History of Red Creek, NY

Source: "Official Program, Lake Shore Volunteer Firemen's Association. Nineteenth Annual Convention. Red Creek, N.Y. August 14, 1924. "

History of Red Creek

The territory in and around the present village of Red Creek was uninhabited by white men as late as 1809. Up to that time this particular section was a part of the hunting ground of the Cayuga and Senea Indians. In payment for service in the war of Independence, land patents were granted and then purchased by two men named Gorham and Phelps. The entire tract of Western New York was divided into blocks of six hundred acres and Red Creek now stands in what was Number 14 of the first range.

The first white settler of this village, a Mr. Breman, came here in 1809. He was a typical hunter. His hut was about forty rods east of the present site of the Presbyterian Church. The next comer was a Mr. Babbitt, who built his hut near Mr. Bramen's (sic). Noadiah Childs came through the forest in 1811. He built the first permanent home here and this place was on the farm northeast of the present site of the village now owned by Mrs. Truman Warner. Mr. Childs welcomed Mr. Jacob Snyder with his family of ten children. With the aid of his children, who were happy to think that they were going to have a home again, Mr. Snyder built a log house. He also built a grist mill and a saw mill by a dam which he had constructed. Isaac Easton came in 1816 with a family of eleven children. The next joining the group were Isaac Hopper, Phillip Brien and Abraham Teachout. Before 1818 J.L. Brinkerhoff was welcomed. He settled north of the village.

Our town was called Jacksonville, or Jacksville, in honor of General Jackson until 1832 when the post office came and then it was called Red Creek. The name was derived from the color of the water in the stream flowing through the village which wound its course over iron ore beds at some point and this colored the water.

In 1831 Wm. O. Wood came and aided the progress of the thriving little village with his commendable energy. He purchased a small tannery and started the largest business of its kind in this country. Mr. Wood was always much interested in the welfare of our village. In 1876 he built Red Creek's first hotel; in this he conducted his banking business. In the next year many new faces were seen gathering around Keyes grocery store. Farm houses and barns were not so scarce outside the village as before.

In 1832 Lyons and Hawley built a general store. Isaac Easton became the first blacksmith. In 1854 Underhill and Lyon built a brick store. Dr. Wait and Dr. Crouch made Red Creek their center of business. The first lawyer seemed to be John Corey.

In 1852 our village was incorporated. The records of the first election were lost, but those left give Wm. O. Wood the honor of being president of the village in 1876. In 1871 the Lake Ontario Shore Railway was commenced. Previous to the completion of this road, few exports from the village were either taken to the Erie canal or carried to Sloop's Landing, a place near Bonnicastle. When the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg railroad was started, the people thought that they would make the occasion a holiday. The memorial occasion was on August 29, 1871, and ground was broken with appropriate ceremonies. In the years 1874, 1884 and 1894 fire destroyed the business section of the village. Owing to the steadfastness and energy of the occupant of the village the loss was soon overcome.

When John A. Dix wrote the famous order, "If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot," the people of Red Creek were wide awake concerning the great crisis of our country. On April 21, 1861, the churches were filled with patriotic people, strong summons were given from pulpits about the perils of our nation. On August 6, 1862, a large audience listened to Hon. T. Pomeroy, the speaker of the famous war meeting; strong appeals were given for men to go in the Union Army. Honor remains with the patriotic names of those that heeded that call and we know that they were upholding the right and just.

"The underground railway" passed through Red Creek and was traversed by many slaves on their way to Canada. It was probable that this was kept still in this vicinity because of the attitude of a few who were in favor of returning the slaves to their masters. When the slaves stopped at the celebrated station at Quaker Coons, two routes could be taken, one was at Hannibal and then on to Oswego, the other to Red Creek and then on to Fair Haven or Port Bay. The stopping place in this village was in an old building near the residence of M.L. Douglass.

The name of John Brown is more or less familiar to everyone. His raid at Harper's Ferry gives our village a great historical event. John Brown with all his followers but two, were captured by United States Troops; these two men fell into the hands of abolitionists, one was Owen Brown, the son of John Brown, the other, Barkley Copy, the brother-in-law to a former governor of Indiana. These two men were brought with many difficulties to Red Creek by Thaddeus Hyatt. Here they purchased a suit of clothes and worked for a while under disguise for Thos. Wright. They remained with Mr. Wright on his farm near the lake as farm laborers while endless search was being made for their capture. The pursuit getting a little close the time came for their escape to Canada. It was a dark night a sailing vessel put out a light at Port Bay, two lights gave their answer from shore like the signal of Paul Revere - two men boarded the ship and escaped to Canada.

In 1837 the Red Creek Union Academy was incorporated. It continued on through the years, much improved and with a growing student body until 1900, when it was changed from an academy to a Union Free School, and is now known as the Red Creek High School. It is a worthy institution and ranks well in comparison with other High Schools in the State.

Four strong churches are prominent in the scan of our present village. The M.E. Church was constructed of wood on its present site in 1836. In 1839 the Presbyterian Church was constructed and in 1841 the Baptist. Later a Catholic Church was built.

In the years 1861 to 1865 Red Creek and vicinity sent 128 men to the great struggle between the North and South. In 1898 seven men left our village to fight for the United States in the Spanish-American War. In the recent World struggle our quota sent 57 men, two of whom made the supreme sacrifice.

[The local history, appearing in this directory, was written by Irene Phippin Briggs, in 1912.]

The Industries

Industrially our village is very efficient. It is conceded that a bright and prosperous future presents itself in all branches of undertaking. It is with pride that we can say that our village and the surrounding territory is included in the most wonderful apple producing section in the world. Our other agricultural and manufactured products are unexcelled. As a natural consequence of the fitness of the soil for unexcelled productiveness the chief industries of the village center, more or less, upon the packing and preparing of these products for shipment. It is also conceded that our places of trade prepare and handle the very best classes of merchandise. Following is a list of our main business centers:

Red Creek Canning Co., M.H. Shirtz and C.C. Scutt, Proprietors.

Red Creek National Bank, Wm. Hawley, President; Fred Maloney, Vice-President; Chas. Hawley, Cashier; Mildred Hawley Bullock, Ass't. Cashier; Directors: Wm. Hawley, Chas. H. Hawley, H.H. Sharp, E.T. Delling, F.M. Jones, Chas. Hawley, Jr., F.R. Maloney.

Red Creek Cold Storage Co., Inc., B.W. Mott, President; Geo. R. Palmer, Manager.

Aspegren Fruit Co., James Becker, Manager.

Red Creek Fruit Growers Co-Operative Packing Association, Inc., H.H. Whiting, Manager.

Douglass Produce and Coal Co., Geo. Douglass, Manager.

Grange Silo Company, M.J. Rosenkrans, Manager; M.W. Mott, Secretary and Treasurer; Thos. Shafer, General Agent.

Red Creek Mills, Frank Blass, Manager.

M.E. Douglass Co., Ford Dealers, Maynard E. Douglass, Manager.

Central Garage, Carl Foster, Proprietor.

P.C. Foster Garage, P.C. Foster, Proprietor.

Winegar Garage, William Winegar, Manager.

Charles Keegan, Blacksmith.

The Stores

The Red Creek Herald, W.G. Phippin, Editor.

Spurr and Becker, Funeral Directors, Howard Spurr and James Becker, Proprietors.

Woodworking Shop and Building Contractor, John Prindle, Proprietor.

Red Creek Home Bakery, James Jenkins and Harold Robinson, Proprietors.

Mott Lumber Co., M.W. Mott, Proprietor.

Red Creek Hardware Co., In., C.E. Leggett, President; George Robertson, Vice-President; F.L. Bullock, Secretary and Treasurer.

E.W. Haslem, Groceries and Dry Goods.

F.M. Jones, Rexall Drug Store.

M.L. Douglass, Men's Clothing and Groceries.

The Brynsneth, First Class Restaurant, A.W. Plumb, Proprietor.

John Barber, Confectionery and Quick Lunch.

J.H. Wetherby, General Merchandise.

Red Creek Mercantile, Meats and Groceries, E.F. Bullock, Manager.

Harness Store, F.L. Moyer, Proprietor.

Hotel Wayne, R.E. McCarthy and F.C. Snyder, Proprietors.

Electrical Store, Harold J. Thorpe, Proprietor.

Cramer's Market, Meats and Vegetables, Russell Cramer, Proprietor.

Barnes' Barber Shop, G.H. Barnes, Proprietor.

The Frank M. Douglass Co., Jewelers and Stationers, F.M. Douglass and Chas. M. Jenkins, Proprietors.

Hibbert Barber Shop, Peter Hibbert, Proprietor.

Our Professional Men

C.G. Plumb, M.D.
E.S. Bullis, M.D.
D.C. Dunham, D.D.S.
W.U. Kreutzer, Attorney at Law
C.C. Douglass, Chiropractor

The Power's Theatre gives us the best in motion pictures each Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

Besides our church societies we have the following fraternal orders: Red Creek Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 725; The Eastern Wayne Rebekah Lodge, No. 227; The Red Creek Grange, and the Carl O. Peterson Post, American Legion.

Fire Chiefs Attending the Firemen's Convention

Ontario, Floyd M. Peer, Chief
Ontario Band

Williamson, O.L. Tassel, Chief
Williamson Band

Rose, Harry L. Cahoon, Chief

Wolcott, Fred Bevier, Chief
Wolcott Band

Charlotte, J.J. Petten, Pres.
Charlotte Band

North Rose, R.N. Dickinson, Chief

Sodus Point, George Schuyler, Chief

Red Creek, F.M. Jones, Chief
Red Creek Band

Fire Companies in the Parade

Fire Companies in line: North Rose, Williamson, Wolcott, Sodus, Ontario, Webster, Charlotte, Hilton, Marion, Kendall, Sodus Point, Rose, Point Pleasant and Red Creek, accompanied by bands.

Chairmen of Committees

The chairmen of the various committees in charge of the arrangements are as follows:

Chairman of General Committee, H.H. Sharp

Printing and Publicity, W.G. Phippin

Concessions, Fred R. Maloney

Entertainment, George Robertson

Games and Races, George Douglass

Grounds, Howard Spurr

Parking, Frank M. Douglass

Parade, Melvin Douglass

Feeding, Jas. L. Becker

Tickets and Tags, Chas. Hawley, Jr.

Business Meeting, F.M. Jones

Stand Committee, George R. Palmer

Finance Committee, H.H. Sharp and Wm. Hawley

History of the Local Company

Realizing the fact that the village needed some kind of fire protection, a number of citizens decided upon organizing a fire company. A meeting was called, and the following were elected charter members: F.M. Douglass, W.E. Hall, A.J. Stafford, W.G. Phippin, O.F. Jones, W.S. Becker, C.O. Peterson, F.M. Jones, Fred R. Maloney and Herbert Perkins.

The company was organized in June, 1905, and the following December the company was incorporated. Occasional meetings were held and a few additional members were added to the list. At first a hook and ladder truck was purchased. The purchase price was raised by holding dances and by subscription. Later a chemical was secured and with the advent of the water system a hose company was organized.

The present officers are: Chief, F.M. Jones; Assistant Chief, George Robertson; Foreman H. & L., Howard Spurr; Foreman Chemial, M.L. Douglass; Foreman Hose, Wm. Elmendorf; Secretary, F.M. Douglass; Treasurer, H.H. Sharp; Chairman, W.G. Phippin.

The company is one of the largest in the Association, and have won many honors at the conventions.


Events listed in the booklet: Parade, Dinner, Baseball Game, Balloon Ascension and Parachute Drop by "Dare Devil Allen," Grand Display of Fireworks, Open Air Concerts, Boxing Exhibitions, Vaudeville Entertainment ("March & Elmwood"), Marie Dale - Soubrette, Joe Flynn - Monologist, jazz orchestra - "The Mid-Night Alarm", Motion Pictures, Dance in Powers Theatre, and the following games, competitions and races: Potato race, 3-legged race, Wheelbarrow race, Centipede race - 8 men to team with four different companies, Sack race, Woman's ball throwing contest, Fat men's race, Foot dressing race, Broad jump, Relay race, Tug-of-war between four Companies, "Doughnut Downfall," Laughter contest - 3 minutes.

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