Train Travel comes to Middleport

The opening of the canal in 1825 was responsible for much of the growth of this little village of Middleport, New York.  It wasn’t much longer before the first train came chugging through Middleport, again changing how people were able to transport goods and families to the west. The first train came through  in June of 1852 and by 1853 some 11 trains were traveling through or community per day.  By 1888 there was a train every hour all day long and that put a serious dent into the commerce on the canal. The Hotel Rich had a livery service from the station to the hotel for anyone who needed a place to stay.  Middleport became well known for the hospitality it showed to travelers […]

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Early Settlers head for WNY

After Batavia was made the county seat in 1802, the Holland Land Company, comprised of 6 different Dutch banking houses, opened this area to settlers with prices of $2.50 per acre of land.  Some of the early names in our area were James Lyman, James Williams, John Griswold and of course Asher Freeman. Mr. Freeman bought some 500 acres of land and built a home which was the only one between Batavia and Slayton Settlement.  Because he was one of the principal land owners, Freeman’s Corners became a name used for a period of time. Some of the other names for our early community were Barlow’s Corners, Taylor’s Corners and Ewing’s Corners as well as Peeneyville, Pucker and Tea Pot Hollow.

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Our Early Settlers

Many of our early settlers made their way across New York State from Vermont along the Great Central Trail, known to us today as Buffalo Road and Route 5.  The early trails were only 12-18 inches wide and were gradually widened to about 10 feet to allow for the passage of wagons.  The Holland Land Purchase, which comprised most of the land west of the Genesee, was the gate that opened this area to settlement.  The land sold by agents for the Holland Land Company went for $2.50 per acre.  By 1809 Ridge Road was considered one of the best roads in New York State.  A coach line had even been established to take travelers from Canandaigua to Lewiston.

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Middleport Industrial Chart 1881

The art in this industrial chart produced in 1881 was attributed to two artists, Philleo who sketched the bodies and other figures  and Pollard who was responsible for the faces.  W.F. Pollard and Company were responsible for cartoons and commercial advertising in the local Middleport Times and the Middleport Mail who fought for newspaper supremacy within  the village. W.F Pollard and business partner Arthur Whittaker set out for points west around 1893, finally settling in Spokane, Washington where they did some of the first advertising for two daily and 4 weekly newspapers.  Their business  was eventually sold to the Spokane “Spokesman Review” where Pollard remained as an employee while Whittaker returned to Middleport. An original of this chart can be viewed at the office of […]

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Belva stamp anniversary

On June 18, 1986, the United States Postal Service officially released the Belva Ann Lockwood stamp as part of their Great American Series.  Born on October 24, 1830, this Royalton resident went on to become an admired public figure and a very influential woman of the century.  The Lockwood Bill gave female attorneys the right to pursue their cases in courts.  She also became the first female nominated by a political party to the office of President of the United States, first in 1884 and again in 1888.      

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First woman doctor in Middleport

Dr. Helen M. Robertson was the wife of village entrepreneur H.A. Robertson, and the first female doctor in the village.  She was a graduate of  Chicago’s Hahneman Medical College which she entered at the age of 50 and graduated in 1889 with honors.  Her family home at 33 State Street was the site of her medical practice where she worked for 35 years until shortly before her death.    

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