Brighton Pioneers

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Historical content and images provided by Warren Kling

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Oliver Culver (1778-1867) was elected the first town Supervisor of the Town of Brighton (1814-1816) at a meeting in Orringh Stone's tavern in 1814. He was also a boat builder and owned a construction company which cleared the land to make one of the most famous roads in the area in 1806, the old Pittsford road, later renamed East Avenue.  In 1822 he got into the canal boat business, building the first canal packet boat in the area west of Palmyra, the fourth canal boat launched anywhere on the Erie Canal. His home is a landmark and was in the family for 129 years. It was originally located on East Avenue but was moved to 70 East Boulevard where you can still see it today. Oliver was also elected Brighton Supervisor  two other times, (1838-1841 and  (1844). Oliver Culver is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery near the old 1862 chapel.

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William Clough Bloss (1795-1863)  Bloss, was a Methodist, an early advocate of temperance, and a supporter of the anti-slavery movement. In 1834, he started a bi-weekly newspaper, The Rights of Man, and became nationally known. His home on East Avenue, where the Cutler Building now stands, was a stop on the Underground Railroad. He served in the NY State Assembly from 1845-47.  In the late 1840's  he was active in the women's suffrage movement and the admission of African-American children to Rochester schools.
To see larger images of the beautiful Bloss monument with bronze bas relief of William Clough on the front and his wife Mary Bangs Blossom on the opposite side, click on the photos to the left. The monument is located at the entrance to the Brighton Cemetery. The text under the relief of William reads:
               "William Clough Bloss
               Born at West Stockbridge, Mass. January 19, 1795
               Died at Rochester. April 18, 1863
                       A Tribute to the People
In 1826 being convinced that the use of spirituous liquors was an evil, he emptied the contents of the bar of his tavern into the canal near this site. He was instrumental in establishing a Temperance Society in every town in this country. He was the promoter of the Free School Law. He was one of the originators of the Anti Slavery Movement, and in 1834 he published one of the first Anti Slavery Papers 'The Rights of Man.' In 1838 he advocated the ballot for women. In 1845, while a representative at Albany, in rebuke of the caste prejudice of the day, he left his seat among the Whites at a communion service, and seating himself with the separated Blacks, partook of the sacrament  with them. In 1856 he supplemented the presentation of a rifle to each member of the Massachusetts Colonists en route to Kansas, by the gift of a Bible and Spelling Book 'To establish civil and religious liberty in Kansas.' In 1856 during the Fremont Campaign, he originated and circulated a Map showing the area and aggressions of the Slave power, which was so unanswerable an argument as to be excluded from the southern mails. He favored unrestricted immigration. For years he was a self appointed Chaplain of the county jail, his ministry to the needy, the destitute, and the helpless, continued throughout his life. A thinker in advance of his age, an orator on whose lips the people hung, he boldly championed unpopular truths, consecrating his gifts to God and humanity."
To view a larger image of  the tribute booklet to William Clough Bloss,  by his son Joseph who had the monument erected at the Brighton cemetery, click on the booklet.  It reads  "A Tribute to William C. Bloss at the unveiling of a monument to his memory at Brighton Cemetery, September 22, 1893, by his son. At the request of absent friends, the scene is described and the words repeated." The booklet was published in 1893 by the Post Express Printing Company in Rochester, New York.

stoneenossr.jpg (11111 bytes) Captain Enos Stone Sr. (1743-1815) and his wife Sarah, who were from Lennox, Massachusetts, purchased a large tract of Brighton Township #13 from Phelps & Gorham in 1789.  He gave each of his three sons, Orringh, Elvah and Enos Jr., a part of this land in Genesee Country. He was elected the second Town Clerk of Brighton in 1816, succeeding Nehemiah Hopkins. When his wife Sarah died, he moved in with his son Enos Jr., whose land was located on the east side of the Genesee River between Main & Court St. Captain Enos Stone is buried with his Son Enos Jr., near Col. Nathaniel Rochester, in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
stoneorringh1.jpg (43362 bytes)stonetolanhouse.jpg (211729 bytes) Orringh Stone built a log cabin and tavern where the Stone-Tolan house is today in ca.1792, opposite the Indian Council Rock, where two main Indian trails met. One trail was from the Indian landing at Irondequoit Creek and the other from Canandaigua.  This, the first tavern between Canandaigua and the Genesee Falls, became a popular place to break a long journey, get a good meal, refreshments, and comfortable place to stay overnight. In 1805  Orringh Stone, Oliver Culver and others cut a four mile road,  two rods wide from his tavern, to extend the Canandaigua trail to the Genesee River. On April 5, 1814 residents of Brighton held the first town meeting at Stone’s Tavern where Oliver Culver was elected the first town supervisor, Nehemiah Hopkins the Town Clerk, and Orringh Stone, Assessor. The Stone Tavern, in the rear of the house, was a frequent stop for many pioneers and famous visitors heading west, including in 1797 Louis Phillippe who became King of France, Revolutionary War hero General Lafayette in 1824, and Aaron Burr. Burr became Vice President of the U.S. (1801-1805) and killed Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel. Orringh Stone is buried in the Brighton Cemetery.
blossomenos1.jpg (43933 bytes) Enos Blossom (1779-1830) Built a home in 1799 near the intersection of East Avenue and Landing Road. He was appointed School Commissioner in 1801, and was one of the founders of the Allen's Creek school. In 1814 he was elected the Brighton constable, the first police officer. His daughter, Eliza, married Marshfield Parsons. They had a son, Col. Bloss Parsons, who built a beautiful brick home on 90 acres of land at East Ave. and Elmwood, where he raised sheep. He eventually sold this property to the Country Club of Rochester who used the home as its first clubhouse and the sheep pastures as the golf fairways. Enos Blossom is buried in the Brighton Cemetery.
cobb.jpg (365585 bytes) Gideon Cobb (1791-1864) Early Brighton pioneer who started the first public conveyance in the area in 1813.  It consisted of a team of oxen with cart, hauling either passengers or freight,  twice a week from the Indian landing at Irondequoit Creek to the mouth of the river. He cleared trees and stumps to make many of the early roads in the area like North Ave. (now Winton Road), State St. and Monroe Ave. He discovered large deposits of clay and sand while clearing Monroe Avenue and started the first brick factory around 1820, called the Monroe Brickyards, later becoming the Rochester Brick & Tile Company. He owned much land along Monroe Avenue including the famous Cobb's Hill named after him.  You can still view some original brick made by the Monroe brickyards by driving by the home of James Cobb, Gideon's son, at 1100 Highland Avenue. Gideon Cobb is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
andrewssamg.jpg (36800 bytes) Samuel G. Andrews- (1797-1863) was the elected the 7th Brighton Supervisor serving from 1829-1831.  His father was Samuel J. Andrews, a miller, who in 1814 purchased from Augustus Porter, a large tract of land, together with his brother-in-law, Moses Atwater, on the east side of the Genesee river near the main falls. Samuel G., his son, became very active in politics. After Monroe County  was formed  he became active County politics. He held a number of offices: Monroe County Clerk 1835-1837, Postmaster of Rochester 1841-44, 6th Mayor of Rochester in 1840, again in 1856, and Congressional representative 1857-59. He was also a real estate promoter of his father's Atwater-Andrews Tract. Samuel G. Andrews is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
crittendentf1.jpg (212317 bytes) T. Franklin Crittenden (1838-1912) The Crittendens were among the earliest pioneers owning a good portion of  West Brighton. Chauncey Crittenden, T. Franklin's grandfather, built the original Crittenden homestead in 1815 . T. F's  parents were Austin and Sarah Crittenden who built  a large home at 1600 Crittenden Road. T. F.  grew up on his father's dairy farm in Brighton, and at the age of 20 started a  business raising and shipping livestock for the meat packing industry. His brother, C. S. Crittenden, joined him in 1881 and they built a slaughterhouse at 290 Exchange Street in Rochester to provide dressed meat for the wholesale market. In 1909 their company was incorporated as F. & C. Crittenden & Co. The Crittendens were friends and business associates of  G. F. Swift, of the firm of Swift & Company, of Chicago, Ill.  F&C Crittenden & Company was one of the largest suppliers of prime dressed beef,  mutton, veal, pork, ham, etc. to western cities.  The Crittenden brothers each have beautiful stained glass mausoleums you can visit in Mt. Hope Cemetery, located  just inside the entrance across from the Distillery restaurant, and around the corner to the right.
merrillarchsketch.jpg (13334 bytes)merrillarch1.jpg (55455 bytes) Arch Merrill was a talented newspaper man with a love of Genesee country and a knack for telling a great story . He wrote many articles on the area which appeared in his column in the Democrat & Chronicle along with a number of books which were published. One of his most interesting books  is entitled A River Ramble, Saga of the Genesee Valley, a fascinating story about his search for the source of the Genesee river in Gold, Pa.   For more information about Arch Merrill click on this link .

Arch Merrill is buried in the Brighton Cemetery. His grave is maintained by a woman from Germany who after arriving in Rochester read the above book and actually retraced the route of the Genesee. She had many interesting experiences on the journey and is forever grateful to Mr. Merrill.

Home Brighton History May 2017 Event Rochester History Slide Presentations Ft. Myers Rochester Party History Research History Question Website Content Mansions Tour Lectures Warren's Book Book Orders Warren's Blog Warren's Tours Mt. Hope Cemetery Mt. Hope Notables Rochester Trivia Interesting Facts Brighton Pioneers Brighton Facts Brighton Cemetery