Canandaigua Village History 

History of Ontario Co, NY, Pub 1878   

Pgs.  101 - 110

Kindly transcribed by Donna Walker Judge & Deborah Spencer

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“There is no new thing under the sun” is exemplified in the early occupation of this village site by a former, to us unknown, people. Although when first visited by the purchaser the locality had become a part of the common forest,--the upland thinly timbered with a growth of oak and hickory; the lowland with ash, elm, and bass-wood; still, beyond the traces of Indians and presence of forest beasts, there were the mute monuments of an ancient race. Eight forest and embankments exist in close proximity, and within the area of the village. Their location upon high, commanding ground, overlooking the adjacent country, and their construction, evidence a high degree of intelligence. The work upon what is known as Fort Hill is incomplete. The foundation of a stone chimney was observed, and within a receptacle a small quantity of corn had been preserved. Of all these earthworks, but one showed evidence of a burial-ground. This work, west of the village, contained a number of graves laid in regular order. PHELPS and GORHAM made their land purchase of Massachusetts on the 1st of April, 1788; held their treaty with the Indians early in July following; purchased their rights, and employed Hugh MAXWELL to survey the tracts into townships. 

Originally Mr. PHELPS had fixed upon Kanadesaga (Geneva) as the site upon which to build a city, but, finding the locality not upon his purchase, according to the old pre-emption, his next choice was Canandaigua. An original map, recorded in folio 1, page 106, exhibits the following entry: “No. 10 reserved by Nathaniel GORHAM and Oliver PHELPS, as a county town for their own use.” The selection of the foot of Canandaigua lake as an eligible village site was made both on account of beautiful location and convenient access. The site being settled, was found to be in No. 10, in the third range. The next thing in order was the survey of the tract into lots. Two-acre lots were first run out and then rejected. After various measures, a line was finally run, beginning at the foot of the lake, running north, thirty-five degrees west up what is known as Main street, a distance of two miles, with the public square near the centre. Lots begin with one, and count north and south on east and west sides of the main street, beginning at the public square. The public square was deeded to the county for the purpose of erecting buildings thereon, and for no other use, except a school-house lot given for a town school to Canandaigua. Any other buildings being erected upon this square would cause it to revert with its building to the original owners. Other streets parallel to Main were laid out. The work of improvement was begun on the part of Benjamin WALKER, the agent of PHELPS and GORHAM, by taking lot No. 1, east side of Main street, south of the square, and hiring John Decker ROBINSON to build for him a house of hewed logs upon it. This was the first house built in Canandaigua. ROBINSON was to have forty pounds, payable in provisions, for himself and hands while at work on the building, and the remainder of his payment was to be in land, at two shillings per acre, with choice of locality; and we find that ROBINSON soon became a heavy land-owner in the town of Sullivan, later called Phelps. Two other houses, same in size as the first, were built the same season; one for James D. FISH, on the lot afterwards owned by James G. SMEDLEY, and the other for Joseph SMITH, on the hill near the lake, on the east side of Main street. A road was imperative, and parties from Geneva were engaged to cut the underbrush and extend a track from the terminus of a sleigh-road on Flint creek to the foot of the lake, along the old Indian trail. Four years later this road was only a little improved the first five miles from Geneva, while the remaining eleven miles were through heavy timber forest. In all that distance but two families had settled. A track was made to the head of navigation of Canandaigua outlet. The place was abandoned for the winter. Low prices, good title, and excellent land induced many New Englanders to emigrate, and the next season there were many purchases and settlements in other parts of the county as well as at Canandaigua. Moving from Geneva with his family early in the spring of 1789, while snow yet lay upon the ground, Joseph SMITH took possession of his dwelling. Anticipating partronage from many who would be sure to visit this locality, this pioneer of Canandaigua resolved to open a tavern. Indispensable to this end a supply of spirituous liquors was required, and SMITH set out to obtain a stock from Niagara, Upper Canada. The journey from the mouth of Genesee river was made by canoe. His weak craft was foundered in a gale at the mouth of Oak Orchard creek, but the liquors were saved and transported on pack-horses to the village. During the spring parties arriving found the simple accommodation of the tavern very convenient; but SMITH, who had been a captive among the Indians, and had learned their language, made a brief sojourn at Canandaigua, and was subsequently known as an interpreter. About the 1st of May, General Israel CHAPIN came with a party of eight or ten persons to Canandaigua, and there erecting a log house near the outlet, took up his residence. General CHAPIN was made the local agent of the SIX NATIONS by General KNOX, Secretary of War; and while he was influential in restraining the Indians from war, he was greatly admired by them, and mourned at his death. His presence at Canandaigua, more than any other cause, prevented the SIX NATIONS from taking up the hatchet. 

With General CHAPIN came Nathaniel GORHAM, Jr., Frederick SAXTON, Benjamin GARDNER, and Daniel GATES, parties connected with surveys and land sales. Within a brief time a second party arrived, under leadership of Benjamin WALKER, who, as agent of PHELPS and GORHAM, built and opened a log land office, the first regular land office for the sale of land to settlers ever established in America. Others came in during the summer, some to stay, others adventurers, but by the coming of winter, 1789, there was a good beginning of a settlement. As an evidence of growth, it was remarked by John H. JONES, one of the party engaged fourteen months previously in opening up the road between Geneva and Canandaigua, that in August there had grown a lively place, full of people,--settlers, land-hunters, and speculators. Early in the spring of 1790, Nathaniel SANBORN, wife and family, came from the east to Schenectady. At that point, Judah COLT joined to charter a boat, in which they came finally to the cabin home at Canandaigua outlet. As an indication of the paucity of settlement and the discomforts of journeying, the experience of Mrs. SANBORN is here related. 

Leaving Schenectady, the journey was made to Utica, where there was one habitation, a small log house. Mrs. SANBORN spread a bed upon the floor for herself, husband, and children. Several boatmen were quartered for the night at this tavern, and esteemed it a privilege to be permitted to lay their heads upon the borders of the bed. The journey thence was but the experience of thousands, camping on the approach of night, and resuming their journey with the coming of day. On the Oswego, possession was taken of a deserted camp; supper was prepared, when there came to the group two stalwart Indians, who angrily ordered the settlers away from what they claimed as their camp. A parley ensued and the dispute was settled, but this first interview was not calculated to make pleasurable anticipations of a life among the Indians. The family moved first to the ROBINSON neighborhood, in Phelpstown, but the locality seemed too lonesome, and a removal was made to Canandaigua, and there were found Joseph SMITH, Daniel BRAINARD, Captain Martin DUDLEY, James D. FISH, and General CHAPIN. The general had built for his family a small framed house, near the site of the BEMIS block. Temporarily occupying this house till a small frame house could be built upon what is known as the ATWATER Corner, Mr. SANBORN on its completion opened therein a tavern, which, save SMITH’s, was the first one west of Seneca lake, and the only one for a period of four years. To this came a motley array of guests, the rude and the cultured, white men and red, emigrant and settler. Here were republican equality and pioneer simplicity,--emigrants pushing forward, and here halting to rest before striking off along roads cut as they went to their township and lot, and guests of rank, prominence, and royalty. 

The first store was opened by Samuel GARDNER in a log building, and was of the pioneer order in regard to stock and trade. Thaddeus CHAPIN was the next to engage in merchandising, while the house owned by the heirs of Albert DANIELS, and now occupied by E. M. MORSE, Esq., was the first general assortment store in Canandaigua, and was conducted by their firm of NORTON & RICHARDS, whose supply of goods was brought from Albany by ox-teams. The time occupied in going and returning was three weeks. Isaac DAVIS was an early merchant at Canandaigua, as was Thomas BEALS, who, engaging in the mercantile business in 1803, extended his trade widely, and won esteem as an honest, fair dealer. Luther COLE was an early and enterprising storekeeper. In winter he went with a sleigh to Whitesboro and sold goods there, purchased in Canandaigua, and later became the proprietor of a large crockery store in the house owned by the late Albert DANIELS, on Main street. The GORHAM House, on the corner of Main and Gorham streets, was built as a store and dwelling combined, the north half being occupied by UNDERHILL & SEYMOUR for a number of years. While the store was the resort of the settler for supplies, the tavern was an essential to prospective settlement. Mr. SANBORN built, prior to 1800, on the lot known as the SIBLEY place, now owned by a Mr. WILCOX. DUDLEY’s tavern stood on Main street, near the lake, while DOTEY kept in the framed house opposite the foundry and the old barracks. The high grade of the two houses just south of the foundry is caused by the old earth wall of the barrack inclosure. The tavern of Freeman ATWATER, where meetings were appointed and held, was a noted inn of those days, and stood upon the site of the present Ontario House. CHURCH’s tavern was upon Main street, and existed before 1800. Phineas BATES, of Durham, Connecticut, was out in this country with WILDER in 1789. He walked to Connecticut in the fall, and in the spring of 1790 came out with Stephen, his son, Orange BRACE, a son-in-law, and others, having a sled and yoke of oxen, provision and household goods. At Onondaga Mr. BATES bought a half-bushel of potatoes, brought them to this village and planted them in a village lot he had purchased. During this summer he cleared ground, and in fall sowed to wheat. Another weary walk to Connecticut, and a return in February, 1791, by sleigh, and his thus became the seventh family settled in the village. He opened a tavern where Perry’s Nurseries now are, and became a prominent as he was a worthy citizen. He died in 1829. His son, Phineas P. BATES, succeeded his father as a landlord in Canandaigua, and served a number of terms as deputy sheriff and as sheriff of Ontario. Members of the family became known in positions of trust here and elsewhere. Stephen was a farmer in the town of Gorham, served as sheriff, member of Assembly, and senator, and others have been favorably circumstanced, and their history is full of interest. 

In 1790 occurred the death of Caleb WALKER, who was attended by Dr. ADAMS, of Geneva. The sickness which quickly attacked the pioneers on their arrival produced a gloomy, anxious feeling, and the arrival at the village during 1791 of Dr. Moses ATWATER was a source of much gratification to its few families. The doctor had an extensive practice, and was of incalculable service to the community. He was an early judge of Ontario, and died in 1848, aged eighty-two years. A second early physician was his brother, Jeremiah ATWATER, who lived to an advanced age. Samuel DUNGAN, a student with Dr. WISTAR, settled in Canandaigua in 1797. His skill as a surgeon was more than common, and extended his fame throughout the settlements. Dr. William A. WILLIAMS, of Connecticut a graduate of Yale College at the age of sixteen years, came into the village in 1793, and entered upon a long and highly successful practice. It was said of him by a man who knew him well, “In day or night time, in sunshine or in storm, whether his patients were rich or poor, he was the same indefatigable, faithful physician and good neighbor.” The home of Dr. WILLIAMS was on the lot now owned by John RANKIN, Esq. William ANTIS was the early gunsmith, and was employed by Indian and white sportsmen in the repair of rifles. His son William succeeded him, and continued the business till his death, in 1843. Abijah PETERS was the first tailor in the place. He came in from Naples, where he had moved in 1796 with his family; left them there; came here, and rented a room in the tavern of Captain DUDLEY, where he remained for a year. It is said that he shot a bear from his shop window. James D. FISH, the first town clerk, and Joseph SMITH kept store in 1797 in a small frame building attached to a log house once occupied by M. J. LYON. The first school was taught in 1792, by Major WALLIS, and dancing and military schools were established soon after, and well patronized. The first framed house was built by Oliver PHELPS, and the second, filled in with brick and completed in 1793, was the residence of Thomas MORRIS, spoken of in county history. The deaths, in 1793, of a Mr. MILES, from what is now Lima, and of a citizen of Canada, in the streets of the village while on their way east, are thus noted: “They were riding into the village, and had reached within a few rods of Main street, when a tree, turned out by the roots, fell upon the travelers, killing them both, and one of the horses. The affair was singular from the fact that it was raining moderately at the time, and there was no wind.” A court-house was erected in front of the Ontario House in 1794 by Elijah MURRAY. A clerk’s office was also built, and soon thereafter the operations of the courts were carried on in this structure. The first jail was a log house, standing just in front of what is now TORRY’s coal-yard.



is thus described by Duke LIANCOURT, then on a tour through the country: “The houses, although built of wood, are much better than any of that description I have hitherto seen. They consist mostly of joiner’s work, and are prettily painted. In front of some of them are small courts, surrounded with neat railings. There are two inns in the town, and several shops, where commodities are sold, and shoes and other articles made.” The character and respectability of the families locating and settled in the place made it a desirable resort for those seeking a pleasant home and good society. Tea-parties were in vogue, and an assembly of this character held at SANBORN’s tavern in 1794 is all the more distinguished by the serving at tea of the first currants grown in the place. In 1794, Main street was a long opening cut through the woods. Most of the trees had been cut down; some girdled were left standing, and down the avenue were seen the numerous stumps. Nathaniel SANBORN lived upon the lot of Lucius WILCOX. Abner BARLOW had a house on ground now owned by the Presbyterian church, and Moses ATWATER had a story-and-a-half framed house upon the site of Atwater Hall. Phineas BATES had a house and clearing on the lot of Mr. PERRY, opposite the GRANGER homestead. The lot where BROCKELBANK lived contained upon it a house, as did the land now owned by the heirs of William JEUDEVINE. The Indian trail from Buffalo entered Main street through an open grove of white-oaks, near the house of Walter S. HUBBELL, nearly opposite the west end of Howell street. Down this trail came the SENECAS to the treaty to be held on the square, and a wild and savage scene was that of Canandaigua in 1794. 

But this was not to continue. The village was the capital of a wide expanse of country; hither came the fur-trader, the land-speculator, and here gathered the families to rest before pushing on to their homes on Ganargo, Honeoye, and the Genesee. The demands of trade found many eager to supply, and no interest was neglected. Preparations for educational facilities were made on the 28th of January, 1791, by the conveyance, on the part of PHELPS and GORHAM, of six thousand acres of land in the county of Ontario, “to establish and support an academy or seminary of learning.” February 12, 1795, the Canandaigua Academy was incorporated, and entered upon its noble work, sending from its halls many of the ablest and best in the land. The first church organization was of St. Matthew’s, established in February, 1799. The meeting was held at Sanborn’s house. The Rev. Philander CHASE, then in deacon’s orders, officiated for several years as rector. The first Congregational church was organized contemporary with the Episcopal, with Rev. Timothy FIELD pastor. The Methodists were a few years later, and built on Chapel street, whence the present name of the district. In 1803 two newspapers were published in Canandaigua, and their jottings are valuable aids to memory. The one was edited by Lucius CAREY, who, at this date, was succeeded by James K. GOULD and Russel E. POST, and bore the name of WESTERN REPOSITORY. The other was established by Sylvester TIFFANY as the ONTARIO FREEMAN. Both of long-continued usefulness and prosperity, and the former the oldest existing paper published in western New York.



There was life and activity, hope and expectancy, on the part of the Canandaigua of the past. There were scenes strange for the later villages to look upon. Two long rows of log houses, at wide intervals, fronted on Main street. The taverns were crowded and accommodations limited. A dozen persons lodged in a single room. The stores found little else than the barter for produce, and unfortunate debtors boarded themselves in the old jail. 

In connection with this barbarous system of penalty by imprisonment for unfortunate indebtedness was the bane of our republic,--the system of slavery. Few were the number of slaves, but, as will be seen hereafter, sufficient to develop evil influences. 

From John CRANE, born upon the lot now owned by M. OWEN, on August 30, 1792, is gained the following of the early village residents’ homes and business. Commencing at the lake, on the east side of Main street, the first house was that of Major HOOKER, colored; next to him, near the old elm, dwelt L. YOUNGLOVE, a shoemaker, and his neighbor was Timothy YOUNGLOVE, following the business of manufacturing hats. Then came the log house of Elan CRANE, and beyond him lived Jasper PARRISH, a man accustomed to the border, and useful in dealings with the Indians. The tavern stand of Benjamin WELLS was next, at the intersection of Phelps with Main street, and his rival for patronage, Cap. DUDLEY, occupied the property more recently owned by Mrs. FOSTER. The house beyond was built by SALTONSTALL, and next on the corner stood the log-built blacksmith-shop of NICHOLS. The log tavern of Captain PRATT intervened between Nichols and a rival black-smith shop wherein worked, MOSEBY, who also built a house upon the site of the Phoenix block. The residence of Oliver PHELPS, Sr., came next, and was as durable as it was then regarded handsome. The career of Mr. PHELPS has been outlined; often a building characterizes the man as it develops, and carries about it a semblance of its owner. Where stands the Ontario House, Freeman ATWATER had his residence and carried on a tin-shop. The present church of the Presbyterians stands upon the site of Abner BARLOW’s home, and Dr. DUNCAN’s dwelling was near the double brown house of Theodore HART. Next north of the doctor dwelt Robert SPENCER, a shoemaker, and then the place of Judge N. W. HOWELL. The lot owned by John RANKIN, Esq., was the property of Dr. William WILLIAMS, and William KIBBE lived north of the academy. North of McKechnie’s Corners lived Samuel BROCKELBANK and his brother, and beyond were the native woods. Returning southward, on the west side of Main street, stood the residence of General TAYLOR, which was afterwards owned by William BLOSSOM. Next south was the stand of Phineas BATES, and beyond him was the residence of Augustus PORTER, near the present mansion of Mrs. GREIG, one of the most elegant in the village. The next building was the residence of Peter B. PORTER,--a part of the original house is the present property of E. G. LAPHAM. Next were two houses and the land office of Zachariah SEYMOUR, and adjacent was the residence of Attorney BURT. The present property of Walter S. HUBBELL, Esq., was then owned by Esquire PENFIELD, who had upon it a residence and office. Next was Sanborn’s well-known place, where Lucius WILCOX now resides. Thomas MORRIS lived in the house elsewhere noted, and the present property of Hon. Henry W. TAYLOR. At Atwater Hall, the lawyer’s block of Canandaigua, lived Moses ATWATER, and Thaddeus CHAPIN, Sr., had a dwelling on the site of the Hubbell block. Israel CHAPIN resided near the junction of Coy with Main street. GREEN’s store stood of the corner, upon the site of Paul’s drug-store; he had built a house where now stands the Hale block. Upon the storing lot of P. ?.ROSE stood the house of John CLARK, surrounded at the period of its construction by the heavy growth of the original forest. A small house stood near Robinson’s foundry, and there lived and labored Derrick SPOOR at his trade of shoemaker. John REED erected a small house where, in 1819, Jasper PARRISH built the large frame now owned by MURRAY. On the lot of Thomas MORAN a log house had been built by Caleb CLARK, and south of him James D. FISH had a log cabin on the lot formerly owned by Thomas J. LYON, and more recently by Mr. BALL. Old William ANTIS first settled on Bristol street, where John ANDREWS resides. The vicinity was then a black-ash swamp, and the street was known as Antis’ lane, that of ANTIS being the only house on the lane. John CLARK built the first tannery, where Jesse MASON lives. CLARK came in with Mr. PHELPS. His trade was that of tanner and currier, and the first leather he manufactured in the Genesee country was from the hides of cattle brought on to supply beef for the Indians assembled to hold the treaty. His vats were an illustration of science contending with difficulty, and were made by sawing off sections of hollow trees. This was the beginning of a business in shoes and leather which made him well known through a wide circuit. The distillery of this locality stood east of the present jail, and was the property of Mr. GREEN. Nearly opposite MASON’s was a small frame house, erected as a headquarters for the Indians on their semi-annual meetings to receive presents and annuities, and here they held their dances and pow-wows. The growth of Canandaigua is indicated by her population. The census of 1790 gave 106, and in 1810 it had increased to 1153. 

A State arsenal was built on land donated by Moses ATWATER in 1808, and a thousand stand of arms ordered to be stored in it. The war of 1812 found the people alert, and when the express-rider galloped through her street scattering the hand-bills announcing war, the citizens were aroused, and all classes prepared for action. Troops were quartered in the village, other troops marched through, and hither came the militia from the eastern counties of Seneca and Cayuga when the tidings of Buffalo’s disaster spread abroad. When a destitute population driven from their homes appealed for aid, the citizens were prompt in their response in sympathy and means.



SPAFFORD, in his “Gazetteer of New York,” published in 1813, says of the village: “Canandaigua is finely situated in the east part of the town, near the outlet of Canandaigua lake, and on the gentle ascent from the lake, of which it commands a fine view, at the distance of a half-mile. There are one hundred and thirty-seven houses and stores, the county buildings, an arsenal belonging to the State, and a large three-story academy, besides many other buildings, with several very elegant private mansions. The principal street is nearly two miles in length, in which are almost all the above buildings. The court-house, and a fireproof office for the clerk of the court, are finely situated on an open square in the center of the village. There are two weekly gazettes issued here, and the village is well supplied with mechanics and artisans. The academy was founded by the liberal donations of Messrs. PHELPS and GORHAM, and is now very flourishing. Canandaigua has a great amount of business, and promises to become the metropolis of the western counties. It is situated in north latitude 42 degrees 48 feet 41 inches, and 3 degrees 20 feet west longitude from New York. Distant from Albany, two hundred and eight miles; from Utica, one hundred and eleven; from Buffalo, eighty-eight; Niagara Falls, one hundred and eight; Sodus bay, on Lake Ontario, thirty-five; from Philadelphia, three hundred; and from Washington City, three hundred and ninety-five” Elkanah WATSON said of Canandaigua, in 1818, “It is a considerable village, having splendid residences, occupied by a wealthy and genteel population.” Here resides Gideon GRANGER, late postmaster-general, eminent for lofty and diversified intellectual endowments. Hotel accommodations were bad, the house was crowded, and Watson slept in the third story, on the floor, upon a buffalo-robe. Time has changed all this. The crudities and expedients with facilities have evolved harmony and comfort, though not perfection. The village has steadily grown and prospered. Her taverns, her hotels, her stage-lines, and her railways, her academy, seminary, and public schools, her asylums for the orphan and for the insane, her banks, her press, and her churches, her band, and her fire department, her library, civic associations, public buildings and manufactures, her beautiful location, and her intelligent population, are all themes of interest worthy of record. In Canandaigua the apprentice learned his trade, whether gunsmith with William ANTIS, tanner with CLARK, or printer with BEMIS. To the village came the farmer with his produce, the speculator in search of a field of operation, and here were brought for trial the Universal Friend, Jemima WILKINSON, in 1796; William MORGAN, the apostate MASON, in 1826; and Susan B. ANTHONY in 1872,--the last convicted of having voted at Rochester, and sentenced to pay a fine. In the war of 1812 Canandaigua was a depot of supplies; here were established barracks and recruiting offices, and her citizens were notably active in patriotic expression and provision of means for the panic-stricken refugees from the British Indians. 

Without conflict or dissent, the various interests of the community early established have continued, with changing agents in men, buildings, and facilities, down to the present. Within a few years Canandaigua had within her limits all the organizations whose development presents us with the village of to-day. No one trade, project, or society took the lead. Taverns gave way to hotels more capacious and more costly. Business retiring from the north clung tenaciously to the upper end of Lower Main street, and all the various stores, shops, and saloons changed owners at intervals without attracting notice. Now and then a fire broke out, raged with virulence, and swept out of existence some of the best buildings and many of the inferior class; then the enterprise of a MCKECHNIE, a GATES, a BEALS, or a HOWELL, erected business blocks, hotels, or other desired buildings. The incipient steps having been taken, and the elements of the place existing, a brief tracing of chief industries will suffice for the further history of the old and quiet capital of Ontario.



County and town history have shown a constant resort to expediency and a readiness to profit from an original necessity. Visitors, travelers, and prospective settlers constantly arriving made places of public entertainment necessary. Primarily little accommodation was received, and WATSON would have chosen more than once the open air, while the Duke could not forget his experience at Naples; but eventually special buildings, spacious and elegant, with experience proprietors, changed the name of tavern to the more pretentious one of hotel. 

A record of the principal and permanent taverns and hotels begins with the DUDLEY Tavern. SANBORN had, as noted, been a tavern-keeper where Atwater Hall now stands; but, in 1796, Captain DUDLEY had become a proprietor of a tavern which was situated on the lot now owned by Mrs. FOSTER, on the east side of Main street. Here was held the tea-party; the bear pot-pie was enjoyed; and in the old ball-room Mr. ADJUTANT called off “Money Must” and other olden dances. In 1803, TAYLOR had become the landlord, and TAYLOR’s hotel was the principal one in the village and was widely and favorably known as the hotel of Canandaigua. In 1813, Reuben LAMBERTON was the landlord. 

Freeman ATWATER kept a noted tavern in the early; day here were held public meetings, and its proprietor was a leading citizen. The same building, just north of the Canandaigua Hotel, is now known as the Ontario House. 

BLOSSOM’s hotel was built and furnished by Belah D. COE in 1815. It was kept first by Elisha MILLS for two or three years, who resigned the house to Mr. COE, who was more successful. COE was succeeded by Amos MEAD, who kept the house until 1824, when it passed into the hands of Colonel William BLOSSOM who informed the citizens through the press “that he would be “at home” on Monday. December 13, 1824, at eleven A.M. when he would be happy to see his friends,” and invited them to “partake of a collation provided for the occasion.” As souvenirs of the esteemed landlord and of the well-known house, we copy from an old newspaper the advertisement announcing the opening of the Canandaigua Hotel: 

“William BLOSSOM respectfully informs his friends and the public that he has taken the well-established “hotel” lately purchased, repaired, and enlarged by Isaac COLLINS, of New York, and formerly kept by Amos MEAD; and having kept large establishments in the cities of New York and New Haven, flatters himself that his exertions may result in general satisfaction to such as may patronize his house.” 

Notice was given June 20, 1825, that he had received from New York, via “Grand canal” and Palmyra, two fine green turtles, which he proposed to serve up to the citizens of Canandaigua. 

After keeping the house for eighteen years, Colonel BLOSSOM announced that his lease would expire August 1, 1842, and a sale of all personal property would be made. Among articles named was a “bell” on top of the hotel, which he said was claimed by some persons as having “regulated most of the domestic affairs of the village.” Colonel BLOSSOM was a man of fine personal appearance, and his suavity of manners early established his reputation as a landlord, not excelled between Albany and Buffalo. William H. BLOSSOM, nephew to the colonel, became proprietor of the hotel March 10, 1845. Charges were one dollar per day, and two shillings per meal. 

The Board of Excise of Canandaigua licensed BLOSSOM’s hotel, the FRANKLIN House, and the CHURCH’s tavern, and refused licenses to the Northern Retreat and Lake Tavern, during the spring of 1845. 

The old Canandaigua Hotel was famous as a stage-house, and crowds gathered to observe the arrival of “the four-horse stages, whose weary teams were invariably aroused to a spirit as they wheeled into position before the door. Ambrose WORTHINGTON succeeded W. H. BLOSSOM in the hotel, which was burned on the 23rd of December, 1851. The present Canandaigua Hotel is a fine building, and an ornament to the town, erected upon the site of the previous house. 

In February, 1852, a company of gentlemen, consisting of John GREIG, Francis GRANGER, Henry B. GIBSON, John A GRANGER, Mr. H. SIBLEY, Leaner M. DRURY, and Gideon GRANGER, entered into an arrangement with Thomas BEALS and John BENHAM, the owners of the land, to erect a new hotel. These latter gentlemen put in the land at seven thousand dollars, and the former subscribed the sum of twenty thousand dollars. This falling far short of the amount found necessary, they increased their subscriptions to forty-eight thousand dollars, making the cost of the building and grounds fifty-five thousand dollars. A further subscription of fifteen thousand dollars was made by John GREIG, H. B. GIBSON, and Francis GRANGER, for furniture; and, in the summer of 1853, the hotel was opened y John THOMAS, an experienced landlord. Successive landlords have been: Thomas F. SPENCER, successor to THOMAS; then Messrs. REEVES and CLEVELAND; REEVES retired, and CLEVELAND was later succeeded by A. WORTHINGTON. GUNN Brothers, L. B. and W. P., were twice in charge, and in the interval George EWINS and John A. SHERMAN were landlords. 

In May, 1875, Colonel Robert D. COOK purchased the house, revamped and refurnished it, and offers handsome and convenient rooms to those frequenting this place for business or pleasure. The house is built of brick, and founded on the solid rock. The main front on the square is one hundred and thirty-six feet; the front on the railroad is one hundred and eighteen feet. The building has five stories including basement.



Is a large, handsome structure, located on the west side of South Main street. About 1800, the site of this block was occupied by a building in use as a hotel and jail in one, and kept by Elijah TILLOTSON as landlord and sheriff. A new jail was built in 1815, and the old jail was thereafter used as a tavern until that and the adjoining property were bought by Thomas BEALS, who, in 1827-28, built what was known as the FRANKLIN House. The proprietors of the house in order were: Mr. WASHBURN, Lawrence LYNCH, Samuel PITTS, Oliver ROSE, B. C. LISCOMB, L. B. GARLINGHOUSE, Walstein FAILING, William FAILING, A. W. BOGART and the GUNN brothers. The building was destroyed by fire February 11, 1860, and upon the site the WEBSTER House was at once erected. This block is a fine four-story brick building; has a front dimension of one hundred and thirty-five feet, and cost between thirty thousand and forty thousand dollars. Upon a portion of the ground-floor are four stores; the rest of the house is used for hotel purposes. The landlords of this house have been the GUNN brothers, William FAILING, and, mainly from 1865 to 1876, F. O. CHAMBERLAIN, who retired in 1876, and gave place to S. FARNSWORTH and James H. CHAMBERLAIN.



Built by the MASSETH brothers upon a lot upon the south side of the railroad opposite the Canandaigua Hotel, is a fine proportions and in the attractive style of modern architecture. It is of three stories above the basement. The main building is forty-three by seventy feet, with an addition on one side of thirty-five by forty feet, of the same height. A veranda two stories high is built in front of the main building. On the first floor one finds office, hall, reading-room, dining-hall, and other rooms. On the second floor are two suites of rooms, ten sleeping-apartments, and a large and a small parlor. On the third story are nineteen sleeping apartments. The first story is twelve feet high, the second and third are each ten feet. The cost was about thirty thousand dollars. The house was opened to the public in March, 1875. Besides these, there are the Washington Hotel, the TRACY House, and the Lake Breeze House; the latter a frame building, situated close by the foot of the lake.



The business men of the village in 1803 were: THOMPSON & BENJAMIN, watchmakers and jewelers: Elijah MOSEBY, blacksmith; John W. STOUGHTON, tailor; Robert SPENCER, boot-and shoe-maker; Ishmael BRICKLE, barber and hair-dresser; John HALL, saddle-and-harness-maker; James SIBLEY, watchmaker and jeweler; William ANTIS, gunsmith; Samuel ABBY, carpenter and joiner; Augustus Porter & Co., merchants; FREEMAN, ATWATER, and John COCHRANE, tinware; and THOMPSON & BENEDICT, whose business is not noted. In 1804 the business men of the place were increased by the advent of Peter BROWN, cabinet and chair-maker; Little & Hawley, hatters; Jonathan M. BEACH, blacksmith; Nehemiah NEWINGS, brick and stone-mason; Joel ANDREWS, Windsor-chair- and settee-maker; Jonathan PHELPS, boot-and shoe-maker; Elijah WARREN, reed maker; Luther COLE, merchant; Ira BLAKE, merchant. A book and stationery store was opened in November of the year by Whiting, Bemis & Co., who advertised gamuts for use of singing-schools. Norton & Richards were merchants and grain dealers. Clark & Stanley were tanners, and engaged in the leather business. Thomas BEALS built and kept a dry-goods store on the spot where he continued business during his life as a merchant, and from the year 1832 as a banker. He died in 1864, and was succeeded in business and in the ownership of the property by his son Thomas S. BEALS. Asa W. WHEELER was a tailor; Charles CAMERON and William JOHNSON were merchants; Aaron CRANE was a hatter, and Robert BOYCE started a tailor-shop in 1807. On August 4, 1808, the firm of Beals, Johnson & Tiffany, merchants, dissolved partnership, and the first named continuing the mercantile business, dealt also in lumber. N. Gould & Co. carried on saddle-and-harness-making, and their advertisement is found in the Repository, where they ask for a large quantity of “deer’s hair.” Luther COLE offered a brewery and distillery for sale in March, 1809. Reuben PADELFORD began the boot and shoe business, and on May 30, Ebenezer HALE paid ten cents a bushel, in goods, for house ashes delivered at his ashery in Canandaigua. During this year of 1809 a fancy goods store was opened by a Miss PECK, at the house of Mrs. WHALLEY, where were offered for sale straw bonnets, morocco shoes, turtle-shell combs, and other articles, which are now looked upon with interest as souvenirs of a past age. The year 1810 was marked by the opening of a butcher’s stall in the village by N. R. HAMILTON. T. MEAD started a tannery opposite the jail. John CLARK started a brick-yard, and B. STILLMAN opened an inspected medical store. Isaac LEGORE was the first cooper in the village, and as he still resides here at the age of eighty-five years, his advertisement has unusual interest. “Coopering—Isaac LEGORE respectfully informs the inhabitants of Canandaigua and vicinity that he has commenced the coopering business at the lower end of the village, one door south of Captain PARRISH, where he intends to keep on hand a constant supply of articles in his line. Set work, made of the best material, may at all times be had. A good journeyman wanted.” Dated April 29, 1814. 

It has become so common to the present generation to see the stove and not the fireplace, that the arrival of a car-load of stoves would not attract the attention which was bestowed upon a half-dozen different sized cast-iron stoves which were offered for sale, in September, 1814, by John W. BEALS, the proprietor of a copper, sheet-iron, and tin-shop, which stood near the meeting-house. 

The hat business seems to have been lucrative, from the number engaged in this manufacture. In 1814, Stocking & Bull advertised for twelve first-rate journeymen hatters, and so indicate quite a manufactory. 

A meat market was opened on February 27, 1815, on the public square, near the clerk’s office, by J. & D. Taylor. Utility was then considered of greater moment than the prospective. 

The first horse-farrier and veterinary surgeon in the place was Samuel SKERRITT. 

On December 17, 1814, Elisha B. STRONG, as agent for the Hartford Fire Insurance Company, opened the first insurance office in Canandaigua. 

Orson BENJAMIN, in May, 1819, opened an insurance office for the Hartford Company, and at that date those beneficent institutions were existent and available as a fire protection. The citizens seem to have considered the capital withdrawn to support such insurance companies as a local loss, and hence we find a company, known as “The Western Fire Insurance Company.” established in Canandaigua in June, 1824. N. W. HOWELL was president, and J. VAN RENSSELAER secretary.



A synopsis of Canandaigua of today gives us a place whose population in 1875 was seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine. There are now four dry-goods stores, two fancy stores, five hardware stores, four drug stores, fifteen groceries, one crockery, two book, four jewelry, two candy, and three hat stores. There are five meat markets, three bakeries, three furniture stores, seven gentlemen’s furnishing and clothing store, one sash and blind and one paperware factory, one steam-mill, two planning-mills, a hub and spoke factory, a brewery, four banks, and six hotels. 

A brief history of the hardware trade is given. Thomas CHANNING was the first merchant to conduct a distinctive hardware business in the village. He occupied a frame building on East Main, north of the entrance to Anderson’s livery-stables, with a not over-extensive stock, as early as 1820. About 1834, Jacob S. WOODRUFF came from Corning’s establishment, in Albany, and located were a meat market was recently established. He was followed, at the same place, by Messrs. PARRISH & PIERSON, and afterwards by Messrs. HOWELL & PARRISH, in the same store. Alexander H. HOWELL and Stephen PARRISH discontinued in 1836. In 1841, Myron H. CLARK and Elijah S. GREGORY opened a hardware store in the old Bull block, where Edwin LINES later had a shoe store. M. H. Clark & Co. moved, in 1844, to the Phoenix block. In 1857, CLARK sold to his partner, who conducted the business alone until 1859, when he sold out to Messrs. MORSE, ANTIS & PIERCE. 

James S. COOLEY commenced business in company with Frank GAGE, in February, 1851. The firm opened “Agricultural Hall” in the building occupied by S. V. Lines & Sons, boot and shoe dealers, and William HAYTON, harness dealer, and gave attention to the sale of agricultural implements. In the fall, Mr. COOLEY bought his partner’s interest, and soon admitted N. N. COOLEY, his brother, to partnership. The firm continued as S. Cooley & Co. until January, 1867, when J. S. Cooley became sole proprietor, and has so continued to date. In April, 1859, stock was removed to the north store in the Phoenix block, which was then purchased by the firm. Three stories are fully occupied by the business, and a number of mechanics find constant employment. 

Henry S. PIERCE conducts a business which originated in 1851. The original firm was composed of J. H. MORSE, R. H. PIERSON, and L. PHELPS. They occupied a store in the Bull block, which was situated on West Main, north of Bristol street. In the spring of 1858, William G. ANTIS bought the interest of PIERSON, and the firm name continued until 1855 as MORSE, ANTIS & PHELPS, when sale was made to E S. GREGORY. In the spring of 1856 stock was moved to the Hale block. In 1859, Messrs. MORSE, ANTIS & PIERCE bought out GREGORY’s stores in the Phoenix and the Hale blocks. MORSE retired in March, 1862, and ANTIS in 1869, leaving PIERCE sole proprietor of a popular store. 

John ROCKWOOD, next door south of COOLEY, has been in the hardware trade for twenty-five years. The firm of Rockwood & Reed was formed in 1869, in the present quarters. In 1870, Frank REED sold his interest to William GORHAM. The firm dissolved partnership in March, 1875, and ROCKWOOD remained sole proprietor of a general hardware store. 

Mrs. P. H. ROSE controls a business established by her husband in 1849. His entire attention was given to the stove trade. He had ten or twelve men engaged in peddling his wares. His business enlarged, and, in 1853, he moved to Jobson block, on Main street. He died recently, and the business, as said, is owned by his widow. 

HUDSON & BROTHER began business in 1865, on West Main, in the south store of the Linnell block. In 1870 they moved to new quarters in the old Antis block, and there continued till March, 1874, when that building was destroyed by fire. A new building was erected September, 1875, and J. G. HUDSON, reopening alone, conducts a safe and growing business in stoves and tinware. 

Mrs. C. M. MATTICE carries on a business begun by M. M. MATTICE, her husband, on East Main, within a building then located where now stands the McKechnie block. The business was removed during the same year, 1865, to the present location. Mr. MATTICE died January, 1866, and it is continued by Mrs. MATTICE. 

A hardware store was opened in 1867 by Henry KELLY, who, dying in 1874, left the business to his brother, John KELLY, who has been successful, and has done a large business in buying paper rags through employees placed upon the road.



George B. ANDERSON, in the Hubbell block, West Main, is known as “the first dry-goods store below the railroad.” Has maintained a large stock and is a liberal advertiser. 

HUBBELL & GILLETT are successors to John C. DRAPER in a growing and well-established trade. They are reputed honorable dealers, and well worthy the patronage extensively bestowed. 

T. A. EHRILICH is a pioneer of a large trade in fancy articles.

ELLIS & PARMALEE occupy the store north of the National Bank. They deal heavily in fancy and staple dry goods of all descriptions.

The New York store, of which Simon S. VORREUTER is proprietor, makes a specialty of millinery and fancy goods of all descriptions.

The Boston store, a few doors above the Webster House, is owned by J. D. PATTERSON, dealer in dry goods. His store is resorted to by people from the farming districts, who find it their advantage to bestow upon him their patronage.



is heavily carried on in the village. Mention is made of some of those engaged in the business

S. B. GAYLORD, in Bemis block, West Main, a grocer of over twenty-five years’ experience.

N. Grimes & Son is a firm conducting one of the most extensive and one of the oldest grocery houses in town.

Warren FAKE, Evander SLY, J. S. MCCLURE, George MOSS, DAVIS & DEWEY, successors to J. J. SIDWAY, on the corner of Main and Beeman streets, C & T COYLE, and John CROWLEY are individuals and firms in the grocery trade. Joshua TRACY, A S LINCOLN, and Jacob CORSON are old and well-known traders.


Frederick MAGGS is one of the oldest and most prosperous merchants.

I. Danziger & Co is one of the largest firms in the village, and deals in ready-made clothing.

D. Shafer & Co confine themselves to a custom trade. Shafer is well and favorably known among the oldest business men, and his partner is an energetic, popular man.

L S SPRAGUE, Thomas O GRADY, Jr. Frederick LEISER, C Y SUPPLEE, and E. WEISENBECK are engaged in this business. Messrs. POTTER & SLINGERLARD are popular dealers, and deserve the trade received. The latter has become well known as the leader of the Canandaigua Cornet Band.

The “Great Wardrobe” is conducted by Messrs. BURCH & CURTISS. They are the heaviest clothing dealers in the place. Their stock is varied and extensive; their sales are made at small margins, and their goods are of superior quality to those usually found in ready-made clothing stores.



Elsewhere have been noted pioneer mills; more recent structures claim attention. Isaac LEGORE advertised June 12, 1820, that the mill on the outlet at the foot of the lake, near the bridge, was in complete repair, and that flouring would be well done at the shortest notice. A great improvement had been made in the water-wheel by the proprietor, who offered for sale rights on the same. In the spring of 1825, Nathaniel GORHAM and Robert POMEROY commenced building a steam mill at the foot of Main street. The mechanics were among the best in the county, and their work was done in more than ordinary workmanlike manner. The building was of three stories; the main building fifty feet by sixty feet. It was supplied with six run of the best stone, bolts, and the best style of motive-power. Six cylinder boilers parallel, two and a half feet in diameter and twenty feet long, consumed about fourteen cords of wood in twelve hours. The engine was large, heavy, and valuable. The cost of the structure was sixty thousand dollars. It was finished in the fall of 1826. It ran a year and failed. The assignees allowed it to lie idle one year, and then employed one of their number as agent to overhaul and set the mill in order. In August, 1828, the mill was again in operation. A man had left his pipe one day in the loft; fire caught and destroyed the mill and adjacent buildings. About this time H M MEAD put up a building for a distillery at the mouth of Sucker brook, and had it nearly completed for that purpose, when the mill, as noted, burned, and the building was made to sub-serve the double purpose of mill and distillery. The building was large, had three stories, and was well finished. MEAD failed, and assigned to Messrs. HAMMOND & TOWN, who ran it a short time and then let it remain idle for years. Desirous of realizing something, the machinery was removed, taken to Palmyra, and there sold. Finally, the structure became tenanted by Joseph ROGERS, then engaged in a trade in pulled wool. He used the rooms for storing and drying purposes. Wool was low in price; the stock was insured, and one night the building was consumed by fire. Isaac LEGORE noticing that the first mill would not grind for farmers, conceived the idea of a windmill to be used for custom grinding. He therefore went to Canada, saw mills in operation, returned, and in 1827 erected a mill on the ground now occupied by the house of Mrs. MCCORMICK. He experimented a few years, and assigned it to creditors. They had it run by renters for some time. One day a gale came up, the machinery ran with frightful velocity, and ended by projecting the runner through the building on a tangent. The mill was circular in form, and had a tower of fifty feet. At first two run of stone were employed; one became useless for want of repairs. It was sold in 1838 to Stephen SAXTON for one hundred dollars. He undermined one side and overturned it, then sold the material at a profit. In 1840, Messrs. Robert HIGHAM and Francis W. PAUL bought the lot now occupied by Edwin POWELL’s factory, and put up a steam saw-mill to cut timber for bridging on the Auburn and Rochester Railroad. Within a short time they sold to John M. TERRELL, a contractor on the road. He added a small grist-mill, and started a dry-goods store. A flue burst and permitted water to reach the fire, which was thrown against the wood-work, and burned the mill. The premises were bought by SAXTON, and used as a lumber-yard; sold to COMBS and CROSS, and by them to POWELL. The triangular lot which had served as the mill site was bought by Ambrose CHURCH, who, in 1848, built thereon a saw-mill. S. B. GARLINGHOUSE became a purchaser, added a distillery, and ran both in connection. The buildings finally went to ruin and were pulled down. A steam grist-mill erected in 1870 on the TILLOTSON lot, between Main and Pleasant streets, is run by RICHMOND & MILLER. A “conical” mill built about 1860 proved a failure; it was occupied as a paint-shop, and recently as a paper-pail factory.



is one of the most important manufactures. A twenty-five-horse-power engine furnishes motive-power for circular saws, spoke planers, and other machinery. The works are capable of turning out about two thousand finished spokes per day, or about seven thousand sets of spokes during the year of ten months. A set sells at an average of three dollars. The sets are of some eighteen regular sizes. In addition to the spoke trade, Edwin POWELL has extensively engaged in the sale of WHITEWATER and JACKSON farm wagons.

The MC KECHNIE brewery is described in county history, under head of “Manufactures.” It is one of the largest in New York, and has had a constantly increasing growth from its origin in 1843. The firm, James and Alexander MC KECHNIE, have employed their earnings in the erection of buildings not only connected with their immense establishment, but in the business part of the town, and are regarded as safe, enterprising, and energetic men.



A live elephant was exhibited at Steven BATES’ hotel on October 1 and 2, 1806. Price of admission, twenty-five cents; children half-price. The second elephant introduced into this country was advertised as follows: “Now or Never!” (cut of elephant) “A Living elephant to be seen at Abbey’s, in Lima, August 2, 1813; at Griswold’s,  in Livonia, August 3; at Gideon Pitts’, in Honeoye, the 4th; at West Bloomfield, the 5th; at Boughton’s, in Phelps, the 6th; at Boughton Hill, the 7th.” This elephant was thirteen years old, measured upwards of twenty feet from the tip of the trunk to the end of the tail, upwards of eight feet high, twelve feet around the body, and weighed over five thousand pounds. While this animal was being exhibited at Canandaigua, a lad named David HUDSON (an apprentice to Freeman ATWATER, in the tin business) presented her with a cracker within which was concealed a quid of tobacco. The enraged animal struck and severely injured the thoughtless youth; and August 21, the proprietor announced, at Geneva, that the day’s profits should be given to the wounded young man.

The first theatre in the village was at the court-house, July 17, 1815, by the Albany Dramatic Company. Canandaigua had a band of music, which gave a concert on the evening of April 9, 1817, at Mills’ hotel. The avails were to defray expenses of the instruction of the band. “A live African lion” was exhibited in 1817, during successive days of July, at Mr. ROOTS’, in Phelps; Judge PHELPS’, in Palmyra; Mr. BRISTOL’s, in Manchester; E. C. KINGSLEY’s hotel, in Canandaigua; E. BERRENT’s, in Victor; and Samuel HILDRETH’s in Pittsford. This animal was the first exhibited in this section of country, and was the survivor of a pair brought on board the brig “William” from the Bengal river. The first exhibition of wax figures in the village began December 4, 1820, at the old Jail Tavern, and continued a week. It was advertised as “Stowell & Bishop’s Museum.” It consisted of thirty-four life-sized wax figures, and a temple of industry, or grand mechanical panorama, consisting of thirty-six moving figures, all working at their several occupations. Nitrous oxide, an exhilarating gas, was first exhibited, by Dr. P. HAYES at MILLS’ hotel, February 21, 1821, where commodious seats were prepared for ladies. On September 7, 1825, the proprietor of a circus returned thanks to the citizens for liberal patronage. The show, now grown commonplace, was then an event of great interest to all. A musical association was formed in 1803, of which Elijah MOSELY was clerk. A reading-room was established in the winter of 1806-7; and in the winter of 1858 the Wood Library Association was organized, and has a library and museum at the town- hall.



Canandaigua has three newspapers. The Ontario Freeman was established in 1803, by Sylvester TIFFANY. His successor, John A. STEVENS, began in 1806 the publication of the Ontario Messenger, which, in 1862, was consolidated with the Repository, and since then the Repository and Messenger. The Ontario County Times, established in 1852, and the Ontario County Journal, have been published weekly. These papers are ably edited, have a good circulation, and are entitled to the prosperity severally enjoyed.

THE ONTARIO BANK, was organized in 1813, and the Utica branch bank at a later period, and both did a successful business during their existence. There are now four banking institutions in the village,--one national and three savings’ banks,--whose origin is detailed in county history.

AN ARSENAL, now entirely forsaken, stands on a hill near the village. Isaac LEGORE had long been in charge of the building. All the windows and doors have been boarded up. An entrance was made by the youth of the village, by prying out the brick below one of the windows. It is now regarded as a memento of the past.



In 1825 the Ontario Female Seminary entered upon its field of labor, and advanced prosperously for half a century. The fame won by this institution is the heritage of Hannah UPHAM, whose remembrance is a pleasant memory in many a happy home.

THE ASYLUM FOR THE INSANE,  an institution destined to preserve unwithered the memory of its beneficent founder, Dr. George COOK, was incorporated in 1859, and has been a home of kindness to those who are sorely afflicted. In May, 1863, the Ontario County Orphan Asylum was incorporated under a special act, and, under the fostering care of the noblest women of the village and county, has entered upon a prosperity full of promise to those who personally superintend and those who contribute to its maintenance. The Catholics have here an asylum and school for children, and have recently purchased and removed to the grounds and dwelling of Mr. GRANGER, where, in the future, a fine church will be upraised.



As early as 1811 a meeting was called at the court-house to consider the propriety of asking the Legislature to pass an act incorporating the village, and thereby establish measures to prevent fires, improve sidewalks, and carry forward other essential measures. The measure slumbered until December 20, 1814 when Jasper PARRISH, James SMEDLEY, John GREIG, John A. STEVENS, and Elisha B. STRONG gave notice that an application would be made to the Legislature for an act of incorporation. The village was incorporated April 18, 1815, with the following boundaries: “The district of country in the town of Canandaigua, county Ontario, comprised in the following bounds, that is to say: west by the west line of West street; north by the north line of village lots; east by the east line of East street, and to continue the same in a right line till it intersects the south side of the south turnpike; and south by a right line drawn across the north Canandaigua lake to a point formed by the northeast corner of back lot No. 1 west of Main, on the west shore of said lake, and thence along the north line said back lot No 10 until it intersects the said West street.” On the first Tuesday in June, 1815, the first meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of the village was held at the court-house. At that meeting Moses ATWATER, then justice of the peace, was chosen president, and John GREIG clerk. James SMEDLEY, Thaddeus CHAPIN Moses ATWATER, Nathaniel W. HOWELL, and Phineas P. BATES were elected trustee; Jasper PARRISH, Asa STANLEY, Freeman ATWATER, Abram BARLOW, and John A STEVENS were elected assessors; Thomas BEALS, treasurer and Benjamin WALDRON, collector. The first meeting of trustees was held June 13, 1815, at the office of Judge ATWATER; N. W. HOWELL was chosen president, and Myron Holly was appointed clerk. The village owes much of its beauty, health, and reputation to the efforts of these named and subsequent boards. And in this connection the memory of William WOOD is revived. He became a citizen of the village in 1826. By his advice broad sidewalks were laid out and shade-trees planted. “Lawns and winding paths were marked and trimmed in shape; all which would tend to the future beauty of our homes was suggested to us, and even sometimes done without our knowledge.” The village steadily increased its population, and, despite the lack of local advantages, continues a healthy growth. The population in 1810 was one thousand one hundred and fifty-three; in 1820 it was four thousand six hundred and eighty; in 1830 it was five thousand one hundred and sixty-two; in 1840 it was five thousand and six hundred and fifty-two; in 1850 it was six thousand one hundred and forty-three; in 1860 it was about seven thousand; and in 1875 it was seven thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine.


As the village manifested healthful progress, the travel along her streets became an almost endless caravan. Stage routes had been established from Albany to Buffalo, and coaches came and went full. The first stage route—laid out in 1810—from Albany terminated at Canandaigua. An opposition line was started by Samuel GREENLEAF and others in 1816. From that date until 1840 this line had about four hundred stages on the road, and from this village to Geneva, sixteen four-horse teams were constantly in harness. Passengers were safely taken through to Albany in two and a half days. 

A charter was granted by the Legislature for a railroad from Auburn to Rochester at their session in 1836. The survey was made, and followed the course of heaviest subscription, while the deep bend southward to Canandaigua indicates the influence exerted by her solid and influential citizens. Trains ran between Canandaigua and Rochester in the fall of 1840, and the first passenger train east from Canandaigua ran on July 4, 1841, to Seneca Falls. Not then was the canal-boat or stage laid aside. Distrust and inconveniences attending a new system required time to remedy, but finally, with improvements has come patronage. The shriek of the whistle, the cough of the engine, the hiss of the escaping steam, night and day, are familiar sounds to the old-time residents, who view with the indifference grown of years of observation the crowds which leave the trains at the depot for a trip up the lake or a brief sojourn in the place. Not only does the Auburn branch of the New York Central Railroad pass through here, but the old Canandaigua and Niagara Falls road, now leased by the Central, starts from here, where the Northern Central terminates. Besides these railroad facilities, Canandaigua lake bears two steamboats, which convey the tourist and the traveler from point to point, and reveal a fruitful, pleasant country.


The village of today has in it much of natural and artistic beauty. It is a quiet place, the chosen home of many a family, who cherish its associations, and indulge strong local attachments. As seen in its history, it is not the seat of manufacture nor the busy mart of trade. A short distance on Main street, south of the railroad, contains the business portion, and elsewhere are seen the growth of nature, the embellishment of art, the public and private residence, the temple of justice, the site of learning, and churches coeval with the century. Magnificent residences, on well-kept premises, are located above the business portion of the town. At the head of Main street, west side, is the elegant residence of Alexander MC KECHNIE, erected about 1861, upon a heretofore vacant lot owned by Dr. ATWATER. On the east side, on high land, stands the present residence of William T. SWARTZ, erected about 1818, by Rev. Evan JOHNS, pastor of the First Congregational church till his death. The home of Rev. A. M. STOWE is notable as one of the oldest in the village, and was the former property of Jeremiah ATWATER. Next MC KECHNIE, and on the same side, is the first residence of Francis GRANGER, subsequently purchased by Mrs. Mary JACKSON, sister of O. PHELPS, and occupied by descendants. 

A large two-story frame building, erected in southern style, and considered, when built, as the finest in Ontario, has been recently purchased by the projectors of a female seminary soon to be inaugurated. On spacious and ornamental grounds back from the west side of the street stands the mansion of Mrs. GREIG, notable as having given its hospitality to General LA FAYETTE on occasion of his famed visit to Canandaigua while on his tour of the United States. An old and remodeled building, erected by Thomas BURT, and long occupied by Henry PENFIELD, Esq., is the present residence of Judge James C. SMITH, one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the State. The present residence of Walter S. HUBBELL was erected about 1818, and occupied by Walter HUBBELL, a distinguished member of the Ontario bar. Upon the corner of Howell and Main streets stand the dwelling of James MC KEHNIE, erected about 1856, by Mr. LYON, county clerk. On the west side of Main street stands the residence of Levi TILLOTSON, one of the oldest citizens of Canandaigua; it was erected by Ebenezer HALE, in 1816. A large two-story wooden building, built in unique style, with extended wings, is the residence of Henry W. TAYLOR, a member of the Ontario bar, and an ex-justice of the Supreme Court of New York State. This house was put up by Timothy MORRIS; purchased by John CLARK, father-in-law of Mr. SIBLEY; and sold to Francis W. T. PHELPS, grandson of Oliver PHELPS, and by him disposed of to the present owner. The building now occupied by the widow of Henry B. GIBSON was formerly in use as the Ontario Bank. On the corner of Greig and Main streets, where the handsome school building of Districts Nos. 11 and 13 approaches completion, stood a two-story brick, built by M. ATWATER, and formerly occupied by Jeremiah JENKINS, a son-in-law, as a dwelling and post-office. Where Dr. Moses ATWATER lived in the earliest days, on August 28, 1850, Thomas M. HOWELL began the erection of the well-known Atwater block. This building, having three stories and a wing, was designed, and is in use, as a law building. William WOOD took great interest in its construction, and at his request a large boulder from the farm of N. W. HOWELL, through which Howell street was afterwards surveyed, was used as a corner-stone. It was placed in the southeast corner of the building. Beneath the stone Mr. WOOD deposited a tin box, inclosing documents that he considered entombed for generations. In May, 1875, the present proprietor, F. F. THOMPSON, Esq, removed the boulder while enlarging a basement window, and in the tin box was a paper with the


“This box and contents is, this 18th September, deposited in the southeast corner of the lot formerly owned by Moses ATWATER, one of the first settlers of the village of Canandaigua, and upon which his dwelling-house was erected, which he occupied until the day of his death, and which lot is now occupied by Thomas Morris HOWELL, son of his Honor Nathaniel W HOWELL, who now, eighty-one years of age, is watching the erection of the building thereon, and scolding in regard to the erection. Amen.


The box being partially destroyed, the contents were placed in a glass bottle; a memorandum was added that Messrs. WOOD, HOWELL, and all the old residents at that time had been removed by death, and the bottle was sealed and replaced in the corner, there to remain for future ages.

On the corner of Gorham and Main streets stands a mansion erected by Nathaniel GORHAM, Jr. It is four-storied on Gorham street. The south part was used as a dwelling, and in the north part was the store of Norton & Co. The property is now owned and occupied by Walter HURD, agent of the PULTENEY estate. Of the houses which stand as they stood in 1800, there are but few left. The old CHAPIN house, on Coy street, is almost cut off from its ancient lights by new dwellings and stores; the CLEVELAND house, on Chapel street, the JACKSON house, on Main, built first for a tavern, the house now owned by T F STARKS, also built for a tavern, and the ANTIS house, on Bristol street, stand almost alone as relics of the last century.

On July 28, 1794, William ANTIS received a deed from Oliver PHELPS of lot No. 4, on West Main, south of Bristol street. On March 2, 1811, William ANTIS (2nd), his father having died in 1810, conveyed, for forty-five dollars, “forty-five equal undivided fiftieth parts” of a portion of this lot, with liberty of building a school-house therein, and for no other purpose. A school-house was built of brick, and is now standing, owned by Robert W. WALKER, and occupied as a wagon-shop. Not one of those named in the deed are now living, although familiar to the aged as household words.

The following are the names: Nathaniel GORHAM, Moses ATWATER, William SHEPARD, Virtue BRONSON, O. L. PHELPS, F. ATWATER, T. CHAPIN, I. CHAPIN, J. D. BEMIS, N. GOULD & Co., Peter LYON, Ezekial TAYLOR, Lewis BUTLER (colored) Jasper PARRISH, Elisha YOUNGLOVE, James SMEDLEY, Asa STANLEY, Timothy YOUNGLOVE, Frederick RIFFORD, Daniel DAVIS, Jonathan PHELPS, Richard WELLS, Joseph S. PORTER, James R. MOWER, Freeman MEAD, SWIFT & JONES, Ebenezer HALE, Jonathan HART, Charles CAMERON, Erastus STANLEY, Daniel BERNARD, Abijah PETERS, John HALL and Benjamin WALDRON.



On April 22, 1816, the village trustees “ordained and enacted” that a company of firemen should be formed, and firemen appointed by the president. On the 25th of the month John W. BEALS, Charles UNDERHILL, Walter HUBBELL, P.B. UNDERHILL, Ebenezer ELY, Spencer CHAPIN, N. G. CHESEBRO, Charles HILL, Manning GOODING, Joseph BULL, George H. BOUGHTON, George CLARK, James LYON, M. H. SIBLEY, S. T. KIBBE, Hiram S. DAY, J. F. JENKINS, W. M. JENKINS, John CLARK, and Abraham H. BENNETT were appointed firemen. This was the old ENGINE COMPANY No 1.

On June 13, the sum of $600, in addition to $100 dollars, firemen initiation fees, was appropriated by the trustees to the purchase of a fire-engine.  The engine was obtained, and was the first used west of Utica. 

On the first Tuesday of June, 1817, it was voted “that an engine-house be erected, and the sum of $200 be raised by tax for the purpose of defraying the expense of the same.”  Ebenezer HOVEY contracted to build the engine-house.  This house was erected shortly after, and stood on the site now occupied by the office in the southeast corner of the lot of Walter S. HUBBELL, on the west side of Main street, opposite Howell street. 

On May 4, 1822, by order of the trustees, it was moved down-street and placed in the garden of Judge GORHAM, about 10 rods east of the old oak-tree now standing in front of the court-house, and which stood in the southwest corner of Judge GORHAM's front yard.  About 1857 it was moved down to Beeman street.   

On June 5, 1830, the following additional firemen were appointed:  Ira G. THOMPSON, Edward P. PARRISH, Abner ANTIS, Benjamin S. DAY, Edward PARMELE, Chauncey H. COE, Levi TILLOTSON, Elnathan W. LEWIS; and on June 11, Reuben TOWN, Levi HUBBELL, Walter WHITCOMB, Andrew BERRYHILL, Horatio G. WOLCOTT, William R. BREWSTER, Hiram HUBBARD, Bartley PALMER, Hamlet D. SCRANTON, Porter CARSON, and Thomas McNUTT. 

FIRE COMPANY No. 2 was formed, and a meeting held at the old Franklin House, on June 24, 1830.  Reuben TOWN was the first secretary.  He was succeeded by O. E. SIBLEY, who held the office till he left the village in 1848.  

The following is the roll of members as existing January 1, 1831:  Joseph BULL, A. BERRYHILL, O. E. SIBLEY, J. CORSON, J. B. STOUT, Reuben TOWN, G. GREGORY, Joseph POOR, J. W. BACON, W. M. GIBBS, W. M. WYVILL, O. A. BRANCH, W. M. CHIPMAN; D. C. M. RUPP, A. FRANCIS, Jr., Charles W. CHESEBRO, A. GRANGER, B. PALMER, T. McNUTT, J. L. WOODRUFF, J. B. HAYES, L. L. MORSE, A. O. LELAND, Jesse MASON, John REZNOR, George BULL, Ambrose CHURCH, Jr., John PINCH, Jr., Charles COY, D. H. RUGAR, L. L. BOON, Henry HYDE, and Benjamin P. FRAZER.  Most of these men are dead, but three or four are residents of the village. 

On November 9, 1830, the trustees of the village voted to erect a new engine-house for Engine Company No. 2 on the public square, west side of Main street, south of court-house (now town hall).  November 18, 1830, the president announced to the board of trustees that the supervisors of the county would not allow it to be placed there, but would consent to have it erected near the west end of the court-house.  Neither trustees nor firemen were suited with that proposed location. 

Immediately south of what was known as the Masonic lot, the southeast corner of lot No. 4, there was a vacant lot, and thereon the engine-house of No. 2 was erected. 

The building containing the Masonic hall was burned in 1832, and some time after engine-house No. 2 was moved down-street and placed upon the former prohibited site, and from thence its location was changed to Chapin street. 

On May 4, 1822, the trustees of the village appointed William KIBBE and Jared WILLSON a committee to purchase hooks and ladders for village fire purposes.  Then those agencies for fires were operated by the citizens, and were stored under the old court-house.  As the village increased, the necessity for an organized body of men was seen.  Application to the Legislature resulted in an act, passed April 13, 1832, authorizing the trustees to form a company not exceeding 20 members, to be appointed by the village president.  On May 23, the following were designated:  John A. GRANGER, Wm. H. ELLIS, Hovey K. CLARK, E. S. COBB, Geo. W. BEMIS, E. JACKSON, B. W. FARNUM, Asa SPAULDING, Henry G. CHAPIN, S. W. ELLIS, A. G. MURRAY, D. W. STANLEY, Caleb MORGAN, Seth ALDRICH, Moses ROBERTS, M. N. COLLINS, Charles TAYLOR, C. G. BREWSTER, A. M. CHURCH, and T. CHAPIN.  The hooks and ladders were clumsy, and the company had no rooms.  The old company disbanded, and the present company was organized January 1, 1859.  Edward PIERSON was president; J. P. FABER, vice-president; Rev. C. M. NICKERSON, chaplain; Warren PARRISH, foreman; Edgar OATMAN, first assistant; Charles R. PAUL, second assistant; W. A. HILDRETH, secretary and treasurer; and J. THALER, steward.  December 15, 1875, the following were members: G. STANNARD, Ed. ANDERSON, Thos. STEVENSON, G. B. ANDERSON, C. B. WELTON, Frank BOSWELL, E. HERENDEEN, L. SPRAGUE, Wm. ORR, Edward CONKLIN, Mack SMITH, Winfield SMITH, James REED, Geo. HERENDEEN, B. R. DINGLEY, Ed. LAWRENCE, S. W. BOWEN, C. W. DEYS, Chas. GREEN, A. R. STANNARD, Morris BOWENS, Aug. COOLEY, Wm. BRIDGMAN, Chas. M. FISHER, Henry BEEMAN, Wm. JOHNSON, G. BURLING, J. H. CHAMBERLAIN, E. C. CHURCH, S. A. SHERWOOD, H. COOK, C. F. MILLIKEN, D. G. SMITH, W. L. RHODES, and Wm. CLARK, porter. 

For years the citizens in the upper part of the village were without protection in case of fire.  Before an engine could arrive, a building would be consumed.  On December 26, 1843, a fire company, to be called “Ontario, No. 3,” held its first meeting.  Its organization took place in the office of Francis GRANGER.  An enrollment was made, and F. B. HAHN was chosen foreman;  A. FAIRBANKS, assistant; John S. BATES, secretary and treasurer; Chapin WILSON, steward.  The following persons signed the pledge of membership: D. WRIGHT, G. C. SHELDON, A. L. DWIGHT, Wm. KENNEDY, Robert SAUL, S. BROCKELBANK, H. McVEIGH, M. M. CLEVELAND, B. S. BILLINGS, J. B. COHEACY, Jas. SERVICE, A. J. HAYWARD, James ORR, M. COYLE, Wm. JEUDEVINE, Jr., C. B. ACKLEY, N. C. FOSTER, A. CLEVELAND, C. L. HUNTLEY, H. STEVENS, G. NELSON, H. HAYWARD, Jr., C. ROOT, A. P. HOWELL, S. PIERCE, J. TOMPKINSON, J. FISK, J. ASHLEY, G. GRANGER, H. N. JARVIS, M. CARROLL, John McHUGH, A. PERSONS, M. WHITE, D. C. CROFUT, P. CARSON, J. JOHNSON, W. E. BLOSSOM, and John T. ABBEY.  A fire-engine was purchased by the trustees, and the engine-house erected where it now stands.  Ontario, No. 3, was a volunteer company until April 16, 1845.  An act of Legislature was passed authorizing the creation of an increase in the number of firemen, not exceeding 24, and May 31 certificates were issued, and a new company formed. 

Steamer Engine Company No. 1 was organized in 1870, and took possession of the neat two-story brick engine-house on Niagara street, October 4, 1874.  Thomas G. WYVILLE, foreman; William BLANCHARD, assistant foreman; John J. DWYER, engineer; D. HAIR, first assistant engineer; George BOOTH, second assistant engineer; Henry H. DAY, secretary; H. N. GRIMES, treasurer; H. S. SQUIRES, steward. 

Steamer Engine Company No. 3 received their new steamer the summer of 1875.  It took the place of Hand-Engine No. 3.  George W. McKECHNIE, foreman; Benj. SWARTOUT, first assistant foreman; E. W. McCABE, second assistant foreman; John H. JOHNSON, secretary and treasurer; James O. POTTER, engineer. 

During the summer of 1875, with the consent of the trustees, a body of young men formed a volunteer fire company under the name of “Protection Company, No. 2,” and took the old Hand-Engine No. 2.  At various fires they have done essential service, notably so at the WEBSTER barn fire, where they saved the “Star Building,” and at the Masseth fire saved the ice-house.  The following were officers: J. L. ROCKWELL, foreman; G. R. WEST, first assistant foreman; H. ACKLEY, second assistant foreman; J. JOHNSON, treasurer; and C. FORSHAY, secretary.  

The fire departed elected October 4, 1875, consists of Oscar N. CRANE, chief engineer; George WARNER, assistant engineer; Harrison D. FERGUSON, secretary and treasurer; fire wardens, Samuel A. TORREY, upper district; Joseph MASSETH, middle district; Frank O. CHAMBERLAIN and Charles G. FISHER, lower district.  Canandaigua may well feel pride in her fire department, fire and hook and ladder companies and steamers, hand-engine, and apparatus.



For all time, societies have been formed having in view the welfare of the race and development of the intellect.  One of the most ancient is the order of Free and Accepted Masons.  The ONTARIO MARK MASTER's LODGE of Canandaigua was installed at the house of Richard WELLS, on the 13th of April, 1809, at 10 am.  An invitation had previously been extended to brethren of the degree to be present.  Jared WILLSON was Master in 1817.  The lodge met prior to 1819 within a hall in the upper story of the brick house then the property of James SIBLEY, now owned by Mrs. PAUL.  In 1819 they purchased of William KIBBE a lot on West Main street, now partly covered by a house built by Thomas BEALS, and recently rented to Dwight MUNGER.  They purchased right of way north of their lot.  Upon their land they erected, in 1819-20, a large three-story brick building, the north wall windowless.  The front was on line with the street.  The first story was occupied by Henry HOWARD as a store, the second story was used as his dwelling, while the third story contained the hall for “The Freemasons.”  The building was destroyed by fire in 1831 or 1832.  The Morgan difficulty, in 1826, resulted in the dissolution of the lodge, none of whose original members are known to be living. 

CANANDAIGUA LODGE, No. 294, was granted a dispensation January 8, 1853.  This expired May 25, 1853, and on June 11 following a charter was received from the Grand Lodge of the State of New York instituting this lodge, with the following-named first officers: Samuel W. SALISBURY, Master; Jacob J. MATTESON, S. W.; J. R. PRATT, J. W.; M. BEEMAN, Treasurer; James STEVENSON, S. D.; Benjamin H. ACKLEY, J. D.; and Joseph PONCETT, Tyler.  William BRYANT and Richard P. PETHORIE complete the original roll of nine members.  J. J. MATTESON, William BRYANT, and J. R. PRATT are the present survivors.  The lodge first met in the hall of the I. O. O. F.  They removed to the upper story of the Atwater block, and finally secured rooms in the third story of the McKechnie block, located on the east side of Main street.  These rooms have been permanently occupied since January, 1872.  The assembly-room is spacious, and handsomely furnished.  A narrow dais extends along the sides of the room and widens at the ends, where rich canopies extend over the officers' chairs.  In the centre of the room is a costly altar, of skillful workmanship and fine material, while the floor is covered by heavy carpeting.  The lodge is remarkably prosperous and stable.  It is influential and central.  The nine members of 1853 have increased in 1876 to 173.  The present officers are: Harrison B. FERGUSON, Master; Edward PARSONS, S. W.; William S. McKECHNIE, J. W.; Solomon JONES, Treasurer; J. J. STOBBINS, Secretary; Charles F. ROBERTSON, S. D.; E. R. HYATT, J. D.; James McENELLY, Chaplain; John RAINES, Jr., Marshal; E. B. LEWIS, Organist; C. T. MITCHELL, S. M. C.; F. W. BEAL, J. M. C.; and E. K. SMITH, Tyler. 

I. O. O. F., No. 116, of Canandaigua, is existent only upon the records, from which the following is taken: “Know all men that brothers John P. VEEDER, William SHERIDAN, J. W. BROCKELBANK, E. C. CHESEBRO, W. H. GOODWIN, M. R. LYON, M. BEEMAN, and George R. PARBURT, in behalf of themselves, having formally applied for a charter for a lodge to be located in the village of Canandaigua, county of Ontario, and hailed and entitled 'Ontario Lodge;' and the R. W. Grand Lodge having conceded the application so made, a charter was to be granted.”  The dispensation was signed by E. WAINWRIGHT, Grand Master, May 16, 1844.  The charter was granted, and the lodge instituted on July 24, 1844, as Ontario Lodge, No. 116.  The officers were: William H. GOODWIN, P. G.; George R. PARBURT, N. G.; Thomas J. DRYER, V. G.; Eldridge G. LAPHAM, P. S.; Horace MANLY, A. S.; Marvin BEEMAN, Treas.; Jno. W. BROCKELBANK, C.; Wm. M. WYOLL, W.; Charles W. CHESEBRO, O. G.; Harrison B. ACKLEY, I. G.; Charles D. LITTLE, R. S. N. G.; and M. R. LYON, S. V. R. MALLONEY, William SHERIDAN, Charles PALMER, Charles V. BUSH, Thomas B. HAHN, J. M. SCHERMERHORN, Almon GAGE, Frederick BUNNELL, William HILDRETH, J. W. McBRIDE, H. C. SWIFT, George A. LESTER, L. W. COLE, and B. R. BRONSON, members, 26 in number.  The lodge was very prosperous for a time, taking in during its existence 192 members.  The organization disbanded in 1857.   

CANANDAIGUA LODGE, No. 236, I. O. O. F. of the State of New York, was instituted May 18, 1870, at McKechnie’s Hall, now occupied by the Masonic fraternity.  The charter members were O. N. CRANE, C. A. RUNYAN, A. WIDMAN, C. M. MARSH, and C. H. MARSH.  A. WIDMAN was N. G.; C. A. MARSH, V. G.; C. A. RUNYAN, Sec.; C. M. MARSH, Treas.; and O. N. CRANE, Warden.  A. WIDMAN was the first District Deputy G. M.  C. A. RUNYAN, his successor, was elected to a second term, at whose expiration he was succeeded by O. W. CRANE, who likewise held for two years.  Various other lodges have branched from No. 236, which is at present very prosperous and growing in popularity.  Among present officers are, C. A. RUNYAN, N. G.; S. A. TOZER, V. G.; William WILSON, R. Sec.; E. WEISENBECK, F. Sec.; S. F. AMBLER, Treas.; J. KERSHAW, C.; O. N. CRANE, R. S. N. G.; W. M. SPANGLE, L. S. N. G.; H. C. MURRAY, R. S. V. G.; G. D. A. BRIDGMAN, L. S. V. G.; George WICKHAM, R. S. S.; S. PENTENNY, L. S. S.; William DURBIT, O. G. and J.; James PARKS, O. G.; S. HENDRICKS, Chaplain; and H. C. MURRAY, Organist.



The institution of schools began with the ability to provide for their maintenance.  As in other public interests, we find them originating as a private enterprise, and maintained as a necessity.  The earliest record of a school in Canandaigua gives us the year 1792.  The building in which it was held is not known, but the name of the teacher was Major WALLIS.  In 1804, Mrs. WHALLEY opened a boarding-school for young misses at her house, a few doors north of the court-house, and advertised to teach sewing, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and grammar, at $2 per quarter, and limited her class to 20 pupils.  A brick school-house was erected in the village during 1810.  James SMEDLEY and James D. BEMIS were the proprietors.  It stood on the public square, directly north of the present town-house, and was built from brick manufactured on a lot then owned by SALTONSTALL, and since known as the BEALS lot.  Among the first teachers was a Mr. HYDE.  A second school-house, also of brick, and still existing, was built in 1812, on lot No. 4, south of Bristol street, on land deeded by William ANTIS (2d), on March 2, 1811, to 45 persons.  The building was completed and a school opened in March, 1813, with Mr. POWELL, teacher.  H. D. CHIPMAN taught a term, beginning October, 1813. 

The village of Canandaigua was, in 1813, composed of three school districts, numbered respectively as Nos. 11, 12, and 13.  The bounds of No. 11, now No. 10, include the lots from Nos. 3 on both sides of Main street south to Nos. 12, and out-lots on the east, from 4 to 11, inclusive.



The first meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants was called by John G. SPENCER, school commissioner, for October 2, 1813.  Notification was made by James D. BEMIS.  At this meeting James SMEDLEY was appointed moderator, and James D. BEMIS clerk.  Adjourned till October 4, when the inhabitants met in the brick school-house and elected J. D. BEMIS district clerk, and Asa STANLEY, James SMEDLEY, and Eliphalet TAYLER, trustees.  Benjamin WALDRON was elected collector.  It was agreed that the school-house occupied a favorable position for the district, and that house and lot should be purchased.  To this end a tax of $750, with five per cent for collection, was voted and duly collected.  The trustees met the committee appointed by the proprietors on March 23, 1816, and agreed upon $586.50 as the price of the premises.  Meanwhile, a Mr. BILLS had been teaching a school limited to 50 pupils, and permitting each proprietor to send a scholar to each share owned.  Erastus STANLEY being collector in 1817, was authorized to collect all moneys due the instructor, or for other purposes.  In 1818, $80 were voted to repair the school-house, and trustees were authorized to exempt the poor from paying tuition at their option.  In the following year a tax of $50 was voted for the purchase of a stove and pipe for school-house use.  Annually a tax was levied for repairing the house and furnishing wood. 

The teachers, in 1822, were Messrs. NEWCOMB and GOODING, the former of whom received $5, public money, and the latter, $15.  The first recorded report to the commissioners by the trustees was made March 31, 1823.  School had been taught eight months and 25 days.  Cash from commissioners for tuition, $76.12.  All expended.  The number of children residents of the district was 153.  Joseph RYAN, Ira WESTON, Edson CARR, B. STALL, and Thomas SELLMAN were teachers in 1823.  In 1825, the district became known as No. 10, by communication from the commissioner to the trustees, and as such placed on file. 

On March 26, 1838, a meeting was held at the old school-house, to consider the question of taking it down and erecting a new one on the site.  This was considered inexpedient, and on motion of William ANTIS, Jr., a committee of three, namely, S. F. ANDREWS, Peter TOWNSEND, Jr., and William ANTIS, Jr., was appointed to report on a new site for a building.  Other committees were likewise appointed on site and cost of building.  Finally a site was bought for $105, and $840 tax voted to build thereon a school-house.  For the tax, 20, against 5.  The building to be completed and ready for occupation by October 1, 1839.  A tax of $200 additional was required to finish the building.  A bookcase was provided, and a tax for purchase of a library made.  The old school-house was sold for $154.47.  The new house cost $1069.38.  Teachers’ wages for year ending September, 1841, $327.54.  Total expenses of district for the year, $1658.55, show the growth of wealth and educational interest.  Rate schools were still in vogue, and deficiencies in rate bills were raised by taxation.  On September 3, 1851, the school building was found too small, and an addition was voted, for which a tax of $800 was provided.  The building committee was composed of Merrick MUNGER, O. H. SMITH, and William McCLURE.  As years went by, large sums were expended for various purposes, and, in 1867, a direct tax of $950.89 was levied.  Mrs. JONES was elected librarian for the year, and for her services received $10.  In 1869, the district raised by tax $1803.93; public money, $615.45; total, $2419.38.  Teachers’ wages, $2000; incidentals, $419.38; total, $2419.38.  At a meeting held November 9, 1869, the front part of the school building was pronounced unsafe, and it was decided that it be taken down.  A committee of three, William H. LAMPORT, J. J. MATTISON, and William HILDRETH, was appointed to consider, among various matters, the establishment of a union school. 

On March 1, 1870, J. F. BROWN, G. A. MOSS, and L. M. SMITH were appointed to draft a plan of a school-house to contain four departments.  They reported in favor of a building to be composed of stone and brick; in dimensions 50 by 80 feet; four rooms on each floor; a hall seven feet wide the whole length of the building, which was to be 24 feet high; stone basement six feet; school-rooms to be 18 feet high, with glass partitions.  It was voted and rescinded to raise by tax $2600, and pay same for the Noonen, Leavenworth, Gates, and Saxton lots, with right of way to Bristol street.  The district decided to build on their own site, and to that end voted a tax of $6000.  This was rescinded, and $8000 voted for a new site on the FOSTER lot, and the proposed building.  June 11 this was rescinded, and $5000 was voted by 45 ayes to 33 nays, showing the diverse opinions existing.  By a legal opinion, expressed on reference to Tho. B. WEAVER, State superintendent, that a school-house site cannot be changed only by special meeting, called for that purpose, the district was exempted from purchase of the lot.  At a meeting held February 9, 1875, the subject of a consolidation with No. 11 was discussed, but no action taken.  In May the consolidation was effected, and a new one-story school building was voted to be erected at a cost of $2000.  The teachers in the school have been many; among the principals, Gilbert W. SUTPEN, Cornelius ANDREWS, A. J. JONES, and Messrs. ANTISDALE and SIMMONS have served.



The record of school district No. 11 begins with a meeting at Mills’ hotel on April 8, 1816, at which time the district was known as No. 12.  The notification of a meeting had been made by James SIBLEY; William KIBBE was chosen clerk; Robert SPENCER, collector; and James D. BEMIS, Ellis DOTY, and PUNDERSON B. UNDERHILL, trustees.  The site of the old school-house “on the square near the clerk’s office, being the same designated in Messrs. PHELPS and GORHAM’s deed of the square, and therein reserved for the use of a school-house,” was voted as the place on which to build a one-story house without cupola, and a tax of $1000 to be raised for that purpose.  At a subsequent meeting, Moses ATWATER, Esq., having proposed to sell the trustees a lot situated on Cross street, opposite the burial-ground, a bargain was made, and by November, 1816, the house was finished, and a meeting of the freeholders convened therein.  The building was constructed of brick, at a cost, as exhibited by Ellis DOTY, the superintendent appointed by the trustees, of $1231.  $300, exclusive of collection fees, were voted to liquidate debt and provide a contingent fund.  At a meeting held October 6, 1817, James SIBLEY was chosen clerk; Thaddeus CHAPIN, Robert ROYCE, and Owen HALL, trustees; and William GOODING, collector.  The poor were exonerated from the payment of tuition, and the efficiency was made good from contingent fund.  The names of persons thus exonerated are given, and the inhabitants so provide funds to maintain a surplus in the treasury.  A stove and pipe are purchased in 1819 at a cost of $40, and the teachers’ rate bills are presented for collection to the proper officer.  A report was made March 29, 1821, to the common school commissioners of Canandaigua by Oliver PHELPS, clerk of the district, wherein it is seen that school had been kept by a legally qualified teacher for “three quarters and ¾ of a quarter.”  Cash from commissioners during the year, $53.70, all expended in payment of teachers’ wages.  The children taught during the year were 120; the number in the district January 1, 1821, was 109.  There was too much light, or view, given by the windows of the school-house, since October 1, 1821, “it was voted that the two front windows be boarded to the upper tier of lights.”  It is noticeable that the tax for a number of years was uniformly $50, and the exemption of the poor finds mention on each annual record.  No. 12 was changed in 1825 to No. 11.  In 1837, the tax was raised to $100, and the same amount was levied in 1838.  A report was made January 1, 1839, to the school commissioners, by William AXTELL and Henry CHAPIN, trustees.  No library money was reported received, and no volumes were in the library.  The number of children reported was 150; of 218 residents, 11 were blacks.  The school was not visited by the inspector, and the district apportionment was $109.30.  January 1, 1840, school had been in session 11 months of the previous year; $195 were paid for teachers’ wages, and 187 pupils over five and under 16 had been in attendance.  Thos. HALL and T. E. HART were trustees, and one visit had been made by a school inspector.  In 1842, no visits by any officer were made.  The text-books in use in this school at that date were, Willson’s Class Reader, Analytical Reader, Child’s Guide, Cobb’s Reader No. 2, Elementary Spelling Book, Willson’s, Smith’s, and Adams’ Arithmetics, Olney’s and Mitchell’s Geographies, and Brown’s Grammar.  During the year five select schools were taught in the district.  The teacher’s salary in 1843 were $400, and tuition of the school-going class was reduced to $1 each.  Outline maps and apparatus were purchased, and premiums given as incentives to good behavior.  Mr. James C. CROSS was teacher at this period, and in 1846 was voted $50 additional to employ an assistant teacher.  On October 21, 1846, it was unanimously voted to build a new school-house.  J. M. WHEELER, A. H. HOWELL, and C. KELSEY were building committee.  An attempt was made to levy a tax of $3000, to build a house in connection with a town-hall, to be upon the public square, and failed.  A site was purchased of C. Kelsey, on the south side of Greig street, a building erected, and the old house was sold for $100.  In October, 1851, the salary of J. C. CROSS, teacher, was raised to $450, and himself appointed collector.  In 1852 the salary was made $500, and in 1853 a vote of thanks for services as teacher was placed upon record.  On the motion of A. H. HOWELL, $175 were voted to purchase and hang a bell in the school-house.  In 1868 the amounts raised annually had reached $1500; repairs had been made upon school building, and an organ had been purchased.  Want of room is apparent from the various measures taken for relief.  Expenditures rapidly increased, and October 13, 1874, they amounted for the year to $3377.88.  Steps were taken towards a union with No. 10, to form a new district, known as Consolidated District No. 11.  Among principals of the school have been Messrs. ANTISDALE, SUTPHEN, FISK, Chas. ALDRICH, Wm. VAN DUSEN, Ira D. DURGY, who was in charge seven years, and L. N. BEEBE, for the last four years.  

The bounds of No. 13 are given, “Duncan’s and Seymour’s to Granger’s and George WILLSON’s, inclusive.”  The first recorded meeting was held October 10, 1832.  An old school-house and site were to be sold, and a new house and site obtained.  J. A. STEVENS was elected clerk; Seth ALDRICH, Holloway HAYWARD, and Asa SPAULDING, trustees; and Ashbury CHRISTIAN, collector for said district.  A building committee was selected, to consist of E. S. GREGORY, Stephen WOOD, and Colonel A. BUNNEL.  A brick house, 23 by 36 feet, was built on the old site, at a cost of $472.54.  Benjamin CANFIELD, contractor, was allowed $50 in addition to his contract price, but the action was subsequently rescinded.  A sale was made October 25, 1834, by public auction, held at the Northern Retreat, kept by Holloway MAYNARD, of a school-house, late the property of school district No. 16, for $21.68.  The teacher during 1835 was Hiram BLANCHARD, who receipts to William KIBBE $1.56 for blackboard furnished.  The first recorded report to commissioners gives the number of children in the district January 1, 1835, at $1.50, and no school visitation.  George B. NORTHRUP received $100 for teaching a term of four months, from November 7, 1836, to March 8, 1837.  Abigail MUNGER taught a short summer term for $16.53.  Bennett MUNGER was the next winter teacher.  The rate bills occasion trouble, and deficiencies are made good by tax.  On October 3, 1848, a vote of thanks was tendered William WOOD for the present of a clock and set of maps to the school.  A colored school was in operation in 1848 in the district, and O. L. CROSIER was the teacher, followed in 1849 by S. A. SLOAT.  Male teachers have been as follows in the schools of district No. 13: Messrs. OAKLEY, HASKELL, in 1843; Marshall FINLEY in 1848; Alanson R. SIMMONS, 1849; M. L. RAWSON, 1851; M. A. GREENLEAF, 1853; Charles B. HEMINGWAY, 1854; N. L. ROBERT, 1856; Charles T. SMITH, 1862; Henry M. DAVIS, 1864; Michael DUNNIGAN, 1865; and Charles LATHAM, in 1868.  Of lady teachers were Caroline C. HAYWARD, Sarah BISHOP, Hannah L. JEUDEVINE, experienced and popular, Mary HUBBELL, Harriet P. JACOBS, Nancy BEEBE, E. H. CROFUT, T. M. THOMPSON, and Julia HEMINGWAY.



With consolidation in 1875 came vigorous action to place the public schools upon a high basis.  To this end a generous outlay of money was appropriated, and steps for the erection of a central high school building taken.  A committee, of which Hon. William H. LAMPORT was chairman, reported at a meeting held in May, 1875, in favor of the purchase of the BENNETT property.  The purchase was made at a cost of $11,000.  The contract for a new school-building, to be built between September 1, 1875, and same date, 1876, was taken by Hugh KING, at $32,900.  This beautiful and commodious structure, August, 1876, approaches completion.  The dimensions of the building are, length, 114 feet; width, 79 feet.  It is three-storied, built of brick of the best quality, of which $982,000 are required.  It has four towers.  The main tower has a bell turret on the top of the ridge.  The height to the top of this tower is 112 feet.  The first story contains five school-rooms 25 by 33 feet, 12 feet high, and is provided with halls and stairways.  The second story is a duplicate of the first.  The third story has a hall full size of the building.  The hall proper is 60 by 70 feet; a stage is 24 by 38 feet.  This story is 20 feet high.  A casement extends under the entire building.  The occupation of the house will mark a new era in the public schools of the village.  In 1875, No. 11 employed 12 teachers, at a cost of $4536.  Of these, Levi N. BEEBE is principal.  He is well qualified as an organizer, and the experience of past years angurs well for the schools when they shall have come, as eventually they will, under one management.


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