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transcribed by Deborah
History of Ontario County, NY
Published 1878 Pg
54 - 60
TRACES, ROADS, AND TURNPIKES---STAGE LINES AND MAIL ROUTES---POST
OFFICES AND CANALS.
The Iroquois, like the later Americans, made use of the natural routes
through the country. The name trace is associated with a narrow
path, ill marked, and of occasional use. The truth is, that
intercourse between villages, and travel upon the great central trail
from the present site of Albany to that of Buffalo, was frequent and
general. Indians had no wheeled vehicles and no commerce.
Their traces were well chosen and sufficient for their use. From
Hudson to Lake Erie, an Indian highway crossed the finest portions of
New York, and along its track came the successive improved roads of the
white man. Referring the reader to the "League of the
Iroquois" for a full description of this ancient and notable trail,
we outline only its course through the bounds of Ontario County.
It entered Ontario along the beach at the foot of Seneca lake, and from
the present site of Geneva ascended Geneva creek to the Indian village
of Ganundasaga, the most eastern in the lands of the Senecas.
Thence its course lay through the towns of Seneca and Hopewell to
Ga-nun-da-qua, at the foot of our Canandaigua lake. From
Canandaigua two trails led. One passed southwest through Bristol
to the foot of Honeoye lake. It crossed the outlet, and extended
westward through Richmond, over the hill within view of Hemlock lake,
and led to the north end of the Connesus lake, and on westward to the
village of Little Beard, the largest of the tribe. The other and
the main trail led from Canandaigua along the "north road,"
over the lands of West Bloomfield across the Honeoye outlet, and
proceeded to an Indian village, now the site of Lima. This trail,
in width from a foot to eighteen inches, was deeply worn into the
ground. The depth varied, according to the consistency of the
soil, from three to even twelve inches.
Upon the trees adjacent were frequent incisions by the hatchet of an
unknown antiquity; it was surprisingly direct, and exercised a
controlling influence in the location of settlements now become villages
and cities. Along the trails of the Iroquois came the PITTS, the
COMSTOCKS, the WADSWORTHS, and thousands of the early settlers of the
Genesee valley, bringing with them cattle, household goods, upon the
sled or sleigh. For years this trail was the sole line of travel.
A Cayuga chief thus recounts his claim to mention in the history of this
"The Empire State was once laced by our trails from Albany to
Buffalo,--trails that we had trod from centuries,---trails worn so deep
by the feet of the Iroquois that they became your roads of travel as
your possessions gradually ate into those of my people. Your roads
still traverse those same lines of communication which bound one part of
the Long House to the other."
While the Indian trails gave a clue to travel, they knew no labor.
The settler was often checked for hours at the steep banks of a miry
stream, to construct a temporary bridge. Parties were compelled to
travel together to obtain mutual help in crossing streams, swamps,
hills, and ravines. In town history, reference is made to large
land-owners who constructed roads at very early date to facilitate the
settlement of their tracts. In March, 1794, a State road was
established by law from Utica, via Cayuga Ferry and Canandaigua, to the
Geneva river at Avon. Three commissioners were employed to lay it
out six rods wide, and direct as practicable. At first little
better than an Indian trail, it was gradually improved, so that a stage
which set out from Utica September 30, 1799, arrived at Genesee on the
afternoon of the third day, and from that time on a regular stage passed
along this route.
In 1800 a law was passed making this a turnpike road; its construction
was immediately begun, and completion soon followed. During the
year named, a road was made from Avon to Ganson's settlement, now Leroy,
and at the same time another road was commenced eastward from Buffalo to
connect with it, thus constituting a continuous road from Utica to
The long period consumed in making the journey to the lands of the
Genesee was not caused by ox-teams employed and distance, but by
obstructions and frequent quagmires, illustrated in the journeys noted.
This rude condition of roads was changed; they were advanced
successively towards perfection, and from the old trail resulted the
broad traveled pike. The various steps upon the roads now grown
old had been had been the survey, the cutting of brush, the turning
aside of fallen timber from a roadway winding in course, and the blazing
of trees. Later, trees were chopped down and removed; corduroy was
built over swampy tracts, and the concentrated travel to Cayuga lake
stimulated the erection of long and costly bridges, over which for years
the endless columns of emigration poured. There were horse- and
ox-teams, wagons covered with canvas, marked Ohio, or other Western
points, men on horseback and on foot, singly and in parties, flocks of
sheep, droves of cattle, and a caravan whose tolls and tavern bills made
Important improvements made in turnpike roads of western New York were
greatly attributable to the enterprise of Geneva and Canandaigua
citizens. In 1802, an act was passed by the Legislature
authorizing the formation of a stock company to open a turnpike road
from Canandaigua to Bath. Subscription books for shares in the
stock were opened in June, 1803, by John SWIFT, of Palmyra, Moses
ATWATER and Abner BARLOW, of Canandaigua, and William KERSEY and Henry
A. TOWNSEND, of Bath. In 1806, a company was formed to build a
turnpike from the Susquehanna river to the town of Bath. The
president of the company was John JOHNSON, Esq., of Geneva.
Illustrative of the character of those turnpikes so numerous in time,
yet so unremunerative to their builders, we note the conditions of
contract upon the Bath and Susquehanna road. "The road must
be opened four rods wide, and be thirty-three feet between the ditches
on each side; twenty-five feet thereof, when necessary, should be bedded
with stone, gravel, sound wood, or other hard substance, well compacted
together, and of sufficient depth to secure a good and solid foundation.
The greatest ascent should not exceed fourteen inches in any one rod.
The bridges to be twenty-four feet wide, and covered with good white
oak, white pine, or hemlock plank, clear of sap, and three inches
thick." In the estimate, toll-houses, gates, mile-stones, and
guide-boards were included, and ten miles was the extreme limit of a
single contract. It was at this time that the Seneca Turnpike
Company prepared to build their road, and it was expected that teams
leaving Canandaigua and Geneva could carry loads one-third heavier than
previously, and every team returning light from Utica or Albany might
bring a return load of salt, thereby reducing to the inhabitants of
Ontario the price of that necessary article. A project was started
in 1810 for opening a turnpike road from the court-house, in
Canandaigua, through Farmington and Palmyra to Putneyville, on Lake
Ontario. On November 3, 1813, a grant was asked to incorporate a
company for the construction of a road from Canandaigua direct to the
new bridge at the Falls of the Genesee, and to intersect the "ridge
road." These are but examples of the mania for speculation in
the construction of roads, which had so developed in 1810 that the
nominal stock in turnpike and toll-bridge charters was then over eight
million dollars. Many lateral roads branched from the main road,
and while investments in stock became worthless, the model of
construction for the great network of roads to be constructed was of
much benefit. The public interest in roads was heartily revived
about 1850, and plank roads multiplied as the turnpikes had done.
The plank was not durable, the repairs were not kept up, stock
depreciated, and the roads, abandoned by the companies, have been
divided among road districts as public highways. A single instance
will suffice to recall the era of plank roads. The Palmyra and
Canandaigua plank road ceased to pay a dividend from May, 1857.
The plank was worn out, and no funds provided for its renewal. The
road was, like others, a great convenience to the traveling public, but
not fully appreciated. It was customary to shun the toll-gates
wherever practicable, and the idea seemed fixed that roadways should be
free. Upon the bed of the plank gravel was carted, and most
excellent roads have resulted; such has been the case of the road used
as an illustration, which has long been one of the best in the State.
With the abandonment of associative control has come the extinction of
offices of turnpike and plank road inspectors, who were chosen to the
number of from three to five from persons having no interest in the
roads, and whose duties were to protect the public from the imposition
of tolls upon neglected roads.
STAGE LINES -
were once a great feature of the carrying trade, but the stage of
ante-railroad date is known only to the memory of the aged, and
preserved but in the files of a few old newspapers. A stage line
was established by Levi STEVENS, of Geneva, on May 14, 1804, to run once
a week from Canandaigua to Albany. He asserts, in making known his
enterprise, that "he has been at great pains and expense to fit up
his stages for the accommodation of his passengers." Seats
were procurable by application at Taylor's hotel, Canandaigua, or
Powell's, Geneva. The rates charged were five cents per mile.
Within a short time STEVENS increased his business to two stages per
week. A western mail stage was started May, 1808, by John Metcalf.
It left Canandaigua on Monday at six A.M. for Niagara, via Buffalo, and
returned by Sunday at 5 P.M., thus occupying three days each way.
Fare was six cents per mile, and fourteen pounds of baggage were allowed
each passenger. Progress in stage traffic is seen in the
establishment of a daily line known as the Canandaigua and Utica stage
line, opened July 5, 1813, by William POWELL. Few are left to-day
who saw the stage drawn up at Taylor's every morning for its passengers,
and then start off with crack of whip and rumble of wheels down the
street. The rate diminished with increase of distance till a
steady gait was taken, and then on for hours, looking out upon the
growing villages, the passing travel, conversing with pleasant
companions, or settling to a nap, unconscious of jar or jolt, time or
distance. A new line was established October 20, 1813, via Cherry
Valley, Cazenovia, and Manlius, from Albany to Canandaigua, with a fare
for the trip of eight dollars. The office at Albany was at what
was known as the Connecticut coffee-house. The proprietors of this
route were Messrs. Martin & Branch, Beach & Conde, Beach &
Chamberlain, and Z. Patch. A tri-weekly mail stage left the
village of Canandaigua for the west in the year 1814. A line
starting at the same village on July 20, 1815, via Geneva and Auburn,
went through in two days. E.B. DEWEY was a proprietor, and seats
were obtainable at Coe's stage house. Samuel HILDRETH ran a
biweekly stage, beginning January 4, 1816, between Rochester and this
village. A line of stages began August, 1817, to run via East
Bloomfield, Mendon, and Pittsford to Rochester. Oliver PHELPS
& Co. opened a stage business in May, 1818, leaving Canandaigua
tri-weekly for Newburg, which place was reached in three days. The
fare from Utica to Albany, ninety-six miles, and from Canandaigua to
Buffalo, ninety miles, was in each case but two dollars. Messrs.
Faulkner & Fenton began, August 2, 1822, to run a stage coach daily
from Gooding's hotel, Canandaigua, to Montezuma, to connect with the
canal-packet "Echo," which conveyed passengers to the
"Oneida Chief," on the Erie canal, and the stage also made
connection with the steamer "Enterprise," then running on
Cayuga lake. The stage business increased in extent, and various
parties engaged in its conduct during 1822. F. Powell & Co.,
J. Parker & Co., John M. SHERWOOD, and B.D. COE, on January 20,
1823, consolidated their lines, and put the fare down to two cents per
mile. C.H. Hoe & Co. commenced staging January 1, 1826.
The firm consisted of C.H. COE, B.D. COE, and Samuel GREENLEAF, and
continued until the death of Chauncey H. COE, in 1836, when Captain Asa
NOWLEN, of Avon, bought the Coes' interest, and the firm was changed to
S. Greenleaf & Co. This firm ran a number of stages until the
completion of the Rochester and Auburn railroad. In connection
with this last and most notable firm it is pleasent to observe that, in
1840, Mr. GREENLEAF had started a stage-drivers' reading-room and
library for his employees. The effort was salutary, and
characterized as a godsend to the stage-drivers. A handsome whip
was presented on June 4 to the driver who had read most in the Bible
during the last year, by Mr. GREENLEAF.
POST-OFFICES, POST-RIDERS, AND POST-ROUTES -
were subjects of local and general interest in the ante-railroad days.
A suspension of the mail facilities now, for a period equal to the
intervals of mail reception in the early days, would be little less than
a calamity, so closely has this agency entwined itself in all that
concerns commercial intercourse. The inception of mail facilities
was the work of private enterprise. In 1791, Luther COLE was
employed by Oliver PHELPS and others to carry letters from Canandaigua
to Whitestown. He sometimes went on horseback, and often on foot.
A week was required to go, and a like period was consumed by the return.
This was the first "news carrying" done in the Genesee
country. When the first mail that was ever received in Canandaigua
arrived, Augustus PORTER stood at the side door of Moses ATWATER's
house, and he asked a friend at a later day, "How do you think it
was brought?" Answering his own query, he said, "Luther COLE
brought it from Utica in a large morocco pocket-book, which he carried
in the breast-pocket of his coat." Who would contract at this
day to bring the mail from Utica in that way? In 1797, mail was
brought from Albany once in two weeks on horseback. Post-riders
were engaged later to deliver mail matter and newspapers at the houses
of the settlers. Among those post-riders, who usually traveled on
horseback on different routes at an early day, were Elisha NYE, Joseph
BECKET, and William BADGROW. Jonathan BLAKELY was one of the early
news carriers. The establishment of a post-office was of later
The only post-office in all the Genesee country in the year 1803 was at
Canandaigua. The extensive region embraced in the circuit of
delivery is shown by the advertisement of letters addressed to persons
in Northfield, Goverment House, Head of Lake Ontario, Sodus, Friend's
Settlement, Big Tree, Sodus, Williamsburg, Geneva, and like remote
localities. Post-routes were contingent upon the ability of the
people to support them. A new post-route was established in the
latter part of 1816 from Canandaigua to Lewistown, along the whole
extent of the ridge road, and a post-office was established at Black
Rock. In the year following, routes were formed from Canandaigua
via Richmond, Bristol, Livonia, Genesee, and Warsaw to Sheldon, and from
Bath to Naples. In 1822 a route was established from Canandaigua
to Penn Yan; and a mail-route from the former place to Manchester,
Palmyra, South Williamson, Williamson, and Pultneyville was contracted
in January, to run once in two weeks.
The navigation of the inland lakes, within or bordering upon the lands
of Ontario, was an early enterprise. Upon Seneca lake Captain
Williamson had a large sloop of forty tons engaged in a carrying trade,
and a vessel of the same character was an object of curiosity to the
settlers along the banks of Canandaigua lake. The first vessel
propelled by steam on Seneca lake was built and owned by the Rumsey
brothers. She was named the "Seneca Chief," and was
officered by Captain H.C. SWAN; First Engineer, Aaron STOUT; Pilot,
Fred. KING; Second Pilot, William ROE; the agent was John R. JOHNSON.
She was furnished with four plain cylinder boilers, and a cylinder
eighteen inches in diameter with a seven-foot stroke. Her average
speed was ten miles per hour. The builders ran her a few years,
and sold to John R. JOHNSON and Richard STEVENS of Hoboken, New Jersey.
During the winter of 1831-32 she was rebuilt and enlarged, and her name
changed to the "Geneva," or familiarly, "Aunt
Betsy." In 1835 the "Richard Stevens" was built for
a passenger boat. Among others of the old steamboats on Seneca
were the "Chemung," "Canadesaga,"
"Seneca," and "Ben Loder,"--the last built in 1848,
at a cost of $75,000. The first steamboat built on Canandaigua
lake was launched during the summer of 1823. An association was
formed, stock subscribed, and this boat, christened "Lady of the
Lake" by John GREIG, was constructed to run on the lake; Isaac
PARRISH was her captain, and Moore was engineer. She was in use
but a few years and was then laid up, went to pieces, and her engine was
sold for other use. A second boat was built by citizens of Naples
in 1845, and in September so far completed as to allow her hull to be
floated down the lake to the wharf at this village, where her engine was
to be obtained. Want of funds delayed her completion until 1846.
A third boat was known as the "Joseph Wood." A fourth,
built by the Standish brothers, is named the "Ontario," and a
fifth, the "Canandaigua." These last-named boats are
well patronized by parties of pleasure, and enhance the attractions of
the lake and surrounding scenery. On June 23, 1874, a tiny
steamboat, named the "Seth Green," was launched on Hemlock
lake. She was built at Buffalo; her length is forty feet; width,
eight. She has a six-power engine, and can carry forty passengers.
Pleasure-seekers can find no more attractive spot than this beautiful
Hemlock lake,--its clear waters abounding in fish, its picturesque
location among steep, woody hills, amidst whose ravines are living
springs of clear, cold water, presenting a refreshing picture,
delightful to the eye of the tourist escaping from the close air of the
cities during the summer.
THE ERIE CANAL -
Touching the county of Ontario, in the northeast corner of the town of
Manchester, at a point appropriately designated and known as Port
Gibson, is the Erie canal. No work before or since excited such
opposition and expectation, gave more satisfaction, or contributed to
such a development of the internal resources of the State; and a place
in the history of this county, for a record of the inception and
progress of the undertaking, is requisite to an understanding of the
early prosperity of the Genesee country. The bill authorizing the
project became a law on April 15, 1817. Ground was first broken at
the village of Rome, on the 4th of July of the same year. The
occasion was marked by the roar of artillery, and the cheer of a large
concourse drawn to the spot by feelings of curiosity and interest.
The work was known in three divisions. The labor upon the middle
section ended with its completion in 1819. The western section was
finished in October, 1822, from the Genesee river east, and boats ran
from Rochester to Little Falls during that month; while the eastern
section was completed in October, 1823, and boats passed from the canal
into the Hudson at Troy. The aqueduct at Rochester, over the
Genesee, was finished in 1823, and boats proceeded west to Holly or
Brockport. During the year following, the canal was opened to the
foot of the high rocky ridge at Lockport. The difficulties here
met and surmounted illustrate the energy and perseverance of its
builders, led by canal commissioner Hon. William C. BOUCK, and finally,
in the fall of 1825, the route was opened between the ocean and great
inland lakes. As in the cable beneath the sea, and like great
achievements, the disbelief in ability to do this great work was shared
by many who have lived to realize much of their prosperity as a direct
result. In arranging for a grand celebration all along the line,
the terminus at Buffalo was made the initial point. At the close
of October 24, 1825, the last work was done, the guard-gates were
raised, and the water began its flow upon its artificial channel, from
Erie towards the Hudson. Cannon which had reverberated in action
of September, 1813, on Lake Erie, were placed at intervals of ten or
fifteen miles along the entire distance to announce a triumph of
intellect over obstacles of nature. On the morning of October 26, a
procession formed in front of the court-house at Buffalo, then a
flourishing village, and, headed by the brass band, and consisting of a
military company, civic societies, and citizens, marched down Main
street to the head of the canal, where Governor De Witt Clinton, with
the State officers, embarked on the "Seneca Chief," drawn by
four gray horses gaily caparisoned, and set out upon the expedition.
As the boat gained headway, a signal-gun was fired from her deck, a gun
in the distance responded, one farther on repeated the signal, and so
within eighty minutes the citizens of New York knew that the fleet had
started. In the wake of the pioneer boat came the
"Perry," the "Superior," and the
"Buffalo," loaded with officers, delegates, and citizens.
The fleet was joined at Lockport by the "William C. Bouck,"
"Albany," and other boats. Crowds gathered along the
line, cannon boomed at intervals, and bonfires by night illuminated the
scene. A grand celebration at Rochester greeted the arrival of the
fleet, and Canandaigua was there represented by a delegtion led by Hon.
John C. SPENCER, who made a speech on the occasion. "The
Young Lion of the West" joined the flotilla at this place, and the
boats, meeting ovations at various points, reached Albany November 2.
On the morning following, three boats, the "Seneca Chief,"
"Niagara," and the Rochester boat, were towed by steamers down
the Hudson to New York, which was reached next day at daylight. At
9 A.M., the boats were en-route for the ocean, accompanied by a fleet of
steam and sail vessels; on their arrival at Sandy Hook a circle was
formed, and within its centre lay the "Seneca Chief," having
on board Governor Clinton and other officers. In expectation, many
eyes watched the governor as he mounted the deck, and poured from a keg
water taken from Lake Erie to mingle with that of the Atlantic.
The keg was re-filled with ocean water, the return made to Buffalo, and
on November 23, this representative water of old ocean was mingled with
the fresh volume of the inland sea. Thus was completed a
thoroughfare which diverted the tide of emigration, insured the
permanence of villages upon its route, and opened up a market to the
grain-raisers of the Genesee.
The Ontario Canal Company is a remembrance of a vigorous but unfruitful
effort. The history of the attempted often more fully illustrates
local energy than the accomplished. A meeting was held by
Canandaigua villagers at Mill's hotel on August 24, 1820, to consider
the propriety of making a "lateral canal" from Canandaigua
lake to the grand canal. A committee upon route consisted of John
C. SPENCER, James D. BEMIS, Asa STANLEY, Dudley MARVIN, and William H.
ADAMS. A report was made December 21, 1820, that the length of the
canal would be nineteen and one-half miles. Its terminus
northward, at the Erie canal, was to be three and one-half miles west of
Palmyra village. The descent from the foot of the lake to Mud
creek at Garnet's Mill was found to be two hundred and twenty-five feet,
which required twenty-three locks. The entire cost was estimated
not to exceed sixty-eight thousand dollars. The following
committee of fifteen was appointed: N. GORHAM, D. MARVIN, F. GRANGER, T.
SHORT, William H. ADAMS, D. COMSTOCK, R.M. WILLIAMS, M.A. FRANCISCO, J.
CLARK, G. CODDING, H. CHAPIN, J. BIRDSEY, Chester LOOMIS, Asa STANLEY,
and Peter MITCHELL, who were to petition the Legislature for act of
incorporation for a canal to connect the points designated. The
association was named "The Ontario Canal Company," with a
proposed capital of one hundred thousand dollars. An act was
passed March 31, 1821, incorporating the company, and books for
subscription opened on May 23, at B. COE's hotel, by commissioners N.
GORHAM, Z. SEYMOUR, A. STANLEY, P.P. BATES, and William H. ADAMS.
The subscription by June 12 was twenty thousand dollars. At a
later meeting it was announced that fifty thousand dollars---a
sufficient amount---had been raised, and a meeting for the election of
nine directors was called at Mead's hotel, January 20, 1824. The
following were elected: Evan JOHNS, H.B. GIBSON, Israel CHAPIN, Asa
STANLEY, J.C. SPENCER, Mark H. SIBLEY, Robert POMEROY, and H.M. MEAD.
The canal was not dug, and a cheap, if slow, means of communication was
lost when the measure seemed nearest its consummation.
RAILROADS OF ONTARIO COUNTY: AUBURN AND ROCHESTER, BATAVIA BRANCH OF N.
Y. CENTRAL, NORTHERN CENTRAL, GENEVA AND ITHACA, SODUS POINT AND
The railroad has been the lever to advance civilization, enhance values,
and develop a diversified industry. Along new lines to-day
villages are springing into being, and advancing towards maturity with a
rapidity that leaves the record of the past shaded and obscured.
To the Empira State belongs the honor of early encouraging this great
agency of commerce, and the railroad, in truth, has been a mighty power,
conducing to prosperity. In 1826, the first charter in New York to
build a railroad was granted to the Hudson River Railroad Company to
construct a road from Albany to Schenectady, a distance of sixteen
miles. Commencement was made in 1830, and completion effected in
1831. The cars placed upon the track were drawn by horses.
During the year 1831 an engine, named "John Bull," was brought
over from England, placed on the track, and operated by John HAMPSON,
and English engineer. The first steam railroad passenger train in
America was run upon this road. The engine weighed four tons.
There were two coaches and fifteen passengers. The coaches were
modeled after the old stage-bodies, hung above the truck upon leather
braces, and contained compartments and seats within and without.
Tickets were sold at shops and stores. Brakeman used hand-levers
to stop the train. Horses were used to draw the cars up the ascent in
Albany, where the engine was coupled on, and at Schenectady there were
two tracks, and a stationary engine at the top of the hill; strong ropes
were used to haul up one train as the other was let down. The road
was finished to Utica in 1837.
THE AUBURN AND ROCHESTER RAILROAD -
was authorized by legislative act passed May 13, 1836. The people
along the proposed route regarded it as a doubtful experiment, and were
not easily convinced that it would be beneficial to the towns through
which it passed, or a good investment to stockholders. The capital
stock was $2,000,000, which was in shares of $100, and each share was to
be deemed personal property. Eleven commissioners were appointed
to open books and receive subscriptions to the capital stock, viz:
Nathaniel GARROW and Asaph D. LEONARD, of Auburn; Samuel I. BAYARD, of
Seneca Falls; Samuel BIRDSALL, of Waterloo; Henry DWIGHT, of Geneva;
David McNIEL, of Vienna; David SHORT, of Manchester; Francis GRANGER and
Oliver PHELPS, of Canandaigua, and James SEYMOUR and Abraham M.
SCHEMERHORN, of Rochester. These proved to be good men for the
place. Acts of amendment relative to charges, amounts paid, and
extension of time were passed January 26, 1837, April 18, 1838, and May
10, 1841, and the company were allowed to connect with the Auburn and
Syracuse road, at Auburn. The first officers of the road were
Henry B. GIBSON, president, and Charles SEYMOUR, secretary and
treasurer. Installments on shares were made as low as $2.50 to
$5.00. A desperate effort was made on the line to secure the
amount necessary to make a survey, and this succeeded by selecting the
route along the Canandaigua outlet to Phelps, thereby accommodating
mill-owners and business men upon that stream. The directors
employed Robert Higham as chief engineer, who at once began the survey
and location of the road from Rochester to Canandaigua. The
contract for grading the first seventeen miles east of Rochester was let
to Vedder & Co., who broke ground in 1838 at "Slab
Hollow," now called Railroad Mills. Hiram DARROW, of the town
of Seneca, was foreman of the workmen, and afterwards a conductor on the
road. James BIGGINS, agent at Fisher's Station, boarded the men.
Bart. VROOMAN was foreman and track-layer. A "pony
engine," named the "Young Lion," built at the Norris
shops, was the first locomotive placed on the road. It was brought
on a canal-boat to Cartersville, as were the second and third engines,
the "Ontario," run by William HART, and the
"Columbus," by Mr. NEWELL. Mr. VROOMAN, conductor of the
train used in construction, advanced with the completion of the grading,
and laid the ties, sleepers, and strap rails. In June, 1840, the
annual report of the directors was published, and the early completion
of the enterprise promised. The iron for the distance between
Rochester and Canadaigua had been procured at one-half less than it
could have been in 1836, and the cost per mile of this section was not
to exceed $14,000. The estimated income of this twenty-nine miles
was put down at $7000 per mile. On September 7, 1840, Mr. VROOMAN,
in charge of his train, fell from a platform car under the wheels, which
terribly crushed one of his legs. He survived the accident.
William WOOD, of Farmington, refused right of away, and the company for
some time ran trains upon the track around his farm. By September
9, the road between the two villages was completed, and the Ontario
Repository of the 16th, 1840, has the following editorial:
"The Railroad.---A train of cars (composed of the engine Young Lion
and one baggage and one passenger car) left Rochester for this place on
Thursday, September 10, but did not get through, owing to some
hindrances on an unfinished part of the track. On Saturday evening
the locomotive, with three cars, came in, and left for Rochester on
On September 22 the time-table was issued; there were "for freight
and passengers three daily lines." A rude depot was built
west of H.B. GIBSON's residence at Canandaigua. The old Tonawanda
railroad depot was near the United States Hotel, and the Auburn and
Rochester depot stood on the site of the present depot. The
Rochester depot was a wooden structure, and the engine and four
passenger coaches were stored therein at nights for months. The
turn-table was at this depot. The first conductor upon the road
was William FAILING, and the first baggage-man was Heman G. MILLER.
The first baggage-man and depot-master at Canandaigua was Walter
CORCORAN. The fare to Rochester was, at first, nine shillings,
then five, and again advanced to six. Each car had three
compartments, and when another coach was added, passengers then, as now,
sought seats at the rear end of the train. Incidental to running
the first trains, it is said of Mr. GIBSON, president of the road, that
he was always at the depot to meet the train, and one day, excited, he
told the engineer to "blow his bell and ring his whistle," to
let the town's people know the train was coming. The train stopped
one day at Freedom Station and took on "somebody's wood."
Next day, when rushing along at ten miles an hour, the express was
halted by a woman waving her apron and standing near that station.
FAILING asked "what was up?" The woman said the
conductor owed two dollars for wood." She was paid, and, as
the train moved on, she cried after, "When you are out of wood,
call again." Proposals to complete the road to Geneva by May
15, 1841, were next in order. The work was carried rapidly
forward, and the first passenger train east from Canandaigua was an
excursion to the terminus at Seneca Falls, on July 4, 1841. The
bridge over Cayuga lake was finished the last of September, and during
November the road was completed to Auburn. A gravel train was
occupied during the winter of 1840-41 filling the Padelford embankment,
which was at first crossed on trestle-work. Two tracks were built
between Canandaigua and Geneva. One was soon taken up, and the
other, the old "strap rail," was found sufficient for the
business. Later, the Auburn and Rochester and Auburn and Syracuse
roads consolidated. In 1853, the direct line from Rochester to
Syracuse was completed: at first a single track, then consolidations,
and a double track. Another consolidation, and the "New York
Central" was established, and yet another, and Buffalo was linked
with New York city, under the grand consolidation of the New York
Central and Hudson River Railroad Company, with many lateral branches
all along the line.
THE NORTHERN CENTRAL RAILROAD -
originated as the Canandaigua and Corning Railroad. On March 12,
1845, publication was made of application for incorporation. The
bill passed May 11, 1845. The capital was to be one million six
hundred thousand dollars. Time was extended April 16, 1847, and
again March 24, 1849. An adjourned meeting was held at the
town-house at Canandaigua on May 30, 1845. J. M. WHEELER, M. H.
SIBLEY, Jared WILSON, John A. GRANGER, and Oliver PHELPS, a committee
appointed February 27, submitted a favorable report, and another
committee was appointed to procure a survey of the route. Marvin
PORTER was the engineer employed, and his work was completed in July.
The total cost of building and furnishing the road was estimated at nine
hundred and fifty thousand one hundred dollars. It long remained
doubtful if the amount required could be raised. Meantime,
meetings were held and the subject kept in mind. At an election
held in 1849, among the directors are found the names of Francis W.
PAUL, W. M. OLIVER, E. SMITH, James HARRIS, and Judge PHELPS. In
1850 the contract for the construction of the whole road was let to John
S. KING, who agreed to take one hundred and fifty thousand dollars stock
in part payment. The breaking of grounds toward the commencement
of work took place at Penn Yan on July 4, 1850. In 1851 the
enterprise was under full headway. On June 25 one thousand men
were employed laying rails from Penn Yan to Jefferson, and grading near
Canandaigua. The road was opened from canandaigua to Jefferson
(now Watkins) in September, 1851, the New York and Erie Railroad
furnishing engines, cars, etc., for a specified rate per mile. The
first engine, No. 94, with passenger cars attached, was run over the
road, a distance of forty-six and seventy-four one-hundredths miles, on
September 15. Time, two hours. Marvin POTTER was the first
superintendent, and three trains per day were run each way. A
depot building was erected by Judge PHELPS at Canandaigua, and this, on
December 23, was burnt in a large conflagration which destroyed much
valuable property. The road connected with the Chemung Railroad at
Jefferson, and changed name September 11, 1852, to Canandaigua and
Elmira Railroad. The directors met at Penn Yan during September to
appoint employees and to arrange to run the road on their own account.
They appointed Coddington, of Canandaigua, and GILLETT of Congden, of
Elmira, conductors on the passenger trains. A. CROZIER was
conductor of the freight train, and the baggage-masters were Samuel
CHISSOM and John WAKEMAN. William G. LAPHAM was the
superintendent, and proved an energetic and efficient officer. On
January 1, 1853, the company began to run their own trains. They
had purchased six engines and a sufficient number of cars. The
Chemung road was leased and under the control for an indefinite period.
Two passenger and two freight trains were run the round trip daily.
The road was sold to parties in Elmira, Penn Yan, and Providence, R. I.,
on April 23, 1857, and possession given May 1. Price, $35,000 subject to
a half million dollars due bondholders.
The name was changed to Elmira, Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Railroad.
The total cost of the road, equipments, and other expenses, September
30, 1858, was two hundred thousand dollars. Earnings, seventeen
thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine dollars and forty-six cents.
Transportation expenses, eleven thousand nine hundred and forty-seven
dollars. During the year, fifteen thousand eight hundred and
fifty-two passengers had been carried, and $4,293 tons of freight. The road is now run as a part of the
Northern Central, terminus being at Canandaigua.
THE BATAVIA BRANCH OF THE NEW YORK CENTRAL -
was originally known as the Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Railroad.
A meeting was held on March 4, 1851, at Lima, relative to the
construction of a railroad having six feet gauge, from Canandaigua to
Niagara Falls, distance ninety-eight and one-half miles. The
capital stock was to be one million dollars. At this meeting Henry
Allen was chosen chairman, and E.S. GREGORY, of Canandaigua secretary.
Articles of association were drawn up, and stock to the amount of
$100,000 being subscribed, ten per cent was paid in. The following
was the first board of directors: Of New York City, Wm. H. TOWNSEND, E.C.
HAMILTON, Moses MAYNARD, Jr., H.A. JOHNSON, I.P.G. FOSTER, and John I.
FISK; Isaac SEYMOUR, of Peekskill; Augustus S. PORTER, of Niagara Falls;
Benjamin PRINGLE, of Batavia; Samuel RAND, Mendon; Francis W. PAUL,
Canandaigua; George WRIGHT, East Bloomfield; and Ira GODFREY, Lima.
William H. TOWNSEND was chosen president, and Isaac SEYMOUR, treasurer.
Marvin POTTER was appointed superintendent on December 10, 1851.
Various notices of the road appear in the State press. The country
along the line is eulogized, and the route is especially noticed as
direct. The average grade along the whole distance is seventeen
feet to the mile. The estimated entire cost was two million five
hundred thousand dollars. On March 18, 1852, a new board of
directors elected Benjamin PRINGLE, president; Wm. H. TOWNSEND,
vice-president; Samuel RAND, secretary, and Isaac SEYMOUR, treasurer.
The road was opened to Batavia, fifty miles, January 1, 1853.
Messrs. Douglas & Co., of Buffalo, took the contract from the
Genesee river to Batavia, and broke ground at Stafford. The road
was completed to Niagara Falls July 1, 1853, and to Suspension Bridge,
one and one-half miles, on April 1, 1854. The first passenger
train ran as an excursion train over the completed road on July 28,
1853. The passengers were the invited guests of John S. King &
Co. Speeches were made on the occasion by various parties, of whom
Lapham, of Canandaigua, seemed to be the most eloquent, and whose
remarks were printed in the papers of that day. The road was sold
March 22, 1857, to James M. BROWN and others, and the name changed to
Niagara Bridge and Canandaigua Railroad. It is now leased and run
by the New York Central Railroad, and designated as the Batavia Branch.
THE GENEVA AND ITHACA RAILROAD COMPANY -
was organized at Ovid, May 6, 1870. Nestor WOODWORTH, of Covert,
was chairman. The following directors were chosen: Thomas
HILLHOUSE, William HALL, and Frederick W. PRINCE, of Geneva; Robert J.
SWAN, of Fayette; C.H. SAYRE, of Varick; R.M. STEELE, of Romulus; I. N.
JOHNSON, of Ovid; C. H. PARSHALL and J.C. HALL, of Covert; N. NOBLE, of
Ulysses, and C.M. TITUS, A.H. GREGG, and John RUMSEY, of Ithaca.
Although the line of road is not in Ontario, yet its terminus at Geneva
reaps the full measure of the enterprise, as was anticipated by its
projectors. Work was begun and continued from Ithaca and Geneva
until September 13, 1873, the working gangs met at Romulus, Seneca
county. Trains ran to this point from both villages; the ceremony
of driving the last spike was performed by C. M. TITUS, president of the
road. W. B. DUSINBERRE and F. PRINCE, of Geneva, were of the
notables present. The first accident transpired October 9, 1873,
at Romulus. Two construction trains collided, whereby several
platform cars were smashed, and several persons made narrow escapes.
THE SODUS POINT AND SOUTHERN RAILROAD -
was projected in the fall of 1851, from Great Sodus Bay to Seneca, a
distance of thirty-four miles. Survey was made, directors
appointed, and Dr. COOK was president. The difficulty attending
the enterprise prevented its consummation, but the parties interested
kept it alive until, during the summer of 1876, the work was completed,
and trains placed on the track.
THE GENEVA AND SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD -
has had an experience similar to the pioneer roads of the county.
The grading is well along, and the work approaches completion. The
road, beginning at Geneva, traverses Middlesex in Yates, Naples in
Ontario, and continues southwestward to Hornellsville, on the western
border of Steuben county. While these roads have been built, and
thereby enhanced the valuation of real estate, other projects have, from
time to time, been canvassed and dropped. It speaks volumes for
the enterprise of Canandaigua and Geneva that so many efforts, partially
successful, should have been made to link them to other thriving
ONTARIO BANKS: STATE, INDIVIDUAL, NATIONAL, AND SAVING
Banks are to business what the heart is to the body,---the reservoir of
surplus vitality, and the means of its dissemination. The system
has been in vogue in the State of New York since the incorporation of
its first bank, in New York city, on March 22, 1791. The capital
was $900,000. Its charter was thrice extended, and it expired
January 1, 1853.
The pioneer bank of Ontario County was organized at Canandaigua, on
March 13, 1813, as the "Ontario Bank," one of the most
successful institutions during its existence of its class, and a highly
lucrative investment. Preliminary to its operation, Stephen BATES,
Asahel WARNER, Ebenezer F. NORTON, James B. MOWER, Oliver L. PHELPS,
Micah BROOKS, Lemuel CHIPMAN, Phineas T. BATES, Thaddeus CHAPIN, Reuben
HART, John A. STEVENS, John C. SPENCER, Matthew WARNER, John GRIFFIN,
John GREIG, and John BROCKLEBANK gave notice of application to the
Legislature, asking a charter for the Ontario Farmers' Bank, to be
located in Canandaigua. No action followed. Again, on
December 1 of 1812, notice was published, signed mostly by the same
persons, for the incorporation of the Ontario Bank, with a capital of
half a million. The act of incorporation passed March 13, 1813,
and the charter continued until January 1, 1856. Nathaniel GORHAM
was elected president, and William KIBBE cashier. The bank opened
for the transaction of business in October, 1813, and appointed Tuesdays
and Fridays as discount days. The first discount given at this
bank was taken by Ebenezer HALE, the money being employed in building a
house, which stood upon the site of the Congregational chapel. Mr.
KIBBE was succeeded as cashier by Henry B. GIBSON, in 1821. The
affairs of the bank were found in a troubled state, but Mr. GIBSON, who
had been attached to a bank at Utica, and to Manhattan Bank, New York
city, soon infused new life into the institution, and so revived
business relations and combinations that Canandaigua became the reputed
home of wealth and prosperity. John A. GRANGER was elected
director, on March 23, 1852, and was chosen vice-president. The
company was allowed to establish a branch at Utica, on April 10, 1815,
and this continued, until the charter expired, as the Ontario Branch
Bank of Utica. Up to 1830 the bank paid no taxes on its capital.
The village trustees consulted John C. SPENCER, and asked from him a
written opinion of the bank's liability to pay taxes. He affirmed
the trustees' right to levy a tax upon the bank, which resisted, and
appealed to the Supreme Court. Mr. SPENCER was sustained, and the
bank after that paid taxes. The building used for the transaction
of the bank business is yet standing on Upper Main street, and is
occupied as a residence by the widow of Henry B. GIBSON.
The Utica Branch Bank was established in Canandaigua as the result of an
application made by the same parties who applied for the Ontario Bank,
together with others. Notice was given December 1, 1812, by James
S. KIPP, on behalf of these gentlemen and the Bank of Utica, that such
an application would be made. Bank opened April 10, 1815.
The institution was known as associate, and continued in successful
business for a number of years, under the direction of William B. WELLES
and H.K. SANGER.
The Ontario Savings Bank was incorporated on April 30, 1830. The
corporators were N.W. HOWELL, H.F. PENFIELD, John GREIG, Jared WILLSON,
William B. WELLES, John C. SPENCER, Oliver PHELPS, Phineas P. BATES, and
Walter HUBBELL. In 1832 Thomas BEALS became treasurer, and under
his management the institution flourished until 1855, when it was wound
up, and Mr. BEALS continued the business of banking as an individual
until his death, in 1864.
Geneva National Bank was first incorporated on March 28, 1817, as the
Safety Fund Bank of Geneva, with four hundred thousand dollars capital.
Henry DWIGHT was the first president, and James REESE the first cashier.
The charter expired December 31, 1852, and on the following day, January
1, 1853, a new organization was effected, with a capital of two hundred
and five thousand dollars. It was changed to a national bank April
1, 1865. The following is a list of the officers of this
institution from formation to the present: Presidents, Henry
DWIGHT, Charles A. COOK, William E. SILL, William T. SCOTT, S.H. Ver
PLANCK; Cashiers, James REESE, Benjamin DAY, Charles A. COOK, William E.
SILL, William F. SCOTT, S.H. Ver PLANCK, Samuel SOUTHWORTH, and M.S.
SANFORD. Operations were commenced in the building now occupied by
Z.T. CASE as a dwelling, immediately south of Trinity church. It
was afterwards moved to the present residence of the Misses SUTHERLAND,
on the south side of the square, and subsequently located in the
building now occupied by Dr. DORCHESTER on Main street. In 1863 it
was changed to its present location, on the corner of Seneca and
Exchange streets. This bank was one of the most important
institutions in western New York, and tradesmen of Rochester and Auburn,
then scarcely villages, transacted business at the old Geneva Bank.
The First National Bank of Geneva was organized November 17, 1863, with
fifty thousand dollars capital; William RICHARDSON president, and Thomas
RAINES (subsequently State treasurer) cashier. In April, 1864, a
controlling interest was purchased by A.L. CHEW, Congdon WHEAT, and
Phineas PROUTY. Mr. CHEW became president, and Mr. RAINES remained
cashier till 1865, when he was succeeded by the present cashier, William
T. SCOTT. This bank has been a prosperous and paying institution
since its organization. Stockholders have received a dividend of
ten to twelve per cent. annually, while a surplus of twenty thousand
dollars has accumulated.
Among banks which have closed their career prior to the inauguration of
the national system, and which once contributed to supply the country
with the current paper of the day, a few are briefly recalled. The
Farmers' Bank of Geneva, an associated institution, began business with
a capital of one hundred thousand dollars on July 18, 1839, at Geneva.
The Merchants' Bank of Ontario County, located at Naples, was conducted
as an individual concern from March, 1846, till its closure. At
the same village the White Plains Bank began June, 1844, as an
individual enterprise, was in 1860 closed, and its notes redeemed by the
banking department. The Ontario County Bank, at Phelps, began
business in Novembember, 1855. On October 13, 1857, all the banks
of New York city failed, with the sole exception of the Chemical Bank,
and this was speedily followed by the suspension and failure of the
State banks generally. Specie payment was resumed in sixty days,
but the Phelps bank was of brief existence, its failure having occurred
March, 1858. Its bills were redeemable at par until August 11,
1864, at the Union Bank, Albany.
The national banking system marks an era unexcelled for convenience and
security. Adverse to the ruinous speculation of a former date, the
currency of the present, redeemable in "greenbacks," and
secured by bonds deposited, while it affords material for political
opinion, answers as none ever did before it,---the design of a
The First National Bank of Canandaigua was established during the early
part of 1864. Articles of association were drawn February 17, to
carry on the business of banking under act of Congress, entitled,
"an act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of
United States stocks, and to provide for the circulation and redemption
thereof," approved February 25, 1863. The name and title of
the association is the "First National Bank of Canandaigua,"
and the place of business is No. 180 Sibley's block, Main street.
A board was formed consisting of thirteen stockholders. The first
meeting for the election of directors was held February 3. The
annual meetings thereafter were appointed for the second Tuesday in
January. The capital stock of the bank is seventy-five thousand
dollars, in shares of one hundred dollars each. There is a surplus
fund of twenty-five thousand dollars. The circulation is
sixty-seven thousand five hundred dollars. The first board of
directors, nine in number, are named as follows: E.G. LAPHAM, E.G.
TYLER, N. GRIMES, Harvey JEWETT, M. LEWIS, R.D. COOK, M.D. MUNGER, H.W.
HAMLIN, and George COOK. The last-named was elected president,
E.G. TYLER, vice-president, and M.D. MUNGER, cashier. Duties
connected with Brigham Hall compelled a resignation of Mr. COOK on
February 8, 1869; he was succeeded by Lucius WILCOX, in January, 1870;
then Edward G. TYLER became president, March 10, 1873, and still holds
the position. On the resignation by Mr. TYLER of the office of
vice-president the place was filled by the election of Robert CHAPIN.
There has been no change in the office of cashier.
Banking houses have been established at convenient points throughout the
county. The office of John C. DRAPER was located within a building
erected by him during 1871, upon the corner of Main and Chapin streets,
where he conducts a general banking business.
The George N. Williams' banking house was originally conducted by G.N.
WILLIAMS and Emery B. REMINGTON, as the firm of Williams &
Remington. They began the business of banking in 1868, within the
present office, located in Jackson block, Main street. Mr.
REMINGTON died on April 19, 1875. Mr. WILLIAMS, senior member,
succeeded to the business, which he still continues as banker, and Myron
H. CLARK (ex-governor) has been cashier since 1874. Interest is
paid on deposits, collections made on all points, and a general banking
business is transacted.
The banking office of William C. MOORE, formerly and for ten years a
banker in Rochester, was started during 1870, where now is Whalling's
store, in Victor village. In 1872, Mr. MOORE completed the large
brick block on whose first floor he located and carries on the business
indicated. The building, erected by Mr. MOORE at a cost of about
seventeen thousand dollars, is an ornament to the village and a credit
to the projector.
EARLY AND LATER MANUFACTORIES AND PRODUCTS
The colonists depended for machinery and goods upon the mother-country.
She was no "alma mater" to them, and denied to their tradesmen
the exercise of their calling. When the restraint was removed,
associations and establishments sprang into being, and a commencement
was made of that American invention and production which has given the
republic a name among all nations. The early settlers of Ontario,
consulting convenience, gave their attention chiefly to tillage of the
soil, and therein found their greatest profit. From the earth was
drawn food and clothing. Flax from the field, wool from flock, and
cotton from the south, were manufactured into cloth by the industrious
matrons and maidens of the early day. In 1810 there were fourteen
thousand families residing in Ontario County, and distributed among this
population were nineteen hundred and three looms. There were
twenty fulling-mills and clothieries, twenty-two carding-machines, and
thirty-seven tanneries. The household manufactures in that year
produced five hundred and twenty-four thousand five hundred and thirty
yards of woolen, linen, cotton, and mixed cloths. There a
diffusion of labor in household manufacture, which resulted in the
aggregate shown, but which was opposed to successful tillage.
Those parties who have invested capital, and sought to localize products
needed in the community, are deserving of encomium and mention.
Ontario, while containing no extensive factories, has many of moderate
size, and a summary gives a creditable showing. The forerunners of
manufacture were the blacksmiths' shops, rude mills, and humble
tanneries. Wherever a fall of water could be obtained, there saw-
and grist-mills were erected, and the town of Manchester was fortunate
in having within her limits this natural power. Theophilus SHORT,
in 1804, became the pioneer of lumber and flour manufacture at the place
which bears his name. In 1822, the business warranted the erection
of a large flouring-mill. During 1811, William GRIMES erected,
near Short's mill, a woolen-mill. It was fifty by thirty-six feet
on the ground, two stores, and contained sixty-four spindles.
Eight workmen were employed. In 1818, Stephen BREWSTER became the
purchaser. By him the capacity was doubled, and a durable and
lucrative business conducted.
THE ONTARIO MANUFACTURING COMPANY -
was organized in 1811, by residents of Manchester village and vicinity,
for the erection of a woolen-factory. Lands and water-power were
purchased September 18. The first trustees of the association were
Joseph COLT, Nathan COMSTOCK, Jr., Jonathan SMITH, Ananias WELLS, and
Isaac LAPHAM. Buildings were erected and ready for operation by
the fall of 1813. The main building was about sixty feet square
and three stories high. Within this structure were placed one
spinning-jenny with seventy-five spindles, one jack with forty spindles,
six looms worked by hand, with rooms for fulling, dyeing, and other
accessories to the production of finished cloths. The factory at
one time employed thirty to forty hands. After three or four years
activity the enterprise, proving a loss, was closed out. The
buildings were sold to T. SHORT and others, and rented to Stephen
BREWSTER and Addison BUCK. The latter became sole owner, and
remained in business until the property was consumed by fire in 1824.
They were not rebuilt.
A PAPER-MILL - was established in 1817, by E.K. CASE, Jet ABBEY, and Alvin WEST.
Their mill was the one now known as the Jones property. The
business first employed eight hands. Exclusive attention was given
to the manufacture of writing-paper. The process was effected by
hand, in a laborious and crude manner. Stephen BREWSTER became one
of the proprietors, and during his connection with it the Mormon Bible
was printed from paper made here.
were started in 1819. A stock company was organized, and buildings
erected. J.N. STEBBINS was manager. Business was done only
four or five years, but during that time there was no lack of energy.
Nearly a score of workmen were kept employed night and day at the works.
Teams were employed mainly in winter to draw ore from the Ontario mines,
twenty-four miles distant. Thirty to forty loads were often
brought in one day. Pig iron and various descriptions of hollow
iron ware were produced.
HONEOYE WOOLEN-MILLS -
at the Honeoye Falls, passed from the hands of A.C. Allen to the control
of the Hunt brothers, who, from 1867 until 1875, had been running a mill
at North Bloomfield. Their mill is supplied with two sets of
machinery and eight hundred and thirty-two spindles. A variety of
goods there finds manufacture.
J. & A. McKECHNIE'S BREWERY -
at Canandaigua, is one of the largest in the State of New York.
James and Alexander McKechnie emigrated to Canada in 1830, to Rochester
in 1837, and in 1843 came to Canandaigua, and purchased a small brewery
built some sixty years ago by Mr. WAGONER. The capacity was about
500 barrels yearly. In 1871, all buildings were reconstructed.
The malt floors cover an area of 40,000 square feet; the kiln floors,
6000 square feet. There is a capacity for storing and malting
100,000 bushels of grain. The brewery consumes 70,000 bushels of
malt and 30 tons of hops annually. Six hundred tons of coal and
500 cords of wood are used in the furnaces. Within three
ice-houses, 60 by 60 feet, 100 by 40, and 20 by 20 feet, are annually
stored 2000 tons of ice. The total cost of material is over
$80,000. The buildings cover over five acres of land, and consist
of the brewery and storage block, four-storied, and 58 by 112 feet;
malt-houses, 170 by 60, and 90 by 40 feet; cooper-shop, wood-sheds,
barn, and stabling for ten span of horses. Over fifty hands are
employed, whose annual wages reach $25,000. To keep up the
establishment requires the growth from 5000 acres of barley and 60 acres
of hops. The capital in real estate is $50,000; the machinery,
fixtures, and apparatus, $20,000. The motive machinery is a fine
twenty-five-horse-power engine; boilers, two fifty-horse-power.
The capacity of the brewery is 1000 barrels per week. About 5000
barrels are kept on hand. About 200 barrels are sent to Rochester
each week. The brewing of lager beer was begun in March, 1875, and
promises a heavy increase of facility and consequent capacity.
From the census of 1865 we find the following statistics of manufacture:
Agricultural tool and instrument manufactories--Rakes, at Phelps, $2000
capital; value of product, $3000. Sowers---East Bloomfield,
capital, $5000; product, $5000. Manchester, $13,000; product
$19,000. Manufacture of metals, thirto-two establishments;
capital, $15,000; product, $28,000. There were three
iron-foundries at Canandaigua, Richmond, and Seneca. Their
capital, $33,500; value of product, $202,000. Tinsmithing had six
establishments, whose product is valued at $21,000. There were
fifteen carriage and wagon shops, two spoke and hub factories,
thirty-two grist-mills, thirty-five lumber-mills. The total number
of establishments was one hundred and ninety. There were 699
persons employed; men, 592; women, 56; boys under eighteen, 44, and
girls under eighteen, 7. Four men were employed at $18 per month,
90 at $35, 50 at $40, 55 at $50, and 2 at $65. Thirty-one grist-
and flouring-mills reported an invested capital of $244,300.
Twenty-eight of these report the cost of grain ground at $689,371.
The mills employed about 70 men, and had over 100 run of stone.
The census of 1875 gives agricultural implement manufacture at the town
of Manchester as an important and growing interest. The report of some
forty miscellaneous manufacturing establishments in Ontario gives a
capital invested of over $176,000. Value of income therefrom
derived, over $200,000. In these establishments 184 men, 19 women,
and 30 boys are employed.
Created by Dianne Thomas
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