Westside News Photo Gallery - Historical Hilton
Westside News Photo Gallery

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Looking back at Hilton

Carlyle Newcomb, prominent Rochester attorney (1880-1965).


“In August 2000, while visiting with County Legislator Pete McCann, I had the pleasure of looking at some old papers belonging to his family. Among old Newcomb papers, an envelope surfaced with the inscription: ‘negatives Hilton, N.Y. 1900.’ Pete loaned them to me for further investigation -- they turned out to be very fragile Kodak negatives taken prior to 1903. The subjects were various Main Street, Hilton scenes,” says David Crumb.

“These photos undoubtedly were taken by Pete’s maternal grandfather, William V. Newcomb, longtime mayor of Hilton, and well known businessman. Mr. Newcomb took the photos when he was about 18 years old, in 1903, and captured an early parade going through the village along with many of the hamlet’s original 19th century buildings which are no longer in existence.”

“After having the fragile negatives developed and seeing the excellent results, we felt they were too good not to share with the general community. Mary Townsend, village historian, will be presented with the original negatives and a copy of each for her files, and they will be available then for community use when appropriate.” Several of the photos are shown here.

Campaign banner and band for William J. Bryan (1869-1925) at the center of West Avenue and Lake Avenue.
The Commercial Hotel, on the site where the current M&T Bank now stands. It was owned and operated by VanAllen Hovey for whom Hovey Street was named.
Hilton Hotel, “Piggot Block,” corner of Main Street and South Avenue. Once a center of community affairs (no connection to the well known Hilton Hotel chain).
Town fathers on flag-bedecked carriage, in front of the Fraser General Store. Allen B. Fraser and Evan E. Fraser were early merchants in Hilton. The Arlington Restaurant is now located on this site.
The Fraser General Store on the north corner of Main Street and Hovey Street. A. B. Fraser was David Crumb’s grandfather.
The Newcomb residence, next to the Methodist Church, West Avenue (no longer standing).
The “flat iron” building, corner of East Avenue and South Avenue (still standing).
This print tells what happened to the snow in the early 1900s -- it stayed in the street until it melted and the boardwalks were shoveled. The man in the foreground was Hiram Bardeen, a “49er” goldrush prospector.
Most negatives in the small collection were in good shape, this one shows a blemish center front. The banner shown above is visible in the background as the marchers make their way up West Avenue. The “drug store corner” and Lake Avenue are located at the right center of the photo.
A gathering at the lighthouse, Lighthouse Beach.

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