Our History

The Seneca who occupied the West Bloomfield land before the coming of the white man had constructed three villages in the area according to tradition. They located one on Fort Hill along Honeoye creek. Hamilton Hopkins later owned a farm there in what settlers called factory Hollow.

Another Indian Village was located in what was once called West Bloomfield Station. The Indians had also established a third village in the southern part of the town.
Around these villages, the Seneca cultivated many fields of corn, beans and squash and tended large orchards of apples and peaches.

The first white men to arrive, (for which there is acceptable record), were the Jesuits or "Black Robes" as they were sometimes called. After the Seneca became disenchanted with the French, the Seneca, with some of the other Iroquois nations, gradually allied themselves with the British. They fought with them in the 100 years of wars in the wilderness which history designated the French and Indian Wars. The English in time defeated the French and made North America primarily English.

Unfortunately for the Seneca and some of the other nations of the Long House Confederation, they remained allied with the British in the American Revolution. To punish the Seneca, General George Washington planned and executed the Sullivan - Clinton Campaign into the Finger Lakes and Genesee Country. The Americans burned up their villages and fields so that they could not continue to supply the British with food. While there is no record that the main army went through any part of West Bloomfield, there could have been raiding parties from the main body that came into the area.

A decade after the campaign, General Amos Hall, Robert Taft, Ebeneezer Curtis and Nathan Marvin purchased the land of what is now West Bloomfield. The first settler in the area was Colonel Peregrine Gardner who built a house on the old Indian Trail, now Routes 5&20.

The first public religious service on record was held in 1790. Elisha Wade held that Sabbath service in his own house. In 1795, Rev. Zadoc Hunn, who resided in Bristol and preached throughout the county, often came to the Village of West Bloomfield. Rev. David Millard organized a church in 1818. Seven years later, the congregation erected a building in the village. In the years following, other mainline churches came to West Bloomfield: in 1851, a Methodist Church, and in 1866, St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

In 1796 the citizens opened their first schools. In 1812 an Academy was founded in West Bloomfield. Eight out of nine school districts constructed school buildings. So, it was early on, these settlers had two of the institutions of civilization - churches and schools.

Amos Hall, one of the early settlers of West Bloomfield had emigrated from Guilford, Connecticut in 1890. Prior to the War of 1812, Hall organized, trained and commanded the county militia. During the war on the Niagara Frontier, he performed good service there although he had no practical knowledge of military affairs.

Returning to civilian life, he became publicly conspicuous in the county as a state politician. In 1790, as Deputy Marshall, he took the first census of Western New York. He acted as Surrogate Judge in 1796-1799. He served as State Senator, 1811-1812.
Prior to and after the War of 1812, needed manufacturing establishments were set up.

Samuel Nichols built a distillery about 1818. Jacob Erdle constructed a sawmill in 1824. Captain Arnold operated a tannery. M. & D. Pillsbury fashioned axes. Rueben Pierce made wagons. Baker built a chair factory and D.W. Pillsbury formed an iron foundry and wagon shop. Edward Herrick built a brass foundry.

Village retail businesses were started early. Jacob Sears had a tavern, Erastus Hunt, A. Headlee and Co., Ludwick C. Fitch and Augustus Hall operated a general store and Dr. Hickox and Fairchild, a drug store. West Bloomfield was growing and blooming.
On February 11th, 1833, West Bloomfield was set off from the old town of Bloomfield. The new town included township #10 of Range 5 which lay east of Honeoye outlet. Except for Geneva, this became the smallest township in Ontario County.

Adapted from the 1998 Ontario County Community Directory.