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A look at Pittsford's proud past


Pittsford, one of the oldest communities in western New York traces its early history to 1789 when two cousins, Revolutionary War veterans Simon & Israel Stone purchased acreage from land speculators, Phelps & Gorham. The Stones established crude residences here in what became Pittsford village, returned to their native area near the Vermont border, and persuaded friends and family members to leave home and farms and to come to this fertile valley to begin a new life and a new community.

Pittsford became a center of western New York frontier life. The community grew rapidly, and its wealth and sophistication are evidenced by its many superb examples of Federal Period architecture. Pittsford can claim credit for the first school in what became Monroe County, the first library, the first regular church, the first Post Office, the first newspaper and the first doctor and lawyer to practice in Monroe County.

Originally named Northfield, the name Pittsford was chosen in 1814 by Col Caleb Hopkins, a hero of the War of 1812 and a supervisor of the town. He named it after his hometown of Pittsford, Vermont. The village was incorporated in 1827.

The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 not only was a boon to the town of Pittsford, but also led to the rapid growth of the village of Rochesterville. The canal spurred such astonishing growth that Rochester quickly outgrew the older community. Pittsford continued to serve as the center of a rich farming and milling area.

In the late 19th century, Pittsford became the location of country estates. This heralded the beginning of suburban development. Pittsford remains a desirable area and the community is proud of its rich historical heritage. In order to retain some of the architectural excellence and original character of the village, commercial builders are encourage to maintain traditional design. In many cases, fine old buildings have been restored to house commercial enterprises.

Pittsford has changed from predominately a farming town to that of a residential community in which single family homes abound. The school system is considered to be of the highest quality with two high schools, a middle school, and five elementary schools serving the residents.

According to 2000 census records, there are 27,219 residents, with 9448 households, a median income of $102,215 and a median value of homes of $183,100. The total assessed value of homes in the community is $2,092,516,887. The town is comprised of approximately 24 square miles with 40% dedicated to residential and 26% to agriculture. Twelve churches/religious establishments, ten parks, five country clubs, and two colleges are located within town limits as well as several shopping plazas, business areas, and many small shops in the village.

The town of Pittsford is located eight miles southeast of the metropolis of Rochester and is easily reached via fine roads and expressways where business, industry, sporting and cultural activities abound. It is twenty-five easy minutes from the Rochester International Airport, 3.5 hours away from the metropolitan city of Toronto via the New York State Thruway. It is a fine residential area nestled in the rolling topography, lofty trees and vegetation of the beautiful Finger Lakes region of western New York State.