Gates Landmarks and Events, Past and Present

Two Story House

In the Town of Gates, many landmarks are with us only through photographs, such as the Harris and the original 1830 Hinchey homesteads, the Howard House, the old schoolhouses, and even such structures as the water towers that used to stand on Howard Road and Elvira Street.

But some of the town's earliest buildings remain in use today—homes, for example, that have been carefully restored and cared for by their present owners.

Some of the Gates landmarks long since removed, and century-old residences still in use today. The evolution of Gates from having been one of the largest towns in geographic size in Monroe County to its present size as the smallest through a number of annexations of land by Rochester.

Rochesterville was incorporated on March 21, 1817, and was comprised of 665 acres west of the Genesee River including the original 100 Acre Tract and 200 acres at Frankfort, a settlement at the main falls of the river, all taken from the Town of Gates.

Gates then lost more than half its area in 1822 when the Town of Greece was formed. In a third annexation in 1834 by Rochester, Gates lost another 3.23 square miles. A fourth annexation in 1843 took 12 square mile. Following a fifth annexation by Rochester in 1850, the area of Gates was about 17,000 acres.

However, in 1874, even after a sixth reduction, the eastern border of Gates still extended to the Genesee River and included the west bank of the river opposite the University of Rochester, most of what is now known as Dutchtown (the area in the vicinity of present-day Mt. Read Boulevard), and Lincoln Park (the vicinity of present-day Chili Avenue and Genesee Park Boulevard). Seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth annexations of Gates land by the City of Rochester occurred in 1891, 1901, 1914, and 1919.

All of these brought Gates to its present size of 15.06 square miles, the smallest town in geographic area in the county.

Although Gates may have given up land to Rochester, it gained residents and infrastructure that have fueled its growth. The population has grown from 2,643 in 1820 to 15,133 in 1963 (the sesquicentennial year) to 29,275 today. In addition, Gates now has 23.3 miles of expressways passing through its borders (more than any other town in Monroe County), the Greater Rochester International Airport, the Erie Canal, 13 linear miles of railroad tracks, and residential homes, schools, locally- and nationally-owned businesses, and industrial and manufacturing sites.

Coordinator's note: we know there are many more pre-1900 homes in Gates than the list which we received from the Gates Town Assessor. If you are the owner of a pre-1900 home still standing in Gates, we would love to hear from you. Your home could well be older than some of those pictured here. Contact the Secretary for the Gates Town Supervisor.


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