Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History

"Big Bend was Thriving Center"

(undated newspaper article from the Nunda News, Nunda NY, probably from the 1930s)

   "The Big Bend, a little settlement beside the Genesee, north of Nunda and the Portage Bridge, has been a farming community for many years. In 1881 the Lewis brothers, Horatio, whose widow is visiting in Nunda, and Herman and Harris moved their saw mill from the Lower Falls, at which place they located in 1878. The only residents before the mill moved in were the Garrisons, Shores, Daleys, Lees and the late John Chase, father of Clarence and Marion Chase of Nunda.
  The mill increased the population and left some of its men as fathers, among whom were the Newvilles, Powells, Walkers and Bennetts. The Big Bend is a beautiful place, the soil is rich and of many different qualities. There was once a peach orchard and a chestnut orchard, and all kinds of farm products there. A small school house was built after the old one could not longer be used, where the three R's were taught each year.
  The flat is a little above the river where there is good swimming and around this flat are steep hills. There were three ways to get out of Big Bend, the hill to Lewis's, from where they shipped their lumber, the Black Hill which was the steepest, and the ford of the Genesee by the late John Chase's house which was removed in 1922. Mr. Chase had a boat to cross the river to St. Helena. There is but one residence left at Big Bend now, that owned by Herman Piper.
   In 1924, the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation began buying the land, which was sold later to the state as a part of Letchworth Park, altho the power company still owns portions of the flat. Today it is unsafe to ascent the hill by the road, the buildings are left to fall down, and the country is growing wild, altho it is stated the state may build a new road there in the future."


Also see Images 103 and 126 of our Historic Photo Album.


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