Cox Ferry

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Rush Scottsville Road and Quaker Rd
Rush, NY
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Cox Ferry
Operated by Joseph Cox 1820 to 1830. Replaced by covered wooden bridge built by Ira Carpenter & used from 1830 to 1870


By the State Education Department — 1949

What was there

Cox’s ferry carried passengers across the Genesee River a this point. First operated by Joseph Cox, rented for a short time by Palatiah Buck (1824-1825) and operated by his son, William Buck. Ebeneezer Ford was hired by Cox to operate it from 1826 to 1828. Mr. Ford lived in the small ferryman house near the crossing on the west bank and operated a grocery and supply store out of it for passengers. The ferry service was replaced by a wooden covered bridge in 1830.

What is there now

Route 251, Rush-Scottsville Road now crosses the Genesee River here. A state fishing access site now leads down to the river bank below the bridge in the east side.

More information

Joseph Cox was born (probably) in Westchester County, NY on November 15, 1785 and died in nearby Wheatland, NY on March 18, 1863. He is buried in Garbuttsville Cemetery, near Wheatland.

The Cox family is one of the most prolific colonial families of the United States. Their genealogy has been recorded in detail in a 1912 bool “The Cox Family in America.”

An excerpt about Joseph Cox reads:

Early in 1804, when Joseph was in his nineteenth year, accompanied by his brother Isaac, a year younger, he migrated from Saratoga Co. to what became in 1821 the Town of Wheatland, Monroe Co., but was then a part of the new Genesee Co., which included all of the State west of that Genesee River. They came in the late winter, in the old fashioned long sleigh, turning the box up on edge at night, and sleeping in it before the fire, which served secondarily to warm them, but primarily to keep the wolves away. Their descendants may well reflect on this migration over the roads that were little more than trails, as they now motor over the highways with no greater danger than a fine for overspeeding. Joseph’s father and family came on later. The brothers had jointly owned a farm in Saratoga Co. and both soon became large landowners in Wheatland. In 1820, Joseph established a ferry across the Genesee River at the point where the road from Wheatland to Rush now crosses that stream. In 1836, Joseph Cox and Thomas Halstead took the contract to construct a canal from Scottsville to the Genesee River, by which the Scottsville mills could ship flour in bulk to Rochester, or through the Erie Canal to tidewater. In 1838, he sold his farm of 282 acres, reserving the graveyard (Friends Burial ground) and he and his brother Isaac purchased the mill in Scottsville of Abraham Hanford. They operated it for ten years and sold it to Samuel Scofield and Samuel Wood, who soon resold it to William H. Hanford. Joseph was said to greatly resemble George Washington in face figure and appearance and was prominent in the community and in the Quaker meeting. He was disowned 1824 by Farming ton M. M. which then had jurisdiction over this territory for marrying out of good order, but Chloe [his wife] was retained a member on her acknowledgment of the fault. He was reinstated by Rochester M. M. 1832 In 1828 he contributed liberally to the building of the Methodist Church in Scottsville. After the death of his first wife, his regret at having no likeness of her led him to have painted his own portrait and those of his children, and probably of his second wife. 

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We would like to thank the following for helping us with this entry:
Matthew Conheady


Posted: September 9, 2012


Category: Finger Lakes, Locations, Monroe County

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