From Landmarks of Monroe County, New York

Published 1895 by

The Boston History Company, Publishers

Pages 260 and 261


The original town of Northampton, one of the civil division of Ontario county.

included within its boundaries all that vast area of country lying between the

Genesee and Niagara rivers. The town was organized April, 1797, and the

territory, remained undisturbed until the general division of 1808, when four

separate towns were formed out of it. The two townships bordering on the

Genesee and immediately south of Lake Ontario comprised one of the four and

retained the name of the mother town of Northampton. However, on June 10,

1812, the old name was dropped and in its stead Gates was adopted, the latter in

allusion to Gen. Horatio Gates, one of the heroes of the war for American



In regard to the absolute accuracy of the above statements there seems to

exist the possibility of doubt, for another authority, equally reliable with

that from which the foregoing is taken, inform us the town Northampton was

divided and Gates set off as early as March 30, 1802, the latter including all

that is now Gates, Greece, Parma and Riga. The last two towns were taken off in

18o8, and Greece in 1822. However the truth may have been is perhaps

unimportant at this time, for the fact is well known that Gates was one of the

principal elements of old Northampton township and was duly and regularly set

off from it; and that from the time of its, separation to March 22, 1822, it

included what is now Greece and constituted one of the best and most fertile

agricultural regions of Ontario, Genesee and Monroe counties, to which

it successively, belonged.


Gates, reduced to its present limits, contains an aggregate of eleven

Thousand nine hundred and fifty-one acres of land, the city of Roch-

ester having taken from the east side of the town a considerable area of

its best land. But notwithstanding these several reductions, Gates is

assessed (1894) at $2,336,845, standing third in real estate value among

the towns of the County.


The land surface in Gates is undulating, with an inclination toward

the north. It is drained by small streams. The soil is a fine quality

of calcareous loam, intermixed with clay. In this connection it is inter-

esting to reproduce a descriptive sketch of this town, published soon

after 1820, and long before the enlargements of Rochester city had

deprived the town of its richest lands.


The sketch runs as follows: " Gates, a post township near the center,

the capital of Monroe county. The post borough of Rochester, the

seat of the county buildings, is in this town. Greece was erected from

the north end in 1822, and Chili, the adjoining township on the south,

from, the east part of Riga ; previous to which Gates comprised the

area of about two townships of the surveys of this county."

Further, reference to the characteristics of the town the sketch continues:

There is a pleasing undulation of surface in the lands of this township,

which the mountain ridge just shows itself and disappears to make

room, for the valley of the Genesee River, rising again toward its level

on the east side. The land is as good and as rich as it ever ought to

be immediately around a populous town, just at the falls, and is

excellent farmiing Land in other parts, waving, and for that country, well

supplied with springs.