An 1805 description of Parma

By on January 13, 2020

1802 Broadside, a newspaper in Fairfield Connecticut, owned by the Colby family, written in old English and circulated by James Wadsworth, describes the town of Parma, then known as the Braddock’s Bay Township and the new state road – Route 104, also known as the Hanford Landing Road.  

The reprint of this letter was taken from Parma, N. Y. The Hub of the Universe, page vi, by the late Shirley Cox Husted, Monroe County Historian. Transcribed from Old English by Dave Almeter (changing the “F” to “S”).

It reads as such –

The subscriber offers for sale, about 40,000 acres of excellent LAND, situated within six miles of the Landing in Fall-Town, on the west side of the Genesee River.  This Tract is divided into Lots of about 100 acres.

In order to encourage and accommodate industrious and enterprising settlers, one half of the Land, consisting of every other 300 acres throughout the Tract, will be sold for Wheat, Pork and Neat Cattle;  the Wheat and Pork to be delivered at Fall-Town Landing. – The very flourishing settlement of Fairfield is within this Tract; the inhabitants in this settlement have been remarkably healthy.

Vessels of 200 tons sail from Lake Ontario up to the Genesee River, to the lower falls: this place is called Fall-Town Landing, and is only six miles from the Tract now offered for sale.  A barrel of flower can now be sent from Fall-Town Landing to Montreal for one dollar, and a barrel of pot-ashes for one dollar and a half; – these prices will be reduced as the business of transportation increases.  Most articles of American produce command as high prices at Montreal as at New York.

The Intervals and Swales are timbered with Elm, Butternut, white and black Ash, Walnut, &c. – the upland with Sugar Maple, Beach, Basswood, Hickory, Oak and wild Cherry.

The Tract contains a number of groves of excellent white Pine timber.  There are no Mountains or Ledges, nor scarcely 100 acres of waste Land in the Tract.  Some of the Intervals or Flats will produce if well cultivated, 80 bushels of Corn, 800 weight of Hemp, or 2,000 weight of Tobacco on an Acre.

The price of the Land is from twenty Shillings to four Dollars per acre, payable in two, three, four and five years from the first of next June, with one year without interest.  The Lots on the state road, through Braddock’s Bay Township, which will soon be established as a Turnpike, are put at four Dollars per acre; one half of these Lots also will be sold for produce payments.

The subscriber does not hesitate to say there is not a body of Land now unsettled in the state of New York, which, in point of uniform fertility of soil, situation, good water, good timber, Mills and convenience of roads, is superior to the Tract which he offers for sale.

A Turnpike Road is completed from Albany to Canandaigua – and from Canandaigua to Hartford, on the Genesee River, and thence to Fairfield and Braddock’s Bay Township, there is an excellent wagon road.

For further particulars, apply to Ebenezer Merry, Esq. in Hartford, or to the subscriber.

The subscriber has still for Sale a number of excellent Lots of New Land, in the midst of flourishing settlements in the towns of Geneseo, Hartford, Bloomfield and Pittstown.  Some of these Lots contain handsome improvements.


Geneseo, October 15th, 1805.