The History of Egypt
Because the earliest settlers in the Town of Perinton were farmers, they settled in the flat areas of the town that were easily cleared, specifically in Egypt and Perinton Center (the intersection of Turk Hill and Ayrault Roads). Other settlers located near the area's streams, where they built mills. Early commercial ventures also included blacksmith shops, taverns, and inns. On April 6, 1813, the first town meeting was held in Cyrus Packard's tavern in Egypt, a thriving Perinton hamlet on the stagecoach road between Canandaigua and Rochester. Many of the current and future leaders of the town lived and farmed in Egypt. Packard, for example, was Perinton's first elected supervisor.
View of Cyrus Packard's tavern ca. 1900. It was located on the north side of Main Street Egypt (Rt. 31). Egypt was a popular stop on the stagecoach route between Rochester and points east.
The Palmyra and Rochester Stage Road (Route #31) was established in 1805, with Egypt as a major stop for the stage line, where horses were changed for the trip to Rochester.
In 1806, the state improved this road (previously known by the Indians and fur trappers as “Mud Creek Road”) by the laying of logs across it, creating one of the early “corduroy roads”. Toll charges were then created (6 cents for a horse, 25 cents for a stagecoach). It later became known as “Egypt Road”, Main Street”, and still later as “Pittsford-Palmyra Road”, remaining a simple dirt road well into the early 1900’s.
Just off the Palmyra and Rochester Stage Road to the north lies Mason Road (formerly North Road). At the same inter section lies Loud Road (formerly Cherry avenue), which was laid in 1817.
The fertile farmland and the major stage depot caused the build-up of early businesses and Egypt became Perinton’s first important business center.
The first store in Perinton was established in 1815 in Egypt and was operated by Gregory and Co. when most of the present village of Fairport was still a swamp. Perinton’s second store was located on the southeast corner of Route 31 and Loud Road. This business was established by Cyrus Packard and his son-in-law Watson, around 1817, and is shown on the 1852 area map. This house and store at 7467 Pittsford-Palmyra Road, more recently known as “Nelson’s Store”, burned in 1895 and was immediately rebuilt.
The Nelsons store was acquired in 1924. It was first owned in the late 1800s by E.L.Dudley. The building was used as a general store for over 100 years.
The Egypt Post Office was situated in this general store when operated by Cullen Loud, Postmaster, from 1869-1870. The Post Office counter top window is on display in the Fairport Historical Museum. When operated by Willis T. Andrews, 1908-14, the store included a portable gas filling station.
The recent widening of Route 31 and the re-alignment of the Loud/Mason Road intersection necessitated the store’s removal. This general store provided a service to the early development of the Hamlet of Egypt and the Perinton community.
The Egypt Canning Co., circa 1904-1917, at the southwest corner of Loud and Pittsford-Palmyra Roads. Several workers, mostly women, are posing for a photograph in the yard.
Other businesses and properties, in Egypt's history:
- Egypt Canning Co. (now a warehouse) at the Loud and Route 31 southwest corner.
- Originally housed in several separate buildings, it was one of very few businesses that had heat and electricity in 1909, with a 25 hp steam engine and electric dynamo. It was coal fed in a separate building with a 40 foot chimney.
- Egypt Vinegar and Product Co. located opposite the Canning Co. near the present Egypt Plaza.
- Rainbow Brothers Fruit Evaporator and Kilns located approximately behind 30 Loud Road.
- Cyrus Packard Tavern (1812) located on the north side of Route 31 near Victor-Egypt Road and #4 Schoolhouse (1848).
- Roswell & Everet Tannery & Ashery (1816) on the north side of route 31 near the present Egypt Plaza.
- D. Whitman, Blacksmith (1817), near the present Egypt Plaza.
- F. Lapham, saw and grist mill (1816), situated on Mason Road near the present Dawning Technologies.
- Oliver Loud Tavern (moved to Bushnell’s Basin) was located on Route 31 near the present Town Centre Plaza. Oliver Loud came to Perinton in 1806 and married Charlotte Bateman in the same year. He opened a tavern in his log house in 1812, prior to building the Loud Tavern. He built a sawmill on the Josiah Aldrich farm in 1825. He also contributed astrological calculations to a farmer’s almanac for ten years. Loud Road was named after Oliver.
- A second grist mill in the area, established by Cyrus Packard and Watson in 1818, located on the west side of Loud Road across from Nightingale Lane. It was built with two “run of stone”.
- First school district #3 (1813) was located on Turk Hill Road just south of the present Ellsworth farm.
- Issac Arnold Tavern (1811) sat on the northwest corner of Ayrault Road and Turk Hill Road and the building still stands.
- Indian Campgrounds were located on Mason Road, opposite the cemetery and in the hollow at the intersection of Victor-Egypt Road and Wilkinson Road.