Bicentennial Snapshot # 17 – Henpeck / South Greece Hamlet

Map with each hamlet listed click to view a larger image

In the early years of the town, there were little hamlets or unincorporated villages that people called different sections of Greece, for example, you have ADA Ridge which is the intersection of Mitchell Road Long Pond Road, and Ridge Road, Jekin’s Corner/North Greece is located at Latta Road and North Greece Road, South Greece is at the intersection of Ridgway Ave and Elmgrove Road at the Erie Canal, Dewey Stone Hamlet is right at where Dewey ave meets Stone Road, Paddy Hill/Read’s Corner is at Mount Read and Latta.

The towpath thru south Greece

In Snapshot 15 we explored the Erie canal and its role in the town’s history and in Bicentennial Snapshot No 13 – Asa Rowe, and James Vick with each of their Nursery Industry business used the canal as a part of their business some of them ship from out of South Greece. But now we dive deeper into the small settlement in the area known as Henpeck/South Greece it was set up around the Erie Canal at Elmgrove Road and Ridgeway Avenue. You can see the difference in how Ridgeway is from the 1872 map of South Greece and the map drawn by Jack Wenrich showing the changes in the route of the Erie Canal.

1872 original Canal route in South Greece
New Route of the Canal thru South Greece also shows the old Stores on the Canal

The old towpath ran a different route than the modern canal route as seen in the two maps above. With the old towpath, there were some interesting laws and rules while using the canal one of the rules of using the towpath came with fines,

Fines on the canal

  1. section one says if any person to lead, ride, or drive any mule, mules, horse or horses, at any other pace that is not a walk this was a fifteen-dollar fine if violated,
  2. section two basically says no person shall drive any cattle over any bridge or bridges at any speed except at a walking pace this was a fifteen-dollar fine if violated
  3. The fine for violating either section 1 or section 2 or both could be subject to a penalty for each offense at the cost of $15 and eligible to be sued and the court is able to recover the cost for the offense by the bridge operator, contractor, the state, county, town, village or other any other person or person in charge of repairing the bridge to make it usable again.
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The Historical Marker Henpeck

Henpeck Historical Marker at Henpeck Park on Ridgeway Ave

What is an Apple Dry House?

In the Historical Marker, it mentions an Apple Dry House, here is what the Heritage Square Museum says on the historical marker this is their Apple Dry House but it applies to any Apple Dry House.

Apple Dry House

The history of apple growing dates back to 1804 when white settlers first settled in Pultneyville and began propagating the apple tree found there. By 1850, commercial culture (production for sale or trade to others) was beginning. Apples were stored in cellars or hand-peeled and sliced, then dried in the sun or on racks over the kitchen stove. Alanson Warner was not the only inventor of his family. His son, John, was a master carpenter who built his own house on Furnace Road, right around the corner from his father’s farm. John was also a farmer who had many fruit trees. He needed a way to store fruit and keep it from rotting so he invented a dry house. The Warner Dry House was so successful that John was asked to build Warner Dry Houses all over upstate NY. He was said to be “slow and meticulous… his hands always busy working on something.” Besides building dry houses, he also built winding staircases.

Drying of apples occurred after the apples were shaken from the trees. They were then taken to a dry house. Many of these buildings are still evident about in Ontario although not used for their original purpose. The dried apple slices were bagged or packed in wooden boxes for shipment which might be by rail or on the Erie Canal or Lake Ontario.

Heritage Square Museum

You can check out this Apple Dry house marker at the following GPS coordinates 43° 15.424′ N, 77° 18.43′ W. Marker is in Ontario, New York, in Wayne County. Marker can be reached from Ontario Center Road, ¼ mile south of Brick Church Road. Marker is on the grounds of the Heritage Square Museum.

Basically what the apple dry house was used for was food preservation of apples in the form of apple sauces or other products that are made from apples. There are other Dry Food houses around town and the country for other types of fruits and vegetables that are either going to be canned, pickled, or preserved for uses when the items are not in growing seasons like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries, peaches, oranges, etc. Without these dry houses, some crops would wither and die and not be able to have the veggies, or fruits in the winter seasons unless you were somehow able to have a working greenhouse which very few backs then did have some of these had heat in them by burning wood or coal or some other form of a heating element to keep the plants green and growing for year-round food.

The Doctors of South Greece

Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell House
Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell House at 355 Elmgrove Road (NY-386)
Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell House Today
Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell House Today

The two doctors that serviced the area were the Buell family, it was a father and son that took care of the people in South Greece. Doctor Adiel Sherwood Buell was born approximately in the year 1812 in Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Michigan, which is 30 minutes northwest of Detroit. Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell married Lucretia Griswold of Mount Upton, Chenango County, New York, in 1836 at the age of 24 and settled down in South Greece at 555 Elmgrove road at the intersection of Elmgrove Road, Ridgeway Ave and St Pierre Drive it is now a rental property under the ownership of Maison Properties.

Lucretia (Griswold) Buell gave birth to Dr. Emsley Sunderlin Buell on 17th April 1839 at their property at 355 Elmgrove road. It was when Emsley became of age that allowed him to practice internal medicine in the 1800s that he and his father Adiel became the communities doctors for the area in South Greece. In 1873 Emsley married Carolyn Louise “Carrie” Yeo of Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York, and in 1882 they had a daughter, whose name was Alice Buell.

Henpeck South Greece railroad station Greater Greece Press May 25 1972
Henpeck South Greece railroad station Greater Greece Press May 25, 1972

Alice would go on to write an article that would appear in a newspaper about her Grandfather Dr. Adiel Sherwood Buell role in getting the New York Central Railroad to stop at the south Greece station to drop off the mail instead of going all the way into the village of Spencerport to pick up the mail and then coming back to Henpeck area and delivering it the residents. The building that housed the south Greece station is now home to a few different commercial businesses they are Modified Custom Installations auto repair shop, Rochester Auto Detail, Dynamic Cycle & PowerSports, CME Associates, and Loewke Brill/ LB Bonds at 461 Elmgrove Road.

Related Articles and Clips to Bicentennial Snapshot # 17

William A. Payne House
Bicentennial Snapshot # 15 – Erie Canal
Bicentennial Snapshot # 13: Asa Rowe, James Vick and the Beginning of the Nursery Industry
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Co-Director of the Greece Historical Society's Information Technology Committee and Producer of the Bicentennial Snapshots