Penfield's Historic Four Corners

 Unknown Image Step into Penfield’s Past: A Walking Tour around Penfield’s Four Corners

In 1795, Daniel Penfield embarked on a land acquisition journey in Township 13 Range IV and initiated the construction of mills in 1800 near the falls area of Irondequoit Creek (now Penfield’s Channing H. Philbrick Park) to foster settlement. The population burgeoned rapidly, leading to the establishment of the Town of Penfield, along with the adjoining Township 14 to the north, by the New York State Legislature in 1810. This marked the inception of Monroe County’s first east-side town. By 1814, the town boasted nearly 2,000 residents, and by 1820, it had grown to double the size of Rochester. In 1840, Township 14 was separated to become the Town of Webster. Penfield's population remained fairly steady at around 3,000 for nearly a century, until after World War II.

The decline of milling in the mid-1800s shifted the primary industry in our community towards agriculture. The glaciers that once covered this part of New York some 20,000 years ago left behind incredibly fertile soil. Penfield was primarily composed of family farms, focusing on crops, livestock, and notably, nurseries. Suburban development experienced a significant surge during the 1950s and 1960s, with the population reaching 23,732 in 1970. As of 2020, the estimated population stands at approximately 39,500. Given the rapid growth of the nation's economy, suburban communities are once again witnessing substantial expansion and development.

Four Corners, the intersection of Five Mile Line Road and "the road to the mills" (Penfield Road), served as the central hub for both business and residential activities within the town. Although it never attained the status of an incorporated village, this area was home to numerous prominent citizens, as well as tradesmen and their families, churches, stores, and schools. Many of the buildings in this area, now well over 200 years old, are listed according to their street numbers. You can locate them on the accompanying map, with properties arranged from west to east on Penfield Road and from north to south on Five Mile Line Road.

Step into Penfield’s Past