Town of Livonia - 1808

Livingston County, New York


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LIVONIA---was formed from "Pittstown," (now Richmond,Ontario Co.,) Feb. 12, 1808. A part of Conesus was taken off in 1819. It lies on the E. border of the co., N. of the center. The surface in the S. part is moderately hilly, and in the N. undulating. Conesus and Hemlock Lakes lie partly within the town. Their outlets, and that of Canadice Lake, are the principal streams. The soil in the valleys is a clay loam, and on the uplands a sandy and gravelly loam. Livonia Center, (Livonia p.o.) a R.R. station, contains 2 churches and 408 inhabitants; Livonia Station,(p.v.) 1 1/2 mi. W., on the B., N.Y. & E.R.R., a manufactory of agriculture implements, and 31 houses; South Livonia,(p.v.) 1 church 13 houses; Hemlock Lake,(p.v.) in the S.E., 2 churches, 2 gristmills, 2 sawmills, and 319 inhabitants; and Lakeville,(p.v.) at the foot of Conesus Lake, 4 churches, a gristmill, sawmill, and 28 houses. The first settlement was made by Solomon Woodruff, from Conn., on Lot 32, in 1792. There are 10 churches in town.

Jacksonville-the forgotten village

Excerpt from the Livonia History, 1789-1989

Jacksonville had its beginning in approximately 1823, when Ichabod Andrew Holden, a prominent resident and distillery owner in Slab City (Hemlock) decided to expand his profitable operations. He built a second distillery one mile north of Hemlock at the foot of Holden's Hill, on a large tract of land he owned for several years.

As this also became profitable, a thriving little settlement began to grow. The first house was built by S.Truman Short, who farmed some 200 acres and raised cattle and sheep. Soon, there was erected a gristmill, a fulling mill, a sawmill, and a dry goods store; all of which Holden created and made so prosperous, that the place called Holdenville at first and later known as Jacksonville. So much business was done there that it was for many years a formidable rival of its neighboring city of Hemlock. It had more than one hundred homes with blacksmith, cooper and shoe shops, and was quite a center of trade, with a good grain market and cloth dress works.

Residents of Jacksonville had high hopes that someday their village would expand enough to join Hemlock, one mile to the south. Indeed at the rate it grew this might have been accomplished within a period of a few short years, but more progress was in the making in the central portion of the Town of Livonia. Most historians feel it was the building of the Erie Railroad through the central portion of the Town of Livonia that started the decline of Jacksonville. As the railroad came no closer than five miles from Jacksonville, merchants soon saw the advantages of being located closer to better transportation. One by one they began closing their mills and shops and moving to Livonia Station. The year was now 1853. The decline of Jacksonville was almost as rapid as its growth. By 1856 it was a .ghost town'. Its founder, Ichabod A. Holden had passed away. In that year his widow Elizabeth Holden sold all the remaining parcels of land and homes now owned by her.

In subsequent years the City of Rochester purchased most of the land the village was set upon. Their water line from Hemlock Lake to Rochester runs directly through the old village.

A New York State Education Department marker now stands approximately in the center of the site by the road, the only clue to the casual visitor, that the empty fields surrounding him once housed the hopes and dreams of our early forefathers.


Cemeteries

NAME
EST.
LOCATION
SIZE +/-
Annis-Powell ==== south of village, on Rte 15, before Cleary Rd. +25
Harder ==== south part of town, off Federal Rd., near Harder Rd. ===
Hemlock ==== east of Hemlock, on Clay Street. ====
Livonia Union ==== east of village, on Big Tree Rd., end of Woodruff Rd. +4000
Oakridge ==== near South Livonia, on Coe Rd. ====
Short ==== southeast of Hemlock, off Rte 15A, behind homes. ===
St. Michael ==== south of village, on Shelly Rd. +1000

Resources

TOWN CLERK: Vernice Tenny, P.O. Box 43, Livonia, NY 14487
TOWN HISTORIAN: Dorothy Wilkins, 585-346-4579
LIBRARY: Livonia Public Library, 2 Washington Street, Livonia

BOOKS

  • Doty, Lockwood R., A History of Livingston County, New York, Geneseo,NY, E.E. Doty, 1876.
  • Doty, Lockwood R., History of the Genesee Country, Chicago, S.J. Clark Publishing Co., 1925.
  • Meade, Mary Helen and Gladys Smith, Town of Livonia History, Bicentennial Issue, Livonia, Bicentennial Committee, 1989. Contact: Andrew Burdett
  • Smith, James H., History of Livingston County, New York, Syracuse,NY, D.Mason & Co., 1881.
ORGANIZATIONS :
Livonia Area Chamber of Commerce, 5828 Big Tree Rd., Livonia, NY 14487
Livionia Historical Society, Commercial Street, Livonia
American Legion, Harrison-Lee Post 283, Box 346, Livonia, NY 14487
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Livonia Post No. 9048, Livonia

CHURCHES:

First Baptist Church of Hemlock, Hemlock, NY 14466 (585) 584-3326
First Presbyterian Church of Livonia, Livonia Center, NY 14488 (585) 346-5075
Hemlock United Methodist Church, N.Main Street, Hemlock (585) 367-3138
Livonia Community Church, 9 High Street, Livonia (585)346-5290
St.Joseph Church, 14 Washington Street, Livonia (585) 346-3815
St.Timothy Lutheran Church, Spring Street, Livonia (585) 226-2121
South Livonia United Church of Christ, So.Livonia Rd., Livonia (585) 346-0420
United Church of Livonia, 6 Spring Street, Livonia (585) 346-3511
Valley Community Church, 4705 South Main Street, Hemlock (585) 624-3949

FOOTNOTES

[in 1792.] Among the other early settlers were Mr. Higby, and Peter Briggs, in 1794, Philip Short, in 1796, David Benton, in 1798, and Geo. Smith, Jesse Blake, Nathan Woodruff, Smith Henry, and Thomas Grant, mostly from Conn., and all of whom came in previous to 1800. The frist child born was Philip Woodruff, Feb. 19 1794; the first death, that of a child of Mr. Higby, in 1797. Doris Peck taught the first school, in 1798 and '99; Solomon Woodruff kept the first inn, in 1794; Isaac Bishop the first store, in 1803 or '04. The first sawmill was built by Mr. Higby, in 1795; and the first girstmill, by Thomas Van Fossen, in 1799. (back)

[churches in town.] 3 Bap., 2 M.E., 2 Presb., Christian, Univ., and R.C. (back)


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