This is the cover of the Village of Sodus Incorporation Centennial Tour Guide. The booklets are still for sale for $10.00 or $15.00 will get you a booklet and a membership in the Village of Sodus Historical Society.
Here is the script for the booklet:
Centennial of the Incorporation of the Village of Sodus
1918 – 2018
Historical Tour Script-August 11,2018
Welcome, everyone! Today we will take a tour of our village the way it was.
We have provided a booklet that includes pictures and captions of many of our businesses and landmarks that were important as our community progressed through the 19th and 20th centuries. We are especially grateful to those who captured images of places that no longer exist or have undergone changes of which many of us did not witness. Doris Sims, one of our local lawyers, collected photographs that depict Sodus in the early days. Dick Ransley, Steve Heald, Sandy Hopkins, Bruce Farrington, Bette Bugni, and others have preserved photos and stories for those of us who are interested in local history. Many residents have donated materials that are being preserved in the recently renovated archival area of the Sodus Community Library for the public to enjoy.
So…how did the Village of Sodus begin?
Page 4: Has a summary of the first settlers in Sodus including the Green family and John Holcomb. You pass by Green’s Hill as you enter Sodus from the west from Route 104.
Page 5 -6: An essay describes the actions that were taken in the Spring of 1918 to incorporate the village. (You can read this at your leisure after the tour.) An interesting fact is that of the over 200 voters, 100 were women.
Pages 7 – 13: We begin our tour at Dynalec. This was the site of the Sodus Academy in the 1860’s until 1903. The Academy was a private school and provided instruction to students from surrounding communities. The students roomed in houses on the west side of town. In 1903, the new building was constructed, and it became the Sodus High School. In 1923, the school was remodeled and looked more like the building it is today. Students moved into the new school building in 1951 after a fire delayed the opening. Through the fifties, the one building at the south end of Mill Street housed grades K -12. In the late 50’s, the intermediate building was added, and in 1967 the primary building on Route 88 completed the district.
Page 14: Paving the streets was an improvement that took place in anticipation of the incorporation of the village. This is a photo of the paving crew in 1917.
Page 15: Many of us remember the garage and car dealership that was at the corner of West Main Street and Belden Avenue. Elmer Ver Dow first had a Chevrolet dealership here. In the 1940’s, it was Dean Chevrolet. By the 1950’s, Warren Cook owned the business. Younger residents will remember it as Ray’s Mobile owned by Ray Clevenger. A fire took place in the 1930’s when someone put gasoline instead of kerosene into a tank. A fire later in its history burned all except one of the bays in the back of the building.
Pages 16 – 19: Today our community has several churches in which one can worship.
The Sodus United Third Methodist Church was once the Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1838…see caption.
St. John’s Episcopal has the oldest structure from 1826 and a cemetery in the back.
The First United Presbyterian Church was the first established church in the village in 1812.
The site for the Church of Epiphany was purchased from Maria C. Rogers, a descendant of the Green family. There was a sizable lot, a house, and a large barn. The church building was dedicated on June 1, 1924.
Page 20 – 21: The site of the present post office was the location of the Erasmus Rogers’ house. The house was donated to the village by Samuel (“Tamp”) De Right (grandfather of Cindy Rolston, Debbie Neal, and Sue Mulberry) and became the community center and library until the building was demolished to build the post office. The library moved to the Richardson/Colvin House at 17 Maple Avenue in 1958. According to John Hopkins, Henry Button owned the house next to the Rodgers’ house.
Page 22: John Wylie founded the Wylie Block in 1859. His businesses included a furniture store and undertaking parlor. Many of us living today remember the Norton Furniture Store and Funeral Home on this site. In 1909, Henry Norton and Thomas Mitchell took ownership until 1925 when Mitchell retired because of poor health. William Nelson became a partner in 1927 and the business was then Norton and Nelson, but Mr. Nelson moved in 1935 and sold his shares back to Henry Norton. The business was renamed H.S. Norton Company. In 1944, Henry’s son, Floyd, joined his father in the business. In 1961, the firm bought the former Adams residence, the site where the business is now located. Henry died in 1966, and his grandson, Jim, joined the business shortly after the firm was incorporated in 1967 to follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps. Jim’s brother, John (Jack), joined the firm in 1971. Today, Jim still runs the firm along with his step son, Todd Crockford.
Page 23… shows a view of the east end of the Norton building and the home between Norton’s and the bank renovated by Frank Tingue (Joan Miller’s and Bill Tingue’s father) in the mid 1960’s.
As one looks back at photos through the years, the “face” of the north side of Main Street changed dramatically because of two major fires. The northeast side of Main Street was destroyed in 1906 and six years later, in 1912, the northwest side of Main Street was destroyed.
Page 24: There are two photos that show the northwest side looking to the east before the fire.
Page 25: The top photo shows the same section looking to the west from East Main Street and the bottom picture shows the damage after the fire.
Page 26: This photo shows “Tabernacle Colony,” the temporary location after the fire of several of the local businesses as described in the caption.
Pages 27 – 28: The Thayer Lunch Car that was not destroyed had previously been owned by Frank Atkinson. If you have lived in Sodus for a long time, you will recognize Mr. Atkinson’s name. Many of us knew him as the owner of Honk’s Billiard Hall a little bit farther up the street. According to The Record, he bought the dining car from F. A. Welch in 1908 and sold it to Guy E. Thayer in 1910.
Pages 29 -30: These pages have three views of northwest Main Street after the fire of 1912.
Pg 31: Former President Teddy Roosevelt is pictured leaving the New Opera House after giving a speech supporting a Progessive Party candidate. The small building in the foreground was a diner. The “New” opera house was built by Ray and Warner Mills who also founded the Sodus Record, the local paper after the Wayne County Alliance. The new opera house operated from 1906 and later became the Sodus Theater. The stone building behind the Country Hardware owned by Phil Tinklepaugh was the power house for the opera house.
The Arcade sign on pg 30 is over what was the open area where Teddy Roosevelt was standing in page 31.
Page 32 shows the interior of the theater. In the early days of moving pictures, it was called the Arcade Theater. It was later named the Sodus Theater. In the early sixties, admission for kids was 20 cents.
Pages 33 -34: These views of Main Street look more familiar. The first building constructed by local resident Charlie Mullie was the Genesee Valley Union Trust Company where Frank Helmbolt was manager in the 1950’s. Later, in the 60’s and 70’s, it became a branch of Marine Midland Bank. Through those decades, Glenn Dayton, Tom Hanagan, Dave Woods, and Harry White served as managers. Doris Klee, Florence Campbell, Jeanette Clark, Anna Wahl were on the teller line. Evelyn Sergeant and Thelma Wiley were in the “back” on the machines processing the transactions. Since then, the bank’s ownership has changed a few times.
A. Green started the banking business in Sodus between 1860 and 1870, but it failed in 1876. After that, E. W. Gurnee and Co. opened Green’s Banking Office in the back of C.K. Knapp’s Drug Store.