Historic Lima - Settled 1788
Historic Lima, Settled 1788 History and Architecture
The earliest settlers began coming in 1788 to carve out homesteads, after having seen and admired the beautiful "Genesee Country" during the Sullivan campaign against the Iroquois. The town, first known as Charlestown, was created in 1789 but changed its name to Lima in 1808. Located along the "State" or "Great Genesee Road," the early town served a steady stream of pioneers heading west. It also attracted many who were drawn to stay and work the fertile land. As the 19th century unfolded, several factors contributed to Lima's growth and helped define the present appearance of Lima's village and town:
· Its fertile land afforded farmers and merchants the wealth to build substantial farmsteads and large village homes.
· Lima was chosen in 1832 to be the site of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary and later Genesee College. These schools attracted scholars and families who moved here to ensure their children access to a quality education. They brought to the community a broader world experience, some of which was expressed in the high syle of many of Lima's buildings.
· Lacking a railroad until the 1890s, Lima grew little after 1870 when Genesee College disbanded and moved to Syracuse. This effectively froze
much of the village in a 19th-century time warp until the mid-20th century when it again began growing.
[map] Genesee Street was created when College Hall opened in 1851. Many of the homes in the east side of the street were built at this time, making it a 19th century subdivision.
Many of the homes on Rochester Street were constructed before 1850 but were "remodeled" in the 1860s and 1870s to reflect the popular Italianate-style design. The Presbyterian Church was founded in 1795. The present 1873 Gothic/Romanesque Revival building replaced a Federal meeting house built in 1816. West Main Street exhibits many beautiful historic homes, including Hill crest, and the only cobblestone house within the village limits. East Main Street was one of the most desirable residential locations in town, resulting in some structures being moved so that others could be built anew at this prestigious location. St. Rose Catholic Church was designed by noted Rochester architect A.J. Warner in 1870.
[captions] The Tennie Burton Museum was originally built c. 1837 and was "modernized" in 1863 in Italianate style. Constructed in 1885 in the Queen Anne style by successful farmer William L. Vary at a cost of $18,000 when he was only 25. Greek Revival built c. 1857 for banker and farmer Daniel Stanley, the owner of Stanley's Exchange. Hillcrest was built in the Federal style in 1838 for retired dry goods merchant Erastus Clark. Constructed in the rare Gothic Revival Style c. 1852 by William Harmon, builder of College Hall. California Craftsman Style Bungalow built c. 1916 for Jay Short, Superintendent of the Lima Electric Light and Railroad Company. Stroll around the village and experience a diverse array of architectural styles from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Walking brochures are available at the Lima Town Hall.