George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

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undertakers, one foundry, a grist mill, a box factory, a lumber yard,
three coal yards, two produce dealers, an evaporator, two carriage re-
positories, two wagon and four blacksmith shops, two warehouses, a
hay rack factor)-, one machine shop, a marble works, and 1,028 inhab-

Sonrs Point. — The early history of the present town as well as that
of Wayne county largely centers at this interesting village. It was
here that Captain Charles Williamson, with a small force of laborers,
commenced improvements in 1794. Situated on the lake shore and on
the west side of Great Sodus Bay, and possessing one of the best har-
bors along the American shore of Lake Ontario, he predicted for it a
future importance scarcely conceivable in the light of modern develop-
ments. In his vivid imagination he planned a city, even to a prelimi-
nary survey, to extend " between Salmon Creek and Great Sodus Bay,
and a spacious street with a large square in the center." At a very
earh' date it bore the name of Troupville, from Robert Troup, of New
York. Williamson's expectations were never realized; instead, the
place, after a lethargic growth, assumed the position of a small country
village combined with that of a pleasant summer resort.

Captain Williamson erected a hotel where David Rogers's house now
stands; be also built several dwellings, and on Salmon Creek, two miles
west, he put up a saw mill and grist mill — all in 1794. The grist mill
remained in operation until about L807. The saw mill, which also went
down about the same time, stood near the pond south of Preston's mills
on the east side of the creek. Timothy Axtell built a saw mill for
Judge Nichols about L795. Among the early industries at the Point
were those of John Wafer, blacksmith; David McNutt, shoemaker;
Captain William Wickham, the first merchant; James Kane, John Mc-
Allister, John Gibson, Thomas Wickham, and a Mr. Sage, merchants.
The first lighthouse was built about L820, and piers were erected from
L828 to is;; | by William Barckley and E. W. Sentell, government con-


tractors. Subsequently the lighthouse was rebuilt and another one
erected, the piers have been rebuilt and extended, breakwaters have
been constructed, and several appropriations have been expended in
deepening and clearing the channel leading into the bay. The place
has long been a port of entry. The post-office here was the first in town,
and was established under the name of Sodus, which was eventually
changed to Sodus Point; the present postmaster is Matthew M. Farrell.
Occasionally early letters, it is said, came directed to ''Arms Roads."

In July, 1872, the Sodus Bay division of the present Northern Central
Railroad was completed and opened with its northern terminus at this
place. It is principally due to the construction of this railway that So-
dus Point owes prominence as a summer resort. A number of prett)^
cottages and several neat hotels grace the beautiful site and attract
each summer crowds of visitors seeking rest and recreation.

Wallington. — This hamlet is situated southeast of Sodus village, at
the junction of the Sodus Point and Southern, and the Rome, Water-
town and Ogdensburgh Railroads, and for many years was a sort of ren-
dezvous for county political conventions. The site was first owned by
Daniel Arms, at whose house several of the earlier town meetings were
held. The next owner was John W. Messenger, the stepfather of his
successor, Charles D. Lent. The place owes its existence to the rail-
roads, and was named from an old stone tavern near by. Mr. Lent was
the first station agent here of the Sodus Point Railroad, a position he
held thirteen years. The first depot, north of the junction, has been
occupied as a dwelling for some time ; in it Mr. Lent opened the first
store and kept the first post-office, holding the latter position nine years.
He also opened the first village hotel, of which he still continues as the
landlord. When the stations of the two railroads were merged into one
he was appointed agent. He was born in England and settled in Sodus
in 1836. The original station here on the Sodus Point Railroad was
known as " Calciana, " the latinized expression for lime. Wallington
now contains two stores, two hotels, post-office (with John Marenus,
postmaster), and about fifteen dwellings. It was formerly an impor-
tant transfer point for coal, etc., but since the R. W. & O. was leased
to the New York Central Railroad most of the business has gone else-

Sodus Center. — This is a station on the Sodus Point and Southern
Railroad, a little southeast of the center of the town. The first build-
ing here was the saw mill and perhaps a dwelling erected by Hawk and


Taylor as early af 1808. About the same time Silas F. Andrews built
a grist mill on the site of the Reynolds mill; in 1810 it was owned by
Elijah Lemanon, and afterwards in turn by Barley & Andrews, the Van
Wickles, and Case & Roberts. The Mather grist mill was erected later.
At one time a carding mill and foundry were operated here. The
place now contains a post-office, a district school, churches and the com-
mercial industries, etc., usually found in a small, thriving rural vil-
lage. The present postmaster is vSheldon Sours, who succeeded Alden
W. Brower.

South Sodus. — This is a postal hamlet in the southeast corner of the
town. The original settlers here were Silas F. Andrews and William
Young about 1808. Mr. Andrews erected a saw mill during the war of
1812; he died in 1820. The place contains a store, hotel, church, dis-
trict school, blacksmith and wagon shop, and a number of houses. The
postmaster is Erastus Bloomer, who succeeded Maurice E. Chittenden.

Alton is a postal village and station situated a little north of the R.
W. & O. Railroad in the east part of the town. Its name was suggested
by Mr. Gates in memory of his native place in Connecticut. The first
clearing was made and the first house was built by a Mr. Barnard in
1812; a few years afterward a saw mill was erected and placed in opera-
tion. In March, 1889, fire burned the warehouse and lumber yard of

E. J. Gatchell, causing a loss of $10,000. The village has maintained
a position of local importance, and contains several churches, a good
school, hotel, and a number of commercial and other interests. The
present postmaster, Eugene Philo, succeeded Charles Emery in that

Joy. — The first house in this place was erected by Gaius Granger, the
father of Gen. Gordon Granger, before mentioned. It is situated in
the southeast part of the town, and takes its name from Benjamin Joy,
of London, England, who was the original owner of this township (Li),
the land office for which was distinct from that of the Pultney estate at
Geneva; David Hudson was an early agent of this tract. A saw mill
was built here about 1812, and subsequently a shingle mill was oper-
ated. Joy is a pleasant rural hamlet, surrounded by good farms, and
contains a church, store, post-office, district school, and a small cluster
of houses. Harry Messenger, the present postmaster, succeeded Asa

F. Andrews in that position.

Sprong's -Bluff is a small summer resort on Charles Sprong's farm on
the lake shore, north of Sodus village.


Maxwell's, the location of Preston's mill, was so named by Dr. William
N. Lummis in honor of the family name of his wife. It is situated on
Salmon Creek, two miles west from Sodus Point, and is the western
extremity of Captain Williamson's visionary "city." During the war
of 1812 Dr. Lummis moved hither from Sodus Point; he built the old
Preston grist mill, a saw mill, an iron forge, and several houses. This
was the second grist mill in town, and for a time was run by Isaac
Davison. The place has never attained distinction more important
than a mill site.

Methodist Episcopal Churches. — Probably the first Methodist preacher
in Sodus was Elder Gerum, who settled on the Pitcher farm as early as
1800. Elijah Warren, the oldest son of Samuel, came to South Sodus
with the family in 1808. Being then a licentiate he held meetings in
that neighborhood; he subsequently joined the annual conference and
was appointed to the circuit. Rev. Mr. Goodenough came here in 1810,
and held meetings at his house and elsewhere. In 180? or 1808 prayer
and class meetings were held at the dwelling of John Reed, and from
1810 to about 1822 circuit preaching was had at Rev. Mr. Goodenough's
residence. In 1822 the meeting place was changed to the house of
Thomas Boyd. The first class at South Sodus was formed in 1824.
The first recorded quarterly conference for the Sodus circuit met at the
Baptist meeting house, September 27, 1828. December 1, 1832, it was
decided to build a church at South Sodus. The edifice, a stone struc-
ture, was erected in 1834-35 at a cost of about $2,500, and was dedi-
cated July 4, 1836. Mr. Gridley donated the site. A new building
was erected in 1871, and dedicated September 27, of that year. With
the parsonage it cost $12,000. The Sunday school has a membership
of one hundred, with Rev. R. E. Huntley, the pastor, as superintendent.
The church has about thirty-five members.

With the conversion of Samuel Morse about 1827, Methodist meet-
ings commenced on Morse Hill. Rev. Joseph Gates settled north of the
stone school house in June, 1830, but died in the following September.
In those few months, however, the fires of Methodism were kindled in
the neighborhood. A class was formed, and February 25, 1840, a
society was organized at the house of Ellathan Baker, the first trustees
being Charles Hanby, Ellathan Baker, and Robert Howcroft. A lot
was bought and the old Centenary church was erected that year. In
time the old edifice was removed a little west and converted into a Good
Templars' lodge room, and on the original site the present Centenary


church was built. The locality is three miles northwest of Sodus vil-
lage and is locally known as "New England."

Methodists living in the south and central parts of the town early
began plans for their spiritual welfare, and a project was inaugurated
to build at Johnson's Corners. A subscription was raised and a build-
ing committee appointed ; but the location was happily changed to Sodus
village. The society was formed by the union of classes at lohnson's
Corners and Sentell's Mills. A vacant store was utilized as a place of
worship. Septcmher 3, 1840, a stone church was begun, but a year
later only the basement had been finished. In it, however, the first
meeting was held on Christmas eve, of that year, and in 1 S40 it was
finished and dedicated. The society was formally organized June S,
L838, when Milton N. Barclay (afterwards a Methodist minister),
Edward W. Sentell, Stephen White, John Warner, and Michael Tinkle-
paugh were chosen trustees. In L 887 the old stone church was torn
down, and on its site the present handsome brick edifice was built at a
cost of $15,000. It was dedicated by Bishop Andrews of New York,
January 25, L889. The present trustees are: W. H. Ward, Henry
Richardson, B. W. Case, Cornelius Whitbeck, and M. P. Boyd. The
pastor is Rev. John G. Foote, who also has charge of the Centenary
church. The society owns a frame parsonage and has over 250 mem-
bers and a Sunday school of 240 pupils.

The Methodist Society of Sodus Point was organized as a branch of
the Sodus village church, Febmary 14, 1871, with John N. Wood, E.
\V. Sentell, John Preston, Deforest McNett, and William Buys, trustees.
In 1871 they were constituted a separate society, and the same year a
church costing $4,000 was built; it was dedicated July 1 ;, 1872. Rev.
R. E. Huntley is pastor, and also of the church at South Sodus. The
society owns a parsonage at the Point. The church has about eighty
members, and the Sunday school an average attendance of fifty-six;
E. H. Sentell is superintendent.

Baptist Churches. — Among the records of this denomination is the
following: "Sodus, March 11, I sou, a conference held; Elder Norton,
moderator, and adjourned to April 1. Met at the house of Joshua
Palmer according to adjournment." This led to church organization in
the southern part of the district of Sodus. In L820 covenant meetings
were authorized in the southern part of the present town and the north
part of Lyons, and on March :;, L821, a society was formed, but its cer-
tificate of incorporation was not filed until 1825. In this year Elder


vSeba Norton, with characteristic energy, began the erection of the brick
church at " Rossiter's Corners," now Sodus Center, on land given by
the Pnltney estate to the First Baptist Society of Sodus for "a glebe,
a chapel, and a burial place." The edifice was finished in 1826, and the
first covenant meeting was held in it July 15. March 10, 1834, fifty
members were dismissed to organize the West Baptist church mentioned
below; in June James Walling and Lawrence Vosburg were chosen
deacons. This church led in the pioneer labors of fostering Christianity
in the town and is now one of the oldest landmarks in the county,
widely known as " the old brick meeting house." The society has about
thirty-three members and a Sunday school with an average attendance
of forty-five pupils and officers. Charles D. Lent is superintendent.

On March 5, 1834, the West Baptist Church of Sodus was organized
in the Episcopal church of Sodus village with fifty-two members ; the
first clerk was Moses Parke. John M. Granger and Reuben Graham
were the first deacons. The first communion was celebrated April 20,
1834. On April 10, 1840, the society formally disbanded, and a re-
organization was effected February 14, 1841, at the house of Deacon
Granger, and the church was again reorganized by council, July 15,
following. Their regular place of meeting was at the Granger school
house. The last recorded covenant meeting was in March, 1858. Soon
afterward the society ceased to exist.

Presbyterian Churches. — The formation of this denomination in town
is largely due to the settlement of Byram, Joseph, and Samuel Green,
three brothers, in 1811. A society called the First Presbyterian Church
of Sodus was organized October 23, 1812, by Rev. David Tullar and
Oliver Ayres, with twelve members. Immediatly after the organization
Flavel Kingsley, Mrs. Harriet Higgins, and Mrs. Elizabeth Clark
offered themselves and were admitted to membership. The first
deacons were Matthew Clark and Phineas Hayward, and the first clerk,
Byram Green. August 11, 1819, the church formally voted to adopt
the Presbyterian form of government. Prior to this it had been sub-
stantially Congregational, notwithstanding" the fact that its legal certi-
ficate styles the body The First Union Presbyterian Society of Sodus.
It is presumed that the term Union was used because of the Presby-
terians and the Congregationalists being united in the same organization.
Meetings were held in various places until 1827, when a church was
erected in Sodus village. Levi Gurnee and Judge Green, with their ox
teams drew the timber from Flavel Kingsley 's farm, and the frame was



aised June 28. In L863 it was superseded by the present structure,
which was dedicated in June of that year. The old edifice was sold to
Rufus A. Moses, the contractor for the new building, and finally became
a planing mill in the eastern part of the village. The society now has
about 'Mo members under the pastoral care of Rev. A. I). Mcintosh.
The Sunday school has about 140 scholars, with A. J. Barber, super-
intendent. The parsonage was built in 1874-75.

The Presbyterian Church of Joy was organized March IS, 1845, under
the name of The Church of Wayne, though it is better known by the
title first given. Eleven members were from the church at Sodus, and
five from the church at Newark. The ground for a church and cemetcrv
was given by Samuel White, and the following were the first trustees:
Henry I. Pulver, Martin Fredenburgh, Adam Tinklepaugh, Samuel
White, Nelson Lapham, Henry R. Leggett. Meetings were held in the
school house several years, but no house of worship was erected, and
services were finally suspended. A new movement and partial reorgani-
zation occurred October IS, L852, and the house was built in the sum-
mer of L853, and dedicated December 23, by Rev. Charles Hawley.
During the early organization the elders were Martin Fredenburgh,
Henry Pulver, and Stephen G. Weaver. April 16, 1854, Enoch Granger,
Anthony Pulver, and David Leighton were elected elders. The church
has maintained public worship very steadily since that time. There
are about fifty members, and a Sunday school of sixty scholars; M. D.
White, superintendent.

The Presbyterian Church of Sodus Center was organized March 10,
L863; Rev. Chester Holcomb was moderator. The first trustees were:
John F. Proseus, Lewis Crane, Harrison Cottrell, Robert Shepardson,
and John F. Peeler. They erected a house of worship in wSodus Center
in 1866, at a cost of $1,000. A commission of the Lyons Presbyterv,
consisting of Revs. William L. Page and William Young, constituted
the church October 26, 1870, with nine members. The society now lias
t"ort} r members, and a Sunday school of fifty scholars, with C. M. Clapp,
superintendent. The pastor of this church and also of the church at
Joy is Rev. E. J. Bulgin.

Episcopal Churches. — Probably the first clergyman of this denomina-
tion to visit Wayne county was Rev. Davenport Phelps, that pioneer of
Episcopalianism in Western New York. He was the first officiating
minister in Geneva in L806, or before, and frequently visited Sodusand
other towns. July 25, L826, the first parochial meeting in this town was


held at the old brick school house, and in August St. John's Church,
Sodus Ridge (now Sodus village), was organized by Rev. form A.
Clark. Thomas Wickham and Elijah McKinney were elected wardens,
and Elisha Mather, Oren Gaylord, Henry Jones, Bennett C. Fitzhugh,
John O'Bryan, Joseph Williams, William Dolloway, and William N.
Lummis were chosen vestrymen. The certificate of incorporation was
acknowledged and recorded in the county clerk's office August 20, L826,
The corner stone of the present edifice was laid with Masonic ceremonies
September 26, L826. It was completed and dedicated September 8,
1834, by Rt. Rev. Bishop Coxe, of Buffalo. It contains several memo-
rial windows. The parish has fifty-five communicants under the rector-
ship of Rev. F. W. Beecher, who is also superintendent of the Sunday

Christ's Episcopal Church of Sodus Point was organized May 3, 1851,
with B. C. Fitzhugh and William S. Malcolm, wardens, and William
Edwards, William P. Irwin, William Preston, William Robinson, Charles
B. Hallet, David Rogers, and Elida Petit. The certificate was acknowl-
edged before Hon. Thomas A. Johnson, of the Supreme Court, and re-
corded November 24, 1851. It united with the Sodus church in the
support of a clergyman. The parish has about twenty communicants
and a Sunday school of about twenty scholars. They have a neat frame
church edifice.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Sodus Center was established as a
mission about 18?5 and a small chapel erected on a lot donated by Eli-
sha Mather. The parish has about twenty communicants, and a Sunday
school with the same number of scholars.

The Free Congregational Church of Sodus was organized October 11,
1843, with thirty-four members. Rev. Samuel R. Ward, then of South
Butler, was moderator and Rev. David Slie was secretary. December
24, 1843, Levi Gaylord was chosen leader and Josiah Rice deacon.
Rev. Samuel Wire preached for the church regularly for two or three
years. This church never filed any certificate of incorporation. The
trustees were Kitchell Bell, Isaac Snow, and S. W. Hurlburt. Meetings
were held at the school-houss in the village, and the organization was
continued for eight or nine years.

The Free Methodist Church of Alton was first recognized as a part
of Rose circuit November 1, 1861 ; William Cooley was the first preacher
in charge; William Burns, class-leader for Alton, and also elected stew-
ard; other early members were C. T. Cuer, James Stevenson, and West-


brook Case. A meeting' to effect a separate organization was held April
IS, L867, Rev. M. I). McDougall, chairman, E. D. Bradshaw, secre-
tary. The trustees were Aaron Winget, Walter Emery, and James
Stevenson. In 1868 the society erected a neat chapel at a cost of $1000,
and dedicated in that fall. The society has fifty-five members and a
Sunday school of eighty members; G. E. Burn is superintendent.

An organization representing the faith of the Adventists was effected
in Alton in ISO!) or 1880, by Elder Miles. Mr. Bowers and George
Shaver were deacons; William H. Steele, elder, and Taylor Steele,
clerk and treasurer. The society held services in the stone meeting-
house and the Bell school house.

A Protestant Methodist society was organized August 15, 1847, with
Lawrence Teall, Ira Drake, Isaac N. Clark, and James Lyle, trustees;
the certificate of incorporation was filed April 7, 1848. This society had
been preceded by another organization at Sodus Point in October, 1837,
of which the first trustees were John Segar, Henry Doviel, Chauncey
Phelps, Rufus Field, E. W. Bliton, and Seth Blanchard. This was
never incorporated. The first named organization was renewed in Al-
ton in 1809 with Philp Rankard as leader. Services were held there in
the stone meeting house.

The Christian Church of Alton was formed in the winter of 1842-43,
by Rev. Amasa Stanton and Rev. Mr. Mosher. George Gould was the
first clerk and John G. Kelly and John Baker were the first deacons.
Re^. Mr. Mosher preached for four years. The stone meeting house
belonging to this society was built about 1851. The society made a
legal organization June 23, 1851; the trustees were George Leighton,
William Walker, John G. Kelly, Frederick Utter, and William R. K.
Hone. The certificate was acknowledged before Nathaniel Kellogg,
and recorded September 24. Owing to some informality the organiza-
tion was renewed, and the certificate again recorded January 22, 1853,
and the Christian church near Joy having been organized in the mean
time the name of the Alton society was changed to the "Second Christ-
ian Church of Sodus."

A United Society of Believers in Christ's second appearing, popularly
known as Shakers, flourished several years at Nichols' Point, coming to
Sodus from New Lebanon about 1823. They purchased of Judge
Nichols 1,450 acres of land on which they erected large buildings.
About fifteen years later they removed, selling their property to Adams,
Duncan & Co., promotors of the Sodus canal, for $100 an acre. This


firm sold it to a Fourierite association, but after a brief existence they
disbanded and it fell back into the possession of the canal men. The
society removed to the Genesee flats in Livingston county and estab-
lished themselves on land which they purchased at $00 an acre. Their
old meeting house is now occupied as a dwelling.

The First Christian Church of Sodus was organized in the Wallace
district, southwest of Joy, October 1, 1852. The first trustees were
Joseph Green, John W. Allen, Orville Carpenter and Adam Tinklepaugh.
The certificate was recorded February 5, 1853.

The society had religious services at the Wallace school-house for
several years, but the formal church organization has not been main-

The Free-Will Baptist society was organized April 0, 1843, with Sam-
uel Wire, Benjamin Chapman, John D. Robinson, David Phillips, and
Willard Parker, trustees. The certificate was recorded May 6. The
society built the meeting-house in the south part of the town, and under
the ministry of Rev. Samuel Wire had services regularly for several
years. However, finally the organization ceased to exist, and the edi-
fice was sold to the German Evangelical Association.

The German Evangelical Association, popularly known as "Al-
bright's," belongs to the Newark circuit, and the minister resides at



In the primitive division of Ontario county the town of Lyons, in-
cluding Arcadia, embraced the southeast corner of the old district of
Sodus. March 1, 1811, it was set off to form a separate township, and
on the 15th of February, 1825, Arcadia was created from its territory,
leaving Lyons with its present assessed area of 21,001 acres. It is
bounded on the east by Rose and Galen, on the south by Ontario county,

Online LibraryGeorge Washington CowlesLandmarks of Wayne County, New York → online text (page 23 of 107)