A hamlet is defined as a very small village supporting a local community of people with unique resources. Those resources may include waterways for powering mills, land available for growing crops, natural resources, a school, cemetery, and transportation.
Avon has at least six hamlets, each with their own unique identity.
- Ashantee – A hamlet immediately south of Avon village on NY-39.
- East Avon – A hamlet (and census-designated place) in the eastern part of the town at the intersections of NY-5/US-20, and NY-15.
- Littleville – A hamlet south of Avon village and adjacent to Ashantee.
- North Avon – A hamlet in the northeast corner of the town.
- South Avon – A hamlet south of Avon village on NY-39.
- Sugarberry – An historic hamlet in southwestern corner of the town.
Arriving in East Avon in 1797, the five Pierson/Pearson brothers of Connecticut were among the earliest settlers. The four corners of East Avon , what is now the intersection of Routes 5&20 and Route 15 was developed largely due to the Pearson family.
John Pearson initiated the construction of the First Presbyterian Church in 1812. It proudly occupies the northeastern corner of the intersection, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is the only remaining building of the original historic crossroads.
The Pearson/Taintor House was built on the northwestern corner by Joseph Pearson for his large family and also provided lodging for settlers moving west along the well-travelled highway. This substantial home was taken down for a gas station in 1956. It is now the site of the Pioneer Truck Sales.
The Avon Coppersmith
For 40 years, Arthur Cole practiced his copper crafting and metalworking at this property. He and his wife operated a giftshop, selling his wares to buyers from all over the country. In 1970, the Cole family sold the shop to the Parker family and the property became known as Joy’s Lamplight Gift Shoppe. Sadly, the building was destroyed by fire in 1998. In 2002, the vacant property was purchased and the Avon American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars built Veterans’ Hall to serve as their permanent post.
Source: Avon Town Historian
Link for more East Avon history
The White Horse Tavern stood on the southeast corner. It was built in 1812 by John Pearson with bricks made at a brickyard near Henty Road and timbers sawn at a nearby mill. A wood white horse originally was installed in front of the site in 1930, but deteriorated. The horse that presently stands on the corner is made of Norris stone, designed and cast by Jon Alexander. A fire destroyed the Tavern in 1955. The site is now occupied by a gas station.
Across the road from the Taintor House, on the south west corner of the intersection of Routes 5&20 and Route 15 stood another tavern style home, owned at one time by the Wilbur family. The picture below includes the brick face of the White Horse Tavern and signs of a very busy crossroads. This site is now occupied by mostly empty buildings.
The Wiard family also played a significant role in the development of East Avon. Thomas Wiard came in 1804, putting his talent as a farmer and blacksmith into developing the first cast iron plow. After the plow business moved to Batavia in 1876, the family continued to make washing machines.
Other early industries in East Avon included a cooper shop, blacksmith shop, gunsmith, ashery, wagon shop, tailor, and hattery.
The hamlet information provided below is courtesy of the Avon Town Historian:
A timeline created in 1974:
For each of the hamlets, a chronological summary is given of some of the historical events that were of primary importance in-their development. In particular, an attempt has been made to denote the locations of early building structures and landmarks, as well as to make mention of the names of some of the people who played an important role in the settlement of the area. In the case of the old school districts, brief mention is given of the history of their existence, and particular attention is directed toward an account of the past and present locations and uses of the school buildings.
1700 - Known as Canawaugus ("stinking water") by Iroquois.
1789 - Township purchased by five men from Connecticut for l8 cents an acre.
1792 - First log school built.
1797 - Township of Hartford organized; named for Hartford, Connecticut.
1804 - First bridge built over Genesee River.
1808 - Name of town changed from Hartford to Avon to avoid confusion with another Hartford in New York State.
1821 - First showering-box built at the Lower Spring
1824 - Steamboat "Erie Canal" (from Utica) arrived at Avon on the Genesee River.
1828 - Knickerbocker Hall built at the Springs by Dr. Derick Knickerbocker.
1835 - Methodist Church built in Avon.
1836 - Race track laid out at Avon Springs.
1836 - Avon Academy built on Temple Street at a cost of $5,000.
1840 - Genesee Valley Canal opened from Rochester to Mt. Morris. Opening ceremonies were held in Comstock's Hotel in Avon.
1847 - First newspaper, Avon Reporter, was published.
1853 - Village of Avon incorporated.
1854 - Genesee Valley Railroad completed from Rochester to Avon.
1869 - St. Agnes Catholic Church built.
1876 - Central Presbyterian Church established.
1877 - Soldiers Monument in Village Park completed and dedicated.
1878 - Genesee Valley Canal abandoned.
1878 - Livingston House opened.
1882 - New Sanitarium established, now known as Avon Inn. Parts of the Inn date back to the 1830s.
1914 - Avon Free Library founded; chartered by State in 1916.
1928 - New building for Avon Free Library constructed (Aaron Barber Memorial).
1938 - Avon Herald News formed from Avon Herald (1876) and Avon News (1907).
1940 - Last regular train on the Mt. Norris branch of Erie Railroad after 80 years of service.
1958 - Sesqui-Centennial celebration, marking the change of name of the township in 1808 from Hartford to Avon.
1797 - Five Pierson Brothers immigrated to the area from Connecticut.
1812 - East Avon Church built at East Avon.
1812 - White Horse Tavern built by John Pierson.
1830 - Thomas Wiard began to manufacture plows at East Avon; moved to Batavia in 1877.
1885 - Wiard Washing Machine Co. manufactured washers in East Avon.
1952 - East Avon Fire Department remodeled Community Hall and converted it into a fire station.
1955 - White Horse Tavern destroyed by fire on August 1.
1956 - Taintor home razed and replaced by service station
East Avon had a post office, a cooper shop, a general store, a boot and shoe shop, a wagon shop, a blacksmith shop, a tailor shop, a gunsmith, an ashery, and a battery in the early 1800s.
1830 - Josiah Chadwick built a tavern on west side of Avon-Geneseo Road. The post office was located in the tavern.
A blacksmith shop, a factory where grain cradles were made, a wagon shop, a Grange Hall, and a school occupied sites along the Geneseo Road at South Avon.
Wadsworth Flour Mill was located on Paper Mill Road. Later a paper mill was built on the site.
North Avon and Gilbert Mills
1808 - A grist mill made of logs was built on the small stream that flows north across the North Avon Road just west of Gilbert Mills Road
1855 - The above property was purchased by Charles S. Gilbert, and his sons carried on the business after his death in 1888. The mill was last operated in the 1920s. It has since been remodeled and made into a dwelling by Kenneth C. Gernold, and is now owned by Ishmael Olivaries.
An old pioneer cemetery is located on the east side of Gilbert Mills Road, opposite the mill. A blacksmith shop was situated between the mill and the creek, and a store was operated in a nearby house to the north of the mill.
Dutch Hollow is a small hamlet east of East Avon on Routes 5 & 20. In early days, there was a Baptist Meeting House, school, pottery shop, distillery, tannery, saw mill, cooper shop, blacksmith shop, store, and a tavern centered around this small settlement.
1800 - A triphammer and a forge were located on the east side of Conesus Creek outlet near the falls. Iron ingots were brought in to be hammered and forged into strap iron.
The partially filled remains of three cellars, two dug wells, and foundations of other buildings on higher ground along the 1/2 mile stretch of stream leading from once what was once a substantial hamlet at Triphammer.
1776 - Sawmill built by Timothy Hosmer.
1810 - Carding mill and cloth dressing mill built by Paul Knowles. Grist mill and a distillery were erected at about the same time.
1818 - First wooden bridge built over Conesus outlet at Littleville.
1825 - A foundry was erected by William Knowles on the south side of the outlet.
1831 - Foundry taken over by Lewis Chandler who manufactured stoves.
1851 - Same foundry sold to Samuel Strouse who made plows. A blacksmith shop was located on the corner near the foundry.
1878 - The Grist Mill was destroyed by fire.
1879 - Emme Light purchased the property and built the present mill which was known for years as Light's Mill. It is presently a residence.
1812 - Old Army Campground located just west of Geneseo Road.
1854 - The locally famous Five Arch Bridge was built between 1854 and 1859 spanning the outlet.
1880s -Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Wadsworth's home was built. Ice was harvested every winter from Wadsworth Pond.
1890's - Herbert Wadsworth built the Ashantee Creamery near the Erie Railroad. A blacksmith shop was located north of the creamery. A sawmill, cidermill, woolen mill, and Horton`s Flour Mill were located downstream from the dam of Conesus Outlet.
1914 - Troop "M", 1st Cavalry, New York National Guard was formed.
1918 - Armory burned.
There were several smaller neighborhoods in the township that deserve brief mention. These were: Lamb's Corner, Burleigh's (later Fowler's) Corner, Pole Bridge, Sugarberry, and Buck's Corner.
This material was authored by Marie C. Preston and May M. Cullinan, exracted from Explanation and Description of the Overlay Maps That Illustrate Factors of Environmental Importance in the Town of Avon, Livingston County, New York by Joseph B. Halbig, Irene W. Swanton and Charles F. Wray, August 1974.
Revised by Avon Town Historian Maureen Kingston and Clara Mulligan , October, 2017