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Rushford Related Articles

History of Rushford Mill

(From the scrapbook of Eddy C. [1857-1944] & Helen White Gilbert [1855-1929].  Clippings are not dated and newspaper unknown, unless noted. Most dates supplied were handwritten and initialed by the collectors.)  Transcribed by Karen Meisenheimer.


History of Rushford Mill

It was with much pleasure that I learned that the historic stone which stood in the foundation at the east end of the grist mill at East Rushford, has been placed in the mill which is being built by F. J. Miller & Company near the point of the Flatiron in Rushford village. The inscription on the stone is as follows: J. McCall & Sons 1831.

The first gristmill in Rushford was built by Mr. Warren on land now owned by Mrs. Julia Walker. Two years later he was drowned while repairing his dam.

In 1815 James McCall with his family came from Ovid, N. Y., to Rushford, then a part of Caneadea. He bought eight hundred acres of land and opened the first store on the Centerville road north of the present village, where the settlement was begun. He also bought the Warren gristmill.

In 1816, the cold year, very little foodstuff was raised, so there was great scarcity of provisions. James McCall, being a miller, controlled all the grain in the vicinity, except some corn owned by the Indians on the Caneadea Reservation. He gave orders that no one who came to the mill for flour should have more than forty pounds, later the amount was reduced to twenty pounds. Those who had teams and could go to older settlements were not to have any.

In 1818 he built a mill on Caneadea Creek. In 1831 he built a more pretentious mill at East Rushford. One of the sons associated with him in this mill was probably Milton, who lived on the bluff north of the highway. His house was later the Wesleyan parsonage. The second son, Seneca does not appear to have been connected with the history of Rushford. The third son Nelson, lived on the south side of the highway in the first house east of the mill, and although he had a store next to home, it would seem that he must have been the other partner. Ansel, the fourth son was only seventeen years of age at this time.

The mill built in 1831 was burned, but another mill was built on the same foundation. When the news reached Rushford that the mill at East Rushford was afire, men started with their pails to help put the fire out, among these were Samuel White. The next morning at the breakfast table someone spoke of the fire of the previous night. To the surprise of the family, he knew nothing of having been out the night before.

When I was called a child, my father took me to East Rushford the morning after the fire. The mill had fallen, but I well remember the burning timbers.

About 1870 Mr. Pennington was the miller. According to the Allegany County Directory 1874-5, three Litchard brothers, Alamanzo, Alexander and John owned the mill. John Litchard was the miller. They were followed by Mr. Reasoner. Fred Thompson ran the mill for a short time. He was followed by Clarence Stearns who, in 1911 sold the property to F. J. Miller & Company. In 1925 this company sold the house and mill to the Rochester Gas & Electric Company.

The razing of the mill was begun the last of August 1927. A part of the old mill is being used in the mill now being built.

This mill will add to the appearance of the village as well as to the welfare of the township; and its dam will never go out, since its power is to be electricity.

We are rejoicing that the Millers decided to remain in Rushford and to continue to be millers. We believe that this decision will result in the mutual benefit of both them and us.

Helen White Gilbert

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