Tuesday, May 23, 2017

About the East Rochester Local History Room

Fryatt Memorial Building

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, where it is now located. Volunteers staffed the Room and their duties included clipping and preserving current and past information about East Rochester and East Rochesterian's. This important work continues today.


Village Historian, Jim Burlingame and his Assistant, Bonnie Hanselman

The Local History Office is open Wednesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Local History Room is staffed by a small number of volunteers reporting to the Village Historian. We are always looking for more people to assist them in recording East Rochester history. A computer is used to organize records. It also contains a database of over 5000 photographs. Please stop and visit the office. Special hours are available on request.

In the picture we see Village Historian, Jim Burlingame and his Assistant, Bonnie Hanselman.


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.


Inside the Local History Room

The first-floor exhibit hall includes kiosks of early village photographs; an apothecary display from the Franklin Drug Store; a miniature model of the "Reading Room" and a collection of Village memorabilia. The walls contain maps and early photos of the Village.

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.


Funding and maintenance for the Local History building 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.

About East Rochester

Walter Parce, a native of Fairport, was instrumental in founding the planned village of "Despatch" in 1897, which was named after its first major business.   Learn more »

Get in touch

Town/Village of East Rochester
317 Main Street
East Rochester, New York 14445

Phone number : (585) 586-3553
Fax number : (585) 419-8282