PHOTOS BY MARISA NICODEMUS
Rochester Woman Online had the pleasure of touring the streets of Caledonia on one Sunday afternoon and meeting some of the amazing business owners in this quaint little town. We immediately had to know more.
What was the history of this cute little town? Nestled in Livingston County, just a hop-and-a -skip outside of Rochester, NY; is where this gem of a town is located. With a population of 4,567 (2010, census,( 1) and a median income of $50,607, where there are 1,677 households the town is trying hard to make a name for itself (1). Safe streets, lined with boutiques, antique stores, delicious dining and even an art gallery. An interesting place to stop and pass the time for a day, shop and reminisce of times gone by.
Looking for something different to do on a weekend, or maybe want a fun place to visit on a day trip that is just 30 minutes from Rochester or Buffalo? Then the small, but welcoming little village of Caledonia is the perfect destination for you and your entire family.
If you visit on a Sunday, you might even catch a glimpse of the antique cars pulling in to visit Betty Boop at Reminisce Soda Fountain. Don’t forget to try one of their fabulous pulled pork sundaes while you are there or their famous shakes!
Or, you might want to stop down the street and around the corner and try a homemade cannoli, or one of their famous meatballs at the Angry Rooster Deli with owner, Helen Serafine.
Then you can pop in next door and shop at Bellismo Boutique for their one-of-a-kind Ruffle Butts childrens clothing line, or head next door to Reflections Antique store for their candy bar and truly stunning vintage and collectibles and a collection of oil lamp shades that people come from everywhere to purchase.
Be sure to browse the shops on Main Street like my personal favorite, Pastique, for interesting decorating ideas for your home with her new and upcycled furniture and treasures. Owner Heather Hunt always has something new she is working on. We are very excited that she will now be writing a “Decorating with Pastique” monthly column in Rochester Woman Online.
Don’t forget to stop next door to the Village Gallery and meet Heather’s parents Bill and Ann. They have great exhibits from local artists, different mediums, and even have a huge library in the gallery to check out.
Then we can’t forget McKay’s Antiques with three floors of goodies for everyone. Old, vintage, unique…everything you can imagine and more!
As you head out of town, be sure to stop by and check out the succulents at Zantopia Herb Gardens by the railroad tracks in the old railroad station just on the border of Mumford. Owner Drew has left the station just how it was in the past. He has an amazing floral selection to choose from. We will be working on an Herb Garden in a Pot for the next edition of RWO which our audience is welcome to join us as we go LIVE and show you just what to do to build your own.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Caledonia if you didn’t visit the Gigglin Pig. They feature Amish furniture that is handcrafted and American made and is two floors of custom furniture that would be perfect for any home.
In 1797, this area was originally, the first permanent white settlement (North Hampton) (2). In 1803, it was established as the Town of South Hampton(2). Then in 1806, Scottish settlers renamed her Caledonia, Latin for Scotland (2). The settlement began as two groups of settlers; the Inverness (purchased land) and the Perthshires (donated land) (3). It was a historical version of the haves-and-the-have- nots. One of the famous historical stories of Caledonia, NY stems here.
In 1807, a Caledonia man was the first criminal to be publicly hung (took place in Genesee County) (3). James McLean was sentenced to death for his role in a double homicide in Caledonia from a dispute with William Orr (Inverness) (3). The story places McLean, William Orr and Archibald MacLachlan at “The Springs” where it is alleged the three were under the influence (3). McLean struck Orr with an ax killing him (3). He then attacked Archibald (3). McLean was later apprehended in Canandaigua (3). McLean’s trial took place in June of 1807 (3). His jury was also interesting as it was made up of ½ civilian and ½ alien jurists (3). During the hanging, the rope broke, so McLean was hung twice, before his public execution was carried out (3).
On a lighter note, there is also another historical story of Caledonia pertaining to the Fish Hatchery which all started with a Rochester entrepreneur, Seth Green who owned a fish store on Front Street (4). Green purchased land in Caledonia in 1864, after a trip to Canada where he ventured to study how fish spawn (4).
The fish hatchery was the first in this area and is now owned by the state (4). It’s now 158 years-old and is the oldest hatchery in the Western Hemisphere (4). Green is one of few pioneer’s in artificial fish hatching, as there were only Marco Polo and a German scientist who were known for this before he did it! There also a magnitude of antique stores in the area, if you are in search for the unique old artifact. That there, is the history Ma’am of Caledonia, NY.