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The Birth and Growth of Rochester
Ebenezer "Indian" Allen was the first settler in what is now
Rochester. Allen was given the Mill Tract by Oliver Phelps in 1788 for the
purpose of erecting a sawmill and a gristmill on the banks of the Genesee River.
Originally the gristmill was seen as a way for the Native Americans to sell
grain so that they could begin to be assimilated into white society. However,
this was not to be, and Allen's mills proved to be disappointing from a
financial point of view. In 1792 Allen sold his mill site to Benjamin Barton.
Soon Rochester grew in size to include the areas of
Frankfort and Carthage. Through a series of annexations the City's acreage
included parts of Brighton, Gates and Greece by the early twentieth century. By
1916 the city had expanded to the shores of Lake Ontario with the annexation of