Alabama Center, looking south, 1900 or earlier. Former Zurhorst Halll on left, and former Snyder's Store on
right. Both no longer there. Left corner now has an IGA, and the right corner is a one story brick
commercial building. Photograph taken from the Alabama Sesqui-Centennial 1826 - 1976 book, printed in
1976, by the Alabama Historical Society.
The following is a brief history of the formation of the town of Alabama. To see the location of the
Hamlets and roads as they appear today, refer to the map on the Cemeteries Page. You can click on
the links at the bottom of the page for each of the Hamlets in Alabama for the information on that
Hamlet. These pages are still in progress, and information will continue to be added.
Alabama was formed from Shelby, in Orleans County, and Pembroke, in Genesee County, on April
17, 1826. I can not provide any documented evidence as to why the town was originally named
Gerrysville. The verbal history gives two possible scenarios. The first is that they had intended to
name it after David Gary, an early settler, and at whose house the meetings were held. The second
explanation is that it was so named in honor of Elbridge Gerry, ex-vice-president of the United States
and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The following is an excerpt from the Town of Alabama
Minutes.

AN ACT to erect the Town of Gerryville, from part of Pembroke, in the County of Genesee, and Shelby,
in the County of Orleans, and to annex the same to the County of Genesee.
Passed April 17, 1826
Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, That from
and after the first Monday in May next, all that part of the town of Shelby, in the county of Orleans,
and of the town of Pembroke, in the county of Genesee, comprehended within the following boundaries,
viz.: beginning at the northwest corner of the, Tonnewanta reservation, upon the division line between
the counties of Genesee and Orleans and the county of
Niagara, and running from thence south on said line, and the division line between the county of
Genesee and the county of Erie, four miles one hundred and sixty rods; thence due east, until it strikes
the west line of the town of Elba; from thence due north, until it strikes the southwest corner of the
town of Barre, in the county of Orleans; from thence due west through the town of Shelby, in the
county of Orleans, until it strikes the line of Niagara county; from thence south to the place of
beginning, shall be a separate town by the name of Gerryville, and be annexed to and form part of the
county of Genesee; and the first town meeting shall be held at the house of David Gary in said town,
on the second Monday of May next, and thereafter on the first Tuesday of April.
On April 21, 1828, the name was changed to Alabama, an Indian word meaning, "here we rest."
Why they changed the name is another unknown. In any event, here is the Act that reflects that
change.

AN ACT to alter the name of the Town of Gerrysville in the County of Genesee.
Passed April 21, 1828. The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do
enact as follows: 1. From and after the passing of this act, the town of Gerryville, in the county of
Genesee, shall be called and known by the name of Alabama.

It is also said that part of the town of Wales was annexed to Alabama in 1832. Geographically
speaking I do not see how that is possible. Another version says that it was a part of the "Wales
Strip" that was annexed at that time. To be honest, I am not quite sure what that is supposed to be
either. I have been reading the town minute books, from day one, before meetings and such. From
various deeds I have read a certain part of Alabama used to be part of Royalton. So it could be in
reference to an ethnic settlement in Royalton. I hope to eventually find some documented explanation
as to what exactly the reference to Wales means.