Office of the County Historian
Huron, New York
The town of Huron was created from the town of Wolcott on February 25, 1826. The town, originally called Port Bay, consists of a little over 21,800 acres. Huron lies on Lake Ontario. Extending into the town in its northwest corner is a part of Great Sodus Bay. East Bay extends into the town in the north and a part of Port Bay extends into the town in its northeast corner. The lakeshore rises to a series of bluffs -- the largest of which, Chimney Bluffs, rose 175 feet above the lake. On March 17, 1834, the town of Port Bay became the town of Huron in honor of the Huron Indian tribe.
The first settler in the town of Huron, Capt. William Helms, arrived in 1796 from Virginia. Among the household of Capt. Helms to make the long journey north were seventy slaves, who were used to clear the land.
Huron was also home to one of the most unique religious groups in the country. In February 1826, the Shakers, or United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, purchased a tract of land consisting of 1,331 53/100 acres, the eastern portion of which was located in the town of Huron. The Shaker Community was an egalitarian society. They were a celibate group, hardworking, scrupulously honest and as self-sufficient as possible. The Sodus Shakers were the first to package seeds for sale and established a successful business and a reputation for quality.
The Shaker Community was not to be long lived in Wayne County, however. William H. Adams, a Lyons attorney was an enthusiastic supporter of the Erie Canal and had a dream to build another canal from the Erie in the town of Galen to Sodus Bay. He reasoned that a canal to Sodus Bay would develop a port that would outrival Rochester and Oswego. The route of the proposed canal was right through the Shaker Tract. Fearing for the safety of their community, the Shakers reluctantly sold the property in Wayne County and moved to Groveland in Livingston County in 1837.
The population of Huron today is just over 2,100. Fruit farming and processing are the major industries of this rural town along Ontario's shore.
Dayton Mills Schoolhouse, Corner Huron and Slaght Roads, Huron
- This former District #6 schoolhouse was built ca 1809. It depicts an old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse. Open by appointment. (315) 594-1658
Huron Grange, North Huron Road, between Ridge and Lummisville Roads, Huron
- The Huron Grange was organized in 1874, and this building was erected in 1884. It is the home of the first Juvenile Grange in New York State.
Old Town Hall, North Huron Road, between Ridge and Lummisville Roads, Huron
- Built ca 1849. The Old Town Hall contains many original furnishings, including kerosene lamps. Town business was conducted here until 1979, when the new Town Hall was completed.