If there’s a cemetery tour happening in Rochester, you can be sure I’m there. For anyone interested in local history, there’s no better place to find unusual stories and bits of trivia, and I’m fascinated by the history buried all around us.
A few weeks ago, the City of Rochester hosted the annual Genesee River Romance weekend celebrating the Genesee River and its surrounding trail and gorge system. In 2014, I took full advantage of the weekend of events that include tours of the old subway and aqueducts, the Rundel Library, the Falls, and cemeteries. Somehow, I missed the adverts for this year’s event, so I only had time to catch one thing: the tour of Charlotte Cemetery…
In 1870 Ellwanger & Barry (and other wealthy investors) owned a spot along the west bank of the Genesee River gorge known as Maple Grove. At the time, the Lake Avenue streetcar line stretched all the way to this point, and in an effort to stimulate traffic on the trolley line, they had built Rochester’s first water-side resort; the Glen House…
Last summer Rochester developer and restauranteur, John Tachin called up RocSubway with a history mystery for us to solve. After four months of digging, we came up empty. But here’s hoping maybe YOU can help us solve the case of the stone lions.
Welcome, readers, to the first of a three part series on Charlotte. This first part will serve as an introduction to the series and a brief history of Charlotte. The second part will be a survey, in the engineering sense, of the current state of Charlotte. It will include the demographics of the neighborhood and the built environment, as they exist today. Finally, the third part will layout a vision for Charlotte that works to harness all of the potential of the neighborhood. This final part will be broken into recommendations for residential and commercial development, transportation, and governance.
The plans described here will be ambitious, but we shouldn’t let ourselves shy away from ambition – as you may know, Charlotte has recently been in the news over some redevelopment plans. While Filling-In believes both plans have virtues, they both have numerous weaknesses as well. Because we are unassociated with any of the plans currently in play, and will believe they are built when we see it, the plans presented here will assume they did not happen, and instead will show a different vision of Charlotte’s future.
Many of you kids will be too young to remember this – thank heavens. But five years ago on this very day, Rochester NY made national headlines when it was slammed by one of the worst food shortages in our nation’s history—possibly the world. That’s right. Popeyes up on Lake Ave ran out of chicken…
Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you with the alarming headline, but the traffic-calming project that was proposed for Lake Avenue (at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery) is dead. I received word yesterday from a friend in Charlotte that Mayor Lovely Warren has ordered City engineers to kill the planned lane reduction. Warren caved in to pressure from Charlotte residents & merchants who feared the lane reduction would cause traffic jams and hurt businesses in Charlotte.
In addition to reconstructing the 1 mile section of Lake Avenue, the plan would have reduced the lanes from four to three – with one lane in each direction plus a center turn lane. Why would the City take away traffic lanes?! Relax, you don’t have to worry about it anymore…
Drivers who like to speed their cars down Lake Avenue between Charlotte and the city have found a new enemy in the Lake Avenue Improvement Project . The plan aims to reduce automobile speeds to better match the posted speed limit of 35 mph by reducing the number lanes. It would also add safety features for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. But some drivers in the Charlotte neighborhood say the plan will only serve to cause traffic jams and they’ve called on Senator Joe Robach to block it.
If you are a pedestrian… a cyclist… someone who’s ever walked to a bus stop… or a driver who likes the idea of making our streets safer for everyone, you might want to sign this petition in support of the project. And please go ahead and share the link with a few friends.
From the 1850’s to the 1930’s stereograms were considered cutting edge home entertainment technology. Two photos taken at the same time from slightly different angles would be view together using a special set of lenses called a stereoscope. The result would be an ever so subtle (yet mind-tingling) simulated 3D view…
This final part serves to tie up some loose ends, and to showcase additional trail options and connections in the region. Here, we will go on an alternative route North to the lake, this time on the east side of the river gorge, and check out the parkway and Route 390 trails, which provide us with additional connections. [View this route in Google Earth using this .KMZ file]
Rochester has a number of famous people buried within its cemeteries, but Francis Tumblety (spelled: “Tumuelty” on the grave stone because Francis’ parents changed it) is probably one of the few infamous people to rest in peace, right in the historic Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Lake Ave. Known for a number of his high profile arrests, Tumblety’s name has been cleared numerous times of various committed atrocities, but the stigma associated with his sordid lifestyle and relationships has managed to remain his legacy…
The second part of The Biking in Rochester Series showcases the route from downtown to Lake Ontario, following the Genesee River Trail. It is 20 miles, roundtrip, from downtown to the end of the pier at Lake Ontario Beach Park and back. Actually, I’ll take us a bit further and ride along the lake shore, east to Sea Breeze – adding another 8 miles to the trip.
Although this route is not as consistently scenic as the first one, it has much better rewards, and you get more of a workout. We’ll pass by 3 waterfalls, 3 beaches, 3 lighthouses, and two piers out onto the big lake. The western portion of this route is on the Genesee Riverway trail, a mostly completely dedicated bike path such as the one on the canal. The eastern portion is on King’s highway/Goodman street…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.