Sunday, November 13, 2011

Berry's Tavern at Avon was a Frontier Outpost

Historic marker near the intersection of Routes 5 and 20 west of Avon preserves the memory of Gilbert R. Berry, the first permanent settler in what is now Avon. He came here from Albany. He married the daughter of an early Indian trader named Wemple.
Engaging in the Indian trade, Berry located first at Geneva, and in 1789, removed to the Genesee river, erected a log house on the west side of the river, near the present bridge. Here he opened a trade with the Indian village of Canawaugus, established a ferry, and entertained the few travelers that passed through on the old Niagara trail. He died in 1796 or '7, and was succeeded by his widow, Maria.
The Holland Purchase being opened for settlement soon afterwards, the "Widow Berry's" tavern was widely known in the early days. Besides furnishing a comfortable resting place for early pioneers, in her primitive tavern, some of the best wives and mothers of the Genesee country, were reared and fitted for the duties of life.
Her daughters became the wives of noted early merchants George Hosmer of Avon, E. Clark Hickox, the early merchant of Batavia and Buffalo, John Mastick, Esq., the pioneer lawyer of Rochester, and George A. Tiffany, whose father was one of the early printers of Canandaigua.

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