HLOM Feature: What is significance of those blue signs?

Feb 5, 2015

If you want to learn more about Genesee County take a ride around the county and look for the blue signs with yellow lettering.  These roadside markers are the windows to the past.  Stand where a sign is located and read what event took place at that particular site or what building was there.  A historical marker is a plaque or sign erected at historically significantly locations, facilities or buildings to commemorate an event or person of historical interest.  There are over 120 historical markers in Genesee County. The New York State Historic Marker Program started in 1926 as a way to commemorate historic sites during the Sesquicentennial of the American Revolution.  The program ended around 1939.  In 1966 a new state historic marker program was established.

On Oct. 25, 1973 Alexander Classical School was registered with a marker.  The school, a three-story cobblestone structure was built as a boarding school in 1837 on Buffalo Street.  It later became a public school and now is Alexander’s town hall. The Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Ave. was created in 1823.  The cemetery is the final resting place for many famous Batavians such as Joseph Ellicott, Albert and Arthur Brisbane, and Dean Richmond to name only a few.  Its marker was established on April 8, 2002.

In 1831 on the corner of Bank and Main Street the Federal Style brick building was built as the first Bank of the Genesee.  Many years later it was the Batavia Club. Today it is the Go Art Seymour Place building and the home of Sweet Ecstasy, a new place to dine in Batavia.  On June 19, 1973 their historical marker was erected.

On March 27, 2012 the Batavia Veterans Administration Hospital on 222 Richmond Ave. was recognized with a historical marker.

The First Presbyterian Church on 300 East Main Street marker was established on December 6, 2004.   The church complex built from 1854-1919 reflects the changing styles of American Protestant worship.

The Genesee County Courthouse Historic District became an established landmark district on December 10, 1982.  It is located on Porter and Jefferson Avenues, and on Main, Court, and Ellicott Streets.  These groups of five government buildings are located at the fork of old Iroquois trails and were built from the 1840’s to the 1920’s.  The Old Genesee County Court House is another example of a Greek Revival limestone building.  The building replaced the original courthouse that at one point served the entire Holland Land Purchase.

The Gifford-Walker Carpenter Gothic farmhouse on 7083 North Bergen Road, in North Bergen was honored with an historical marker on January 10, 1980.

The Holland Land Office, located on West Main Street is an 1815 Greek Revival building that was the headquarters for settlers to buy land. Today it is the Holland Land Office Museum of Genesee County.

The marker at the Keeney House on 13 West Main Street in Le Roy was placed on September 11, 1979.  This 1920’s Federal style house was the home of the inventor of the stringless bean.  Some of the embellishments were removed in the early 20-century renovation.

The Lake Street Historic District in Bergen, NY contains a small group of late 19th  early 20th century downtown buildings many with cast iron fronts.  Their historical marker was set on September 5, 1985.

The beautiful Le Roy House and Union Free School located on East Main Street, LeRoy; NY is a stucco-faced stone building that was built in the Greek revival style.  It was originally the land office and today is the LeRoy House Museum.  In the rear of the building, in 1898 a school was built by the present LeRoy School District and now is used as the Jell-O museum.

The Machpelah Cemetery on North Street in LeRoy, NY was originally a rural cemetery and opened in 1858.  Grave markers reflect many different trends in burial art.    Jell-O tycoon Orator Francis Woodward is buried in the Classical Revival Mausoleum.

The Morgan Pottery Factory Site located in Morganville was issued a marker on February 15, 1974.   The site was the factory for much of the 19th century making of drain and ceramic tiles.  It was excavated by the Rochester Museum and Science Center in 1973.

On August 9, 1984 Mount Pleasant in Indian Falls Rd. an 1861 Italianate farmhouse was sited with a marker in Corfu, NY.

At the Richmond Memorial Library on 19 Ross Street, Batavia NY, an historical marker was placed on July 24, 1974.  It was built in 1887 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style emulating several of Richardson’s libraries in the Boston suburbs.

The St. James Episcopal Church on 405 East Main Street was built in 1908 as a Neo-Gothic, first of many in Western NY designed by Robert North.  Their marker was placed on September 24, 2004.

Stafford has a Four Corners Historic District.  It includes a19thcentury building from the first settlement on the Holland Purchase, continuously in existence since 1798.  It includes one of the oldest houses in the county and former town hall.

On November 8, 2013 the East Boundary-Stafford, NY of the Holland Purchase marker was dedicated at the intersection of routes 5 and 237.

The Augustus S. Tyron House on 15 Church Street, Leroy, NY became a historical home on March 13, 2013.

On May 11, 1989 the US Post Office in LeRoy, NY became a historical landmark.  Local benefactors paid for stone to face this unique 1930’s Post Office.

On Friday, November 30, 2012 an historical marker was placed at the site of the Cary Mansion.  The Cary Mansion was built in 1817 and was torn down in 1964.  The property today is part of a St. Jerome Hospital nursing school.

One of our newest markers was placed at the site of the Richmond Mansion.  It is placed at the foot of the walkway between the parking lot and the Richmond Memorial Library.

The Elba Muck lands, Elba, NY, has the richest black soil that was created by the drainage of the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Swamps in 1915 and was dedicated with a marker on February 17, 2007.

A General Ely Samuel Parker 1828-1895 marker is located on Akron Road, near Route 77 in Pembroke, NY.  Ely Parker was General Grant’s Military secretary in the Civil War and later was appointed first in command of Indian Affairs on April 13, 1869.

Genesee County’s new Historian Michael Eula dedicated our latest historical marker on October 25, 2014. The marker is near where Batavia’s first cemetery was located on what is now South Lyon Street.  The first known burial took place in 1807 and continued as a cemetery for about 50 years before the land was sold and a brewery was built on the site.  Also on October 24, 2014, Mr. Eula was in Elba to dedicate another marker, honoring the burial site of a Revolutionary War soldier, Sunderland Pattison.

Please take advantage and drive around the county looking for these historical markers. Every town in the county has a marker noting the birth of their city or town.  Alabama, Alexander, Batavia, Bergen, Byron, Elba, LeRoy, Oakfield, Pembroke, and Stafford have wonderful museums just waiting for you to visit.  Please check them out and learn more about your county.

Article from Batavia Daily News and taken from
http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_5f7cb524-9a1a-11e4-9a84-0f50974cee4c.html