Yates County, New York
History - Town of Middlesex
From the History of Yates County, NY
published 1892, by L.C. Aldrich
pg 469 - 472 & 477 - 478
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town of Middlesex as a present constituted occupies a position in the extreme
northwest corner of Yates County, and is therefore more remote from the county
seat than any other of the county’s subdivisions.
Originally this town was a part of the district of Augusta, and as such
embraced a much greater area of territory then was comprehended by Middlesex
proper. The district was known as
Augusta from 1797 until 1808, and then changed to Middlesex; but prior to the
formation of Augusta the region was a part of the still older district of
Canandaigua. This latter creation
followed soon after the erection of Ontario County.
1789, by a deed executed July 15, Thomas MAXWELL sold to Arnold POTTER all of
township eight of the second range (Potter) and all that part of township eight
of the third range, which lay east of Canandaigua Lake.
The area of territory embraced in this sale was estimated at 35,040
acres, but in fact was 42,230 acres. The
consideration paid MAXWELL was 991 pounds, nine shillings, three pence.
But there appears to have been some question regarding the validity of
Arnold POTTER’s title from
MAXWELL, to settle and perfect which Oliver PHELPS, in 1798, quit-claimed to
POTTER the same lands at the express consideration of $10,000; but which
consideration as a matter of fact is understood as not having been actually
the time of the purchase by Arnold POTTER down to the year 1832, this region was
almost exclusively called by the name of “Pottertown,” in honor of its
proprietor. In 1832 the territory
was divided, and all of township eight of the second range, except one tier of
lots on its west side, one half mile in width, was erected into a new town by
the name of Potter. There was
annexed to Potter from Middlesex, in 1856, six lots in the southeast corner of
the latter. This was done for the
accommodation of the residents in the locality so annexed, they finding it
preferable to transact town and other business in the town of Potter.
Middlesex is perhaps the most remote from the county seat of any of the town of
Yates, it by no means follows that it is a town of small importance.
In common with some of the larger and wealthier towns, Middlesex enjoys
the benefits of having its entire western boundary on waters of Canandaigua
Lake, in which respect it stands along among the towns of the county.
A somewhat facetious remark concerning the general character and quality
of the land in Middlesex was to the effect that nothing but “eagles and
angels” could subsist there, but the changes and improvements of half a
century and less have demonstrated the fact that this town possesses natural and
acquired resources far superior to some of the more fortunately situated towns
of the county. Vine Valley, so
called, is a veritable Eden, prolific in its grape product to a remarkable
degree, while along the entire lake front in the town both the fruit of the vine
and the abundant yield of the farm mark this as a town of worth and wealth.
principal elevations of Middlesex are Bare Hill and South Hill, both commanding
heights, the former reaching nearly 1,000 feet above the lake and the latter
some 200 feet higher than its companion. Between
these marked elevations courses the little stream known as Boat Brook, and in
the valley of the brook is located the rich vineyard lands above referred to.
The name boat Brook is said to have been given the is creek by the early
surveyors of the town lands, who were in the habit of stationing their boats in
its waters near its mouth. The name
Bare Hill was given the north elevation by the pioneers from the fact that its
summit was nearly or quite destitute of forest growth, while large stones,
boulders and rocks were plentiful on every side.
But there was a reason for this unusual condition of things, which reason
rests in a very pretty and interesting, and possibly thrilling tradition, handed
down from the old Senecas to their children, and by the latter related to the
white pioneer settlers. But the
chief beauty and charm of the tradition to intelligent persons rests altogether
in the absolute unreasonableness of the story.
The myth has often been related and
frequently published, but a history of Middlesex without the famous legend of
Bare Hill would be faulty indeed. It
runs somewhat as follows:
Seneca tribe of Indians sprang out of the ground at Nundawao, the site of their
oldest village near the head of Canandaigua Lake and on a high hill.
In the course of time a mighty double-headed snake or serpent made its
appearance and extended its body entirely around the hill, threatening the
Indians with total destruction. All were killed but two, and Indian warrior and his sister.
At length the warrior had a dream and he was told that if he would fledge
his arrow with the hair from his sister’s head, the charm would be secure and
would prevail; and that he should shoot the arrow from his bow directly at the
heart of the serpent, and have no fear from the two heads and their hissing
tongues. He did as he was told, the
arrow struck the heart, and the monster, uttering fearful hissing noises, rolled
down the hill and into the lake. Here
it vomited up all the Indians it has swallowed, and then disappeared beneath the
water’s surface never to return. Thereafter
the Indian village was abandoned and its people betook themselves to
Kanandersaga (Geneva). The
tradition also has it hat the trees of the hill were likewise destroyed by the
snake, and that the multitude of stones were but the heads of the dean Indians.
The Senecas in this extinct village, called themselves,
Nundawao, Nundawagas – People of the Hill.
However doubtful may be the truth of the story, the fact admits of no
question of an Indian occu0pancy in this region or on Bare Hill.
There are yet discernible straggling evidences of an ancient
fortification on the hill, while in the valleys below, and along the shore of
the lake have been found abundant proof of the Indian presence; and it is
asserted by well-informed minds that in this town have been discovered evidences
form the Indian’s and of a higher order of intellect and handicraft.
But this is a subject that cannot be discussed here, for the evidences
produced during the last half century throw no light upon the discoveries of
As has already been
mentioned in the early part of this chapter, the town now called Middlesex
originally formed a part of the provisional district of Canandaigua, and as such
formed an integral part of the original
county of Ontario. At a little
later period the territory of Canandaigua was re-districted, and to the part to
which this township belonged the name of Augusta.
There being another town in this State at that time called Augusta, it
was deemed advisable to change the title of the new creation, and this district
was in 1808 called Middlesex, then including what became Potter, became a part
of the new creation. Potter, as has
been stated, was set off in 1832, since which time, except for the six lots of
this town, which was set off to Potter in 1856, there has been no change in the
jurisdiction or territory of Middlesex.
first town meeting in Augusta was held April 4, 1797, Arnold POTTER presiding.
These officers were elected: Supervisor, David SOUTHERLAND; town clerk,
Nathan LOOMIS; assessors, Benjamin LOOMIS, Joshua BROWN and John BLAIR;
commissioners of highways, Arnold POTTER, Joshua BROWN, Jabez FRENCH; constables
and collectors, Jonathan MOORE, Jesse BROWN; overseers of the poor, Chester
ADAMS, Abraham LANE. From the first town meeting to the present time the
supervisors of Augusta, succeeded by Middlesex, have been as follows:
David SOUTHERLAND, 1798 – 1801; Arnold POTTER, 1802,04,07’ David
SOUTHERLAND, 1805, 06, 1808 – 1814, 1816, 1818-1820; Richard M. WILLIAMS,
1815, 17; Selden WILLIAMS, 1821, 22, 1824 – 27; James CHRISTIE, 1828-1830;
James HERMANS, 1831 –1832; Forest HARKNESS, 1833; Adams UNDERWOOD, 1834, 35;
Daniel B. LINDSLEY, 1836,37.43,44; Alexander BASSETT, 1839, 40, 45, 49; Henry
ADAMS, 1841, 42; Ephraim LORD, 1846; David G. UNDERWOOD, 1847, 48, 53; David
CHRISTIE, 1850; John MATHER, 1851, 52; Oliver S. WILLIAMS, 1854; Norman COLLINS,
1855; Richard H. WILLIAMS, 1856, 57; Oren G. LOOMIS, 1858, 59; Alexander
BASSETT, 1860, 61; Daniel BOSTWICK, 1862, 63; Thomas UNDERWOOD, 1864, 65, 71;
James STEBBINS, 1867, 68; John L. DINTURFF, 1869, 70; Nehemiah FOSTER, 1872;
Asahel H. GREEN, 1873-76; Marvin G. WASHBURN, 1877, 78; Sterling N. BLAIR, 1879,
80; Adams DINEHART, 1881 – 1883; Woodworth N. PERRY, 1884; Lewis C. WILLIAMS,
1885, 86; Alden A. ADAMS, 1887, 88; Allen LOOMIS, 1889, 90; Lemuel T. DARLING,
Of the justices of the peace prior to the time when the office became elective, but little appears among the fragmentary records of the town. In fact, the records between 1810 and 1830 are missing. However, it is known that Michael PIERCE was one of the early justices, as was also his son, Job, the latter in 1821 and in 1833; Adams UNDERWOOD was justice in 1833 and 1838; Harvey FRENCT elected in 1833; Michael VAN OSDOL, 1834, 39, and 45; Ephraim LORD, 1836, 40, 52, 56, 60 and 64;Thomas SEAMANS, 1835 and 53; Oliver HARRINGTON, 1838; James CHRISTIE, 1840; Lorenzo HOYT, 1842; Eli FOOTE, 1842, 46, 53, 56, 61, 64 and 68; David CHRISTIE, 1844 and 48; Daniel BOSTWICK 1846; William S. BOSTWICK 1847; Henry ADAMS, 1847; John J. JOHNSON, 1848. 50, 55, 56, 58, and 62; Francis CRAKES, 1849; John COLE, 1851; Rufus J. ADAMS, 1852; Edward LOW, 1862; Sterling N. BLAIR, 1865 and 69; E. B. LINDSLEY, 1866; A. C. YOUNGLOVE, 1866 and 67; Levi B. MOREY, by app’t 1869, elected 1870; David L. HOBART, 1869; Woodworth N. PERRY, 1870, 71, 75; S. T. STURTEVANT, 1871, 72, 78; Sterling N. BLAIR, 1873; Wesley WAGAR, 1873; Samuel FOSTER, 1874; William C. WILLIAMS, 1875, 80, 84; William R. MARKS, 1876; William SAVAGE, 1877, 81. 85, 89; Bradford CLAWSON, 1877, 79’ Damon JOHNSON, 1880; Harvey W. TYLER, 1882, 86, 90; E. S. GATES, 1883; Myron F. HAWLEY, 1887, 91; Bernard WALTER, 1888.
xvi – xviii
excellent sketch (none in book) of natural scenery was photographed by Alanson
BEERS, of Rushville and engraved for Moore’s Rural New Yorker, as one of the
illustrations of an article on Canandaigua Lake, by Richard H. WILLIAMS.
It presents a fine view of Vine Valley as it skirts the base of Bare
Hill, with a considerable section of the hill itself; also a glimpse of the Lake
lying in its quiet beauty like a gem that irradiates its modest sheen to
embellish the rougher surroundings and unite with swelling hills and green
forests to form a most enchanting landscape.
The Bristol hills west of the Lake which rise to a towering altitude
(2,000 feet above sea level), and overlook all the adjoining country, are well
defined in this perspective and the picture gives a good delineation of a well
chosen rural scene that fitly represents the picturesque elements of the Lake
country. It is a notable success in
sketches of that character. The
point of view is well chosen and the engraver has rendered the scene with good
effect. Vine Valley is a recent designation for the Boat Brook
opening form the Lake to the fertile back country of Middlesex.
It ws the original gateway of the town to all comers by way of the Lake,
and many of the early settlers made their advent by that route.
The valley extending back to Overacker’s Corners, has a gradual
elevation of 300 feet from the Lake, and in this depression so advantageously
sheltered by the headlands of Bare Hill and South Hill was early found the best
locality in all the country round for the cultivation of wheat and all the
choice fruits of our climate. This
suggested it as a superior situation for grape culture and Azairah C. YOUNGLOVE
commenced the experiment about 1865 and gave the valley the name it now bears.
Hezekiah GREEN, Edward and Woodworth N. PERRY and Drs. SEELEY and
NICHOLS, soon embarked with others in vine culture in this favored locality.
Their success has been highly satisfactory.
Bare Hill is guessed an altitude of 900 feet above the Lake.
No accurate measurement is recorded.
Canandaigua Lake is 668 feet above sea level, 437 feet above Lake
Ontario, 221 feet above Seneca Lake, and fifty feet below Lake Keuka.
It gives a lake line of about seven miles including the sinuosities of
the shore for the west boundary of Middlesex, and against the hills the shore is
extremely abrupt and precipitous.
– Seneca Point
and a trifle below Bare Hill on Canandaigua Lake, lies Seneca Point, one of the
most attractive situations which adorn the shores of that beautiful sheet of
water. From Bare Hill and its Lake
side environs this point is a striking and delightful feature of the landscape.
It thus becomes a goodly portion of the scenic value of the Middlesex
shore; and this is the excuse for giving it a place in this book, together with
the fact that it accompanied the Vine Valley sketch as an illustration of Lake
scenery in Mr. WILLIAM’S article in the Rural New Yorker. The picture given
here is a reproduction of Mr. MOORE’S. The
view is taken from the water side and is a good one.
Seneca Point has become a place of much fashionable resort.
map resented here is simply an outline exhibiting the boundaries of Yates County
and its several towns, the principal thoroughfares and streams and the location
1829 a map of Ontario and Yates counties prepared by David M. BURR, was
published by Simeon DE WITT, Surveyor General of the State, pursuant to an act
of the Legislature. It was drawn on
a scale of one half inch to the mile and is a map of general accuracy.
The lost by the original
surveys are given with numbers, except on Ryckman’s Location, and tow or three
other patents of minor consequence. It
indicates a westward deflection of the Old Pre-emption Line at the southeast
corner of township number eight, a bend which in fact, does NOT exist.
By this map the meridian of Washington from which our longitude is
reckoned, runs a trifle east of the village of Rock Stream, strikes the Lake
directly east of Eddytown, and passes about two miles east of Geneva.
The extreme south boundary of the county is 42 degrees and 30 minutes
north latitude; the north boundary 42 degrees and 46 minutes; Penn Yan 42
degrees and 41 minutes. Seneca Lake
is traversed by the initial meridian of longitude and the west boundary of Italy
is in 25 minutes west longitude. A
stage road is designated is designated running from Geneva southward by way of
Livingston (now West Dresden), thence to Eddytown southward to Elmira, but no
state route is indicated as passing through Penn Yan. A conspicuous road passes through West River Hollow, another
through the valley of Flint Creek. These
two converge at Bethel and pass on to Geneva.
Another passes from Head street, Penn Yan through Barrington.
These are distinguished as “County roads”.
On this map Barringotn has a post office, but no village, Benton has the
villages of Bellona, Hopeton and Livingston, and post offices known as Benton (Bellona),
Hopeton and Benton Center. Italy
has Italy and Italy Hill post offices; Jerusalem has the Jerusalem post office
(At Larzelere’s) and no village; Yatesville is the only village of Middlesex,
but there is a Middlesex, as well as a Yatesville post office; Rushville is
designated as “Burning Spring;” Milo has Penn Yan and Milo Center post
offices, and a village with no name is indicated at Himrods. The only Starkey village is Eddytown, which has no post
office, but post offices are indicated at Rock Stream, Reeder’s Corner’s
(now Starkey Corners), and Harpending’s Corners.
Barrington has one gristmill and five saw mills. Benton, three gristmills
and six saw mills; Italy, one gristmill and six saw mills; Jerusalem, one
gristmill and eight saw mills; Milo ten gristmills and fifteen saw mills, an oil
mill and seven fulling mills and carding machines; Benton two fulling mills and
four carding machines; Italy one fulling mill and two carding machines;
Middlesex one fulling mill and four carding machines; Milo two trip hammers,
seven distilleries and two asheries; Barrington one distillery; Benton seven and
five asheries; Italy one distillery and three asheries; Jerusalem one distillery
and one ashery; Middlesex three distilleries and five asheries.
Copies of this old map are now (1873) very rare.
first separate map of Yates County, was published in 1852, by F. W. KEENAN, who
made his own survey, traversing the county with his apparatus for taking
bearings and measuring distances. Before
disposing of many copies of his map he sold it to James BURNS and Howard R.
MILLER, then partners in the book trade in Penn Yan.
They soon found that the map was inaccurate in some respects, chiefly in
the location of dwellings, some of which were placed on the wrong side of the
highway. They had these errors
corrected by their lithographer, R. H. PEASE, of Albany, added a map of West
Dresden, and enlarged those of Penn Yan and Dundee already belonging to the map.
L & S. Denton were admitted to an interest in the publication, but
soon withdrew. This re-publication was in 1854.
Owing to the original discredit of the map, Burns & Miller never
succeeded in disposing of enough copies to reimburse them for their investment.
KEENAN’S map is plotted on a scale of one inch and a half to the mile,
and is quite correct in its geographical delineations.
The southward line of the county is placed at 42 degrees, 26 minutes and
10 seconds north latitude; the north line 42 degrees, 44 minutes and 10 seconds,
the meridian of Washington passes by this map about two miles west of rock
Stream, is nearly coincident with the east boundary of Dundee village, runs
about 80 rods west of Hopeton, and at Kashong runs half a mile west of the Lake.
The eastern extremity of Long Point is in about 4 minutes of east
longitude, and the west line of Italy, 23 minutes west.
The old Pre-emption Line is indicated, the new one is not, except on the
Dresden map. The names of residents
are given both on the county and village maps.
The statistics of population are given, and the map is embellished by a
diminutive sketch of the residence of John N. ROSE.
There must be a considerable number of these maps in existence and they
are well worth preserving.
latest map of Yates county was published in 1865, by Stone & Stewart, 600
Chestnut street, Philadelphia, form actual surveys by S.N. & D. G. Beers,
assisted by A. B. Prindle and H. a. Hawley; scale one and one half inch to the
mile. No attention is given on this
map to latitude and longitude, but other lines are given with commendable
accuracy. Lots by the original
surveys with their numbers are laid down the same as on Burr’s map.
The names of principal residents are given at their proper location and
there is an excellent table of distances between chief places within the county.
Separate plots are given of Penn Yan, Dundee, Rushville, Dresden,
Branchport, Bellona, Eddytown, Rock Stream, Himrods, Milo Center, Benton Center,
Potter Center and Middlesex Center, with partial business directories for each
place. The map is embellished by
excellent views of the residences of James A. BELKNAPP of Jerusalem and Darwin
S. PECK of Benton. There is also a
list of the Post Offices in the county, 23 in number.
This map of the county is decidedly the most useful one yet published.
It was issued under the direction of J. H. French, who edited the State
Gazzetteer of 1860.
1857 a map of the town of Milo and the village of Penn was published by J. H.
FRENCH, surveyed and drawn by Frank FRENCH, which is an elegant and creditable
work. Its scale is 300 feet to an
inch for the village, and four hundred rods to three and three eighth inches for
the town. It is far the best
representation of both village and town that has been given.
The original lots are designated by numbers, the Garter is delineated,
and so are the purchase of Walker, Vredenburg and Lanning, and the Potter
Location and Little Gore , so far as contained in Milo.
The manes of residents are give, and separate plots represent Milo Center
and Himrods. The south line of the town is placed in north latitude 42
degrees, 41 minutes and 10 seconds; and 20 seconds west longitude is indicated
on the east, and 9 minutes, 30 seconds on the west verge of the town.
This map is handsomely embellished by a fine landscape view of Penn Yan,
also views of the Court House and yard, and Clerk’s Office, the Penn Yan Malt
House, Mill of Casner & Scheetz, Mill and residence of Jeremiah S. JILLET,
Rice & Tunnicliff’s Store House and the residences of Ebenezer B. JONES,
Nathaniel R. LONG, Oliver STARK, Henry WELLS, Benedict W. FRANKLIN, William M.
OLIVER, John RICE, Nelson TUNNICLIFF, Job T. SMITH, Darius A. OGDEN and Henry N.
WAGENER. There is also added a plot of the new Penn Yan Cemetery,
which was previous to the last enlargement extending west of the rivulet that
now divides the burial grounds.
Finally, there is the following table showing the elevation of Lake Keuka compare with other lakes of the State and noted points:
Lake Keuka is:
|50 feet higher than||Canandaigua Lake|
|153 feet higher than||Lake Erie|
|271 feet higher than||Seneca Lake|
|331 feet higher than||Cayuga Lake|
|343 feet higher than||Oneida Lake|
|348 feet higher than||Cross Lake|
|398 feet higher than||Onondaga Lake|
|487 feet higher than||Lake Ontario|
|625 feet higher than||Lake Champlain|
|718 feet higher than||Level of the Ocean|
|52 feet lower than||Owasco Lake|
|122 feet lower than||Skaneateles Lake|
|182 feet lower than||Cazenovia Lake|
|475 feet lower than||Otsego Lake|
|573 feet lower than||Chautauque Lake|
|1782 feet lower than||Source of Genesee River|
|3086 feet lower than||Highest of the Catskills|
The following are added to those on the map.
Lake Keuka is:
|390 feet below||Little and Mud Lakes|
|315 feet below||Crystal Spring|
|236 feet below||Dundee|
|42 feet below||Himrods|
|153 feet below||Milo Center|
|880 feet below||Barrington Summit|
|372 feet below||Bath|
|707 feet below||Bulff Point Summit|
|776 feet below||Prattsburg|
|1324 feet below||Italy Summit|
|572 feet below||Rose Hill, Jerusalem|
The Barrington and Prattsburg elevations are not known to be actual measurements.
Middlesex History pg 586 - 590
By a deed dated July 15, 1789, Thomas MAXWELL conveyed to Arnold POTTER township 8 of the 3d range of Phelps & Gorham Purchase as lies east of Canandaigua Lake; amount of land by estimate, 35,040 acres; consideration, £ 991, 9 shillings, 3 d. To obviate all question of MAXWELL'S title, Oliver PHELPS, April 21, 1798, gave Arnold POTTER a quit-claim deed affirming MAXWELL'S title, acknowledging the receipt of $10,000 as a consideration and stating that according to a survey of the townships, the amount of land conveyed was 42,230 acres. This territory was part of Canandaigua district until 1797, when the town of Augusta was organized. Another town by the name of Augusta having been formed in Oneida County in 1798, the name of the Ontario town of Augusta was changed in 1808 to Middlesex. It was very currently known as "Potterstown," from the earliest period, and in 1832, was divided, the east part taking the name of Potter, in honor of Arnold POTTER, its most famous citizen, and the founder of its settlement, the west part retaining the name of Middlesex. The division left to Middlesex one tier of farm lots half a mile wide, on the west side of township 8 of the 2nd range, extending thence west to Canandaigua Lake. In 1856, six lots in the southeast corner of Middlesex were annexed to Potter, for the convenience of citizens. Three of these lots were on the range of farm lots belonging in township 8 of the 2nd range, originally set off to Middlesex, two in the first range of farm lots in the third eighth and one in the second, embracing the steep hillside descending to Flint Creek, which was thus wholly shut off from Middlesex.
The creek known as West River passes through the town in a southwesterly direction, forming its only water course of any importance. Entering the town at its northeast corner, it passes into Italy at a point about 4 miles further west. The valley of this creek, early known as Potter's Creek, narrows as it goes southward and the land rises on both sides steep and abrupt to a considerable elevation. The East Hill, as the ridge in the direction of Flint Creek is called, is estimated at not less than 700 feet above either valley. The west ridge, skirting Canandaigua Lake, rises still higher and Bare Hill, one of its loftiest elevations, is said to be nearly 1,000 feet above the level of the Lake, and South Hill nearly 200 feet higher. This ridge is broken at the base of Bare Hill, by Boat Brook, a little stream which becomes nearly dry in the summer and which drains a beautiful little vale on Canandaigua lake, now known as Vine Valley, lying between Bare Hill and South Hill. The name of Boat Brook was given this stream by the early surveyors, who when they came from Canandaigua, made it a harbor for their boats while they were at work in the surrounding country. The town is quite uneven in its surface, though less broken on the north side. The soil is exceedingly good, both on the hills and in the valleys, and few towns are more productive, though much is due to an excellent class of farmers who cultivate the soil, as well as to the good quality of the land. It was well covered with timber when first touched by civilization, consisting largely of oak of fine quality, hickory, maple and elm.
Indian tradition invested Bare Hill with great interest. According to the myth cherished by the Senecas, their tribe sprang out of the ground at Nundawao, the site of their oldest village, on the high hill near Canandaigua Lake. At a certain period the tribe was threatened with destruction by a mighty snake with two heads, which wrapped its lengthened folds around Bare Hill encircling the last that remained of their race. As the story is told in Schoolcraft's Notes, drawn from a native source, "all were devoured but a warrior and his sister. At length the warrior had a dream, in which he was showed that if he would fledge his arrow with the hair of his sister, the charm would prevail. He was warned not to heed the frightful heads and hissing tongues, but to shoot at the heart. Following faithfully the directions given in his dream, he boldly shot the serpent's heart. The instantaneous recoil of the monster proved the wound was mortal. He rolled down the hill uttering horrid noises, and plunged into the Lake. Here he slaked his thirst, and tried by water to mitigate his agony, dashing about in great fury. At length he vomited up all the people he had eaten, expired and sank to the bottom. The council fire was thereafter fixed at Kanadesaga". The timber was destroyed on the top and sides of the hill by the great snake, and as the tradition goes, the heads of the vanquished Indians, changed to stone, thickly strewed over the earth in that vicinity, accounted for the large number on concretions found on the surface and in the slaty formations of that locality. The story of the snake is thought to be an allegory, signifying that intestine feuds produced hatred and murderous war, by which the nation was nearly exterminated. At length, by the affectionate interposition of woman, harmony was restored and a new era of prosperity introduced by removing the council fire to a new place. The Senecas called themselves Nundawao or Nundawagas - People of the Hill. Both sides of the Lake afford abundant evidence that its shores were long a favorite abode and burial place of the aboriginal tribes. Their arrow heads and implements and the bones of the dear are thickly strewed in the soil. The traces of an ancient fort, covering about an acre, and surrounded by a ditch, and formerly by a formidable wall, are still to be seen on the top of Bare Hill. They indicate defenses raised by Indian hands, or more probably belong to the labors of a race that preceded the Indian occupation. The wall is now about tumbled down, the stones seem somewhat scattered, and the ground is overgrown with brush. The hill was literally bare when the white race took possession of the country. But since that time the forest has sprung up thickly wherever it was allowed to grow. Arnold POTTER, it is said, raised wheat there by simply dragging it in, before he could make clearings elsewhere. Edward PERRY relates that after his father, Capt. Rowe PERRY, and John COLLINS purchased the Bare Hill Tract, they sowed 9 bushels of grass seen on the ground already clear, for purposes of pasturage. South Hill was found heavily covered with timber. It is good farming land where not too steep.
This was an inviting region to the early settlers, and Judge POTTER's purchase was quickly followed by the advent of numerous pioneers. A survey was made of the land by Perley HOWE, in 1789, and his neatly drafted map was called "A map of Potterstown." There was a division of the land into ranges, extending north and south, one mile in width, numbered from I to XI. Westward, east and west lines at half mile distances divided the land into lots, called "farm lots." The lot of each range were numbered separately from 1 to 12, counting northward. This system in the final disposition of the lands was followed in township 8 of the 2nd range. In township 8 of the 3rd range, there were 2 subsequent surveys, with an re-arrangement of lots. A tract 2 mils wide off the south side of so much of the township as lies east of the Lake, was sold in 1794 to Judah COLT, and by him to one IRVING of New York city. It was mortgaged to the State of Connecticut in 1797, and by the foreclosure of this mortgage, became in 1804, the property of Cortland VAN BUREN of New York. It was afterwards owned by Ebenezer HALE of Canandaigua, Catharine PAULDING of Westchester, and Herman H. BOGERT of Geneva, jointly, and in 1817 re-surveyed by Joseph JONES and divided between the respective owners, the map of the survey as recorded indicating the logs belonging to each. There was a reservation nearly equal to 2 lots lying on both sides of West River, about half a mile north of the south line of the town, including the old Reuben SLAYTON homestead. The lots of this survey by Joseph JONES are numbered from 1 to 46.
North of this tract, bounded west by Canandaigua Lake, and lying chiefly west of the road running northward through Overacker's Corners, was a tract re-surveyed by Jabez FRENCH into lots of irregular size, with somewhat irregular numbering from 1 to 70. Some portion of this land belonged at an early day to Judah COLT, but much of it belonged to the estate of Arnold POTTER at the time of his death. Why it was re-surveyed has not been ascertained by the writer.
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