochester seeds merchant James Vick is born in Portsmouth, England.

Dec 19
The congregation of the Delphi Baptist Church, in Delphi Falls, votes to elect its first minister.

The first printing press in Cattaraugus County. ** Governor De Witt Clinton buys 1,000 acres at Chadwick's Bay (Dunkirk), lays out a town. The name is changed to Garnsey's Bay after the land agent for the purchase Daniel G. Garnsey. ** The first locks on the Seneca Canal are opened, bypassing the falls of the Seneca River. ** The approximate date Josephus Bradner Stuart begins steamboat service on lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan. ** Connewango settlers Cyrus Childs and Lyman Wyllys arrive from Massachusetts. James Blanchard and his wife Eunice, Daniel Grover, and David Davidson arrive from Vermont, Remus Baldwin arrives from Caledonia, New York. Brothers Nicholas and Thomas Northrup arrive from Stephentown. ** Each county is made a separate legal district with its own District Attorney. ** Joseph Ellicott reports to his superiors at the Holland Land Company that all of their best land has been sold. ** Marlborough, Connecticut, schoolteacher Epaphroditus Bigelow, his wife Sarah and infant son Orimel move to Geneseo; 330 miles in eighteen days. ** Five businesses open in Le Roy between South Street and the Public Square. ** Sylvester Hosmer replaces his log tavern near Avon with a two-story frame structure, which will one day become part of the Genesee Country Museum. ** Erie Canal contracts are signed for raising the Onondaga County summit level between Nine Mile Creek and Jordan, avoiding swamp areas. ** Holland Land Office official David E. Evans is elected to the state senate as a Clintonian Republican. ** Nehemiah Pratt settles in Eagle Harbor in what will become Orleans County. ** John Eddy makes a map of the state. ** Governor Clinton vetoes a bill backed by Martin Van Buren and Tammany Hall for a state constitutional convention, an attempt to extend the franchise. ** Bela Coe builds a hotel in Canandaigua - Coe's Stage House. ** Charles A. Williamson, son of the late land agent Charles Williamson, dies of cholera. ** Peter Porter constructs a second Niagara River bridge to Bath (later Green) Island. ** Medina-area settlers begin using water from the falls of Oak Orchard Creek for powering mills. ** A south wing is added to Auburn Prison. ** A farmer named Pardee erects a two-story building along the future Erie Canal route in Bushnell’s Basin. It will one day become the Richardson’s Canal House restaurant. ** Farmer Barnett Maxfield, along with his wife Hannah and son Andrew, travel west from Herkimer, settle in Pittsford on South Arab (later Clover) Street. ** Future state representative to Congress Frederick Whittlesey graduates from Yale.

Construction begins on the city's South Pier, into Lake Erie. ** William Peacock makes the first complete survey of the harbor. ** The approximate date the Weed Hardware Company opens a store at 292-296 Main Street.

The approximate date Abner Bunnell’s Congregational Church is built. ** A Methodist chapel is completed, on Chapel Street. ** Oliver Phelps and Company begin a stage line between here and Newburgh, crossing the Catskills to the Hudson River.

Nathaniel Rochester moves to Rochesterville from West Bloomfield, settles at the corner of Exchange and Spring streets. ** Construction begins to the east, to carry the Erie Canal through the city's Irondequoit Valley. ** Abelard Reynolds holds the first Methodist services in the city. He is named alderman of the first ward ** Band musicians become too drunk to rehearse. ** The town exports 26,000 barrels of flour, as well as other goods, totaling $380,000. ** Saint Luke's Episcopal Church is formed. ** The Baptists begin meeting, informally. ** Charles Harford's grist mill is destroyed by fire. The Phoenix Mill is erected on its foundations. ** Population reaches 1,049. ** Storekeeper Jonathan Child marries Sophia Eliza Rochester, daughter of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester. ** Azel Ensworth builds a two-story tavern at the Four Corners (Main and State). ** The first Sunday School is formed.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, December 25, 2011


We were saddened to learn of the death on Thursday of long-time LeRoy round table member Charles P. “Skip” Charvella. Skip, as we all knew him, died at the age of 64, at Batavia’s United Memorial Medical Center, after a brief illness.

Friends may call on Monday, December 26, 2011 from 4 to 8 p.m. at H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St., Batavia. His Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 AM, Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at Resurrection Parish - St. Mary's Church, 18 Ellicott Street, Batavia. Memorials may be made to UMMC for the Hospice Care area or your favorite animal shelter.

Further details may be found at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Season’s Greetings

From Joann and David Minor

Rochester City Hall - 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Hello -

We are putting out an URGENT PLEA for interested persons to come to the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS meeting this THURSDAY MORNING, where the CATARACT BUILDING (Genesee Brewery complex/St. Paul Street) will be discussed. Details are:

WHAT: City of Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals

WHEN: Thursday, DEC. 15, 2011

10:00 am

WHERE: City Council Chambers - CITY HALLl, 30 Church St., Rochester

As mentioned (below), LSWNY would like to “fill the seats” in City Council Chambers to show that there is significant interest & concern about this highly visible, National Register-eligible, industrial building in the Genesee Brewery complex. The tallest & most distinguished building in that complex, the 19th-century Cataract Building is also the “signature building” on the east rim of the Genesee River gorge. LSWNY has been intensely involved with the on-going discussions about the possible re-use/re-development of this important building.


Cynthia Howk

Monday, December 12, 2011



Jan 27

The Monroe County Town of Ogden is formed from the Town of Parma.

Jan 28

Outgoing governor Daniel D. Tompkins, recently elected U.S. vice-president, sends a message to the state legislature recommending that a date be fixed for the abolition of slavery within the state. In an election to replace Tompkins as governor De Witt Clinton will defeat Buffalo’s Peter Buell Porter.


Publisher Horatio G. Spafford puts out the 12th and final edition of his American Magazine - a monthly miscellany.


New York State's Bank of Geneva (today's National Bank of Geneva) is chartered.

Mar 19

Naturalist and fish expert Seth Green is born in Carthage (later part of Rochester).

Mar 21

The village of Rochesterville is taken off the towns of Brighton and Gates and incorporated, acquiring a charter. It has a population of 500.

Apr 5

The Niagara County town of Royalton is formed from Hartland.

Apr 7

Tompkins County is formed from Cayuga and Seneca counties. The county courthouse is fixed at Ithaca.

Apr 15

The state legislature authorizes construction of the Erie Canal, after Federal backing is denied.

May 5

Rochesterville holds its first village elections. Francis Brown is elected mayor of the newly incorporated village, which now includes the annexed Frankfort. Also picked are five Trustees, three Assessors, a Treasurer, a Comptroller, a Constable, three Fire-wardens and a Pound-keeper. The office of mayor is merely that of president of the Board of Trustees.


Upper Canada widow Hester Hill seeks someone to prepare a letter to her son Jasper, in


Jul 1

After defeating Buffalo businessman Peter B. Porter for the state's Republican

gubernatorial nomination, New York City mayor De Witt Clinton, running on a pro-

canal plan, is elected.

Jul 14

Rochesterville's St. Luke's parish is organized in the nearby village of Brighton.

Sep 23

Painter Phineas Stanton is born to farmer and War of 1812 veteran Phineas Stanton and his wife, in Middlebury.


Population: Ontario County - 42,032. ** The first printing press in Chataugue (sic), Livingston and Yates counties. Hezekiah Ripley begins publishing the Advertiser and Genesee Farmer, at Livingston County’s Moscow. ** A shipping dock is built three miles from the mouth of the Genesee River, followed by a wooden arch bridge - the longest in the world - across the river's gorge. The new settlement is called Carthage. The steamboat Ontario out of Sackets Harbor is the first to arrive at the landing. ** 5,000 bushels of flour are shipped out of the Genesee River to MontrĂ©al during the last three months of the season. ** Port Gibson, in the future Wayne County, is settled. ** Colonel Nathaniel Rochester attends a session of the legislature at Albany in an usuccessful attempt to get recognition of Monroe County. This year he is also made secretary of the convention meeting in Canandaigua to consider De Witt Clinton’s canal proposal. ** Batavia banker Trumbull Cary builds a post-colonial house on East Main Street. ** The Wyoming Academy is founded. ** Vermont native James Battles arrives in the Connewango area to settle. ** Seneca County annexes part of Tompkins County. ** Porter constructs a Niagara River bridge to Bath (later Green) Island. It will be swept away during the ensuing winter. ** Alden sawmill owner John Rogers builds the town’s first grist mill. ** A Methodist class is begun in Canadice. ** Mack & Shepherd buy the Ithaca Journal . ** Botany lecturer Amos Eaton publishes A Manual of Botany for the Northern States . The popular work will go into eight editions. ** Rush coal merchant H. H. Babcock is born to Isaac and Elizabeth Wilbur Babcock, in Albany County. ** NY-to-Liverpool packet captain William Henry Stewart saves the life of a passenger, the daughter of merchant George Ragg, when she’s swept overboard. The two marry and settle on land outside of Penn Yan given to them by Ragg. ** Horatio Spafford publishes the pamphlet Hints to Emigrants, on the Choice of Land, under the pseudonym Agricola. ** Moses Rathbun and his son Benjamin, running business enterprises in Monticello and Hartwick Township respectively, go bankrupt. Moses moves his extended family from Otsego to Batavia. ** Canal commisioners authorize a further 25% increase in capitalization for the Cayuga and Seneca Canal Company. ** Engineer Canvass White travels to Europe to study canal construction. ** James Van Horn, his Newfane mill destroyed by the British in the last war, rebuilds his gristmill. He will add a sawmill and begin work on a brick mansion. ** Eleazor and Mary Southworth build a home at the four corners in Elba. ** Canandaigua lawyer John C. Spencer is elected as a representative to the Fifteenth U.S. Congress, as is New York surveyor and Holland Land Office agent Benjamin Ellicott. The state’s canal fund will receive its revenue from auction duties and salt duties. ** Syracuse doctor, lecturer, and theater owner John Weiting is born.

Erie Canal

Chief engineer Judge Benjamin Wright appoints David Stanhope Bates assistant engineer on the middle division. ** The steamboat passenger tax, established this year to help pay for state canals, brings in $19,000 in revenue for the year.


The open boat Troyer brings Buffalo the first flour from the west. ** The Federal government builds a 30-foot lighthouse on Lake Erie near Buffalo Creek.

Le Roy

Orange Ridson creates a map of the Triangle Tract. ** Judge Egbert Benson, Jr. becomes the third land agent for the tract. ** Innkeeper James Ganson purchases additional property, on the Village Green.


The population reaches 700. ** Austin Steward, a black grocer, goes into business. ** Spring floods damage the business section. ** Elisha Johnson and Orson Seymour lay out a subdivision on the east bank of the Genesee River. ** A mill is built on Water Street. ** William Atkinson builds the Yellow Mill, the first to make use of the newly-opened Johnson millrace. ** The approximate date Dr. Matthew Brown and his brother Francis arrive from Brookfield, Massachusetts. Their remodeled cotton factory is destroyed by fire, the community's first large one. They will rebuild on the same site. The village's first volunteer fire company is organized. ** The pamphlet "Constitution and Proceedings of the Charitable Society formed in the Western Counties of State of New York, for the Education of Indigent Pious Young Men for the Gospel Ministry " is printed by A. G. Dauby. ** Matthew Dryer of Massachusetts purchases 81 acres in the Brighton area, including the grist mill of John Tryon. ** The Granville, Massachusetts, family of Ezra Parsons arrive in the Allens Creek area.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Enthralling True Stories of Bygone Times

with Diane Janowski and Denny Smith, local historians

Friday, December 9, 2011 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM (book signing from 5:30 to 6:00)

Franklin Street Gallery, 209 North Franklin Street in Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Diane & Denny will read from the diaries of three young people who lived in the Finger Lakes area in the 1800s:

Ida Burnett, a 15 year-old girl, who lived in Logan in 1880, and eventually in Watkins Glen; Earl Gurnee, 18,

who lived in Skaneateles in 1876; and Viola Coolbaugh, a 25 year-old resident of Altay in 1891.

Join with us as we listen to their own words telling of school days, life and death on the farm, and young love.

The diaries are truthful and poignant, slices of real-life Americana. Photographs, maps, and items of local interest help to illustrate these first person histories of the Finger Lakes

To buy the books directly, visit New York History Review.

For more information please call the Franklin Street Gallery at 607-535-2571

Monday, December 5, 2011


Chamber Holiday Celebration
December 7, 2011
Highland Golf Club
3068 Franklin Street Road, Auburn NY

5:00 pm-7:00 pm

The Chamber cordially invites you to this member exclusive celebration to show appreciation to our members for your involvement and support of the Chamber throughout the past year.

Enjoy wine tastings, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.

To register, please contact (315) 252-7291 or email:
(This event is FREE and exclusive to chamber members)