Town of Canandaigua History 

History of Ontario Co, NY       Pub 1878 

Pgs.   114 - 120

Kindly transcribed by Donna Walker Judge


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Another and a warlike race had risen to battle and the chase. Their favorite resort had been the shores of Canandaigua lake and the forests on the north. There they lived in security till the raid of the American army, laying waste with fire and sword, aroused the fires of a revenge which they were impotent to accomplish. Retreating along the foot of the lake, squaws and children were secreted upon an island, which since bears the name Squaw Island. It was comprised in an area of about two acres, and heavily timbered. The squaws peered from their leafy recesses upon the passing soldiery, and when the last had gone betook themselves to the broader shelter of the northern woods. While game was most abundant on the land, the waters of the lake teemed with the choicest fish. Here, when, not only when the SENECAS were lords of the soil, but many years after, their camp-fires blazed and burned low, while the inmates of lodges prepared their dainty meal and gave themselves up to repose.

We have grown familiar with the many circumstances connected with treaty, purchase, and primary settlement of the county of Ontario. We have noted the arrivals at Geneva and Manchester and the succeeding journeys to the county seat, and now our interest rests on the town of Canandaigua as it was formed on January 27, 1789. It lies along the north and east shores of Canandaigua lake, and is the central part of the county. It may be known as consisting of three portions, designated Town 10, Range 3, No. 9, and Academy tract. Southward the surface is hilly, but to the north changes to a more level character. The altitude of the highest ridges does not exceed six hundred feet. The soil is a clay loam in the north, and a gravelly loam in the south, and in its fertility ranks high by comparison with other parts of the State. Its lands are watered by Canandaigua outlet, Beaver creek, and Steven’s brook. Within its limits are located the handsome old village of Canandaigua, situated at the foot of the lake, Cheshire in the south part, Centrefield on the west border, Academy near the south line, and Padelford station to the north. 

Close following upon organization came the town meetings in most cases; but the paucity of population prevented any action until April, 1791, when a meeting was held at Canandaigua, of which wee have elsewhere spoken. In April, 1792, a second town meeting was held in “Canandarque.” It was “opened and inspected by Israel CHAPIN and Moses ATWATER, Esqs.” Previous officers were reelected, and Mr. CHAPIN continued to be supervisor and James D. FISH the town clerk. Wolf bounties were continued at thirty shillings per scalp. Eighty pounds were raised to meet the expenses of the town.

The record of an early road from the house of Joseph KILBOURN to Canandarque lake, and other of the first roads laid out in the district of Canandarque, were from the square in the village of Canandarque, by Hugh JAMESON, to the west side of the town; to the bank of a brook opposite a new grist-mill in No. 11, 3d range, by Nathan COMSTOCK; to the home of George CODDINGS in No. 9, 4th range; besides a number of others centering in the shire village, or leading to the various mills. The road commissioners were Othniel TAYLOR, Ephraim WILDER, and John SWIFT. The surveyors were Jairus ROSE, Alexander EWINGS, Eber NORTON, Jabez FRENCH, Jonathan EDWARDS, Roger SPRAGUE, Gideon PITTS, and Joel PHELPS.

The third town meeting was held at a school-house in the village, on the first Tuesday of April, 1793. Difficulty with the hogs seems to have been met, since fence-viewers are instructed to examine the hog-yokes. The bounty for destroying wolves was raised to five dollars, and Samuel GARDNER, town clerk, was designated as the person to attend to recording “wolf scalps.” Twelve wolves were taken during the year, five of them by Theophilus ALLEN. A public road was surveyed by Seth DEAN in March, 1793, from the outlet to the east line of the county, from the fording-place, below CHAPIN’s Mills, to the Sulphur Springs; across Flint creek, in Phelps, to Snail brook; thence to Bennett’s brook and to the Military road. Wolves continued to be troublesome, as is shown by the payment of thirty dollars to Othniel TAYLOR for six scalps. CHAPIN was succeeded in 1795, as supervisor, by Abner BARLOW.

These records are useful as showing the import affairs in a town of which official notice needed to be taken. The construction of roads to places of resort, the attention to rights in the matter of stock, and the premium upon the wolf, are matters exclusively pioneer in their character. The record of ear-marks shows a wonderful variety and fertility of invention, and recalls the days when the cattle ran common and browned in the woods; the many bells proclaimed their locality, and the peculiar sound directed each barefoot boy or girl where to find the ones they were sent after.

While the store-keeper, the tavern-keeper, and the land-agent found themselves a home in Canandaigua, and scattered log huts along Main street evidenced an intention to make a permanent sojourn, the mills and distilleries were speedily in demand as the first settlers in the woods found a surplus of wheat, corn, and rye. Ambrose PHELPS donated a church lot to the settlers of “No 9,” and a meeting-house was erected on the hill just west of the DURAND place. Long the old frame occupied its site; and, finally, about 1870, it was moved into Canandaigua, and used as a store-house. The current of water from the lake, flowing north, gave but slight fall, and to obtain sufficient power a site for the pioneer mill of this locality was obtained down the outlet, at a place called Littleville. Here Oliver PHELPS, Sr., erected a grist-mill, which bore his name. It was of pigmy dimensions as compared with the steam-mills erected at Canandaigua at a later period; but, crude as it was, knew no lack of patronage. The pioneers came here to get their grists from long distances, in all directions. Samuel DAY was engaged to run the mill, and had no very arduous task. The machinery consisted of a single run of stone and a bolt, while the flour was conveyed along a short spout from the stone to the bolt. Some time in 1798, a grist-mill, known as “CHAPIN’s Mill,” was built in Hopewell, on the outlet. This institution had two run of rock stone, the dam was about one hundred rods above the present, and the water was brought to the wheel in troughs. In this small structure Mr. FLEMING was the miller. Upon the THAYER farm, now owned by the heirs of Nathaniel COOLEY, stood a saw-mill a few rods to the east of the farm-house. The water to run this mill was conveyed from the farm of Charles CHAPIN along a ditch cut for that purpose. All residents of the vicinity know that a canal heads from near the  foot of Main street in a northerly and easterly direction, and that farther to the east is the outlet, trending eastward, and then mainly northward, uniting its waters with those of the canal about a mile and a half from the foot of the lake. The construction of this canal was the pioneer enterprise of this section. The lake at this time was far lower than it had been before or has been since, and it was required that power should be gained to run the small grist-mills which had been erected down the outlet. In accordance with the custom of those days, whenever united effort was requisite, a bee was announced to open the present canal by plowing and scraping, and so opening a water-course of depth sufficient to allow the passage of water when the current induced would cash out the present channel.

At the time appointed, the little band assembled with ox-teams, plows, and scrapers, and accomplished their task. Shortly after this work was made successful, a small structure called the Mud-mill was built near the bridge; but not proving remunerative, was changed to a carding machine, and as such operated by a Mr. GRIMES. A saw-mill once stood within the corporate limits of Canandaigua, upon Sucker brook, just west of the residence of L. WILCOX, and at this late date the outlines of the race may be seen.

A pottery was located at the foot of the lake, and rendered good service in furnishing crocks, plates, platters, and such wares for the old-time housekeepers. The parties engaged in operating this pottery were known as the firm of WAGSTAFF & RIFFORD. Turning from the improvements to provide food, lumber, and house-hold utensils, let the attention revert to those in whose interest they were made to the pioneers of Canandaigua so far as their location has been possible.

Joint District No.10 is composed of that portion of the town lying east of the lower portion of the lake and north of Gorham; but two residences exist in the tract. A former resident of the BEEMAN estate was a man named Samuel ROGERS. North of ROGERS and his neighbor dwelt Artemus LINCOLN; his widow is a resident of Hopewell, on the turnpike. Upon the island formed by lake, canal, and outlet lived a German named RIFFORD, one of the firm engaged in the manufacture of earthenware. The business was continued a number of years. He had three log structures; one for the preparation of the clay, which was ground by horse-power; one for his ovens, to bake the ware; and the third as a dwelling. He died on the SALTONSTALL lot. Surviving pioneers tell us that this land, now denuded, was once a handsome tract, covered with fine timber, and travelers, viewing the village removed from the lake, deplored the omission to have founded it here. Men of wealth, having control of the mills down the stream, dammed the water, and in its reflow it covered and made useless for habitation the whole area. On the lot now owned by J. F. DUBOIS lived Charles GRIMES, who ran his carding-machine after the failure of the mill, and engaged in fulling cloth. He left before 1818, and was succeeded by John VAN ORMAN, who kept a public house in the village, and later erected a small frame east of the outlet. Subsequently a brick addition was built and a tavern-stand opened. Little prominence can attach to the majority of what we term taverns, from their lack of prime necessities, food and lodgings, but the emigrant was glad to shelter his family beneath a roof, be it ever so humble. Next east on the turnpike lived Liberty DAY, in a house framed and yet standing. DAY engaged in making brick, and, to judge by the material of which many of the old houses in the village were composed, he was an efficient workman. Like many another mechanic and tradesman, to his trade as a brickmaker he united that of landlord and farmer. From one or all of these sources money flowed in, and he became wealthy, and in time died on the farm. Upon the COOLEY place lived Elihu TUPPER, where in the days of travel on the turnpike he opened a tavern, acquired a three-horse team and a wagon, and made journeys to and from Albany with grain and goods. During his absence his wife looked to the interests of the tavern.

In Joint District No. 1, Lyman and Arnold HAYS were farmers in this vicinity. The former had a clothiery, and, when the water was high, carried on the business of carding and fulling; at other times labored upon his farm. It is said that not a few of those who became settlers in the west were addicted to intemperance, and that its penalties differed little from those of to-day.

District No. 17, adjacent to the village on the northeast, was early of settlement. Judah COLT, who had been living a short time in Canandaigua, first settled upon and partly cleared up the farm owned by Charles E. SHEPARD, Jr. His father, C. E. SHEPARD, Sr., purchased the farm about 1810, and at that time COLT was living in a small, framed, red-painted house, near SHEPARD’s present dwelling. The younger SHEPARD is a bachelor, and both father and son have been prominent men of the district. They have held, and the son still holds, the office of supervisor, and in addition is superintendent of the poor. We have little to say of others in the district, more than the line of title in lands from the present back to the days of settlement. While we honor the past, we are in danger of losing the present; and in this connection the order is reversed, and we retrace the farmer to the pioneers. P. S. VANDENBURG has lived since 1870 upon a farm occupied by Jedediah SANGER for half a century,--where he had grown old, and where every object seemed bound up with his existence; yet prior to him John REED had built upon the old SANGER farm a log house and made the first improvements. On the property of John J. HANNAH had lived M. AXTELL for a score of years; prior to him, the owner was M. WILLS, and previous to his occupation had been that of Thomas BARNARD. An old man named CARPENTER, father-in-law to BARNARD, was the occupant of a log house, where HANNAH has a gravel-pit. In the northern part of the district lived T. WELSH and H. M. DAVIS, upon farms once united and owned by Henry HOWE, a principal of the Canandaigua academy, and by him purchased of an old settler. R. KILDEA resides upon a farm which, for half a century, gave a home to a Mr. WOOWARD, who sold out in 1866, and departed from the place he had tilled so many years. Beyond, upon the present property of B. K. EMERSON, lived Harris ANDREWS for sixty years. It is a lesson to the proud to know that few outside the little spot denominated a school district have a recollection of men who have seen their threescore and ten, and can say of them only that they were for all their lives wont to plow, sow, reap, and enjoy the relaxation of winter. Close upon the Hopewell line lives W. W. RIDLEY, an Englishman, who twenty-five years ago erected the first house on that farm, and has been its occupant to the present. Where F. FOX lives dwelt Heman ANDREWS; and W. CALLISTER has lived a dozen years where W. SCANTLIN, his predecessor, had found a home for thirty years continuously. H. M. SMITH had been preceded by Seymour ALDRICH, a purchaser from John GREIG. At this place lived old Mr. ANDREWS, father of Harris. Some time about 1806 he was the keeper of a public resort which is known now to few, but once bore the title of the “Owl’s Nest.” The road between the outlet and railroad is of more recent origin and late of settlement.

District No. 15 lies in the northeast corner of the town. To this place came Zachariah TIFFANY, his wife Susannah, and eleven children, from Adams, Mass., in the spring of 1800. The family settled near the Farmington line, and the land owned by them has been known, until recently, as the TIFFANY farm. On August 21, 1821, it was divided among three sons. Olney, Zachariah, and Edmond, all of whom are dead. A grandson of Zachariah, Sr., Francis J. by name, has lived for the last fifteen years upon a part of the old farm. The size of this family suggests a reason for the rapidity with which clearings were made, when all, to the smallest, had his special task to do. The log house was their original home. Here the entire family were incapacitated by sickness from ague, and the harvest was kindly secured by the neighbors. A lime-kiln was built upon the farm, and the lime was marketed at the village of Canandaigua. M. S. POMEROY has lived eight yeas upon the farm once the property of Zachariah F. TIFFANY, and a part of the old estate of that family. Mr. NICHOLA, of Irish descent, was a former resident upon the farm now owned by E. LORD. The Irishman, in common with many a settler, found difficulty in making payment of his farm, and, not to lose all, sold out, and realized a trifle for his labor. Joseph PHELPS moved upon and made a clearing on the GIDDINGS farm. Here, as on the TIFFANY place, there was a lime-kiln run as a source of income.

Soon after the arrival of TIFFANY came David CASSORT and the SHULARS, John and William; these came into the south part of the district. William CASSORT has been the owner, for fifteen years, of the place long owned by his father. Upon the farm occupied since 1869 by W. S. PARISH lived Ashbury CHRISTIAN for a quarter of a century; and before him the land had been the property of Benson MEEK and John MCCONNELL, Scotchmen. These last were men of culture and means; they erected good frame houses, and caused their grounds to be carefully and artistically cultivated and attended. W. N. REDDOUT lives upon a farm which, for ten years, was the property of John J. LYON, county clerk, and LYON obtained his right from Wm. MEEK, who had resided there above forty years. In the eastern part of the district, on lot 54, J. P. FAUROT lived two score years. Here Robert SAUNDERS, of Connecticut, had settled in 1795. Mr. SAUNDERS had two sons; one of them, Harvey SAUNDERS, was a physician. N. A. GIFFORD has lived twelve years upon lot ’53, previously the property, for thirty-five years, of Ishmael GARDNER, and by him acquired of DE BOW, father of Ansel DE BOW, and the first settler upon it. Descendants of the DE BOWS are residents of the county, in the south part of Farmington, and in district 14 of Canandaigua. Mrs. PARMLEE has been a resident on the north part of lot 54 full thirty years, and George BRANT had dwelt there thirty-five years previously. Next eastward on that road lives Mrs. POMEROY, widow of Aaron POMEROY, who died there in 1872, after a residence upon the land of forty-five years. Mr. POMEROY had two sons, one of whom, C. G. POMEROY, now a doctor in Newark, owns part of the old home. POMEROY bought of Phineas BATES, a well-known resident of Canandaigua in the early days, and an original owner. Upon the farm now owned by T. H. WILLIAMS since 1870 dwelt Joseph BERLING, a friend from New York. For fifty years the old place was under his care and supervision, and few in this vicinity were more highly esteemed or more prominent as regards property at his times. Lot 73 has been the property of Richard GIDDINGS for the last twenty years, and of Mr. BUNNEL for a period nearly three times as long before him. Upon the farm owned by F. J. TIFFANY, and tenanted, lived Mr. DENNIS for half a century; a son is at present a lawyer in Topeka, Kansas. To the northeast, on lot 65, S. DOUGLAS has lived fifteen years, and prior to him William DILLON could well lay claim to being an old settler, having owned and cultivated its fields for fifty years. Francis GRANGER was the first purchaser of the farm whereon LATTING lived for thirty-five years, and E. LORD for the last five. In the extreme northeast of the district John H. LATTING has resided a score of years, and before him his father, John LATTING, had been the owner and farmer full fifty years.

The people of the district stand connected with the churches in Canandaigua, Chapinsville, and Shortsville. The Methodists were the pioneers, and held periodic meetings in the school-house, after one was erected. The present school-house is the third on the same site, and is a neat brick house. The second was also of brick, and the first, as might be anticipated, was a rude log cabin, and in conformity with the homes of the children attending. For many years females have been employed as teachers, and ordinary results reached. Among the remembered names of instructors in the school of No 15, was Russel WHIPPLE, a grandson of Zachariah TIFFANY. About 1836, Willis GREGORY was the instructor, and surviving pupils extol his merits as superior to the ordinary teachers. Three sisters of the BISHOP family, Ann, Eliza, and Jane, have, at various times, conducted schools in this district.

An old cemetery is located upon the west side of lot 57, just south of the road, upon the farm of T. H. WILLIAMS; here repose the bodies of many an old settler. This consecrated ground marks the burial-ground of the TIFFANYS, CASSORTS, BROCKELBANKS, SHULERS, DE BOWS, and others of their day. Among the finest residences in the district is the BURLING place, now the property of T. H. WILLIAMS, and the stone house erected in 1846 by Zachariah TIFFANY, and now owned by M. S. POMEROY. Prominent as a soldier during the late war was Captain Henry FAUROT who recruited the first company raised for the United States service in Ontario County.

District No. 14 lies west of No 15, and was probably formed as such in April 1825. Caleb GAGE, wife, and two children came to the district in November 1817, from Wendell, New Hampshire, and made a stop during the winter in a frame house owned by Joseph CAMFIELD, now the property of Thomas CHAPMAN. GAGE bought seventy acres of lot 85 from Zachariah SEYMOUR. The lot has been bought in 1806, and a piece including three or four acres partially cleared by a man named Thomas PIKE, who became subject to the ague and abandoned the land, and the clearing began rapidly to resume its natural state. We are apt to regard the country as somewhat settled at the time of the war of 1812, but vast regions were a forest, the villages were but hamlets, and, except upon old, well-traveled roads, offering inducements to open a tavern, houses were often full four miles apart. Near to Canandaigua, yet the condition of this district was essentially that of a new country. Some few had become well settled, and had reached the civilized stage of a settler’s life, but all else was savage and original. Joseph CANFIELD was one of the first settlers in the district, and cleared one of the first tracts of land. He had a farm of two hundred acres, upon which he erected a small one-story frame house, now standing on the PADELFORD farm. He built the house now occupied by M. HITCHCOCK. Stephen BISHOP came in about 1814, and lived for years in a log house, to which he attached a lean-to frame. He bought of a man named HART, who had made considerable progress in clearing. BISHOP passed his life upon his farm, and at his death his heirs sold to E. S. POTTER, who transferred his title to M. D. MUNGER, of the village. John B. NORRIS was owner in 1817 of lot 80, which then stood in its primitive state. John BROCKELBANK was the owner of the COST farm. He was the son of one of the earliest settlers in the town, and, as a carpenter, was engaged in the construction of the Methodist church and other buildings in 1818 and later. He rented his farm to different parties, among whom was EATON, of New Hampshire. John GAGE came in during 1816, and bought a forest farm, upon which he lived and labored forty years, and then died about 1866. He had a family of eight children, all of whom, with one exception, went to Michigan. The place was sold, and went to various parties, and is now the property of D. COUCH. On lot 82 lived Amasa BURCHARD, who, dying, left the estate to three children, who still possess it. Just west of BURCHARD was a farm known as the property of George M. GAGE, son of John GAGE. He was a preacher of the Universalist faith, and was employed in different towns as pastor, and died upon his place in 1871. Lot 88 is remembered as the home of Myron JONES, a cripple, who for many years occupied a log house, and hired his field cultivated; at his death his sisters inherited the land. Levi BROCKELBANK, son of Samuel, was the original settler on No. 89, and dwelt in the log hut so common and so suggestive of the times. Sale was made to L. B. GARRISON, then to G. A. CHRISTIAN, and, finally, to William UTLEY, the present owner. Zachariah PADELFORD purchased land in 1831, and is the owner of the four northeast lots of the district. Chandler BURGER was the pioneer upon the lot occupied by Mr. PADELFORD as the location of his residence. James REEVES, of New Jersey, lived on lot 83. His trade was that of a wheelwright, and a large family grew up around him. Influenced by reports and the sight of many moving westward, he sold out and joined the current. BATES, MORGAN, and then E. OSGOOD succeeded to the ownership of the property. William KIBBE, the first cashier of the old Ontario Bank, was the early owner of the farm now occupied by J. W. POTTER. Eliphalet TAYLOR, a justice of the peace in Canandaigua, owned the present farm of Abraham RISSER, and his sons, James and Henry, worked the land. Oliver GLOVER was the first whit man to make his home upon lot 79. Here he lived in a one and a half story house, and became the possessor of a large landed estate. Sale was made to Joel NORRIS, and the ownership is now vested in T. MCGREGOR. Charles CASSORT was the first owner of what is known as the SACKETT farm. In 1821, Horatio FORBES, a mechanic, bought of L. SEYMOUR  what was then forest land, and cleared it up. It has passed by marriage of a daughter to Homer CHASE.  J. H. SIMMONS and William CURTIS bought from the land agent lots 102 and 114; CURTIS moved on with a family, and finally sold out to J. H. SIMMONS, whose widow resides in the house built and inhabited by CURTIS. Beni BISHOP, the early owner of 113, sold to M. WALSH, and moved to Michigan. The father of James COLLINS was a former owner of 102.

It is notable that barns built in that early day were of the best timber, by good workmen, and unexcelled in durability to-day. C. GAGE erected in 1844 the first and only brick building in No. 14. Wheat was a staple crop, producing forty bushels to an acre in some instances. It was a drug as regarded price, and had no cash value till 1825, when the canal was under way. GAGE and others turned their hogs into the wheat to fatten, as the speediest means of utilizing the crop. Orchards early set out produced good and abundant fruit. The first reaper in the locality was brought in by David C. GATES and Frank BATES, who cut for different farmers. It was one of the old MCCORMICK stamp. GAGE brought in the first mower in 1844, from Buffalo, and its execution was a subject of considerable interest among the farmers.

A school-house was built on the OSGOOD farm at a very early day. It was an old building in 1815, and was constructed of logs halved and notched to fit, and furnished with a huge fireplace. One HOLLAND was a teacher in those times.

About 1819, the frame now standing was erected at the junction of the Rochester and Farmington Roads. Richard STEVENSON, son of Professor STEVENSON, of the Canandaigua Academy, was an excellent teacher in this house. James JAMISON, Russel WHIPPLE, and Warner BUNDY were teachers in district No. 14. The last taught in 1830, and, with ninety-one names upon his roll, had an average of sixty scholars in attendance. The branches taught were of advanced grade, and thirty-three of that term’s pupils later were known as teachers. A new house is in process of construction.

Joint District No. 3, in its western portion, is yet unoccupied. The eastern border is traversed by the New York Central Railroad, which established a station and erected a small depot building in 1873. This stopping-place is known as PADELFORD Station and Post-Office. Where William WARFIELD lives dwelt a settler named PRICE, who is remembered to have had a numerous family. KINNEY was an owner of the land now occupied by F. MATTOON. The first school-house in this district was of logs, upon the land now owned by H. BERRY. Emily GREEN, of Canandaigua, was a teacher in this school during 1840-41. A frame was erected in 1842 on the Farmington side of the town line; this was town down and a new frame put up in 1873.

District No. 20 is an irregularly-shaped piece of land known as the “BACON Tract,” and embraced about sixteen hundred acres, purchased and held for speculation. Into this new, wild section a road was opened. Survey was made by Squire CHIPMAN, and the lands thrown open to purchase. Among the earliest settlers upon it were Samuel HUDSON, Ansen WALKER, Mr. TILTON, and Shubel MARBLE,--all men having families and desirous of homes. H. BROOKS resides upon the MARBLE place, and J. PURDY on that of TILTON. Amasa SQUIERS, James OWENS, and Daniel MILLER were settlers on that section lying to the southeast and now the property of T. MCINTYRE. The lands of this lately-formed and settled district are rich but shallow.

District No. 1—Augustine SACKETT and his brother Theron came from Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1812. They joined means to purchase a farm of ninety-four acres, comprised in parts of lots 59 and 60, from Ebenezer NORTON, then a lawyer in Canandaigua. There had been a settler upon No. 59 for many years. Twenty acres had been cleared, and an old log house stood on the place. The original settler was a man named HULL, who kept a kind of tavern in a double-log house. Gideon FERRY, the second owner, sold to Reuben LAMBERTON, who traded the property to NORTON for a tavern stand in the village; and of NORTON, as stated, Colonel SACKETT made his purchase. Among those who fled from the vicinity of Buffalo during the memorable scenes of 1813 was a man named Elisha DOTY, who, with his family, passed the winter in the old tavern.

A. SACKETT occupied the old building in 1814; then, having built a new house, used the old one as a stable, and finally burned it up. Upon this farm Mr. SACKETT has been an inhabitant for sixty-two years, and is the oldest resident of the district. He has three sons well advanced in age,--two of them are living on the farm. From Colonel SACKETT we obtain the following history. The settlers in the district beginning on the North Bloomfield road, just out from Canandaigua, are thus described: James THOMAS, a Welshman and a house-builder, had just completed the house of Peter B. PORTER, now occupied by Eldridge G. LAPHAM, present M. C., and with the means thus acquired bought a farm of one hundred acres. On the north side of the road he erected a log house, and thereon passed his life. The family, save a son and a daughter, has become extinct, and the place is now owned by John MALTMAN. Ira WILDER kept tavern on the south side of the road west from THOMAS. The property was owned in 1814 by John CARPENTER, who had built a log shanty, which was used by him and WILDER as a public house. His land being rented, CARPENTER took a six-acre piece from the corner of lot 59, and thereon built a small frame house. He was known as the incumbent of various small offices; sold out to WILDER within a few years, and moved away. Ira WILDER had come from Connecticut with Jonathan WILDER, his father, and lived in Bristol. He soon made a purchase of the rented farm from CARPENTER, and also bought fifty acres additional. During the war of 1812 he had been captain of a company of cavalry; served at Buffalo, and was upon the disastrous retreat from Black Rock. A brick house was built in 1829, on the west side of the road opposite the log tavern, and this new house became known as WILDER’s tavern, and was known as the WILDER place down to about 1860. WILDER sold in 1864, and went to the village of Canandaigua to live with a daughter, and there died in 1868 at the age of eighty-six. Joseph SEXTON was the purchaser of his place, whereon Mrs. SEXTON has lived since his death. Upon 59 were several log huts untenanted. The property had been cleared, but the money could not be raised to meet payments and it had reverted to its previous owner, the State of Connecticut, from which Colonel SACKETT made purchase in 1817. The price paid was twenty dollars an acre, with wheat worth two dollars, and potatoes one dollar a bushel. Farther to the northwest, on the land now owned by Converse MCMILLEN, was Charles WOODRUFF, a settler since 1792, and then over sixty years of age. He was an original occupant of his farm, and had brought it into a fair state of cultivation and erected a comfortable frame house. MATTESON was the occupant of a small frame house in the southwest corner of the BACON tract. He was William BACON’s agent for the sale of the land, and at the same time kept an inn. The stand was used for a tavern for a period of between forty and fifty years.

On the road running southeast from Charles WOODRUFF’s place we find a log house occupied by Elijah ROSE, a mason by trade and well advance in years. In the house with her father lived Triphena EVANS, who died there in 1875, at the age of ninety-two years. Next, south, was the dwelling of Jesse ACKLEY, of Connecticut. He was living upon a tract taken up by his father. A Mrs. WALKER, a daughter, resides in district No. 20. Beyond ACKLEY was his brother Aaron, on part of the same lot. A shoemaker by trade, he carried on work in his house, and gave time not thus required to his farm. Jarius ROSE, a settler in 1792, as is shown by his appointment to the office of constable in the spring election of that year, had made his home where Albert B. COOLEY now lives, and was the owner of five hundred acres. Benjamin SHELDON, of Sheffield, Massachusetts, came out in 1812, bought of ROSE, and in 1814 was living in a good two-story house. The next lot below SHELDON was owned by Gideon GRANGER, and occupied by a tenant. Various lots were partially occupied by persons of small means, who dwelt in log cabins, and were not known outside of their immediate neighborhood. The first brick house in the district was built by Mr. GRANGER, on lot 57, in 1815. Frederick COOLEY is the present inhabitant. On Sucker brook was a saw-mill built by Ira WILDER, about 1825, on the CALLISTER farm. It was long in use, and finally let run to decay. The first blacksmith in the district was Clark ELDRIDGE, who had several shops—one of them on WILDER’s premises. A man named CALLON was another of his craft. The majority of the church people are Methodist, while other societies have a scattering membership. From a book whose first entry gives “John CARPENTER, clerk of School District No. 1, June 9, 1813,” we learn of a meeting held on June 4 preceding, at the house of Benjamin SHELDON, when Jesse ACKLEY, B. SHELDON, and James THOMAS were chosen trustees, and Charles WOODRUFF collector. It was voted to build a school-house on the road from C. WOODRUFF’s to Orimel SHELDON’s, near the cross-roads. Various assemblies were had, and in one it was voted to build a brick house twenty-four by twenty-two feet. A regular meeting was ordered by John C. SPENCER, common school commissioner, for February 14, 1815. Angus SACKETT was clerk. A vote passed to build a house twenty feet by twenty-four feet. A tax of three hundred and eighty dollars was levied to supply means, and the building was to be ready for occupancy by October, 1815. Each proprietor was ordered to supply a half-cord of two-and-a-half foot wood. The first teacher, during the summer of 1815, was Polly BROWNELL, and the first of the winter teachers was Augustine SACKETT. A Mr. SAUNDERS was one of the best school-masters in the early day, and Marshal FINLEY was a good teacher of a later period.

District No. 3—Lemuel CASTLE came here from Dutchess county in 1789, and soon after leased a place on lot 40, of Messrs. PHELPS and GORHAM. The place is now in possession of Hiram CASE. The journey west was made with ox-teams, and goods and provisions came by water.

In 1792, CASTLE built a frame barn for the proprietors. Its dimensions are forty by sixty feet, and it is yet in service, having stood for eighty-four years. The old contract for building this pioneer barn is couched in the wordy language of the time, and is now in the possession of Francis J. CASTLE, a grandson of the pioneer. Having remained on the lease for some time, Mr. CASTLE purchased lot No. 44, one hundred and seventeen acres, upon which himself and his son DYER moved, and began the work of clearing a tract of its forest growth preliminary to the transformation to a productive grain field. The grandson, resident of the farm, is now sixty-eight years of age, and the third generation has grown up on the old homestead. Elijah HURD bought lot No. 40 when Mr. CASTLE moved from it, and this occurred some time in 1793. Where now stands the brick residence of George HICKOX, that early day saw the log cabin of Ebenezer WILLIAMS, a carriage-maker and wheelwright. This pioneer was kept constantly employed, and lived here many years. Upon lot No. 45 came Colonel John SUTHERLAND from the village, and bought out a man who had been there but a few months. In time Reuben SUTHERLAND became the owner, and it has passed to the hands of his grandson, A. S. SUTHERLAND. On the northeast corner of lot No. 74, north of the present school-house, lived the pioneer tavern-keeper, Seth HOLCOMB, who came out in 1792, was made the recipient of various offices, and became a public man. Nathan BRIGGS succeeded to the place, and there resided for some time. Among the early settlers of this locality, none stand out in the light of history more conspicuously than Captain George HICKOX. He came to the town of Canandaigua on January 31, 1793. His first location was on lot No. 27, where Lorenzo TILLOTSON lives. In 1797, Mr. HICKOX married Eunice HOLCOMB, who had come on from Massachusetts and opened a school in the log school-house which stood on No. 79. Miss HOLCOMB was one of the pioneer teachers, having begun in 1793, and taught continuously until the time of her marriage. One term was taught at the school-house near where Albert SMITH now owns; the rest, at number No. 79. One of those who attended her school in that day became widely and favorably known as Joshua R. GIDDINGS—an eminent and able legislator, and member of Congress from Ohio. When Captain HICKOX came in, his only possessions were a yoke of oxen and an axe. His father took the oxen and a squaw stole his axe, and all that was left to him were a strong arm and a courageous mind not easily daunted. In 1793, Mr. HICKOX helped Judge Stephen BATES to fell the timber for the court-house erected in 1794. The trees stood on Fort Hill and Gibson street. He was the first man to plow on that street for the initial crop there produced. He was captain of militia, and in December, 1813, during the burning of Buffalo, received an order at midnight to have his company in readiness to march, and at sunrise next morning had them on the public square in Canandaigua. Orders to march were countermanded, and the company was disbanded. He engaged, for a time, in transporting goods by ox-teams from Albany, at a period when there were twenty-three taverns on the route. His death occurred May 27, 1845. His father, Levi HICKOX, came to the village in the latter part of 1790, and located where Alexander MCKECHNIE lives. Judge PHELPS having been taken sick was attended by Mr. HICKOX, who was recompensed by a deed for three hundred acres of land, including lot No. 91, on the Bristol road, where Wells GOODWIN now owns. Here he came, and among his acts was the planting of an orchard, which is still in existence to attest his providence. George HICKOX, Jr., son of Captain HICKOX, and grandson of Levi, resides in the town. During a harvest season, among the hands was Brigham YOUNG, the Mormon prophet, who was raking and binding wheat at a dollar per day when he quit work for Mr. HICKOX. It was, in all probability, the last honest day’s labor he accomplished. About 1800, Joseph VAN ORMAN located and built a house on lot No. 79, almost directly in front of the William SUTHERLAND residence, now occupied by Thompson SUTHERLAND. Near the house of Mr. SUTHERLAND one FLEMING had his home, and was engaged in carrying on a small distillery in the hollow just east of his house. In 1803, Daniel CASE bought out Captain HICKOX, and moved on to the place. He was made the incumbent of various town offices, and held that of justice of the peace for many years. Giles MITCHELL was a pioneer settler upon lot No. 78 in 1794, but soon sold out, and Benjamin WHEELER was a later proprietor. On the southeast corner of lot No. 71 lived Mr.GIDDINGS, father of the Ohio congressman above alluded to. Later, he removed to the State where the son became known to fame. Hugh JAMESON came to this neighborhood among the earliest, and located where A. E. SMITH resides, on lot No. 55. He was the builder of the brick house upon the place.

Centrefield District, No. 2—Abner BARLOW and Colonel Thaddeus REMINGTON came to the town in 1790. The latter came on and located near Christian Hill, now Centrefield, in 1793. Colonel REMINGTON was a native of Vermont, and settled where John CLARK owns, and there resided until his death. He was prominent among the pioneers, and, as indicated by his title, was a colonel during the last war with England. He had a family of eight children. Thaddeus, a son, was born ere in 1794, and died where he had lived during January, 1876. Mrs. Sophia FOSKET, a daughter, resident of the town, is in her seventy-seventh year. Soon after the Remington settlement came David HAWLEY, and located where A. MCCREADY resides; and about the same time Jesse MILLER came in form the Black river country, and took up his residence where Mr. CRUM now occupies. Captain Noah HEACOCK was an early occupant of this locality, and built a brick tavern in Centrefield, which he kept for some years,--among the first in the place. Isaac MORSE, familiarly known as “Papa” MORSE, settled south of Christian Hill, on lot 81. He was a man of large family, and an accomplished fiddler. He made lively music for young and old at the frequent festive gatherings delighted in by the early settlers. A grandson, E. H. MORSE, is a present owner of the old farm. Enos and Henry HAWLEY were settlers prior to 1800, and remained upon their farms till their deaths, which were nearly at the same time. The first farm south of Remington’s was that of Stephen WARD, a settler of 1799, and a man of varied experience, worthy a place in his county’s history as illustrative of the shifts and labors incident to the time. Charles and Oliver JOHNSON were the pioneers upon the farm of O. E. CRITTENDEN, and farther south lived Joseph and Joel CLARK, who within a few years were attracted to Canada. Lyman MILLER had a small building in Centreville on the site of the WILLIAMS’ house. Harvey STEELE lived on the south side of the road, a few rods west of the HAWLEYS, upon the farm of Walter BLAIR.

Oliver ROSE was the first storekeeper in Centrefield. He began the mercantile business in a small frame building in the village some time about 1810, and opened a market for grain. A former school-master, he now became proprietor of a distillery which stood on the land of John COOLEY about 1815. Justus ROSE became a partner, and enlarged the field of operations. A store was started in Cheshire, cattle were bought, and a heavy trade upbuilt. The ROSES sold to SACKETT, FOSKET & CARTER, and later Asa HAWLEY became a member of the firm. They maintained the trade originated by their predecessors, and the village was a lively place. Centrefield then had a post-office, with John FOSKET for the post-master,--an honor not now enjoyed. Mr. FOSKET ran a shoe store in the place, and found it well patronized. When HEACOCK ran a shoe store in the place, and found it well patronized. When HEACOCK moved away, the tavern was bought, and let to Isaac FOSKET, who became known as the second tavern-keeper of the place.

The need of medical attendance ignored sex, and the wife of Joseph VAN ORMAN was the doctor in the days of which we write. She was invaluable in her services, was held in high repute, and rode from one point to another on horseback. Dr. BENSON, of Bristol, and physicians of the village of Canandaigua were available. It was a plain, simple fact that as many as a dozen persons were confined at a time in the first log jail in the shire village, as the penalty of debt. Some of these had got behind through sickness; and this was the way then taken for a poor man to liquidate his debt, by confining him in the county jail and making him board himself. The families in and about Centrefield were desirous of school and church privileges. A school-house was built between WARD’s and REMINGTON’s, and later was moved westward a short distance for better accommodation. The first teacher here was Pruda HAWLEY. Charles WELLER, a young man from Massachusetts, taught the school in the winter of 1800-1. Traveling preachers came to this locality as a point on their rounds. Rev. WICKS was one of that faithful class known as circuit-riders, and Elder GOODELL, then young, preached at various stations through the country. In religious affairs, until recently, Centrefield was connected with churches in adjacent places. In 1831 a general revival extended to this village, and paved the way for the organization of societies. On November 12, 1832, a congregational society was formed by Revs. Silas C. BROWN, Robert W. HILL, and Edwin BRANSON. Thirty-five members were enrolled, of whom seventeen were received by letter, the rest on profession of faith in Christ. Of the former class, five were from East Bloomfield, five from North Bristol, and two from Canandaigua. This church was received under care of the Ontario presbytery January 15, 1833. Stated supplies took the place of a regular pastor. Among those early officiating in this capacity were S. S. HOWE, Jonathan LESLIE, Benjamin B. SMITH, Joseph K. WARE, and Silas C. BROWN. Aid was received from the American Home Missionary Society. A house of worship was erected, and preaching had at intervals. The Baptist society built a meeting-house about 1830, and Rev. POTTER, the leading man in the work, became the first pastor. After a brief period, the house was sold to the Episcopal society for one thousand dollars. Rev. Reward KARNEY had served this latter society previous to the purchase in the school-house, and became the rector here at the organization of the church as Trinity parish, September 23, 1832. The first communicants were George H. WHEELER, who died in 1837; Linus GUNN, Orlando MORSE, James BLAIR and wife, Asa HAWLEY and wife, Ashbael TUTTLE and wife, Samuel SHROPE, Dr. Thomas WILLIAMS, and Thaddeus REMINGTON,--the last two on August 11, 1833. Other rectors were Rev. William HECOX and Rev. CHIPMAN. There has been no rector for many years. The building, though still Episcopalian property, is not now in use. It is told of the residents of Centrefield that a great excitement prevailed among them during 1813. They feared an invasion from British and Indians. Some dared not remove their clothing, but slept ready to rise and run. A wagon stood loaded with hay. The latter was thrown off, so as to hold the vehicle ready as a means of escape. One old man watched from his house all day, and finally became so panic-stricken as to get out a horse and ride into the wilderness in No. 9, looking back fearfully. A few days brought tidings of the British retreat, and the old routine was observed.

Joint District No. 12 lies south of Centrefield. In the year 1795, Rev. Zadoc HUNN came on with his family from Berkshire county, Massachusetts, and settled on the farm now owned by B. DURAND, formerly known as the SHELDON tavern-stand. Rev. HUNN was known as an organizer of churches, and his name is associated with the early history of Congregationalism in Ontario County. His death occurred in May, 1801. A grandson, Nathan HUNN, is a resident in the district. A man named ROCKWELL married one of Rev. HUNN’s daughters, and was known as the keeper of a tavern. Seba CASE came in during 1794, and settled upon lot 14, now owned by Myron PARKS. Upon this lot he passed his life. George GOODING settled upon the farm opposite Rev. HUNN, where WELLS and Timothy GOODING now live. The parts of lots 90 and 94 in the north part of the district were known as the Hooper LUNG farm. A man came upon this tract, made a clearing, and lived there some time, and ultimately abandoned it as being too rough. A Mr. INGRAM next resided on the land, and built a turning machine on Shaffer creek. His manufactures were limited, and of the articles, any one of which would now be a relic, were wooden plates. The PARSHALL place was owned by Levi HICKOX, of whom we have spoken. His descendants still reside in the vicinity. No. 15 was taken up by Elijah TILLOTSON, who set out an orchard still in existence. The irregularity of roads had its origin with the convenience of the farmers. The school-house in this district is a frame building, standing near the Bristol line. But a score of minors between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one reside in the limits of the district. A male teacher in winter and a female in summer are employed, who board around. Fifteen children attended the school in 1875. The school property is valued at $600. The amount of moneys apportioned to the district in 1875 was $79.84, and $134 was raised by tax. The wages of teachers amounted to $266. Other expenses, $164.50. Total, $297.84. Making the cost of tuition per scholar nearly $20. The winter teacher received $44 per month; the summer teacher $24.

School District No. 18, principally in No. 9, third range, had for its early settlers Mr. Spencer, on lot 28, Mr. TAYLOR, an old, childless man, and Joel MOORE, a pleasant, enterprising settler. Settlers moved to this region rapidly, and a brief mention is all we can give them. Abraham ROOT was a pioneer of 1792, upon the place of O. TILLOTSON, and purchased quite a large tract of land. Esquire Roswell ROOT, a son, was a long time resident of the locality. James CASTLE was an early proprietor and occupant of lot 53, now owned by D. J. BAKER. Ambrose PHELPS, from Manchester at an early period bought the lands lying west of the REMINGTON tract. Mr. PHELPS married Liddy GILLETT, sister to the wife of Mr. ROOT, in the time of settlement. Abner and Chester BUNNELL were early carpenters and house-builders; the latter was engaged upon the construction of the old court-house or “Star Building,” erected in 1794, and as payment for his services, Judges PHELPS and GORHAM deeded to him the land now owned by C. B. WARD. Some flaw in the title gave trouble, which was settled by a new deed by Zachariah SEYMOUR, agent for Connecticut, on a presentation of a proper voucher. From a family of six, three survive,--Charles BUNNELL, of Iowa; a daughter, the wife of Moses WARD, Sr.; and a son, H. BUNNELL, upon Academy Tract. Isaac VAN ORMAN, a settler, about 1795, on lot 42, near the present home of W. BEEMAN, was prominent as a business and as a religious man. He was later the owner of a six-horse team, employed to transport grain to Albany and bring back merchandise. On the stagnation of trade, this effort, followed by others, was a great and permanent advantage to the farmers. An old man, named Eli BUTLER, squatted a farm in the woods and built him a small log cabin, which stood somewhat to the east of A. M. NOTT’s house. Those who had business with him followed foot-paths which led to his abode. He traveled the country with spoon-moulds, and as he found dilapidated pewter plates transformed them to spoons, and so eked out a livelihood. E. S. NOTT, father of A.M. NOTT, married Eunice CASE, a daughter of Seba CASE. William BACON, a land speculator owned and sold to James NETHAWAY, where O. OUTHOUSE lives. At NETHAWAY’s death the property was sold by the heirs, and , passing through several changes, has come to present ownership of Mr. OUTHOUSE. To the northeast part of lot 30 came Jonathan MACK, of Massachusetts, about 1799. He went upon the property and chopped a piece containing three or four acres; this was the beginning of his career as a good and reputable farmer. He married Eliza, daughter of Isaac VAN ORMAN, and raised a large family. Upon the hill where stood COXE chapel was raised a log school-house, the pioneer in that region of early settlement. When it was announced that a bee was to be had, all the old pioneers turned out with their axes and cattle for the work. Prominent of those present were Seba CASE, Ambrose PHELPS, Isaac VAN ORMAN, Daniel and Dyer CASTLE, Elijah HURD, and Joel GILLETT. Logs were cut and put up, and No. 9 had a school-house, and a meeting-house as well. About 1810 the old log-house was demolished, and on the site a framed church was begun in 1811, and dedicated in 1815. Since 1865 the people began to attend church in Canandaigua, and about 1873 the building was taken away. The first Methodist church organization in the town was in this part of No. 9. The meetings were held at Roswell ROOT’s house, and afterwards in a log house on the hill west of DURAND’s. The society on organization consisted of Roswell ROOT and wife, Sarah MOORE, Ambrose PHELPS and wife, Levi ROWLEY and wife, Talcott REED and wife, Giles HECOX and wife, David PARSHALL and wife, Jesse PARSHALL and wife, Eliza HOLCOMB, Mrs. MURRAY, Aaron SPENCER and wife, and Isaac and Jesse VAN ORMAN. The date of formation was 1796. Unable to support a circuit preacher, local speakers were employed up to the removal of the building in 1873. The school-house on lot 55 was built about 1856. Repeated divisions have resulted in small schools, enhancing expenses and withdrawing the stimulus of numbers.

District No. 9 lies along the lake, and is occupied by a dozen families. There still stands upon the farm of Robert BENEDICT a house built by Israel REED and occupied by Israel PARRISH. A little southward of his house stood a log structure, owned by VAN ORMAN. One of the earliest remembered deaths in the district was that of an emigrant, who, while engaged in clearing up a few acres on the PATTEN farm, now the property of F. O. CHAMBERLAIN, was taken sick, and after a short illness died at the house of VAN ORMAN. Messrs. CRANE, SMEDLEY, and a few others went in a scow from the foot of the lake and brought the body down for burial in the old cemetery. Where W. BEEMAN lives, John WOOD, a blacksmith, once had his home, and carried on a shop in the village. Farther up the lake lived Jesse and David PARSHALL, and near the present school-house Joseph SHOEMAKER had his residence. A son lives on the academy tract. 

District No. 8 likewise borders on the lake. Tichnor’s point is located in the northeast portion. Here Mr. EATON made a settlement and a clearing. A man named STILES located at the point, and opened a tavern. Miles HECOX settled near him. STILES had a pioneer cider-mill near his tavern. It consisted of a horizontal wheel attached to an upright shaft, and run in a circular trough, crushing the apples in its course. The cider from the pulp was strained through small holes made in a sap trough. This STILES was the owner of several lots, a man of large family, and well calculated to play the part of a pioneer, being hardy, robust, and enterprising. Descendants are variously located within the county. On lot 57, Seth LEWIS, Senior and Junior, made very early settlements. A man named GRANT then became owner, and sold in 1806 to Arsino BEEBE, who came out from Vermont that year, and brought with him his wife and four children, one of whom, Mrs. CHAMBERLAIN, is a resident of Cheshire, at the age of seventy-four. BEEBE cleared land now comprised in the farms of C. B. WARD and Henry A. DURAND. Levi ROWLEY was an original settler, and cleared up land east of BEEBE. Milton GILLETT was a resident upon F. MUNSON’s place, and in time became the owner of considerable property. Epaphratus NOTT was a very early resident upon the CURTIS place, and had quite a family. One son is a minister. Christian SEAMAN was a settler upon the lot below DURAND. Aaron HECOX, a neighbor to NOTT, after a time sold out and moved to Ohio.

District 5 contains the village of Cheshire, early known as ROWLEY’s school-house, from an early school-building erected there on land owned by John ROWLEY, the first settler on the site of the village in 1795. His house was the first in the hamlet. The lands of this district lie in ridges; hills rise above hills, and in the valleys was marshy land, covered with a heavy growth of oak, poplar, and butternut; on the highlands the forest-trees were fewer and smaller, and hence more easily cleared. The Indians had burned the woods annually, and caring nothing for the trees, the fresh herbage, inducing the presence of deer, was to them of more account. Two persons, Peter ATWELL and E. NOTT, young men and soldiers of the Revolution, were the first adventurers to this locality. They purchased land of PHELPS and GORHAM. ATWELL gave his time to hunting, in which he was very successful, while NOTT settled steadily down to his work of clearing up a farm. Both reached the age of fourscore, and died upon their lands. Their descendants, once numerous, are all but gone,--dead or removed west. Elder E. S. NOTT, the only child of E. NOTT, still survives, and lives near Cheshire. His long life of seventy-seven years has been passed upon the place. Levi BEEBE, Milton GILLETT, William BACON, Jonathan MACK, and Stephen WARD, were later settlers in this district. Mark DOOLITTLE and Selma HOTCHKISS were former residents near the WIRE farm.


A pleasant village, handsomely located, bears the name of Cheshire. Jonathan BEEBE, as the agent of Oliver ROSE, of Centrefield, opened the first store in the place in the year 1812. The old building, afterwards refitted, is the present home of Mrs. Jane RENWICK. The next storekeeper was William KING, in what is now the shoe-store and residence of Stillman DOOLITTLE. In 1815, a number of families came to the place and projected the idea of a village. Among these new-comers were Daniel and Selma HOTCHKISS, Joseph E. TYRREL, and Amanda HITCHCOCK. John ROWLEY erected a saw-mill in 1814. From his “still” in Centrefield. ROSE kept his store well supplied with liquors, and an unhappy state of society resulted. Quite a number sold out and removed. Others moved in. Israel PARSHALL opened a store, and Messrs. DELANO & GREEN did the same, and both did a thriving business. Lorenzo TILLITSON became a partner with PARSHALL. Hanaan COOLEY and Ralph HUNTLEY kept a store in the same building. Isaac WEBSTER was engaged in storekeeping about 1840. The first blacksmith in the place was John ADAMS, who hammered a livelihood from his anvil for ten years, and then moved elsewhere. In 1818, Joseph ISRAEL opened the first tavern in the building now used as WILBUR’s store. Smith PRITCHARD was his successor for a number of years. Jabez PRITCHARD built a “corn-cracker” mill and a carding-mill on the branch south of the village some time in 1834. The latter was run by Morgan CASE. In the early school-house Jonathan BEEBE was the standing teacher for years. A new building erected in 1830 is yet in use. Elder NOTT, Elder WARD, and Mrs. CHAMBERLAIN are surviving pupils of BEEBE’s school. Levi BEEBE, born in 1806, was one of the earliest births in the village. Rebecca DODGE, daughter of Mrs. John ROWLEY, was one of the first burials in the old cemetery. The first settled minister in the place was Thomas TUTTLE, a Baptist, who, after a dozen years, was succeeded by Abel HASKIN. A dormant season lasted for many years and finally, in 1870, the village woke up to a new life. It has three stores, two blacksmith-shops, two carriage-shops, a steam custom-mill, and a spoke-factory and saw-mill combined. A post-office has been established here forty years. Mrs. RENWICK has held the office a score of years. Not sufficiently strong to warrant the attempt to build a meeting-house alone, members of different denominational belief united with the Christians and Free-Will Baptists and erected a church in 1840. This served until 1870, when it was removed to make way for another, and is now used as the town-hall, and owned by C. H. WILBUR. After various efforts, a union to build a new church was consummated. A house was erected at a cost of three thousand five hundred dollars, and dedicated, in October, 1870, by Rev. BALL, of New York. The movement was started by Elder William TAYLOR, and is the result of a united effort of the villagers.


In 1804 a tract of land containing 3,000 acres in the south end of No. 9., Canandaigua, was donated by Oliver PHELPS to aid in establishing and maintaining the Canandaigua Academy, and hence derived its name - Academy tract.  It extends from the lake west to the hilltop east of Bristol Hollow and from the north line of South Bristol northward, to contain the required land.  Deep gorges formed by water courses have furrowed its surface, while the wearing away of the rocks has contributed to produce the point noted.  Originally supposed of little value, it was covered by a growth of stunted oaks, with an undergrowth of the huckleberry and cranberry.  Survey was made into 150 acre lots, and these were again divided in halves, so that first settlers had 75 acres each.  The condition of occupation was the payment of a small perpetual interest and the land was not only thought poor, but the same character was attributed to those who became its occupants.  The first settlement was made in 1810, upon the land known as the EATON farm, occupied in about 300 acres, lying in the northeast corner, and including Bell's Point.  The name of the pioneer is STANTLIFF.  Three years later, fourteen families coming from various quarters, had settled on the tract.  They are thus enumerated: John PENOYER, Deacon James CURRIER, William WARREN, Jonathan CROOKER, Solomon RIGGS, STANTLIFF, Widow HOLMES, Elias BASCOM, Messrs. OLD and GORDON, the BULLARDS, I. DICKERSON and Robert MC GUE.

Education claimed early attention and a rude schoolhouse, composed of rough logs, was raised, inclosed (sic) and occupied. the structure soon caught fire and was burned.  Deacon CURRIER donated sufficient pine logs for another.  Over its construction he exercised a personal superintendence.  He hewed the logs inside and out, and the house was raised, nicely pointed out and in with lime mortar, and furnished with twelve lighted windows.  It was everything considered, a credit to the committee.  This house served the double purpose of school and church down to 1832, when a church was erected near by.  The present schoolhouse was erected about 1837, since which time the old building has formed a part of the residence of Widow GAGE and Wesley DAVIS.  Primarily, the entire tract constituted a district and numbered an hundred scholars.  Upon the erection of the stone schoolhouse, near the residence of Stephen TRICKEY, the southwest corner fell to the stone house district.  A strong and flourishing school has always been maintained, and the efficient teacher of today is a descendant of Stephen SISSON, who taught there half a century ago. In 1820, thirty to forty families were settled on the tract, and all but four or five of the lots were occupied.  There were then but two framed buildings, those of Cyrel EATON and William WARREN.  Several of the settlers, among whom were Jonathan CROOKER, Deacon CURRIER and Stetson RANDALL, had double-log houses with stone chimney in the middle and jamb fireplace in both rooms.  Many of the log barns were roofed with rye straw. Of all poor lots, one was considered to be particularly so.  It lay upon a ridge, with thin, dry soil and was scantily covered with scrubby timber.  About 1825, Jasper HOUSEL, of New Jersey, with a large family, came in and took the lot, being too poor to do better.  A cabin was soon put up and a clearing began.  The trees were girdled and the farm was soon in crop.  About 1835, a yield of 75o bushels of splendid wheat was taken from it, as a single harvest, besides much other produce, and this lot was no longer called poor. Superior wheat had been produced by various farmers at an early day, but about 1832 the MARTINS, from Dutchess county, moved in and introduced the use of clover and plaster.  Henry HOWARD moved upon a large farm adjacent the tract, and engaged as hands Thomas PRICE, John DENNIS nad David BARNES, good English farmers, who not only proved beneficial in their knowledge of husbandry, but ultimately became settlers in their own right. 


POLITICS - has known little diversity of feeling.  In the three presidential campaigns following 1826, there was but one opponent to the anti-Mason and Whig party.  The Republican party is largely in the majority. 

RELIGION - has been regarded from the outset.  A large society of Episcopal Methodists was formed, and regular appointments were filled by circuit riders. Among local exhorters and preachers were Jonathan CROKER, John TREMBLY and David DAVIS.  In 1823, Edgar P. SANFORD moved in and drew around him a large society of the Christian order.  There was preaching every Sabbath.  A church was built and till about 1860, the society flourished.  Among the residents there have been scattered members of other societies, but not sufficiently strong to organize.  There were several of the Baptist faith, and Elder HASKELL is referred to as a faithful, popular man.  A revival occurred about 1826, under the labors of Elders SANFORD, WARD and NOTT.  A second revival took place in 1842, under the perching of Rev. A. s. LANGDON.  A revival was conducted by Elder John S. ROBINSON, and in 1866, an awakening was experienced under the teaching of Rev. R. T. HANCOCK and coadjutors.  The old Christian church, erected in 1832, had shown signs of decay and was removed to make room for a neat, commodious union or people's church, free to all.  The first and only tavern kept on the tract was in the house now owned and occupied by Benjamin HIGHT, nad known as the Academy P.O.  It was kept by Joseph COY, who in 1820, moved from Middlesex (now part of Yates county), with a family of nine children.  The tavern closed in 1831.  Despite the presence and use of liquors, the family grew up temperate.  We have named Deacon James CURRIER; he came in 1811 to Academy from Vermont, with eight children.  A millwright, he pursued his calling 47 years.  He erected on the Merrimac river the second carding mill built in the United Stated.  His last mill was constructed in 1832, at Clinton, Michigan.  He died at Green lake, that State, in 1859, lacking but six of being a hundred years old.  Cyrel EATON served in the army of the Continentals, and was a resident of a farm in this locality from 1816 to 1843, when he sold out.  John TREMBLY, from Farmington, moved in and lived here from 1818 till his death in 1865. Elam CRANE came from Connecticut in 1790.  After a varied life in respect to place and occupation, he procured him a home on Academy tract in 1826, where he died in 1850, in his 83rd year.  He was well known as a teacher, and an adherent of the order of Friends.  Of a large family, there remains in his old neighborhood but one, George CRANE, who now owns a farm upon which, 47 years ago, he worked as a month hand. 

The history of Canandaigua, for a score of years following in first occupation, is but a succession of events which derive their interest form the relation of the settlers to the present.  There was peace, charity, generosity and good fellowship among them, which traits have been handed down to the present.  We are led by these recollections to remember gratefully our pioneers, to emulated their industry, preserve or heritage and hand it down unimpaired. 

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