In the late 1950s, Lucille Saunders, the East Rochester Village Historian, had visions of collecting and preserving local history information and artifacts. The Village was only 60 years old, with many early settlers still living in town. The year 1947 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Village. Material had been researched and collected for the event and later it became the start of the Local History Department.
After two years of intense collecting of local memorabilia in the early 60s, a Local History Room was established in October, 1962 in the Fryatt Memorial Building at 901 Main Street. Retta Fryatt, widow of B.J.Fryatt who was one of the first businessmen in Despatch, had donated her: gracious home to the Village in 1954.
The Public Library was housed in the Fryatt Memorial Building from 1957 to 1979. Following those years, a Youth Center occupied that space. In the mid-1980s the Local History Room was moved from the second floor of the building to the first floor. Volunteers staffed the room. Their duties included clipping and preserving current and past information about East Rochester and East Rochesterians. Work is continuing at the latest location on the second floor of the Eyer Building.
To collect and preserve materials relating to the community of East Rochester.
To educate the public about village history.
To provide a place where local history may be obtained, researched, viewed and enjoyed.
The main purpose of the Local History Room is to collect data and materials pertaining to the history of East Rochester. Many projects are currently in progress along this line. Among those are: entering biographical information into a computer database, organizing over 5000 photographs, clipping newspapers, history presentations to the local schools, and organizing exhibits for display at various locations around the Village.
The second floor exhibit hall (See photos) includes display cases of village artifacts from early businesses and events. Also in this area is a door to the village library allowing access to that area for further research.
Materials available in the local history collection include old newspapers, school year books, early tax assessors' roll books, files on organizations, businesses, churches, sports, schools, and Village histories. Vital statistic records, births, deaths, marriages, etc, are available and constantly being updated. If you have information you would like added to a "family biographical folder" or any other artifacts or photos that pertain to the village, please contact the local history office at 585-381-3023.
Staff and Hours
The Local History Dept. is staffed by a small number of volunteers reporting to the Village Historian. They are always looking for more people to assist them in recording East Rochester history. Computers are used to organize records and manage a database of over 5000 photographs.
The Local History Office is open:
Wednesday through Saturday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. The Eyer Building does not open until 10am on Saturday.
The staff looks for additional materials and photographs. Please stop and visit the office. Special hours are available on request.
Jim Burlingame - Historian
Anita Mance - Assistant to the Historian
Barry Nenno - Photo Curator
Funding and maintenance for the Local History Department is provided by the Village of East Rochester.
The Historian and staff would like to thank all those who donated materials to the Village - your generosity contributes greatly to the success of the History Department.