Social Resources Committee, Wayne County Master Plan

NEXT MEETING: June 9, 2003, 7 PM, Old Lyons Courthouse

The meeting was held from 7 to 8:30 pm at the old Lyons Courthouse. The following people attended the meeting, which was facilitated by Cynthia Hill, Master Plan Consultant: Carol Bailey, Lyons; John Harris, Lyons; Terry Krause, Wolcott; B.J. Meeks, Arcadia; Dave Sloane, Arcadia; Nancy Verdi, Clyde; Elly Dawson, Newark Public Library.

Thanks to BJ Meeks for reminding people about meetings and to Carol Bailey for taking notes.

A subcommittee including Rick Hoyt and Penny Shockley will meet together or separately with Cynthia to discuss the needs of youth (based in part on surveys conducted at high schools) and to propose a recommendation for the committee to consider at the next meeting. Nancy will submit information at the July meeting about the need to improve literacy in the County. Carol Bailey collected historic surveys from about half of the towns and villages in Wayne County. She and Hill will meet to map resources, using also the contributions of many other committee members, including BJ Meeks, Penny Shockley, Tom Chappell, Terry Krause, Andi Evangelist, and Sharon Libitow and possibly Evelyn Magde of Marion.

Deborah Ferrell highlighted some of the County’s most historic features and distributed the County’s brochure of historical sites with an addendum (included in minutes below) and maps of all the
sites and of Zurich Bog, which is a national landmark.

The committee adopted the following goals related to historic preservation:

Increase public awareness of the unique historic resources in the County, the need to preserve the resources, and correct methods of preservation.

Promote a variety of eras in the County’s history: preserve infill development that may not be consistent with the character of a particular era or neighborhood, but which exemplifies important architectural or cultural character from its own period in time.

Improve signage to historic and natural sites that the County wants to promote, such as Chimney Bluffs.

Work cooperatively with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to preserve the County’s historic resources.

Preserve the Lime Kiln that is on South Geneva and Limekiln Road in Sodus because it is one of the best examples left and is currently falling into disrepair.

Keep historic resources in the County whenever practicable, as opposed to moving them to museums outside the County.

Protect historic resources from being razed or compromised as the County develops.

Provide matching funds for the repair and maintenance of privately-held historic structures.

Preserve sites in all municipalities across the County.

Encourage funding for people who voluntarily put their homes, structures, or landscapes on the National or State Register and who need the money for maintenance.

Encourage a reasonable approach to the regulation of State or Nationally important historic structures: allow owners to compromise historic integrity (using compatible materials) to arrest deterioration when there are constraints related to time and available financial resources; allow such flexibility if it will ultimately save the structure.

Document the history of all the races, creeds, ethnicities, and cultures that have enriched the social fabric of Wayne County.

Promote 4 to 10 of Wayne County’s historic sites each year to enlist local financial support and local involvement in the preservation of the sites. The State slogan is 7 to Save. The County slogan could be 6 to fix or 4 for the Future.

Document the historic resources that are already gone.

Preserve a variety of resources so that future generations have a snapshot of the different kinds of structures and landscapes that were part of our economic and cultural history. These resources
would include train stations, schools, lime kilns, mill ponds, grist mills, fair ground structures, churches, retail buildings, opera houses, theatres, industrial buildings and factories, civic buildings,
facilities for the needy such as the State school in Newark, Shaker buildings and farms, artifacts of the underground railroad, prisoner of war camps, cemeteries, and housing for migrant laborers.

Preserve our historic hamlets, villages, and town centers.

Preserve historic main streets.

Promote architecturally compatible in-fill development.

Promote walkable communities.

Promote construction of bike paths.

Encourage municipalities to conduct modern surveys of historic structures and landscapes in their jurisdictions.

Preserve historic landscapes.

The committee discussed the following historic sites: the lime kiln on South Geneva and Limekiln Road in Sodus, the Grist Mill in Alloway (which local citizens have tried and failed to get listed
as a State resource), Floral Hall at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Palmyra from about 1856, school houses in Savannah (Wilsey? used as a community center), the church at Rt. 89 in Savannah, the cobblestone school house in Wallington, other school houses in Wadsworth and Red Creek and E. Palmyra (owned and used for storage by Glen Young), the Church on 89 and 31, which used to be a black church, the grocery store to east of Ridge Road and 14th, a church at the same intersection, Fort Hill drumlin, the State School for Feeble-Minded Women in Newark, the homes of Albert Jackson and Charles Perkins and Schmidt and Mr. Pitkin’s Southaway estate in Arcadia, the Sodus Alaca farm (Shaker), evidence of Quaker presence in Marengo and Macedon Center, the migrant area in Marengo, canning factories in Clyde and Marion, Newark, northern towns, the factory on Hill Road in Lyons, the prisoner of war camps in Marion, the German prisoner of war camp in Clyde, and the Community Center in Newark where Japanese prisoners were housed in World War II.

Hill distributed a copy of the new State Historic Preservation Plan and suggested that the County Plan be consistent with the State plan to maximize probability of obtaining State grants.

Hill shared information from the American Planning Conference, including a cd presentation of smart growth from Pennscape, which is associated with Penn State in Pennsylvania.

Hill stated that there is a movement in the Planning community to include sustainability indicators in new comprehensive plans. These indicators are quantitative and help communities set specific goals and measure how well the County is meeting these goals. An example is a goal to reduce teen pregnancy by a certain percentage. The term sustainable typically refers to the preservation of resources so that the resources are available to future generations. Hill distributed an article on sustainability indicators.

Hill discussed ideas from the Walkable Communities Workshop held in Newark on May 5th, 2003. Ideas included creating 3 lanes from 4 on Union Street in the village of Newark: there could be one lane in each direction with a central turning lane, allowing space for bike paths along the edge or perhaps some landscape features that would make a clear distinction between the sidewalk and the street (curbs, greenery, change of pavement type). Other ideas included a roundabout on Miller Street near the Miller Street School (now the Kelley Intermediate School), curb extensions (allowing pedestrians to enter the street on raised and curbed extended sidewalks so that they are visible to cars), meridians, interpretive signs along the Canal, improved facades facing the canal, and the construction of commercial space (bike shop, restaurants, gift shops, etc.) that would invite tourists in boats to walk into Newark from the Canal near the intersection of Routes 88 and 31. Two other goals are to slow traffic, and provide ample parking: in general, if parking spaces are perpendicular to the sidewalk, the street can accommodate more parking than if there is parallel parking.

Hill circulated a flyer from the Main Street Alliance outlining why Main Streets are so important; 100 steps toward Smart Growth from EPA for consideration of the committee; a list of goals from the State Quality Communities committee; and a list of ideas generated by Wayne County citizens. Hill wants the committee to look at this information and vote on whether the County plan should incorporate some of the suggestions. Hill pointed out that the main principle of smart growth is to focus and foster development in hamlets and town centers, which allows for more preservation of open space and agricultural land in the hinterland.

Some Historic Sites in Wayne County

Submitted by Deborah Ferrill


  • Shaped by glaciers thousands of years ago
  • Facing north to south, in this area, blunt end facing north
  • Most approximately 1 mile long and 100 ft high
  • Lake Bluff (Sodus Bay) and Chimney Bluffs (4 miles east, Huron) are drumlins

Zurich Bog

  • In early deeds, known as Big Swamp
  • Native Americans referred to it as Devil’s Lake or Bottomless Pit
  • Today it is known as Zurich Bog or Mud Pond
  • 9 miles northeast of Newark
  • Approximately 3 miles long and 1 mile wide
  • It is a designated Registered Natural Landmark since 1974
  • Owned by Bergen Swamp Preservation Society since 1957

Fort Hill

  • Located in Savannah
  • Ancient earthen work on extreme summit
  • Believed to have been for defense
  • Was the location of a mission established by Father Rene Menard in 1657

Cobblestone Structures

  • Approximately 170 in Wayne County
  • Fewer than 800 in the United States, and most of them in Upstate New York region
  • Cobblestone structures were built between late 1820s – late 1860s
  • Left by retreating glacier

Sodus Hotel

  • Built circa 1812 by Enoch Turner
  • Claimed many famous people stopped there including members of Astor family
  • On the Syracuse – Lewiston stage route begun in 1818
  • Oldest operating business in Wayne County

Landing site of First Wayne County Settlers

  • Stansell and Featherly families in 1789
  • Memorial in park behind McDonald’s, but that is not original site
  • Original site on north bank, on east side of Route 14 bridge


  • Historic District
  • Site of one of only two battles ever fought on Wayne County soil, May 15, 1812
  • Site of the wreck of the St. Peter
  • Point of departure for Canada on Underground Railroad

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