Bicentennial Snapshot No 14 – General Stores

This week on our Bicentennial Snapshot we explore two of the most visited General Stores out of two neighborhoods the first one will be H.C. Phelps Located on the southwest corner at Latta and North Greece and the second one is Gilbert (Burt) J Wagg’s Groceries and Provisions Located where Tim Horton’s is today at Lake Ave, Ridge Road and Pullman Ave.

Disclaimer The references to tobacco products in this Bicentennial Snapshot are for historical purposes only, recounting an individual’s reminiscences of a bygone era. The Greece Historical Society does not encourage the use of any tobacco products.

Today we take it for granted how easy it is to buy food, clothing, and other products from various stores and within easy travel distance or online via Amazon, eBay, and other online retailers. But in the 19th century and even into the 20th century, Greece residents depended on General Stores for their purchasing needs.

When the American colonists mainly started expanding west word they would set up General Stores that would be where the travelers or residents of the small villages or towns would gather to buy, trade, or sell items that they needed for a day-to-day living unlike how it is now that you purchase Clothing from Store A and then go to store B to get you Garden supplies, then maybe you go to Store C for your meats, and then finally get to the Produce Market for all your fresh produce these good would last longer or shorter depending what the product was intended for like planned obsolescence.

The invention of the Ice Box did help out with some growth of General stores but some of the General stores evolved with the times where they kept up with the changes evolving into smaller corner stores which some people will call the store a bodega, especially in New York City. In other parts of the country, the Mom and Pop General stores are somewhat making comebacks in your rural communities because these are now becoming small access points for online orders and delivery hubs for pickups for places like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, DHL, LaserShip and even the post office still because the cost is still worth them to operate just to help the people that cannot get the packages delivered to the porch of the local farmer or rancher, or even the smallest campgrounds.

Question of Week:

How long do you think it would take for you to get from Hoosick Cemetary (West Greece) Manitou at West Ridge Road to G.C. Latta House at Lake Ave, and Latta Rd in Charlotte?

But for this question, we will be starting at the Hoosick Cemetary Manitou Road at West Ridge Road, proceed heading north on Manitou road until you come to Latta Road, and then make the right on Latta Road passing H.C. Phelps General store on the right at North Greece and Latta road, and continuing on Latta you will be passing Green Acres on your left, you then continue on Latta and cross over Long Pond Road, maybe stop at Apple Anne’s for some apples, after that you maybe stop to worship at Mother of Sorrow’s church and then head down the hill and cross over Dewey ave and a much smoother path on Latta road you pass on your left the Fleming Homestead now a nursing home to then you should get to your destination at Lake Ave and Latta in front of the G.C. Latta House

Here is the formula to solve for each type of mode of transportation

time = distance/speed

Your Distance is 9.5 Miles

Your Speed is based on the mode of transportation you take to get to the destination.

Traveling by car at 35 mph

Traveling by a Horse at 5-8 mph

Traveling by a pedal bike can vary depending on how fast you can pedal it can be as low as 8 mph and high as 26 mph

Traveling by public transit is not available for this example.

The answer to this will be at the end of this post with the solution to this question.

H.C. Phelps.

H.C. Phelps is located on the southwest corner at Latta Rd and North Greece Rd.

Henry C. Phelps built his store on the North Greece Road in about 1870. The area was then known as Jenkins Corner at Latta Rd. By 1900 it had the name, North Greece, as it’s known today. Henry carried a varied lot of merchandise. Just about anything that would fit in the store and would sell found a place on the floor or a shelf. He catered to the farmer and his family. It helped that the local U.S. Post Office was also in the building. The opening of the Manitou (seasonal) Trolley in the 1890s expanded the number of cottages along the lake and bays. Several times a week Phelps would send out his horse and wagon filled with fresh vegetables, fruit, and sundries. Going door to door, the “huckster” (an old term for a peddler) would often empty his wagon by the end of his route. After Mr. Phelps retired the store continued under several owners and name changes well into the 20th century. The post office moved to its own quarters and other business enterprises took over the site until we arrive at the 21st century. Except for the loss of the front porch and several horse hitching posts, the building remains much as it was built over 145 years ago. An insurance office is now the proud caretaker.

Gilbert “Burt” J Wagg

Gilbert (Burt) J Wagg’s Groceries and Provisions is Located where Tim Horton’s is today at Lake Ave, Ridge Road, and Pullman Ave.

Wagg’s Grocery and Provisions store could hardly be called a general store in the same sense as Henry Phelps’s business. Gilbert (Burt) J. Wagg started in business in the early 1900s with several small grocery stores in Rochester. Since he was a natural salesman and “go-getter” (a favorite saying of the day), he decided to open yet another store on the north-western edge of the city. Streets along Lake Avenue were developed because of the expansion of the Eastman Kodak Company, and Kodak Park Works. An ideal place for Burt’s new store was on the east side of Lake Avenue near Kodak. The business grew, with departments added almost yearly. A bakery, a meat department, groceries, and produce were sold there from the start. Furniture, china, yard goods, clothing, shoes, phonographs later called gramophones now called record players or turntables depending on your generation, and records all became integrated into Wagg’s, especially after the business was moved nearby to a building with ample floor space about 1912. The business eventually took a building on Lake Avenue as well as a number down Pullman Avenue.

Burt is at the telephone in one of the photos and his sister Grace is at the adding machine to his right.

One photo ( 1920) shows the business with a bus at the corner of Lake and Pullman. Most people referred to it as Wagg’s Corner. The mini-department store then employed 28 clerks and drivers to cover the departments and five delivery wagons. Burt is at the telephone in one of the photos and his sister Grace is at the adding machine to his right. Grace was as astute about the business as her brother. Burt passed on in 1944. Grace took over and ran it until it became clear newer and more modern stores had opened on West Ridge Road. The business closed in 1964 and the building was torn down in 1988. Parts of the other shops that were to the right of the G.J. Wagg’s store are still standing but now are apartments at 17 thru 29 Pullman Ave. Pullman ave was redesigned to come back a bit from the corner that Lake Ave and Ridge Road to prevent sharp turns onto Pullman ave from coming from the Veterans Bridge or from lake ave turn on to Ridge Road and then a sharp left onto Pullman Ave and then the raised median makes it impossible to turn on to Pullman ave after the light on at ridge and lake coming from the Veterans Bridge.

Answer to the Question

How long do you think it would take for you to get from Hoosick Cemetary (West Greece) Manitou at West Ridge Road to G.C. Latta House at Lake Ave, and Latta Rd in Charlotte?

Your Distance is 9.5 miles in one direction

Your Speed is based on the mode of transportation you take to get to the destination.

Mode of TransportationSpeedOne Way TripRound Trip Time
Car 35 mph15-17 minutes30-34 minutes
Pedal Bike †8 mph1 hour, 11 minutes, 15 seconds2 hours, 22 minutes, 30 seconds
Pedal Bike †26 mph0 hours, 21 minutes, 55 seconds0 hours, 43 minutes, 51 seconds
Horse Trot‡5 mph1 hour, 54 minutes, 0 seconds3 hours, 48 minutes, 0 seconds
Horse Trot‡8 mph1 hour, 11 minutes, 15 seconds2 hours, 22 minutes, 30 seconds
Walking §3 Hours 10 Minutes6 Hours 20 minutes
Calculation of Time

† Traveling by a pedal bike can vary depending on how fast you can pedal it can be as low as 8 mph and high as 26 mph

‡ Traveling by a Horse at a trot at 5-8 mph

Traveling by public transit is not available for this example based on the chosen route that was selected

Bicentennial Snapshot # 13: Asa Rowe, James Vick and the Beginning of the Nursery Industry

Rochester went from being the flour city to the Flower city.  But actually, the nursery industry in Monroe County started in Greece!

Topics and Facts in this Bicentennial Snapshot:


Interesting Facts

Question: Did you know Rochester went from being the flour city to the Flower city?

Answer: Actually, the nursery industry in Monroe County started in Greece. This was because of the amount of fertile land and the vast openness for the growth of Flowers, Produce, Fruits, and other plants that would grow in the region.

Question: What was Rochester known for first as the Flour or was it Flower?

The answer may surprise some of you it first was known as the flour city because of the gristmill that Ebenezer “Indian” Allen had at one point and in Aqueduct Park there is a sign that tells about the gristmill that was located at 47-59 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14614 which is the at the corner of East Main Street and Geneva St in the City of Rochester. The City then became known as the Flower City in 1859.


Asa Rowe (Brith: 25 Feb 1806, Death:23 Nov 1894 (aged 88) )

Asa Rowe

Asa Rowe was born February 25, 1806, and was the son of Abel Rowe and Ame Hincher, and grandson of two of the first families of Greece. His father, Abel Rowe, and his grandparents Daniel and Ruth Granger Rowe were settlers at King’s Landing featured in the Bicentennial Snapshot number 4. His mother was Ame Hincher, the daughter of William and Mehitable Hincher; she came to Charlotte in 1792 with her parents and they were the first European settlers to reside west of the Genesee River.

Asa Rowe established the first nursery business in Monroe County in 1826 when he opened the Monroe Garden and Nursery on the north side of Ridge Road near where today, Mitchell, Long Pond, and Ridge Roads intersect.

His Dad Able Rowe ran the Rowe Tavern, more on the Rowe tavern appeared in Bicentennials Snapshots 11 & 12 The Ridge parts 1 and 2, and 16 ADA Ridge.

Take a look at the slideshow, the first image is the cover of the Genesee Farmer, where Asa would place ads for the Monroe Horticultural Garden and Nurseries he ran. The next image in the slideshow is one of the ads Asa ran. The final image in this slideshow is the ad is the same ad but note the text that is in the odd style circle Asa mentions that he takes advantage of the Erie Canal otherwise Known as Clinton’s Ditch which will be explained in two weeks in the Bicentennial Snapshot # 15 – The Erie Canal.


James Vick (1818-1882) from Vick illustrated catalog
James Vick (1818-1882) from Vick illustrated catalog

James Vick (Born November 23, 1818 – Death 16 May 1882 (aged 63))

James Vick was born November 23, 1818, in Portsmouth, Portsmouth Unitary Authority, Hampshire, England to parents James Vick and Elizabeth Vick. James brothers were George Vick, William Vick, Joseph Henry Vick, and Charles Frederick Vick. George also had a knack for the seed business as well as his brother James. But for this snapshot, we will mostly focus on James Vick.

Coming from Portsmouth, Portsmouth Unitary Authority, Hampshire, England he did make one friend before leaving England any guesses as to what famous author was born in Landport, Portsmouth, United Kingdom?

It’s no other than the boyhood home of the famous author Charles Dickens the author of A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities as well as some other books. James Vick enjoyed having a life-long friendship with Charles Dickens.

James Vick emigrated to America in 1833 with his father’s family. Like many of the Rochester horticulturists of the nineteenth century, Vick was closely entwined with the publishing world. He first came to Rochester from New York City in 1837 as a printer, and shortly thereafter became associated with the Genesee Farmer as a writer and editor, and finally as owner and publisher during the period 1849-1855. Also, James helps a famous Abolitionist in Rochester print his newspaper the North Star you are probably thinking of Frederick Douglas. If you were you are correct he help Frederick print his newspaper to help slaves make it to freedom and tell stories that would not be printed in the other papers at the time that the North Star was printed.

After the death of Andrew Jackson Downing, the great landscape architect, Vick purchased The Horticulturist from Downing’ s estate and moved it to Rochester where he published it from 1853 to 1855 with Patrick Barry as editor. Vick later edited and published The Rural Annual and Horticultural Directory from 1856 to 1857 when he sold it to Joseph Harris who continued it until 1867. Vick also edited The Rural New Yorker from 1857 to 1862. While Vick was publishing and writing he was also experimenting with seeds in his spare time.

Vick's Seed Warehouse at the corner of State and Market Streets
Vick’s Seed Warehouse at the corner of State and Market Streets

This sideline soon grew into a viable business venture and by 1866 Vick acquired some land on East Avenue, now Vick Park A and Vick Park B, and quickly developed this plot into one of the most famous seed gardens in the United States. Until 1870, he packed most of his seed in the attic of his home before moving to a four-story building at State and Market Streets.

The grand opening of his new headquarters was happily attended by many people, so many that hundreds had to be turned away at the door. The Union and Advertiser reported that “in the evening the crowd was fearful and the efforts of the police, who were detailed for that purpose, were tasked to their utmost to preserve order and to keep the stairs, halls, and rooms from being choked up with a struggling mass of humanity. “

Vick’s Seed Farm in Greece at Manitou and the Erie Canal

Vick’s four sons, James Jr., Charles, Frank, and Edward, attended to the various affairs of the business. Edward supervised the storage of bulbs and seeds; Charles was in charge of the bindery; James Jr. was head of financial affairs, and Frank oversaw the packing room. James Vick’s two brothers, Joseph and William, were in charge of the company’s fifty-acre seed farm in Greece. At Vick’s seed farm on Manitou Road at the Erie Canal that the flag was created out of Aster Flowers and people would travel on the Erie canal to just come to look at the display each year when springtime would come around.

Villa of Hope (formerly St. Joseph’s Villa)
Villa of Hope (formerly St. Joseph’s Villa)

By 1872 the Vick Seed Company was sending out more than 200,000 illustrated catalogs each year and was advertising in 3,300 newspapers and in all of the American agricultural and horticultural journals. The advertising bill in December 1870 amounted to $15,000. $4650 was spent just on stamps.

His thriving vegetable and flower bulb nursery was on Dewey Avenue where the Villa of Hope (formerly St. Joseph’s Villa) is located today.

The Greenhouses in this picture came from Vicks on Dewey Ave

Also, You won’t believe this but the greenhouses that were located at Vick’s were purchased by The Frears Family and sit at Frears’s Garden Center. We at the Greece Historical Society found that information out today with an interview with the grandson of E. Frear.

More on the Frear’s Garden center coming later on in its own snapshot.

More on the Erie Canal in Snapshot # 15

Bicentennial Snapshot # 12 – The Ridge Part 2

This week we continue the look at the central commercial district in the town most of you know as

The Ridge.

The Ridge today Satellite view via google maps

In the bicentennial snapshot # 11 the Ridge Part 1 – we started out with the life of the ridge forming from the glacial thru just the starting of Eastman Kodak company at Ridge Road and Lake Ave northwest corner. This week we look at the growth and population boom on the Ridge Road.

Topics that are featured in this video

  • Plank Road
  • J. Y. McClintock and the McClintock Cubes
  • Breif overview Annexation of parts of Ridge for the City of Rochester
  • The Greece Memorial Town Hall and ADA Ridge
  • Dewey Ave at West Ridge Road
  • Plazas on The Ridge
  • The evolution of the Ridge from a Path to a Six-Lane with Median

Plank Roads

Did you know that a portion of Ridge Road was a planked road? in the 1860s there was a section that was planked it was from Long Pond Road to Elmgrove Road (Henpeck Road). It was a 2.5-mile stretch that was plank which means is the road was made of wooden planks it was thought to have been 9 1⁄2 miles (15.3 km)and chartered on October 23, 1848, and there was a court case involving Kenyon vs the Seeley over the tolls that were collected on this plank road.

This is an example of a plank road
Keene Farm

For the most part, however, the Ridge was a dirt road until the beginning of the 20th century. In the foreground of this photo is the dirt roadway. A bicyclist goes along a cinder path; this was laid out circa 1884. One had to buy a license for the bicycle to use the path—that’s how it was maintained. One resident writing about the early nineteen hundreds said that bicycles were “almost as thick on that path as the cars are on the Ridge today.” Notice, Lay farm and the greenhouses in which flowers were cultivated as well as other fruits and produce were prep for the spring planting season.

J. Y. McClintock and the McClintock Cubes

In 1900, Ridge Road became a state road, and money was appropriated for its improvement. In 1909, an experimental paving technique was used; 2-inch square cubes, which were called McClintock cubes after the Monroe County Road Supervisor who promoted their use, had to be laid by hand across the 16-foot width of the road. More than 700,000 cubes were laid. The cubes were able to withstand the heavy traffic along the Ridge for only two years and then began to fail.

  • McClintock cubes
  • J. Y. McClinstock

Annexation of parts of Ridge for the City of Rochester

The city started to expand in 1850 slowly with the annexation of Driving Park, and yes there was a horse racing track, on Driving park. Then again in 1874. The Village and the port of Charlotte were annexed next in 1916. Then just after World War One in 1919, the City took the rest of lake ave as well as portions of Dewey and, and Ridge Road and Mt. Read Blvd. Because of the Annexation of the village of Charlotte the town needed a new town hall and town center that is when the Town Memorial Hall, was built as a tribute to all the lives lost as a result of World War 1, it was completed in 1921 and then expanded in over the next 80 years. More on this topic in a future snapshot.

The Greece Memorial Town Hall and ADA Ridge

On the right is a slideshow that shows the changes of the town hall over the last 80 years until the mid-1990s when the town outgrew the town hall complex at Ridge Road, and with Ridge Road Fire District being right across the street and the pending expansion of the Ridge in 2002. Here is a small expert from an article Alan Muller Greece Historical Society’s Historian wrote in the society’s newsletter talking about the reason for the change of the town hall location and why it was needed. The population at the time of the construction of the Town Hall at Ridge, Long Pond, and Mitchell Roads was only 3,350. More on this topic in a future snapshot.

The Tale of Three Bricks Or – “It only took 25 years”

Through the next almost eighty years many additions and changes were added to increase the needed space. Again, as before, talks were started that a new Town Hall was needed. The added arrival of the computer age compounded the problem. The electrical system, as well as the telephone wiring system, was aged and obsolete. The thick brick walls did not lend themselves easily to that kind of an upgrade.

Alan Muller – The Tale of Three Bricks Or – “It only took 25 years”

Across from the Town Hall was Whitman’s Service station which later became Wittman Motors and included a tow service. Wittman’s was located at 2496 Ridge Road, across from the old Town Hall.

Wittman’s Carriage shop became Wittman’s Motors at 2496 West Ridge Road

Dewey Ave at West Ridge Road

Corner of Ridge Road and Dewey Avenue looking west down Ridge, 1940s.
Corner of Ridge Road and Dewey Avenue
looking west down Ridge, 1940s.
Office of The Town Historian

With the invention of the Automobiles, it would allow thousands of Greece Residents to commute to Kodak or many other places throughout the town in the picture to the left you can see how busy the intersection of Dewey Ave and West Ridge Road was in the 1940s. More On the Dewey Ave corridor in a future episode of the Bicentennial snapshot.

Plazas on The Ridge

In the years after World War 2, the town started to explode with population growth, and with that, it brought a number of new plazas and centers to buy your households, groceries, home improvements supplies, and many other goods. Here is a list of the Plazas from the Mount Read to Elmgrove Road goes as the follows:

  • Staples/Home Depot or Lowes Theater plaza at Mount Read and Ridge (not included below),
  • Stoneridge is named for the plaza at the corner of Ridge Road and Stone Road,
    • Total Square Feet: 180,000
  • Ridgecrest – Located at Ridge Road and Fetzner Road,
  • Buchman’s – Buchman’s Bakery / Dairy
  • The Mall at Greece Ridge is the merger of Greece Towne Mall and Long Ridge Mall
    • Total Square Feet: 1,675,000
  • Ridgemont Plaza is the longest strip mall in Greece and has a post office in the plaza
    • Total Square Feet: 320,844
  • Lowes Plaza now or AMES plaza before 1997 whichever one you know it as
    • Over 295,000 Square feet but not Larger then Ridgemont
  • Finally, Elmridge Center which is Elm of Elmgrove Road and Ridge of West Ridge Road

If we are missing a name of a plaza that should belong on this list that it has to be on West Ridge Road and located between Mount Read Blvd to Elmgrove Road please let us know on our Facebook page if we are missing it and we will at it to this post.

in 1968 The Town’s first indoor mall opened with only 16 stores filled and by Christmas, all 46 shops were filled. More on the 2 malls and the merger will be a future snapshot.

One of the deadliest fires in the town of Greece occurred across from Stoneridge Plaza The Holiday Inn, we will cover it in a special of it is own due to the amount of information from the fire. And with that this was not the only building that had a fire on the Ridge in the Ada Ridge snapshot we tell you about an another fie and this is at the Rowe Tavern and that St. John’s helped moved a building to so the Rowe Tavern could reopen.

The evolution of the Ridge from a Path to a Six-Lane with Median

On the New York DOT they a pdf with the Annual average Daily Traffic what do you think is the annual average daily for the range from Maplewood to elmgrove. This was from a 2003 report from the New York State Department of Transportation Traffic Volume Report for MONROE COUNTY.

RouteLengthStart DescriptionEnd DescriptionYearAADT
1040.98Manitou Rd (RT 261) W GREECEN Greece Rd0329742
1040.09N Greece Rd(NY-386) Elmgrove Rd0020930
1041.87(NY-386) Elmgrove RdLONG POND RD SB0133317
1040.92LONG POND RD SBFETZNER RD0321607
1040.09FETZNER RDACC RT 3909847261
1040.62ACC RT 390STONE RD9944342
1040.26STONE RDMT READ BLVD ROCH W LN0049547
1041.14MT READ BLVD ROCH W LN(NY RT-18) DEWEY AVE9838514
1040.64(NY RT-18) DEWEY AVERT 940M LAKE AVE0139107
1040.06RT 940M LAKE AVERIDGEWAY AVE0035421
1040.23RIDGEWAY AVEACC MAPLEWOOD DR0054558
Total Vehicle travel414346
2003 NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Traffic Volume Report for MONROE COUNTY

This was the reason the Ridge evolved from a path to a two-lane road to a four-lane to now a six-lane with raised medians from coming off the Keeler St Expressway to Palm St and then the median picks back up at Dewey Ave and continues from there until Elmgrove Road/North Greece Road.

Lay Farm

The Corner of West Ridge road and West Outer Drive where Bob Johnson Chevrolet stands today started out as the Lay Farm it the became the Pine Tree Inn, and then Ver Hulst Farm and Ver Hulst Brothers Farm Market from 1936-1993. From 1998 and currently, Bob Johnson Chevrolet, one of the largest automobile dealerships in the country occupies the site.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 11 – The Ridge Part 1

This week we turn our attention to the central commercial district in the town most of you know as

The Ridge.

The Ridge today Satellite view via google maps

We at the Greece Historical society bet that most if not, every person in the town of Greece has at least one point in their daily life been to some part of the Ridge, could be to the Mall at Greece Ridge formally Long Ridge Mall and Greece Towne Mall, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Wegmans, or the number of other shops and stores along the Ridge.

According to the Diary of Eli Granger whose dairy we share a bit from in the King’s Landing snapshot, he wrote this entry in his diary about the ridge and why he thought it would be a handsome ridge for a road

[1 June 1797] came home on a handsom Ridge suitable for a Roade — got home on Monday 29th May after Spending 14 days 3 of us — 42 days in whole — my Expence for pilott — 8 dollars for Expence at Niagary for pilote &c — 2 dolars — other Expence — $3.90

Diary of Eli Granger https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/4044

Those who may not remember earth science class or other science classes and parts of some history classes when they talked about the Ice Age and how most of the region was covered in ice and glacial valley, also called glacial trough as seen in this map. Almost 13,000 years ago a large glacial lake, Lake Iroquois, as it is called by geologists, lapped the far eastern portion of what became the Niagara escarpment.  When the waters of Lake Iroquois receded, it left a ridge of land 400 feet above sea level.  You can see on this map, the dimensions of the prehistoric lake in relation to Lake Ontario today.

Map of Lake Iroquois

Notice the line in Red that is the portion of Ridge Road from the Genesee River to Lewiston. , the /// lines going from lower left to upper right that is the outline of Lake Iroquois, the cross lines ### in the pen are the ice sheet as the ice continued to recede north as the time when on from the ice age.

Those that got to go to the town hall before its move to its new location down Long Pond Road where it is now got to see a sign on the ridge letting people know that Ridge road was molded by glaciers, well-traveled Haudenosaunee trail, then was traversed by ox-carts, stagecoaches, and covered wagons, and became one of two main town centers until the city annexed the village of Charlotte in 1916.

How much do you think it cost now to start a road like the Ridge, back then in 1813 New York State appropriated $5,000 for construction work that cost would be only $90,346.56 this was mainly to cut down trees and build basic bridges over streams this does not include the veteran’s bridge over the Genesee River, Mount Read bridge, and the bridge at Ridge and I-390/NY-390. Those bridges would be built during Part 2 of the Ridge which will be next week.

We cover more on the Rowe Tavern in our look into the neighborhoods of Greece, which will be called ADA (Ridge) note that this is the only neighborhood that uses the ridge in its title.

Falls Hotel / Rowe Tavern
Stone Tavern

Travelers often stopped for the night at one of the two-story taverns along the Ridge, such as the Stone Tavern, or the Rowe Tavern.

Stage Coach Loaded with passengers
 in the 1860s from the Office of the Town Historian

Even though Railroads and by the time these taverns were open for business most of the transportation to these establishments was by stagecoach, and as many as twelve people might be stuffed inside the coach, but that was perhaps better than having to ride outside and be subjected to all kinds of weather that mother nature could unleash during this time period.

There were a number of small general stores that a lot of the early pioneers shopped at for daily goods and items they needed for daily living. Like Anderson General Store located at the southeast corner of Ridge Road and Mitchell Road and Gilbert C. Wagg’s emporium at Ridge Road and Pullman Ave, these two General stores as well as a well known general store in the North Greece Area at Latta and North Greece Road will be featured in the bicentennial snapshot number 14 all about these general stores. Also, you can check out this article from October 2017, Corinthian called “A Tale of Two General Stores From Apples to Zithers” by Alan Muller

As for the Nursury businesses, this was where Asa Rowe, the Lay Farm, the Ver Hulst Farm, and smaller farms operated from but most notably was Asa, and the Lay Farm. In 1826, Asa Rowe established the first nursery business in Monroe County when he opened the MONROE GARDEN AND NURSERY on the north side of Ridge Road near where today, Mitchell, Long Pond, and Ridge Roads intersect. He offered a large selection of “fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, bulbous roots, and green-house plants.” The opening of the Erie Canal made transportation fast and cheap and his nursery business thrived.

The Lay Farm, which later became the Ver Hulst Farm, now sits Bob Johnson’s Chevrolet.

Anderson General Store is located at the southeast corner of Ridge Road and Mitchell Road. circa 1912
 Gilbert C. Wagg’s emporium
Gilbert C. Wagg’s emporium was located at Ridge and Pullman Ave where the Tim Horton’s is now located. and a portion of the smaller shops attached to Wagg’s still stands on Pullman ave as apartments.

How many recognize these two buildings here?

Craig Apartments
David Todd Mansion from History of Monroe County, W. H. McIntosh, 1877
Ridgemont Country Club
Upton Manor from GHS

These are two structures that can be seen on the ridge the first one on the left is the David Todd Mansion which became a small apartment complex and the one on the right is The Upton Manor which is now the site of Ridgemont Country Club. For more information check out this article from our newsletter about the Craig house called The Victorian Survivor on the Ridge by Alan Muller written for the September 2020 issue of the Corinthian.

We wonder how many of you know that George Eastman and Eastman Kodak Company started the first plant for filmmaking not in the City of Rochester but in Greece, New York. In the 1890s, George Eastman decided that 16 and a half acres of farmland in Greece, “out in the country” where there was fresh air, plenty of clean water, and railroad terminals, was ideal for his new film-making plant. He constructed it on the corner at Ridge and Lake across the street from Wagg’s Corner. The Town of Greece would never be the same. But that’s a tale for another episode.

Kodak Park, 1894, Office of the Town Historian

Greece Historical Society’s Annual Strawberry Festival Fundraiser

Strawberry & Dessert Tasting Festival

🍓 🍓🍓 🍓

Strawberry Festival June 20th 4 p.m to 7 p.m. $8.00 Adults, $ 5.00 for Kids 6-12, Free for Kids Under 5

Date And Time:

Monday, June 20, 2022
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location:

Greece Town Hall Pavilion
3 Vince Tofany Blvd, Greece, NY 14612

Admission:

$ 8.00 – Adults
$ 5.00 – Children 6-12
Free for 5 & Under

FREE PARKING

The Admission includes

Strawberry Short Cake and other Cake Samples from

Dessert Samplings from The following vendors

Barton’s Parkside Hots

Hots, Burgers, Sausages, etc. will be available for purchase.

Music for the event is provided by:

DJ Flyin Brian of Party Productions

Other Activities include:

  • Children Activities
  • Grease Paint Alley Clowns
  • Community Displays
  • A Square Dance demonstration at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • There will be Door Prizes
  • A Chinese Auction
  • As well as a chance to win one of these interesting Bicentennial Pioneer Families Signs
    • The Tickets are $ 5.00 for one
    • 3 for $ 10.00
    • The Drawing for this Raffle will be done on July 10th, 2022.
    • You Could Win one of these five Unique designs
Second Prize
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Bicentennial Snapshot # 10 – Samuel and Lydia and George and Frances Latta

This week we introduce you to Samuel and Lydia and George and Frances Latta, one of the preeminent families of the Town of Greece. They were members of the Valliant 33 group that fought to defend Charlotte and the port from the British in the war of 1812 Part 3 snapshot.

Samuel Latta Bio

George C Latta Bio

Samuel Latta

Samuel Latta

He was born 14 Apr 1776, in Walkill, Ulster co., New York to James and Sarah Jackson Latta. Some of his many accomplishments as a pioneer family of the town of Northhampton which covers both Towns of Gates and Greece until 1812 when the town was renamed, Gates then in 1822 the two towns split into Gates and Greece. Samuel Latta served as Town Supervisor in 1810 as seen in this map here. He was the first to build a warehouse at the port of Charlotte and was the first Collector of the port which was described in the snapshot Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse. He surveyed and laid out a road from the river to Parma, today’s Latta Road.

Among Samuel’s accomplishments: he built the first warehouse at the mouth of the Genesee River, the first in all of this part of the country; he was the first collector of the Port of Charlotte; he surveyed and laid out a road from the river to Parma, today’s Latta Road.


George C. Latta

George C. Latta was born in 1795 in Walkill, Walkill, Ulster co., New York to James and Sarah Jackson Latta and brother to Samuel. George has some of the same talents as his brother did but he was an entrepreneurial powerhouse. He was the quintessential “self-made man.” The broad range of his investments and businesses included mercantile, forwarding, manufacturing, farming, and nursery operations.

One of the mercantile companies was for a clerk in the Frederick Bushnell and James K. Guernsey mercantile business in Charlotte.

After working in the mercantile business he went on to be the town supervisor from 1845 to 1849, a trustee of his church the Lake United Methodist Church, and he donated the land for the Charlotte Cemetery which is located at 20 River St in Charlotte is right across from where District 4 school was located and now is the site of Rochester Engine 19 Station.

W. M. Britton and Edward Frisbee were not the only town supervisors and or families that help with education and land to be used for a school, In 1837 George Latta donated a site at the North side of Stutson St. A new one-room brick building replaced the old one. In 1837 bricks used for the building were made on site. In the 1860s the school was overcrowded with 1 teacher handling 80 students. In 1868 a new school was built at the corner of Latta Rd and River Streets. In 1893 a two-story addition was completed at a cost of $ 6,200. In 1907 a second school was constructed on-site. After annexation, Rochester built school # 38 on Latta Rd in 1928 and put on an addition in 1953. The evolution of education in the town may be another snapshot altogether as some other things that George C Latta did as supervisor of the town of Greece can be viewed on the digital kiosk at the museum in the section labeled supervisors of Greece.

Grave stone of George C Latta
District 4 on the land that George C Latta donated for the construction of this school

For more about these two pioneer families check out our pioneer families displays in the dining room at the museum Sundays from 1:30 pm to 4 pm. If you are into reading you might want to pick up a copy of Pioneer Families of the Town of Greece: Volume 1 now available in our giftshop or on amazon. Also, some of this information is in the Eight Miles Along the Shore as well which is another great book about the town’s history.

All video and post-production are done by Pat Worboys and Narration and script are by Maureen Whalen. Most of the photos in the clip are from the Greece Historical Society’s archives, Greece Town Historian’s Office, and the Greece Post, the rest are creative commons licenses which are provided in the video.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 09 – Giles H Holden

This week we introduce you to Giles H Holden, the first keeper of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse. Holden, a veteran of the War of 1812, came to Greece in 1817 to be the Deputy Collector and Surveyor of the port. In 1822, he became the first lighthouse keeper, a position he held until 1834. He was also a Greece Justice of the Peace, a Supervisor of the Town of Greece, and head of the Charlotte Board of Health during a cholera epidemic.

Although born in Charleston, New Hampshire circa 1788, Giles Holden grew up in Middlebury, Vermont.  He was attending the University of Burlington in Vermont when the War of 1812 began.  Holden enlisted; in fact, so many of his fellow students enlisted that the school had to close until the end of the war. After the war, he moved to Perinton to teach school. 

On March 9, 1817, he married Susan Bennett, who had been one of his students. The next month they moved to Charlotte after Giles was appointed Deputy Collector and Surveyor of the port.  They traveled by horseback, Susan riding behind her new husband. This description of Susan’s reaction to her new home gives you an idea of what the area was like in that era.

“I stood the journey very well, until we reached the brow of Hopper Hill (Hopper Terr, today).  Pointing ahead, Giles said ‘Yonder lies Charlotte.’ I looked and seeing nothing but woods, dense woods, a feeling of lonesomeness came over me, and I burst into tears.”

Susan Bennett

They took up residence in a home Giles had built.  In 1819, Giles purchased 100 acres of land adjoining the village on the west and farmed it. 

Holden became the first lighthouse keeper after the lighthouse was constructed in 1822. He held that position until 1834.

The keeper was provided with a two-room dwelling.  But that wasn’t enough for the Holdens with their ten children; Giles enlarged it with two additions. While Giles was the keeper and the deputy collector of the port, the body of Sam Patch, America’s first daredevil was discovered near the mouth of the Genesee River (where the Monroe County boat launch is today).  It was five months after his unsuccessful leap of high falls on Friday, November 13, 1829. Holden sent this message to the Rochester Daily Advertiser newspaper:

In addition to his keeper duties, in 1827, Giles was elected Justice of the Peace in Greece.  In 1832 he was elected supervisor of Greece. In 1832, a cholera epidemic broke out in Rochester and the surrounding towns. In just six short weeks, the epidemic took almost 2,500 lives, or 1% of the population of the area.  During the months of July and August, business and travel were almost entirely suspended. The seemingly vigorous in the morning were carried to their graves before night. Giles Holden was head of the Board of Health for Charlotte and he closed the port and posted guards on Ridge Road to keep infected parties out of Greece.

Because it was a political appointment, Holden lost the lightkeeper position when Andrew Jackson took office in 1835. Those two additions he put on the house? He took them with him, moving them across the street from the lighthouse. Local historian Jack Kemp wrote about Holden “In later life, Giles was addressed as Squire Holden, attesting to the esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries.”  Holden died in 1867 and he is buried in the Charlotte Cemetery.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 08 – Charlotte – Genesee Lighthouse

How did the Charlotte – Genesee Lighthouse become a part of the Town’s History and part of the Town’s Seal? The following topics give you more background on the Lighthouse. Not all this information is in the video but here is some additional reading that you can read about the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Ontario, is also marking its bicentennial this year as well as the Town of Greece. We trace its history from its construction in 1822 on land deeded from the Hincher family to the abandonment of the tower and the removal of the light to the west pier, to its restoration as an active lighthouse again in 2014.

The Connection to the Hinchers

Hincher’s Hut hand-drawn by Ed Spelman, 1972

In November 1794, Hincher purchased 627 acres of land in what is now Charlotte, using Continental currency. When the scrip was deemed to be of no value, he was forced to pay for the land a second time. It turned out to be an important purchase. William Hincher died in 1817 at the age of 75. The Charlotte Lighthouse was constructed on part of their property, deeded to the government in 1821 by his widow, Mehitable.  She died in 1839 at the age of 94. For more on the Hinchers, Check out the post on the Hinchers. Bicentennial Snapshot # 3: The Hinchers

Photo of the Charlotte – Genesee Lighthouse
Bill Sauers

The Creation of the first 6 ports in New York noticed that Buffalo and Genesee are not among these first six ports

The following information about the creation of the ports for New York and Genesee can be found at https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsllink.html

The Creation of the United States Port of entry, the Roles of the ports, and the duties of the Port Collections officers were established during the 5th Congress, and the 3rd Session, December 3, 1798 – March 3, 1799. Chapter 22 Section 5 of the 3rd Session of the 5th Congress establishes the ports in New York and the districts they encompass it starts at the bottom of https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=753 and continues to the next page https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=754:

Districts and Ports In New York. Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That in the state of New York, there shall be six districts, to wit: Sagg Harbor on Nassau or Long Island, the city of New York, the city of Hudson, Champlain, Oswego, and Niagara.

  • The district of Sagg Harbor shall include all the bays, harbors, rivers, and shores, within the two points of land which are called Oyster Pond point, and Mantauck point; and a collector for the district shall be appointed, to reside at Sagg Harbor, which shall be the only port of entry and delivery in the said district.
  • The district of the city of New York shall include all such part of the coasts, rivers, bays, and harbors of the said state as are not included in, other districts of the said state, especial]y the several towns or landing places of New Windsor, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Esopus, Kinderhook, and Albany, as ports of delivery only; and a co]lector, naval officer, and surveyor for the district shall be appointed, to reside at New York, which shall be the sole port of entry for the district; and a surveyor, at the city of Albany; and the President of the United States is authorized, if he judge it expedient, to appoint one other surveyor, to reside at such other place in the said district as he shall appoint.
  • The district of Hudson shall include all the waters and shores of the aid city; and a collector shall be appointed for the said district, the side at the said city of Hudson, which sha]l be the sole port of entry and delivery.
  • The district of Champlain shall include all such shores and waters of Lake Champlain, and the rivers connected therewith, as lie within the aid state of New York; and the said district shall extend westwardly along the northern boundary line of the said state, unto the place where aid line is bounded by the river St. Lawrence; and the President of the United States is hereby authorized to appoint such place within the said district to be a port of entry and delivery, as he shall judge expedient; and a collector shall be appointed, to reside at the port of entry which may be established within the said district; and the President is also, authorized, if he shall judge proper, to appoint, not exceeding two surveyors, to reside at such places as he may judge expedient to constitute ports of delivery only.
  • The district of Oswego shall include all the shores and waters of the river St. Lawrence, from the place where said river is intersected by the forty-fifth degree of northern latitude, and all the shores and waters of Lake Ontario, and the rivers and waters connected therewith, Iying within the jurisdiction of the United States, and within the state of New York, to the eastward of the west bank of Genesee river; and a collector shall be appointed, who shall reside at or near Oswego, at such place as the President of the United States shall appoint to be the port of entry or the district; and the President of the United States is authorized to appoint not exceeding three surveyors, to reside at such places within the said district, as he shall judge proper, and to constitute each or either of such places to be ports of delivery only.
  • The district of Niagara shall include all the shores and waters of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and the rivers connected therewith, lying within the jurisdiction of the United States, and within the state of New York,
    to the westward of the west bank of Genesee river; and a collector shall be appointed who shall reside at Niagara, which shall be the sole port of entry for the district; and the President of the United States is authorized to appoint, not exceeding two surveyors, to reside at such paces within the said district, as he shall judge proper, and to constitute each or either of such places to be the ports of delivery only.

With the country, just under 30 years of formation, no port districts were officially established on the Lake Ontario shoreline from Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York to the eastern side of Sodus Bay. On March 3, 1803, in the publication, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875 in Statutes at Large, 7th Congress and under President Thomas Jefferson the government established a federal port district on Lake Ontario. You can read the exact text of this establishment do so here https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=002/llsl002.db&recNum=265 and it continues on this page https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=002/llsl002.db&recNum=266

Second Session of the Eighth Congress That three new Port Districts were created 2 in New York and Port of Miami

It was not until the Eighth Congress, the second session (November 5, 1804 – March 3, 1805) when the port for Genessee River and Buffaloe, noticed how Genessee and Buffalo were written during the 8th session of Congrees on March 3 of 1805, here is the entry for the text in the table of contents Districts of Gennessee, Buffaloe Creek, Miami, Erie Act to establish the districts of Gennessee, of Buffaloe Creek, and of Miami this Miami is not the port in Flordia but one on Lake Erie; and to alter port of entry to the district of Erie March 3, 1805. The text Eighth session of Chapter 34 reads:

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse from the Rochester Public Library Historical Division

Section 1: Be it enacted by the Senate and House Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the thirty-first day of March next, all the shores and waters of the Lake Ontario, and the rivers and waters connected therewith, lying within the jurisdiction of the United States, and within the state of New York, to the westward of the western extremity of Sodus bay, but excluding all the rivers and waters emptying into the said bay, and to the eastward of the eastern extremity of a certain creek or bay, lying between Niagara and the Gennessee river, and known by the name of Oak Orchard creek, shall be a district, to be called the district of Gennessee, of which the river Gennessee shall be the sole port of entry; and a collector for said district shall be appointed, to reside on the river Gennessee.

Section 2. And be it further enacted, That all the shores, rivers and waters heretofore belonging to the district of Niagara, which empty into Lake Erie. or into the river Niagara, above the falls of Niagara, shall, from and after the thirty-first day of March next, to be called the district of Buffaloe Creek, of which Buffaloe Creek shall be the sole port of entry; and a collector for the said district shall be appointed, to reside on Buffaloe Creek.

In 1821 it is written in the Statutes at Large that there was a deading of land to the United States for a lighthouse to be built at the mouth of the Genesee River. Mehitable Hincher deeded the U. S government the property on which to build a lighthouse. The arrow points to the Hincher property. The entrance to the Genesee River was difficult to navigate as it was clogged with reeds and obstructed by sandbars. Lake Ontario extended farther south than it is today and as you can see from this map, the shore waters were marshy.  The site on a bluff overlooking the river was chosen because of its height.

Improvements to the Pier

For the pier improvements we mention in the snapshot we found the entry in Statutes at Large. They approved and documented here A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875 and it is in the Statutes at Large, 20th Congress, 2nd Session, March 2, 1829, and here you will find the that it cost ten thousand dollars in today cost would be $312,504.35 for navigational improvements on the Genesee to help ships enter the ports and leave the port there to head off to other ports along Lake Ontario. see the link here for the text from the session https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=004/llsl004.db&recNum=394.

The work Completed was documented in Statutes at Large, 23rd Congress, 1st Session on June 28, 1834, and for the completion, it cost additional twenty thousand dollars that were paid out, and today that cost would be $668,613.95 based on inflation for the work that would have been done between 1829 and 1834 at the Port of Genesee. here is the link to the information on the cost of completion of the upgrades https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=004/llsl004.db&recNum=750.

In 1881, the light was turned off in the tower and in 1884 was moved to the lighthouse on the edge of the west pier.

On January 1, 1916, the City of Rochester, mostly to gain control of the port, annexed the village of Charlotte from the Town of Greece.

Seal of Town of Greece

The Seal of the Town of Greece features the lighthouse from Charlotte as part of the Town’s Past

Original Town Seal
Original Town Seal or sketch we are not sure on this image
1954 Town Seal on the Town Flag
1954 Town Seal on the Town Flag and Original Town Seal
Most Recent Seal of the Town of Greece
1954 Flag

It was not till 1954 that the official flag was adopted by the Town of Greece.

How the Lighthouse was lit?

Q: Did you know that the Charlotte-Genesee lighthouse was lit by whale oil?
A: It originally had 10 whale oil Argand lamps, which were replaced with a Fresnel lens in 1853.

ARGAND’S LAMP

In 1782, François-Pierre Ami Argand (1750-1803), a Swiss-born physicist living in France, invented the double draft burner, which became known as the Argand oil lamp. Argand’s design used two thin metal tubes with one set inside the other. The wick was placed between these tubes and was thus formed into a long hollow cylinder. Air was allowed to enter the center of the wick through holes placed in the oil drip-cup attached to the bottom of the wick tubes. Air was also allowed to enter around the outside of the outer wick tube, through holes in the bottom of the chimney holder. Argand’s design provided much more oxygen to the flame, more efficient fuel combustion, and a much brighter light. Argand also invented the use of a chimney, which helped to provide additional airflow over the wick and protected the flame from outside air currents, which could make it flicker.

In 1787, another Frenchman, Monsieur Lange, invented the constricted chimney, which Argand quickly added to his design. The constricted chimney forced the outside air closer to the flame. This action further improved the combustion of the fuel, giving a still brighter flame, which was measured at about 7 candlepower.

Source: United States Lighthouse Society https://uslhs.org/lighthouse-lamps-through-time#:~:text=Argand’s%20Lamp&text=Argand’s%20design%20used%20two%20thin,bottom%20of%20the%20wick%20tubes.

(Drawing by Author from a Lighthouse Board Drawing) A typical Argand Lamp Burner. (1782)

Installation of the New Lighthouse

After being neglected for almost a hundred years the Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse Society rescued the old tower and restored it to the point where the tower was reactivated as a working lighthouse in November 2014 and now appears on all Coast Guard charts and maps. The light can now be seen over 12 miles into the lake. A Fresnel lens, or a replica of vintage lighthouse lenses that shine strong beams of light over far distances, was sponsored by an anonymous donor to the tune of $34,000 and assembled by professionals in Florida. The entire project, including the lens, cost around $189,000, Salter said. From the Democrat & Chronicle News article September 25, 2014. https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/09/25/charlotte-genesee-lighthouse-lantern/16205255/


The Greece Historical Society presents these weekly Bicentennial Snapshots to mark the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Town of Greece. Each week we feature a particular aspect of Greece, New York history. Each Bicentennial story will be unique in nature and over the course of the 52 episodes, you will learn about the people and events that comprise the vibrant history of Greece from its earliest days to the present.

Each story is researched, written, and narrated by retired librarian and local historian Maureen Whalen; she has a unique style of storytelling that makes each Bicentennial Snapshot come alive and easy for everyone to understand.

Eight Miles Along the Shore
Eight Miles Along the Shore By Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted

The mission of the Greece Historical Society is to discover, research, and preserve the history of the Town of Greece and to share that history with its residents and the local community through public programs, publications, museum exhibits, and accessibility to its archives and artifacts.

If you are interested in learning more about the History of the Town of Greece history then pick up a copy of Eight Miles Along the Shore, or any of the other publications in our online gift shop. There may be a few other books about the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse available at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse in their gift shop also consider donating to help them celebrate their bicentennial as well.

If you like to learn more about the Town of Greece’s history, consider Subscribing to Our YouTube Channel Greece History and when you are there don’t forget to click that bell icon 🔔, you will be notified when new content comes out for the Bicentennial Snapshots or other programs that the Society puts on about the Town of Greece and its past so future generations can understand how the town has taken us on multiple journeys.

The Bicentennial Snapshots video is assembled and produced by Pat Worboys, who manages video and Information Technology services for the Greece Historical Society and Museum.

All graphics that are used in the video are either from Public Domain Sources, Museum Collections, and contributions by members of the Greece Historical Society, and credit is given to each source either in the lower third or at the end of the video.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 07: Town of Greece War of 1812 Part 3

This week we conclude our three-part presentation on the attacks along the Greece shores of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Today we look at the battle fought on May 15, 1814. What occurred then never made it into any national history books, but is legendary in local history. Initially, 33 men from the volunteer militia responded to the sighting of the British fleet at the mouth of the Genesee River and fooled Commodore Sir James Yeo into thinking that they were “a substantial force” until more regiments could join them to turn away the enemy.

The Valiant 33

We know 17 these names of and members of the Valiant 33:

Isaac Stone, Francis Brown, Elisha Ely, Abelard Reynolds, Hamlet Scranton, Jehiel Barnard, Hervey Ely, Jesse Hawley, Silas O. Smith, Oliver Colby, Sam Latta‡§, George Latta  Thomas King, Bradford King, Zaccheus Colby, Eastman Colby, Frederick Rowe

Note the symbols next to some of the names

  • *- Greece Town Supervisor
  • † – They are the Sons of Giddon King more on King’s Landing is in King’s Landing
  • ‡ – They are Town of Northhampton Supervisors, not Gates or Greece – The town of Gates was formed in 1813 when the town changed its name to Gates, and for more information on the forming of the town of Greece check out the first snapshot of How Greece was formed
  • §- The Latta Family, Sam and George are brothers, born in Walkill, Ulster co., New York. More on the Latta Family in Snapshot #10 and in the publications Eight Miles Along the Shore and the latest book Pioneer Families of Greece Volume 1.
Samuel Latta's War of 1812 Card
Samuel Latta’s War of 1812 Card
Sketch of what appears to be the Frederick Bushnell and James K. Guernsey mercantile business at the mouth of the Genesee River or the

One of the Wearhouse that was hit was near Frederick Bushnell’s and James K. Guernsey’s mercantile business located in the Port.

The war of 1812 did last till February 18th, 1815 but there were so many small battles and wars in this battle, was the British attempting to retake the colony back and make America regret its choice to become its own country on July 4th, 1776.

General Peter Porter arrived that afternoon in time to receive a second flag. The British demanded that they surrender the provisions or they would land an army and 400 Indians. There were now 600 to 800 men on the east and west sides of the river ready to fight. Not knowing how many men were defending Charlotte, Yeo sailed away from the mouth of the Genesee on the morning of May 16, 1814.

General Peter Porter sent a message back to the Governor of New York that day stating:

“We saved the town and our credit by fairly outbullying John Bull.”

General Peter Porter
General Peter Porter
General Peter Porter
Years of service 1812–1815
Rank: Major General
Sir Commodore James Lucas Yeo

“At the Genesee, the enemy had a substantial force.”

Sir James Yeo wrote in his report to his superior officers:

More on the war of 1812 is in the book we published Eight Miles Along the Shore.

Learn more about the Latta Families Samuel Latta and George Latta in Pioneer Families of the Town of Greece Volume 1

Bicentennial Snapshot # 06: War of 1812 Part 2

American fleet caught up with the becalmed British fleet at Braddock Bay
American fleet caught up with the becalmed British fleet at Braddock Bay

This week we continue with part two of three presentations on the attacks along the Greece shores of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Today we look at the battle fought on September 11, 1813. For two years American Commodore Isaac Chauncey and British Commodore Sir James Yeo maneuvered for control of Lake Ontario. When they met at the mouth of the Genesee River on September 11, 1813, it was only their second direct engagement with each other. That morning the American fleet caught up with the becalmed British fleet at Braddock Bay. At 2:30 p.m., just offshore of Charlotte, Chauncey, and his fleet had closed to within ¾ of a mile of Yeo, putting him in long-gun range. The flagship, Pike, and the Sylph began to fire their cannons at the British fleet; the bombardment lasted for 90 minutes.

Eight Miles Along the Shore
Eight Miles Along the Shore By Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted

More on the War of 1812 check out: Eight Miles Along The Shore by Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted is the first book you should pick up.

The Greece Historical Society presents these weekly Bicentennial Snapshots to mark the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Town of Greece. Each week we feature a particular aspect of Greece, New York history. Each Bicentennial story will be unique in nature and over the course of the 52 episodes, you will learn about the people and events that comprise the vibrant history of Greece from its earliest days to the present.

The mission of the Greece Historical Society is to discover, research, and preserve the history of the Town of Greece and to share that history with its residents and the local community through public programs, publications, museum exhibits, and accessibility to its archives and artifacts.

If you like to learn more about the Town of Greece’s history, consider Subscribing to Our YouTube Channel Greece History and when you are there don’t forget to click that bell icon 🔔, you will be notified when new content comes out for the Bicentennial Snapshots or other programs that the Society puts on about the Town of Greece and its past so future generations can understand how the town has taken us on multiple journeys.

The Bicentennial Snapshots video is assembled and produced by Pat Worboys, who manages video and Information Technology services for the Greece Historical Society and Museum.

All graphics that are used in the video are either from Public Domain Sources, Museum Collections, and contributions by members of the Greece Historical Society, and credit is given to each source either in the lower third or at the end of the video.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 05: War of 1812 Part 1

War of 1812
War of 1812

This week we begin a three-part presentation on the attacks along the Greece shores of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Today we look at the British attacks that occurred on October 1, 1812, and June 15, 1813. At first, there was little support for the war in the Lake Ontario shoreline settlements. The causes of the war were not their grievances. They enjoyed a healthy trade relationship with their Canadian neighbors and it seemed so unlikely that the war would impact them. However, once British warships visited their shore and bombarded them with cannonballs their attitude changed; they realized that the war could be at their doors any time the lake was navigable, especially as Charlotte was a site where provisions for the troops were stockpiled.

The Greece Historical Society presents these weekly Bicentennial Snapshots to mark the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Town of Greece. Each week we feature a particular aspect of Greece, New York history. Each Bicentennial story will be unique in nature and over the course of the 52 episodes, you will learn about the people and events that comprise the vibrant history of Greece from its earliest days to the present.

Each story is researched, written, and narrated by retired librarian and local historian Maureen Whalen; she has a unique style of storytelling that makes each Bicentennial Snapshot come alive and easy for everyone to understand.

Eight Miles Along the Shore
Eight Miles Along the Shore By Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted

The mission of the Greece Historical Society is to discover, research, and preserve the history of the Town of Greece and to share that history with its residents and the local community through public programs, publications, museum exhibits, and accessibility to its archives and artifacts.

If you are into books then pick up a copy of Eight Miles Along the Shore: or any of the other publications in our online gift shop.

If you like to learn more about the Town of Greece’s history, consider Subscribing to Our YouTube Channel Greece History and when you are there don’t forget to click that bell icon 🔔, you will be notified when new content comes out for the Bicentennial Snapshots or other programs that the Society puts on about the Town of Greece and its past so future generations can understand how the town has taken us on multiple journeys.

The Bicentennial Snapshots video is assembled and produced by Pat Worboys, who manages video and Information Technology services for the Greece Historical Society and Museum.

All graphics that are used in the video are either from Public Domain Sources, Museum Collections, and contributions by members of the Greece Historical Society, and credit is given to each source either in the lower third or at the end of the video.

Bicentennial Snapshot # 04: King’s Landing

The Greece Historical Society presents these weekly Bicentennial Snapshots to mark the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Town of Greece. Each week we feature a particular aspect of Greece, New York history. Each Bicentennial story will be unique in nature and over the course of the 52 episodes, you will learn about the people and events that comprise the vibrant history of Greece from its earliest days to the present.

King’s Landing
By Helen Edson Slocum

This week we consider King’s Landing, the First European Settlement, and Lake Port west of the Genesee River. Natives of Sheffield, Connecticut, in 1797. the King and Granger families established a settlement on the banks of the Genesee River. They cut roads, built a bridge over the ravine, cleared the land, built a wharf and a schooner, sailed to Fort Niagara with their first load of produce and wheat, killed rattlesnakes, and went about their daily lives until the settlement was decimated by malaria or Genesee Fever as it was called then. In 1807, the seven Hanford brothers renewed the King’s Landing settlement and built a mill, hotel, and shipping center. More on Handford’s Tavern involvement in the War of 1812 Part 1.

The King’s Landing Bicentennial Snapshot was compiled by Lee Strauss, and Joseph Vitello, using notes by Helen Edson Slocum, Narrated by Maureen Whalen.

Eight Miles Along the Shore
Eight Miles Along the Shore By Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted

More on King’s Landing check out: Eight Miles Along The Shore by Virginia Tomkiewicz and Shirley Cox Husted is the first book you should pick up.

And there is a copy of King’s Landing, A History of the First Settlement west of the Genesee River in the State of New York 1797 by Helen Edson Slocum is available in our reference library for research only.

Don’t forget to, check out the Digital Kiosk inside the Newcomb Museum Wing has a fully interactive exhibit on King’s Landing.

The mission of the Greece Historical Society is to discover, research, and preserve the history of the Town of Greece and to share that history with its residents and the local community through public programs, publications, museum exhibits, and accessibility to its archives and artifacts.

If you like to learn more about the Town of Greece’s history, consider Subscribing to Our YouTube Channel Greece History and when you are there don’t forget to click that bell icon 🔔, you will be notified when new content comes out for the Bicentennial Snapshots or other programs that the Society puts on about the Town of Greece and its past so future generations can understand how the town has taken us on multiple journeys.

As the line in West Ridge Elementary School theme goes, “We all come from different parts of the Greece Community.”

West Ridge Elementary Theme

The Bicentennial Snapshots video is assembled and produced by Pat Worboys, who manages video and Information Technology services for the Greece Historical Society and Museum.

All graphics that are used in the video are either from Public Domain Sources, Museum Collections, and contributions by members of the Greece Historical Society, and credit is given to each source either in the lower third or at the end of the video.