courthouse is a fine building, situated in the midst of a park, near the center of the village. It
is built of brick, and is surmounted by a dome 110 feet above the ground. It contains the court,
jury, supervisors', and surrogate's rooms.1 The jail, situated just e. of the courthouse, is a com¬
modious edifice, built of Medina sandstone. The county clerk's office is a small, one story brick
building, adjoining the courthouse. The poorhouse is located upon a farm of 107 acres in the
town of Barre, 3 mi. s. of Albion. . Its average number of inmates is 56, supported at a weekly
cost of 80 cts. each. The farm yields a revenue of about $700.
The works of internal improvement in tbe co. are the Erie Canal, extending through near the
center; the Tonawanda Swamp Feeder, conducting the waters of the swamp into Oak Orchard
Creek and the canal; and the Rochester & Niagara Falls R. R., a branch of the N. Y. Central.2
Three weekly newspapers are now published in the co.3
Long before the advent of the whites this co. was the hunting ground and probable residence
of tbe Iroquois; and there are traces of an occupation long anterior to them and by an entirely
distinct race.4 The 3 eastern towns of the co. belonged to the Conn. Tract and the Pulteney
Estate, and the remaining part of the co. to the Holland Purchase. There is a tradition that a
Canadian, with his family, settled at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek as early as 1792-93; but
his stay was of short duration, and by some he is now regarded as a myth. The first permanent
settlers were James and Wm. Walsworth, two brothers, who came from Canada by the way of the
lake, and who located respectively at the mouths of Oak Orchard and Johnsons Creeks, in the
present town of Carlton. A few settlers came in each year until 1809, when the great natural
thoroughfare, the ridge road, was opened, inducing a much more rapid influx of settlers. Immi¬
grants continued to pour in rapidly and settle near the ridge road, until settlement was checked
by the War of 1812. Upon the capture of Fort Niagara by tbe British, in 1813, many of the people
fled from their homes, but soon returned.5 After the return of peace, the tide of immigration again
set in toward this region, and continued to flow steadily and uninterruptedly for several years.
The settlers generally chose locations in the immediate vicinity of the ridge road, and continued
to do so until the completion of the Erie Canal, when the regions further s. began rapidly to fill
up. Since that time steady progress has been made in every element of material prosperity, until
the co. has taken front rank among the best agricultural regions of the State.
BARRE6—was formed from Gaines, March 6, 1818. It is the most southerly of the middle
tier of towns, and is the largest town in the co. Its surface is undulating, and its soil a rich loam
underlaid by the Niagara limestone. The Tonawanda Swamp occupies the s. part. Albion,7
appointed to superintend its erection. The first officers of the
co. were Elijah Foot, First Judge; S. M. Moody, Cyrus Harwood,
Eldridge Farwell, and William Penniman, Judges; William
Lewis, Sheriff; and Orson Nicholson, Co. Clerk.
1 The courthouse was erected in 1857-58, at a cost of $20,000.
The courtroom is a large and spacious apartment, 56 feet long
by 55 feet wide, and 26 feet high.
2 The Medina & Darien R. R. Co. was organized in 1835, and
the road was opened as far as Akron. Stages drawn hy horses
were put upon the road; hut the whole was abandoned in 2 or 3
8 The Gazette, the first paper published in the co., was started
at Gaines in 1822 by Seymour Tracy, and was continued
The Newport Patriot was started at “Newport." now Albion,
Feb. 9,1824, by Franklin Cowdrey. In Feb. 1825, Timo¬
thy C. Strong became proprietor, and changed it to
The Orleans Advocate. In Feb. 1828, in the midst of the excite¬
ment following the abduction of Morgan, Mr. Strong
changed it to
The Orleans Advocate and Anti Masonic Tdegraph; and in Feb.
1829, it took the name of
The Orleans Anti Masonic Telegraph. In June of the same
year it was changed to
The Orleans Telegraph; and soon after to
The American Standard. It was issued 2 years by J. Kemp-
shall, when it passed back into the hands of Mr. Strong,
who changed it to
Tile Orleans American. In April, 1844, it passed into
the hands of J. & J. H. Denio, and was continued by
them until 1853, when it was bought by S. A. Andrews,
by whom it is now published.
The Orleans R.epnhlican was commenced at Albion
in Oct. 1829, hy C. S. McConnell. It was published hy
him until 1841; by H. W. Dupuy a few months; hy an
association until 1845; hy II. E. Purdy until 1846; and
hy C. S. McConnell until 1848, when it was sold to Wil¬
son & Beach, its present publishers.
The Albion Times was established Oct. 28.1856, by J. 0. Nicker¬
son. Jan. 11, 1855, it was changed to
The Spirit of Seventy-Six, and continued until May 27,1858.
The Orleans Whig was commenced at Gaines in July, 1827, by
John Fisk, and continued several years.
The Medina Herald was issued in 1832 by Daniel P. Adams, and
continued 2 or 3 years.
The Medina Sentinel was started in Aug. 1837, by J. & J. H.
Denio. Tbe following year it was changed to
The Orleans Sentinel, and continued until May, 1842.
The Bucktail was commenced in 1840 by S. M. BurrougliJ. It
was subsequently changed to
The Medina Democrat, and continued 2 or 3 years.
The Medina Citizen was started in 1850 by II. A. Smith. In
1852 it was changed to
T lie Medina, T ribune, and in 1859 sold to Sam’l H. Clark.
The People's Journal was published at Medina a short time in
1858 by J. W. Swan.
About IJ mi. w. of Shelby Center are the remains of an an¬
cient fortification, nearly circular in form, enclosing an area of
about 3 acres. A broad ditch encircled the whole. Flint arrow
heads, stone axes, several piles of small stones, and pieces of
earthenware have been found within the enclosure. Trees of
400 years’ growth stand upon the embankment. Large numbers
of human skeletons, many of them of giant size, have been ex¬
humed near the fort. Many of these seem to have been thrown
promiscuously into one common grave; and it is generally sup¬
posed that this has been the scene of a great battle.
I Originally called “ Newport,” but changed at the time of its
6 Named from Barre, Mass.