Mission Statement

The Gates Historical Society leads in providing information on Gates history and in preserving and showcasing the Hinchey Homestead as a model historic site. This is achieved by programs, events, exhibits, tours and related services to Society members and the general public.

Town of Gates

Gates New York

Gates is a town in Monroe County, New York. The town is named after General Horatio Gates. The population was 28,400 at the 2010 census. Gates and North Gates are census-designated places located within the town's boundaries.

The Town of Gates was organized in 1797 as Northampton in Ontario County. In 1808 the town was subdivided and the part still called Northampton was renamed the Town of Gates and incorporated on April 1, 1813. In 1821 Monroe County was formed, including the Town of Gates. Parts of the town were later detached to form the City of Rochester and the Town of Greece, both of which now border the town.

The Franklin Hinchey House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. READ MORE ...

1810 House

Franklin Hinchey House

The white picket fence introduces the visitor to this unique Italianate farmhouse on Hinchey Road in the town of Gates, County of Monroe, New York State. This 1870’s Victorian era house has three porches and seven exterior doors. The fourteen room, 4,000 square foot home is still very much unchanged since it was first occupied in 1880. The interior still features the pump that was used to move water from the basement cistern to the holding tank in the attic. This gravity fed water was drawn into unique porcelain basins in the Second-floor family bedrooms for personal hygiene use as well as the first-floor kitchen.

This house was built at a time when indoor plumbing was unusual. A full bathroom was installed on the first-floor, but because Franklin Hinchey, who had the house built, did not trust “modern” conveniences, he also had an “indoor” outhouse built off the laundry room. The outhouse had a sled under it which was pulled out daily and emptied into the fields. Also because of Mr. Hinchey’s skepticism of “modern” conveniences, the house was built with five fire places and a furnace.

The house was home to four generations of the same Hinchey family. The original owner of the current house, Franklin Hinchey, married Ellen Lytle in 1871. They had their six-year-old son, William Steel Hinchey, moved into the house in 1880. The last Hinchey to occupy the house was Harmon, who died in 1998. His son, Wolcott, sold the house to the Gates Historical Society in 2002. It was acquired by the Town of Gates in 2004 through State and Federal grants. The Hinchey family have loaned the Gates Historical Society original furniture and paintings.

At a time when the average farm was five to ten acres, according to the 1902 Gates map, this farm was 240 acres. The land owned by the Hincheys was in various size parcels around the current location. Now there are three acres at the Hinchey Homestead. The Hinchey cattle were pastured by the present Brooklea Country Club.

This house was built by two shipbuilders. Franklin Hinchey felt they would be best able to build the curved walls and molding he wanted in his Italianate house. One of the builders, Jimmy Cummins, stayed on as a hired hand after finishing the house. The first room finished was his bedroom in the back part of the second floor.

Franklin Hinchey was a railroad land agent. Railroad land agents took care of selling the alternate sections granted by the government, those not in use by the railroads, and priced the land to be sold to individuals. It arranged credit terms needed by new land owners and supervised numerous activities to attract prospects: establishing reduced round-trip tickets for possible buyers, land-viewing expeditions where purchasers were luxuriously entertained, elaborate "reception houses" along the way where buyers and land viewers were accommodated. The Hinchey Homestead would certainly fall into this category.

Franklin would cross his property to the railroad track where his train would pick him up to go to his New York City office.

Franklin’s son, William Steel Hinchey, was forward thinking in other ways. His hired hands ate at the family table, where seldom less than twenty were served. The back stairs which lead off the dining room still shows the wear from their heavy boots when they went upstairs to their rooms.

Close to the house were several barns. However, the only out building still standing is a small barn. Originally, there were seven tenant houses, some of which are still along Hinchey road.


Main Bedroom