Bend was Thriving Center"
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."
see Images 103 and 126 of our Historic Photo Album.