Diane Ham (left) and Mendon Library Director Lyla Grills pose with the display at Mendon Library. Photo provided by Mendon Library

In January 2022, Monroe County launched a year-long Bicentennial celebration. A key element of the celebration is to “showcase the rich and proud history of the area.” It is stated in the initial press release: “Monroe County is partnering with libraries and historians in its towns, villages, and the city to educate and bring to life the history of our region.”

As part of this Bicentennial celebration, The Mendon Public Library in Honeoye Falls featured a book and display on early travel to Mendon by Diane Ham, Mendon Town Historian. She has written a publication on what early transportation was like in 1821. The publication, “Trails Westward to Mendon by Covered Wagon, Stagecoach and Tavern in 1821” is on sale at the Mendon Town Hall and the Mendon Library along with a display of a large scale-model covered wagon and stagecoach. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the library.

It has been 200 years since early settlers came to Mendon to obtain land, build a log cabin, and raise a family. And at that time, Monroe County was born. In 1821, approximately 185 families came to Mendon—bringing their belongings, mostly by covered wagon.

For those who were traveling by stagecoach, staying overnight in a country tavern or village inn was necessary. The tavern was a place to get some lunch, sleep, or at least rest, before moving on the next day. The stagecoach route from Canandaigua to Buffalo went by way of Mendon to drop off and pick up mail and change horses on their way to Rochester. It is surprising the number of taverns there actually were in the Town of Mendon and Village of Honeoye Falls. The stage then continued to Buffalo.

Library staff thank the pioneer settlers for blazing the trail to Mendon for current residents to enjoy what they have today. An assortment of Diane’s book are available for loan in the local history section of the library.

©2022 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?