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From the 1860 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by J. H. French

ONTARIO - was formed from Williamson, as "Freetown", March 27, 1807. Its name was changed Feb. 12, 1808. Walworth was taken off in 1829. It is the N.W. corner town of the co., Lake Ontario forming its N. boundary. Its surface is mostly level, with a general inclination toward the lake. It is drained by several streams running N. to the lake, the principal of which are Bear, Deer, and Davis Creeks. The soil is a sandy, gravelly loam, with drift and muck N. of the ridge. Between the lake shore and the ridge road are extensive marchses, heavily timbered. Iron ore, in the form of red oxide, is found in large quantities in the Clinton group, extending E. and W. through the center of the town. Salt was formerly manufactured to some extent. Ontario, (p.v.) in the S. E. part, contains a church, steam sawmill, furnace, and 25 houses; Ontario Center, 2 mi. W., a church and 20 houses; Furnace Village, near the center, a furnace (1) and 16 houses. New Boston, on the lake shore, is a hamlet. The first settlement was commenced by Freeman Hopkins, from Mass., in 1806. (2) The first church (Bap.) was organized in 1811, (3) by Elder Lyon


  1. The "Wayne Co. Iron Co." manufacture about 6 tons of pig iron per day, from ore dug in town.
  2. Among the early settlers were Peter Thatcher and Harry Leavins, who settled on the lake shore, and Noah Fuller, in 1809; Willard Church, Isaac Simmons, John Case, Wm. Middleton, Jared Putnam, David Jennings, and Amos Thayer, from Conn., in 1810. In the S. part settlement commenced in 1808. Daniel Inman settled at the Corners in 1809; John Edmonds, Saml. Sabin, Abraham Smith, Wm. Billings, Lewis Janes, and Geo.Sawyer, near the same place, soon after. Alfred Town, Nathaniel Grant, and Wm. Greenwood located at West Corners. The first child born was Melissa Hopkins, May 7, 1806. Daniel Inman kept the first inn, in 1811, and Freeman Hopkins built the first sawmill.
  3. There are 4 churches in town; 2 M. E., Presb., and Bap.


From the 1824 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by Horatio Gates Spafford

ONTARIO, a Post-Township of Ontario County, 20 miles N. of Canandaigua; bounded N. by Lake Ontario, E. by Williamson, S. by Palmyra, W. by Penfield, of Monroe County. It was first organized in 1807, and called Freetown till 1808, when it received its present name. Its waters are some small streams that run north into Lake Ontario, and a small branch of Mud creek, in the SE corner. It comprises townships No. 13 and 14, in the Third Range of P. and Gorham's purchase, and is about 10 miles in length, N. and S., and 6 miles wide. This is one of the few towns, in the western region of this State, which has not been divided, since the publication of the first edition of this Work, in 1813. The indications of iron ore, noticed in the former description of this Town, have realized the expectations founded on them. The ore is the argillaceous oxyde, or bog ore, of a good quality, and besides supplying 3 forges in this Town, it also supplies the furnace in Manchester, with ore. The land is of a tolerably good quality, with a gentle but pretty uniform descent to the north. The Ridge Road, or Alluvial Way, traverses it E. and W., and on this road in the N. part, is the Post Office called Inman's X Roads, 193 miles from Albany, according to the office Table of P. Offices, now before me. Population, 2233; 624 persons engaged in agriculture, 41 in manufactures; 5 free blacks; no slaves; 13 school districts; schools kept 7 months; public monies in 1821, $213.15; 642 children; 731 taught that year; taxable property $198809; Electors, 429; 5312 acres of improved land; 1938 cattle, 381 horses, 4357 sheep; 14453 yards of cloth; 5 saw mills, 1 fulling mill, and 3 iron works. The centre of this Town is about 17 miles WNW of Lyons Village.

Current Place Names in the Town of Ontario:

Bear Creek, Fruitland, Furnaceville, Lakeside, Ontario, Ontario Center, Ontario on the Lake, Union Hill

1895 History of Ontario

1810 Ontario County Census - Ontario

1867 Directory of Ontario

Property Owners of the Town of Ontario, 1891: added 5/16/12

1914 Farm Directory of Ontario, Part 1

1914 Farm Directory of Ontario, Part 2

1874-75 Ontario Marriage and Death Records

Civil War Enlistees of Ontario July 1862

19th Century School Items - 1895 Ontario Union School Catalog

Members of Ontario High School Alumni Association, 1938

Old Ontario Newspaper Clippings

Early Church Sketches, Ontario, Wayne County, N.Y.

Ontario Center Cemetery

Other Ontario articles, including cemeteries, are found throughout the site by using the site search engine or the menu bar at left side.

Back to Wayne County Townships Page

Created: 9/15/98
Last Revision: 5/16/12
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