Town of
Huron
History

Coveted Registered Historian Certificate

History

Graduate Programs - History:
The link below provides a resource for students interested in History graduate programs.
Our Heritage:

Imagine the pristine beauty of this area when the great Iroquois Nations occupied the land.  The old Town of Wolcott, which took in the areas of Butler, Huron, and Rose, wasn't established until 1807.  It's difficult to imagine today that at that time only three families lived in the area we call the Town of Huron.  The first settler was Captain William Helms, in 1796.  Captain Helms settled here from Virginia, bringing his household and seventy slaves; the slaves were used to clear the land.


Obediah Adams, a Wolcott resident was one of the shakers and movers of his time.  His enterprises included a mill, a distillery, and a tavern, to mention a few.  When the stagecoach road between Rochester and Oswego was completed, he bought land on the east end of the Great Sodus Bay and built Sloop's Landing, from which he shipped produce and goods to Canada and down the St. Lawrence.  His success was phenomenal, making Sloop's Landing one of the busiest shipping docks on Lake Ontario.  Unfortunately his success didn't last long.  The Erie Canal was completed in 1825 and very quickly drew the shipping activity away from Sloop's Landing.  The Landing eventually fell into disrepair.


In 1826, the towns of Butler, Huron and Rose, seeking recognition in their own right, were separated from the Town of Wolcott.  The Town of Huron, originally called Port Bay, was created 25 February 1826, consisting of approximately 21,800 acres of land.  The town is bordered on the north by Lake Ontario.  The Great Sodus Bay extends into the town from the northwest corner.  East Bay extends into the town from the north and Port Bay extends into the town from the northeast corner.   The lakeshore rises in a series of bluffs - the most impressive being Chimney Bluffs with an elevation of 175 feet above the lake.


Around the same time the Town of Port Bay was established, it became home to a unique religious group.  In February 1826, the Shakers, or United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, purchased a tract of land consisting of a little more than 1,331 acres, part of which was located in the eastern portion of the Town of Port Bay.  The Shaker community was an egalitarian society.  They were a celibate group, hardworking, scrupulously honest and as self-sufficient as possible.  The Sodus Shakers were the first to package seeds for sale and established a successful business, earning a reputation for quality.


However, the Shaker Community was not to be long lived in Wayne County.  William H. Adams, a Lyons attorney was an enthusiastic supporter of the Erie Canal and had a dream to build another canal from the Erie in the Town of Galen to Sodus Bay.  He reasoned that a canal to Sodus Bay would develop a port that would outrival Rochester and Oswego.  The route of the proposed canal went right through the Shaker Tract.  Concerned for the future of their community, the shakers reluctantly sold the property in Wayne County and moved to Groveland in Livingston County in 1837.


On the 17th of March, 1834, the Town of Port Bay officially became the Town of Huron, in honor of the Huron Indian tribe.  The population of Huron is just over 2,100 people, based on the year 2000 census data.  It remains a predominantly agricultural area with fruit farming and processing the major industries.  With three embayments and lake shore, the Town of Huron is also known for its resort properties, an attraction for water sports and fishing enthusiasts.

Registered Historian Award:
Carol Flint, Historian for the Town of Huron, was awarded Registered Historian status during the ceremonies of the Awards Banquet held April 4, 2011.  The occasion was the annual conference of the Association of Public Historians of New York State.  This is only the second time a historian in Wayne County has received this honor.
School District #6 - Dayton Mills School - circa 1817:

Dayton Mills School Gets A Make-over

The Town of Huron has three historic buildings, the school house - circa 1817, the old Town Hall - circa 1849, and the Huron Grange - circa 1884.  These buildings and their preservation have been the responsibility and care of the Town Board, under the watchful eye of Carol Flint, the Town Historian.  The following is Carol's report to the Town Board on the Dayton Mills School Boy Scout project:

"I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail from a teenage town resident requesting permission to paint the Town's Dayton Mills Schoolhouse, circa 1817.  Michael Chapin, whose family roots go back several generations in our town, chose painting the schoolhouse for his Eagle Scout project.

As Historian, I introduced his request at a Building Committee meeting where it was unanimously agreed this indeed was a very thoughtful and much needed undertaking.  Michael officially presented his idea to our Town Board.  Chairman of the Building Committee gave the commitee's recommendation.  The Town Board unanimously approved the project.  Our Highway Superintendent volunteered his crew to replace missing and damaged clapboards.  Our Town attorney drafted documents to be signed by all persons who work at the site.

 

Mike's fundraising included private donations, as well as the collection of bottles and cans from area merchants, for redemption.  A former student made a donation which nearly covered the cost of the new clapboards.  When our Building Inspector contacted the manager of the local building supply store (not even in our town) to get a cost for the primer and paint, after consulting the store's owner the manager offered to donate their best primer and paint for the project's completion.

The Town has contracted to have a sign made which will be placed in the schoolhouse yard.  The sign reads:

 

Michael Chapin's Boy Scout Eagle Project

Paint donated by Wolcott Building Supply

Private Donations

 

The sign will be privately paid for by our Town Supervisor.  Once the sign is in place, I will contact area newspapers for a news article and photographs.

 

The Town of Huron is a small town with a population of less than 2,600 people.  We have no historical society.  Fortunately, past Town Boards have preserved the three historic buildings - besides the District #6 schoolhouse, the Town owns the Old Town Hall, circa 1849, and the Huron Grange, circa 1884, home of the first Juvenile Grange in New York State.

 

Upon the project's completion, the Boy Scout Council will schedule Mike's official Eagle Scout ceremony in October.  Mike assures me all Town officials will be invited.  There will be an Open House at the country school on the day of the ceremony. 

 

Just think - all of this was the result of one person's idea to contribute to his community.  The community's response was heart-warming."

 

Carol Flint, Huron Historian 

Contacts:
Historian
Rosa Fox
Email:
Links:
History Graduate Programs Resource
A comprehensive resource which helps student sort out history graduate programs available in the United States.
Images:
Dayton Mills School - circa 1817
Dayton Mills School - circa 1817
Town of Huron - Dayton Mills School