Sodus Centennial Tour Script



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.

  1. 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.

The next building (now the Chinese Restaurant) was the Red and White Market at 6 West Main Street run by Mr. and Mrs. DeLine and Mrs. Deline’s father in 1929. Before it was the Red and White, it was the A and P (Atlantic and Pacific) Market as seen in the picture #31.  The next store was Murphy’s Studio in the 50’s and 60’s.   Many of us had family photos and senior pictures taken by Ed Murphy.  His wife Flora always assisted him.

The marquee for the Sodus Theater is visible in the photo on pg. 34. In the mid-20th Century, the theater was owned and operated by Clark Burgdorf who lived at the southeast end of Mill Street. For a time, Ruth’s Restaurant occupied the building where the Chinese restaurant is until Ruth O’Bine moved her business to the site of the old Catlin’s market (now the flower shop).

 There was an entryway that led back to the theater entrance on the left side as you entered and The Record office entrance to the right.  The first issue of The Record was published April 17, 1897.  Previously, The Wayne County Alliance had been the local paper.  Before the Alliance, the first local paper was the Sodus Weekly Enterprise first issued on May 7, 1873 by George W. Tummonds as editor.  Mr. Tummonds stated in the first issue that because of our productive farm country and the completion of the railroads, Sodus had always been prosperous and was destined to become a large town and should have its own newspaper. The Record was first published by Charles Warner Mills, while he was still a student as Syracuse University, and his teen-aged brother, George Raymond Mills.  The young men lived on High Street. Their young friends often helped with the paper.

Pg. 35: One of these young men, Charles W. Snyder, became known as The Record’s “printer devil” because it was his job to crank the handle of the “new steam plant” that kept the press going when the oil engine malfunctioned.  Snyder also helped to fold the papers, clean the type, and set the type.  In this picture, C.W. Snyder is seen here in the interior of the “new” post office located on East Main Street where Kristen’s Perfect Ten Nail Salon is today.  Notice the calendar in the background showing the month of September 1918, the year our village was incorporated.

Harold Himes worked for the Mills brothers for about 50 years.  He set type and proofread for the paper.  He was the projectionist when they began showing movies at the theater.

The two-story building that was destroyed by fire on the site of the Northern Wayne Auto Parts (NAPA) was once the site of the Tamlyn Restaurant owned by the Mangos family.  Previously, they had the smaller Cameo restaurant in the small building to the west.  Mr. and Mrs. Mangos were Doris Foti’s parents.  According to Doris, the enlistment office was located upstairs in the 1940’s.  She said her dad would serve coffee to the soldiers who waited to board the bus.

When the Hart’s Grocery Store first came to Sodus and opened in August, 1945 it was located in the Arcade Block.  Clyde Dick was the manager, and William Featherly headed the meat department. By February of 1953, the facility needed more room. At that time, the new Star Market opened next door in the Rogers’ block which had been formerly occupied by the A and P and the Tamlyn Restaurant. Clyde Dick and his entire staff moved into the new market.  Cynthia Dick, Jo Carlotta, Howard Sermon, Hazel Toor, and Martha Jane Clement were part of the staff who worked in the store over the years.  In June of 1958, a fire extensively damaged the building.  Mrs.  Charles Mangos owned the building and lived in one of the upstairs apartments.  The estimated loss on the building was $56,000 and $30,000 in personal belongings in the two upstairs apartments.  The building was eventually replaced by the present structure.  In the 1970’s it was occupied by George’s Clothing Store.

Several other businesses also sustained damage…the Red and White owned by Bob Fitzpatrick had about $500.00 in damages   and a hole was burned in The Record office.   Ruth’s Restaurant, the upper offices over the Arcade Block, and Murphy’s Studio had smoke damage. (See The Record, Thursday, July 3, 1958 for the entire article about the fire.)

 The market then moved to the site of the former paint shop for the VerDow Chevrolet garage on Belden Avenue.  The final location for the Sodus Star Market was the site where Paton’s Market Place is now located.  According to Bill Paton, the building was half the size that it is now.  As many of us know, Bill is the third generation in the grocery business. Harry Paton, his grandfather, first bought the IGA grocery store (Market Basket in #34?) on Main Street in 1962.  Mr. Paton and his brother in law, Ivan Johnston, moved the store to the present site of the CVS plaza in 1965 in the space that was later the Family Dollar Store.  At that time, the Norton’s barn was on the site where the CVS Pharmacy is now. Ron Paton, Bill’s father, joined his father Harry and eventually took over the business.  Bill eventually joined his dad in the 1980’s.  Matt Zecher started working at the store in 1978 when Harry retired.  In 1994, Bill and Matt both become partners.  Ron retired in 1998.  Matt became the store manager.  Matt’s son Nathan became the store manager when Matt retired in 2016.  Recently, Bill’s young sons have been working in the store. The business has certainly been a “family” affair.

Pg.  36:  This is a photo of the interior of Gardner’s Clothing Store (now a second-hand shop). The name “Gardner’s” is still in the tile floor of the entrance. Before it was Gardner’s, Jonas Miller had a tailor shop in the basement of the block on this site.  A sketch of “uptown” from the 1920’s labels this business as Gardner and Fox Clothing.  By the 1950’s, the store was run by Isaac Gardner and his son, Carter.  Jerry Clark, Anna Tunley, and Mrs. Cottrell worked in the store that had a large variety of well made brand name clothing.  SCS students bought their “gym” uniforms at Gardner’s.  Anna was a kind, well dressed lady who always complimented the customers as they tried on outfits.

According to the “Do You Remember” column in the April 11, 1919 issue of The Record, the Hole in the Wall Saloon kept by a Mr. Phillips was located here years before.

The Country Hardware has been the site of the hardware store for many years.  It was once owned by Charles Cattieu, and later became the Tallman’s Hardware owned by Marvin Tallman.  He eventually sold it to one of his employees, Albert “Dooley” Bartleson.  Mr. Bartleson sold it to Bob and Marie Herman (Sandy Hopkins and Diane Reynolds parents) in the early 70’s.  Phil Tinklepaugh worked for Mr. Herman and eventually became the owner as he is today.

 Bob Herman bought the building next door five years after he purchased the hardware.  The building owned by Frank Atkinson included the pool hall and tobacco shop on the main floor; the barber shop run by Herb White in the basement; and the International Order of Odd Fellows on the second floor. Years before, A. C. Petty had a grocery store on the site of the Odd Fellows building( which was probably later the site of Caitlin’s Meat Market).   Mr. Herman cut the wall between the two buildings to extend the hardware.  Jim Colucci worked in the barber shop downstairs and Pete Featherly did too.

The location of the flower shop today was Catlin’s Meat Market, first owned by Charles J. Catlin who moved his family to Sodus in 1910 to open the market. The business was first known as the Sanitary Market and changed to Catlin’s Market later that year. In 1920, Charles sold the market to his brother, A.B., to buy Hopkins’ Mill. In 1952, Doug Catlin bought the market from his father.   Before the market, Oril Smith had a stove and tin shop here.

Ruth’s Restaurant moved to the former site of Catlin’s Market in the 1960’s.  Ruth O’Bine had a good business.  You could get breakfast, lunch, and dinner there.  People who worked in local businesses went there for coffee in the morning.  There was usually a large group sitting at the tables in the back of the restaurant conversing before they headed off to work. After school, high school kids would gather there for cherry cokes and other refreshments.

Pg. 37: For many years, the next building housed the Knapp’s Drug Store. Before Knapp’s was there, James Knight had a harness shop in the location in the 1800’s. The store not only housed C.K. Knapp’s drugs and notions business, but also the Bank of Sodus established in 1883.  In the 1950’s, the business included the pharmacy on the left side of the store as one entered the building, shelves of inventory toward the front of the store, tables and chairs for customers, and a soda fountain where one could buy ice cream.   There was also a machine that heated prepackaged Stewart sandwiches (sort of the predecessor to the microwave.)

Several people who were employed at the drug store as you can see in the picture on the bottom of page 37.  Jim Cotanche who owned Cotanche’s Drug Store on the northeast corner of Main and Maple is in this picture. He sold his inventory to Harold Ransley and Ed Fairman when they moved to the new store. According to The Record, Knapp’s Drug Store moved over to that side of Main Street and opened in September of 1964, the site of the former Miller and Kramer Store.  There were two entrances… the entrance on Main Street where the James Sullivan Insurance Company is now located, and the side entrance on Maple Avenue in the Masonic Lodge building.  It was a large store where the lower level on the Maple Avenue side contained a wide selection of Hallmark cards, Christmas ornaments during the holiday season, stationary supplies, and toys.  The Main Street level of the store included the pharmacy and shelves of products toward the front of the store.  There was also a small upstairs level that overlooked the lower levels.  This was the gifts and cosmetics section of the store.  Dorothy DeHondt, Betty Cracker, and Judy Nortier were part of the staff in the 1970’s. Two long time employees, Thelma Garlock, the accountant for the store, and Theda Stevens worked at both locations.  Harold Ransley filled the prescriptions in a timely fashion.

Pg. 38-39: Moving back to West Main Street, the corner building was the site of the A. B. Williams Store built in 1860  and was on the site for over 80 years. Mr. Williams reported that it cost $1,600 to build.  Rufus Moses was the builder.  The first building was not as long or as wide as the building is today. Customers could purchase groceries, clothing, and housewares. Perry Messinger worked as a clerk in the store.  He was the founder of Heleva Good Cheese, and first sold it here. His store was built in 1909 on East Main Street. Williams’ store later became the Ben Franklin Five and Ten Cent Store.  It was owned by Fred Elmer in the 50’s and 60’s. In the late 1960’s, Dave Hollebrandt operated the store.  He owned the business along with Salem Towne and William Rolston.

Pg. 40: As we cross over to the east side of Main Street, this photo is a view of the street from the east.

Pg. 41 is a picture of the Richardson Clothing Store.  William Richardson also sold windmills.  He had a sample set up behind his house which is now the Sodus Community Library.  The Richardson home was bequeathed to the village by Mr. Richardson’s daughter, Carrie Richardson Colvin, who was the first librarian when the library was in the Rogers’ house on Main Street.  On the side of this building, one can see the engraving at the top noting this as the Colvin block.

Pg. 42-44: An ad published from the Wayne County Alliance  January 11, 1899, advertises Colvin’s Drug Store  on this site. Carrie Richardson married Mr. Colvin who ran the pharmacy.  In the 1920’s, it was Clement’s Drug Store. In December of 1935, this area which had been destroyed in 1906, again caught fire.   By the 1950’s, Jim Cotanche owned the pharmacy.

Miller and Kramer’s Store was in the second storefront.  They sold dry goods and clothing.  The store stocked all the supplies a seamstress would need.  There were colorful bolts of cloth, patterns for outfits, and all kinds of sewing materials.   there was a shoe department “downstairs” as one entered from Maple Avenue.

 Pg 45:  According to a sketch of Main Street by Dick Ransley, Ralph Gage had a jewelry store in the store next to Miller and Kramer’s by 1950.

Pg. 46: The site of the First National Bank of Sodus that later merged with the Gaylord Bank was in the present law office.

Pg. 47 – 48: The second hardware at 8-10 East Main Street was  Butts, Danford, and Company. They were dealers for International farm equipment.  By the 1930’s, the Sodus Hardware was operated by Harold Dye. Murray Ransley (Dick Ransley’s father was a plumber who worked for Mr. Dye.  He later worked for Marvin Tallman at the hardware on West Main Street.  When Mr. Ransley’s son Charles returned from the service in 1945, he also worked as a plumber for the hardware for many years.

Pg. 49:  After the 1906 fire, the post office was in what is now Kristen’s Perfect Ten Nail Salon.  In later years, the post office moved to the east side of Maple Avenue.  The building in the middle of the photo was the location of the Gaylord Bank. The firm of C. D. Gaylord was founded by S. P. Hulett and Mr. Gaylord in 1881. The first bank building was erected by E.W. Gurnee and Co. in 1885. An article from The Record on October 16th, 1931 described Mr. Gaylord as a man with a big heart, but he could also say “no” to a customer if it was in the customer’s best interest.  Charles W. Gaylord became the head of the bank when Mr. Gaylord passed in 1907.  F. D. Gaylord succeeded C. W. Gaylord when C. W. passed.  At that time, Irving C. Beal was the cashier.

Pg 50:  At some point, the Gaylord State Bank and the First National Bank consolidated.  In 1933, depositors supported the Gaylord Bank by only withdrawing necessary funds.  Because of the Depression, many banks went under.  Newark was without a bank for a time, but the people of Sodus supported the bank despite lower fruit crops that year.  In 1939, the Gaylord State Bank liquidated.

Pg. 51:  This page shows pictures of two houses whose owners were connected with the Sodus banking business.  These were both on south west Main Street.  As we can see in the caption S.P. Hulett, the same man who help to start the Gaylord Bank, was also the postmaster.  For many years, this home was known as the Knapp’s Tourist Home.  It was recently purchased  by Jason Congdon  whose great-grandparents were Sue and Bill Gent, known for their greenhouse and flower business on State Street extension.   Jason’s mother, Cheryl, also had a florist shop for several years in the village first in the house that used to be on the east of the ambulance base and later in Doris Sims’ former legal office, the last store on this side of the street.  The second house in the photo at the bottom of the page belonged to H.L. Kelley, banker for First National Bank.

Pg. 52:  In the early 1900’s, W. H. Powell Jewelers was located at 12 East Main Street.  By the 50’s, Sid Pierce’s Jewelry Store was at 12 East Main Street, now the Art Bank.   Sid and his wife, Marion, were still there in the early 1970’s.  The building on the right side of the picture where the Café was recently located was the law office of Doris Sims for many years in the 20th Century.

Brenda Rowe and Diane McKeon opened a café in the last building in on the right for four years beginning in 2012.   Brittany Riggs ran the Everyday Gourmet in 2016 after Brenda and Diane sold the business.

Many of us who grew up in Sodus remember Doris Sims. Miss Sims was written up in The Record on August 4, 1988 as a local legend.  She was born in Seneca Falls in 1902.  An appropriate birthplace for a progressive woman who received her Bachelor of Law degree from Cornell University in 1923. She passed the New York State Bar Exam in 1924, but didn’t open her law office until October, 1926 because she was stricken with polio.  According to Miss Sims, she was not shunned by the male lawyers.  She was well received and was asked to join the Bar Association by the lawyers in Monroe County.  She stated in the article that Sodus was hit hard by the Depression, so she handled many bankruptcy cases without pay.  By 1933, she became the President of the Wayne County Bar Association.  She was the first woman to attain that rank in the United States. On March 11, 1948, Doris, her sister Vetah, and their mother, Mrs. Pearl Sims, moved into the apartment upstairs over the law office after the family home on Main Street was sold to the Waggoner family.  In the 1988 article, Doris was described as having an incredible memory and the person who probably knew “… more of the history of Sodus than anyone else.”  She donated a wonderful album of historic Sodus photographs to the Sodus Community Library.  There is a copy available for the public to peruse.  At age 86, she was the oldest practicing lawyer in Wayne County when her health began to fail.

Many of us who grew up in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s knew the “other” Miss Sims (Vetah) as the children’s librarian at Sodus Central School and the Sodus Public Library.  This Miss Sims had an expressive voice and could tell wonderful stories that mesmerized many groups of school children.

Before heading down the street, let’s talk about East Main Street on the south.

Pg. 53: This picture from 1897 depicts the residence and office of Dr. Levi M. Gaylord that stood where the village park is today. Later, it was the house and office of Dr. John F. Myers.  In 1900, Dr. Myers added on to the building and opened the hospital.   In 1924, the building was again remodeled with the addition of a wing to the south on the west end of the building.  Dr.  Linwood Myers joined his dad in the practice until Dr. John Myers died in 1942.  “Dr. Linwood” operated the hospital until 1955 when it was sold to the nonprofit membership corporation “Myers Community Hospital Foundation, Inc” and eventually moved down to the site on Middle Road. Many “baby boomers” who are still living in the community were born in the hospital on Main Street.  Floyd Scott worked on maintenance and his wife, Thelma Scott, was a nurse there when she wasn’t teaching in the SCS history department. Evelyn Sergeant was another long-time nurse in the hospital.

Pg. 54:  For many years, the Destinations Travel Building was the English – Bouvia Store owned by Dick English and George Bouvia.  George proudly served his country during World War II as an electrician’s mate first class.  He first worked for James Getman and then went into partnership with Dick English.  In an ad in 1951, the business operated under the name of English – Bouvia Radio and Electric.  By June of 1952, the business became an authorized dealership for Williams Oil- O- Matic burners. After serving in World War II, George was in the reserves after the war and was again called into service in 1950 and served during the Korean Conflict until 1952.  According to his daughter, Yvonne Cornwell, at some point in the 50’s, the business also sold bottled gas. In the late 50’s, Dan Patchett and Ed DeHullu worked for English and Bouvia. In the 1960’s, it was English and Bouvia Electric and Plumbing.   Eventually, the building became a florist shop first owned by the Bob Gent who carried on the flower business from his parents. His daughter Amy (Gent) Toye now owns the building and the Destinations Travel business.

The small cement building next to the travel agency and to the east of the hotel was a garage where Dan Patchett’s grandfather, Russ Kelly, sold used cars.  His father, Sid, sold Kaiser-Frazier cars out of the same building.  Dan then had a gas station on the same site in the early ‘50’s before he joined the service.  His family also repaired cars in the barn behind this building until his brother Russ torn the barn down. Eventually, the building was Bill Duncan’s garage, and after that, Don Brown had a garage there in the 1960’s.  Later, Terry Clark ran his heating and cooling business there before he moved to West Main Street.

As we travel down Main Street it becomes State Street. For many years in the middle of the 20th Century the two garages on the right were run by Sodus residents.  Milton Clark owned the first service station which he bought from Jim Walbourne (Kathy House’s dad) in the 50’s and operated it until the 70’s when his son, Terry Clark and Bob Boise took over the business.  Vicki Clark remembers working there summers in the 60’s for her dad.  She pumped gas, cleaned wind shields, and checked the oil for customers.  When special customers brought their cars in for service, her dad paid her $2.00 and her choice of a candy bar to clean the interior of the car and wash and wax the exterior.  Cheap labor!  The garage now owned by Don LeFever was built by John La Gasse in 1948.  His son, Roger, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean Conflict.  When Roger came home, he went into the business around 1953.  He ran the station until 1977 when he sold to Tom and Roger Brandt. The Brandt brothers ran the garage until 1993 when Don LeFever bought the business.  Bill Rowe who now owns Rowe Automotive on Green Street worked at the station with Tom and Roger.

Pgs. 55-57:  The former trolley barn now houses the laundromat and Imprint Coffee on the east end of the building.  The Royal Blue trolley line that ran from Rochester into Sodus Point stopped operations in 1929 after 29 years of service.    The existing building was the repair barn.  The electric substation was behind it.  The building was gutted by fire and abandoned for several years before it became the laundromat.

Pg. 58: The RG and E is located on what was once the site of the Sodus Basket Factory.  The first business was the Granger Planing Mill. The middle of the building was the first Presbyterian Church building which was purchased by George Granger and moved from the present church site in 1863.  The business later became the Sodus Crate and Basket Company which was owned and operated by Florence Granger, one of the “Granger Girls” who grew up and lived at 19 Mill Street.  When the building was razed in 1954, for the RG and E, one of the longtime employees was Hazel Granger, Florence’s sister.

Pg 59:  The CRC building on the corner opposite the present RG and E building was the Alling Lander Building for many years beginning in 1911.  The business made gears, speed reducers, and other machine parts.  The March 23rd,1939 issue of The Record ran a story about the gears that had been produced here and were being used in motion picture machines at the 1939 World’s Fair.  The business, a division of Garlock, was sold to Robbins and Myers Inc. of Springfield, Ohio by April 1973.

Pgs.60-61:  The building in these two photographs burned in February, 1978.  Alling Lander used it as a warehouse.  It had been formerly occupied by Smith’s Bottled Gas Service owned by Tom Smith of 29 Mill Street.  From the late 1930’s to April of 1953, the building was the GLF grain and feed store owned by James and Elsie Burns (grandparents of Sandi and Debbie Hamilton).  Mr. and Mrs. Burns sold the business to Melford C. Hopkins (Jim and John Hopkins’ father.)

Pgs. 62-63: Moving onto Maple Avenue, Sodus Community Library is one of the most impressive buildings in our community.  After renovations to the original Richardson-Colvin home in 2013, the building now includes what was the VanEnwyk home on the north side. This year, 2018, the upstairs area on the south end of the building is undergoing some changes in the Ruth Mills Room and the rooms adjacent to it to provide an updated archival section to store local historical items and papers. In the decade from to 2000 to 2010, the library was nationally recognized as one of the top libraries of its size serving a population of 1,000 to 2,499 people.  In 2002 we were #8; 2003 we were #3; 2004 we were #4; 2005 we were #2; and in 2006 we were #1 in the HAPLR Index! In 2009 and 2010, our library was named a 4 Star American Library by Library Journal.  Quite impressive for a small-town library!  These recognitions took place while Carol Garland was the library director supported by her remarkable staff, including children’s librarian and the new library director, Roxanne Roscup.

 The Reformed Church across the street from the library was once the Dutch Reformed Church where services were conducted in Dutch. This building opened on September 21st, 1878 as the first opera house in the Village of Sodus.

 The building that is now the Spirit of Grace Fellowship at 12 Maple Avenue was a parking lot when Milt Kaner purchased it in March of 1939.  Harris and Mills erected a 37’ by 120’ cement building for a bowling alley costing $12,000.  Four lanes were constructed with room for an additional two lanes if needed.    Regulation Brunswick-Balke equipment was installed.  According to an article in The Record on March 23, 1939, the establishment would open in the spring and leagues would form in the fall. Mr. Kaner stated that his purpose in opening the business was to provide work for local labor and to keep money in this community.  Claude and Harriet Perry later bought the business. In 1958 after “new” Route 104 was constructed, the bowling alley was built on its present location.  This building 12 Maple Avenue later housed the American Legion and the town clerk’s office when Henry Sergeant was clerk and later Gertrude Avery.  The town clerk’s office moved in to the village municipal building when it was built in the early 70’s.  The village clerk’s office that was housed upstairs in the old fire hall was the first office occupied by the village clerk, Bernice Hamilton in the new building.

Pg. 64:  The first building at 10 Maple Avenue in the background of this photo, now The Quilting Bee owned and operated by Deborah Brown, was the post office until the new one was built on West Main Street.  The Grange building had DeHond’s Bakery on the first floor operated by Elizabeth and Isaac DeHond (grandparents of Beth Derrenbacher)  from the 1930’s to 1954.  In 1958, Elmer Himes moved his TV repair and appliance business from Mill Street to this location.  In this photo, one can see the Maple Avenue entrance to the Miller- Kramer Store, later the location of the Rexall Drug Store.

Pg. 65: On the west side of Maple Avenue, the empty lot to the north of Phil Tinklepaugh’s driveway was the site of a hotel owned by several over the years.   This page provides an overview of its history through the years compiled by Bette Bugni.  Bette has put in a great deal of time and effort over the years to preserve Sodus history.  We are grateful and indebted to her for doing so.

On the south side of the driveway, Bartleson’s blacksmith shop was once located.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s, William Skinner owned and operated the Western Auto.  Later, it was the Northern Wayne Auto Center owned by Lyle Boerman.  By the 2000’s, Cheryl and Rick Congdon owned and operated Poppy’s Pizza on the site.

In the empty lot south of this building, there was a coffee shop in the 1920’s and by 1950 a barber shop and beauty shop.  According to Dick Ransley, the building was removed from the site and relocated on Robinson Road and later moved to Sodus Center Road.

Pg. 66:  As we move onto Main Street, the oldest building in our community comes into view… the Sodus Hotel.  The first hotel was a log building situated on the south west corner of Main Street and Mill.  It is unknown who built it. Enoch Turner built and operated a hotel across from the present building on the north west corner Main and Maple of before 1810 where the Knapp Drug Store and A. B. Williams stores once were.  This was the Northern Exchange Hotel where stage coach horses were exchanged daily. When the stage coaches entered from the west of the village around Green’s Hill, the stage coach driver would blow a horn signaling his arrival.  The barn man at the hotel would alert the bartender who would pull out a decanter of whiskey and a glass. A medium drink cost three cents which was “two fingers”.  Three fingers of whiskey was called the “consoler” and four fingers was called a “whopper”.  Through the years, the landlords included William Sergeant (1840), Ward Cleveland, Lorenzo Fish (who had a wooden fish sign), Mr. Makethron, John Sweeney, Peter W. Tinklepaugh (1855), W.O. Bryan’s brother, and in 1857, Melburn Austin occupied the building.

Enoch Turner who had built and operated the Northern Exchange sold it before 1810 to build the South Side Hotel by 1812 (later the Hotel Sodus or Sodus Hotel). By 1840, Henry Kemp “conducted” the Hotel Sodus.  During this time, two members of John Jacob Astor’s family visited and stayed at the hotel.  In1846, Colonel Borradaile was running the business.  The Colonel would serve lamb or mutton daily because many farmers in the area raised sheep.  During the Civil War, war meetings were held in the ballroom. Lorenzo Whitney bought the building in 1866 and added the third floor.  The business was leased to E.N. Snider in 1884 and was sold to Mr. Snider in 1894. Mrs. Snider had the ballroom removed.  It was operated by the Snider family until 1915 and the building was known as the Snider House. (This early history of the two hotels was shared by W.O. Bryan in an issue of The Record from October 25, 1929 on page 2.) The watering trough in front of the hotel was erected in 1917 by the W.C.T.U (Women’s Christian Temperance Union).  Later, the bandstand and fountain/trough were moved to the land at the end of Mill Street which had been deeded by C. H. Mills in 1928 for a public park.  The bandstand burned in 1949.  The trough/fountain sat on the side of the hill north of the bus garage for many years until it was moved to the south end of the cemetery on Route 88 in 2006.  By 1934, Russ Kelly had bought the hotel.  His daughter, Phyllis and her husband, Sid Patchett, had it for the next 40 years.  By the time Phyllis sold it, Sid had passed, so she had run it by herself for several years.  During their ownership, the Sodus Hotel was a thriving business.  Organizations held meetings and dinners there in the big dining room on the west side of the main floor.  There was a full kitchen where the Italian cook, Louie Ginaro, prepared the meals.  It was also a place where the local citizens including the doctors, dentists, and lawyers liked to gather.  It’s now difficult to believe, but it was the centerpiece of the village.  It would be great if it could be restored to its former grandeur.

Next, we move onto Mill Street, aptly named because three different mills operated on the street.

Pg. 67:  This was the site of the Champion Roller Mills established in 1865 by Benjamin A. Hopkins.  Mr. Hopkins was described in one source as an “eccentric character”.  He painted his house at 16 Mill Street in red, white, and blue with a star trim.  It sounds like he was also patriotic.  This image was probably taken in the 1870’s.  Two of his sons, Fred and Bye, carried on the business until their deaths in the 1930’s.  Then Bye’s son George ran it until 1954.  During the last 50 or 60 years of the business, it was in the red three-story building down the street, which is now used as a youth center.  After the business closed as a mill, Ray Houghtaling had a second- hand furniture business there.  According to old local newspaper articles, both Fred and Bye were popular citizens with great senses of humor.  Both were active community members.  Fred built the house at 27 Mill Street in 1890 (Sandi Hamilton’s home).  He was one of the two trustees when the village was incorporated, and later became President of the Village (the title formerly used for the mayor’s position.)  The Hopkins’ legacy as millers went back to Benjamin’s father, Stephen (?) Hopkins who had a mill on Salmon Creek near Christian Holler Road (Sims).

Pg 68 – 69: Moving back up to the site of the old Champion Roller Mills,  the September 2nd, 1937 Record reported that  A. Simonelli erected a building between the Getman building and the fire hall for a meat market for Wilford Austin. There were a couple of small stores on the east side of Mill Street north of the fire hall in the 1960’s.  Mr.  Simonelli had a shoe repair store. There was a beauty shop on the north side of the driveway next to the firehall.  Kay O’Bine Connelly was the hair dresser.

The store on the corner of Mill Street and West Main in the 1950’s was the Pontiac Dealership owned by Owen Wood and his son Gerald which replaced the two-story cobblestone building that had been there. In the early 1900s, Hy Barnes had a harness shop in this area on Mill Street.

In the 1930’s and well into the early 60’s, the Brown and Fletcher  Bar and Restaurant was owned by Carl Brown and Alfred (Pete) Fletcher.  For a time, Bob Burham owned the bar. It later became “Jug’s” owned by Betty and Harry (“Jug”) Husner.  It was sold to Mike Fox in 2016 and became the Mill Street Tavern.  According to The Record of December 6th, 1918, Jimmy Harris ran a saloon on Mill Street. Not sure if it was on the site of the Mill Street Tavern.

There used to be a building to the south of the tavern which was part of the Gaudino Block.  Elmer Himes moved his appliance store there from his brother Leon Himes’ Machine Shop on Alling Drive in 1953 before he moved to the main floor of the Grange Building on Maple Avenue in 1958.    Before Elmer moved into the Mill Street location, it had recently been vacated by Dick and John’s Firestone Dealership.   This may have been the site of a marble works which was described in one source as located next to the fire hall.

Pg. 70 and 71:  At one time the Fire department was located on the West side of Mill Street at 11 Mill Street where Joe Gaudino’s dry cleaning store was later.  His daughter, Mary, and her husband, Ernie Piekunka, took over the business in 1958 and ran it for many years as Piekunka Cleaners.

Pg. 72:  There’s one more mill to mention which was on the west side of Mill at the bottom of the street.  George Sager built a mill that was a sawmill and gristmill.  As the caption states, Harvey Weaver had it next, then Charles Sager.  Finally, Chester Conant used it as a box factory.

Pg. 73:  Mr. Conant built and owned the big house at 45 Mill Street.

Pg 74 – 77:  We are moving back up to the west corner of Main and Mill Streets.  Several businesses operated out of these store fronts over the years.  A copy of an article from The Record, December 31, 1936 covers a brief history of the area as plans are being made to raze some of the buildings so that Standard Oil can lease the site.  According to Doris Sims’ album, the original cobblestone building on the corner was built about 1838.  The captions under the pictures identify several of these businesses. In 1868, E. W. Kelly, the post master was in the first building on the corner.  In 1900, the New York Five and Ten Cent Store was located here.  By 1910, the first floor was Sargent Grocery and Variety.  In the early 1900’s, F. A. Sims (Doris Sims’ father) has a grocery store on the first floor, and Robert West had a tailoring business on the second floor for many years.  The location of Sims’ grocery was later a business operated by Arthur Johnson.  The last occupant in 1936 before the building was razed was James M. Burns GLF.

The second building was Reeves Meat Market in 1900.  By 1918, it is Frey’s Meat Market.  When plans were made to tear down the first three buildings in 1936, this was the Maitland Meat Market.  The Maitlands moved to Sodus in 1919.  At some point the business was known as Olney and Maitland (Mrs. Olney’s maiden name).  They moved the business to Sodus Center in 1930 and were still operating the business in 1961 when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

The third building was F. D.McNett’s Barber Shop in 1918 and later became Charles LaRock’s Barber Shop.  When the buildings were torn down in 1936, Mr. LaRock leased the basement in the Odd Fellows building (now the east side of Country Hardware).  This site was originally a barber shop owned by Charles King.  It remained a barber shop into the 1960’s.

In 1868, the fourth building was J. F. Gramke’s tailor store and also a boot, shoe, and harness store.  By 1918, it was the site of Wood’s Saloon and in the middle of the century, Wood’s Liquor Store.  When Standard Oil leased the area, the first three buildings were part of the W. W. Wood estate.  A Pontiac garage owned by Owen Wood and Son (Gerald) was built where the three buildings had stood.

Moving on to the fifth building, F. Vaugh operated a tinsmith shop and by 1918, it was Abe Shaw’s Trolley Station.

In later years, Milt Kaner had a restaurant in this section.  George Parsons had his law office here which was later the law office of George Thomas.  Jennerich Insurance Agency was also located in this section.

Finally, we move down the street to the corner of West Main and Central Avenue, the site of the present ambulance base.  This was formerly the site of Lessord’s Chrysler dealership.  Before that, it was Ross Motors.  Ralph and Gregg Ross ran the business from the late 1940’s until it was bought by the Don and Howard Lessord in August 1994.   Over the years, several renovations took place on the building including major renovations in 2001 and 2012 after they received the Main Street grant.  The business held its grand opening at the new site on Pratt Road in August 2017.

Many years before, the Stacy Brothers had a photography studio on the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street across from the ambulance base.

In this tour, we described many of the businesses and citizens who made this a prosperous village.  There is so much more to learn about our community.  We are preserving our history in the archival area of the Sodus Community Library where recent remodeling is taking place that will included the archival room, a display area, and the Ruth Mills room. Check out materials stored in this area to learn more local history, and please join the Town of Sodus Historical Society to help in the preservation of our history.

This script was compiled by Sandra Hamilton for the historical Main Street tours for our Sodus Village Centennial Celebration on August 11, 2018.  Much of the information was taken from The Record issues now preserved on the digital archives at the Sodus Community Library at  In addition, material and images from previous Main Street tours by Richard Ransley were used.  Historians Richard Ransley, Steve Heald, Sandy Hopkins, and Bruce Farrington, along with Glenn Proseus and Edwin Sermon shared their knowledge.  Bette Bugni, volunteer at the Sodus Community Library has been the “care taker” of much of the historical material that has been donated through the years.  Some of that valuable material was preserved and contributed by Doris Sims over the years.

Sandra Hamilton

Town of Sodus Historical Society – President

Sodus Village Incorporation Centennial Celebration – Co-chair

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