William Keeler, Librarian & Archivist at the Rochester Historical Society, gave the featured presentation at the annual Gideon Cobb Day Celebration in Brighton. His talk, “Rochesterville on the Rise,” started with the Native American trading post near Indian Landing a couple hundred years ago. The British controlled the waters of Lake Ontario before the War of 1812. A reenactor can be seen in the photo above along with John Page and Brighton’s Town Supervisor William W. Moehle.
Tryon, where the bike park is now, was where all the action was, a boomtown on the move until the sandbar at the mouth of Irondequoit Bay filled in, cutting off access to the port of Tryon. Carthage, on the other side of the Genesee River, the next biggest nearby settlement collapsed when influenza swept through town. Rochesterville, just south of the High Falls, was nowhere as big as Geneva, Bath and Canandaigua. Gideon Cobb was one of its first inhabitants. He ran a brickyard where Cobbs Hill is today and my father restored Cobb’s folk hero status.
Early Gideon Cobb days were celebrated at Mario’s where the new Whole Foods is going in. Ray Tierney, former Brighton councilman and Historic Brighton board member, has organized the last two and they now feature an award presentation, the “Leo Dodd Heritage Presentation Award.” Last year’s went to Sandra Frankel and this year it went to John Page of Bero Architects. I’m happy Historic Brighton has carried on but I couldn’t help but feel the void left in the organization. They need someone with the desire to dig through the past, willing enough to attend the meetings, lobby the politicians to preserve the remnants, someone who likes taking pictures and illustrating a story and someone who likes to share what they have found. They need someone as enthusiastic as my father was.
Personal Effects – “Boom Boom Town/Violince” from “Personal Effects – A Collection”