Corner of Maplewood Dr. and Lake Ave
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Rochester’s first cemetery; site of first settlement.
In its hallowed graves lie this rivers port’s pioneers and veterans of three wars.
By the County of Monroe — date unknown
What was there
The King’s Landing Cemetery, part of the King’s Landing settlement (centered south here), named after the first family of European settlers in the Rochester Area (the Gideon King Family in 1776). The landing at the river bend below was Rochester’s first port, and was an important economic and immigration hub for early Rochester’s history.
The King settlement lasted until 1803 when it was supposedly wiped out by disease. The area was settled again in 1803 by the Hanford family of Rome, NY. The new settlement became known as Fall Town and eventually Hanford’s Landing.
What is there now
The Cemetery, now maintained by The Eastman Kodak Company, exists today, although it is in rough shape. Of the few headstones that are left standing, the prominent King family stone lists several members. A memorial stone near the historic marker lists the names of those buried here. The immediate area is home to what is left of the Eastman Kodak’s manufacturing facilities, mostly empty lots now. To the south is a small pullover area off of Maplewood Dr. and a few benches. The Genesee Riverway Trail passes through here. The landing on the river bend below the settlement site is now a wastewater treatment facility for Kodak’s industrial waste.
An excerpt from “History of Rochester and Monroe county, New York” by William F. Peck (1908)
Gideon King and Zadock Granger, purchased of him [Oliver Phelps] three thousand acres each on the west side, about half way between Rochester and Charlotte, on a spot that seemed an ideal place for a settlement, with a large plateau slightly above the river and with depth of water sufficient for large lake vessels to come up and land there.
Early in 1797 Gideon King put up a large house there for himself and his family, near the top of the high bank, and graded the roadway down to the lower level, where he began the construction of a dock. He died in the following year, a grandchild of his was born there in 1799 and a year later one to Zadock Granger. The place was known as King’s Landing for some time, but in 1809 all the members of the original families who had survived the incessant attacks of fever and ague — the Genesee fever, as it was commonly called — moved away.
Seven Hanford brothers from Rome, N. Y., then came to the place, bought a large part of the land, built several warehouses near the dock and erected, on the bank above, the Steamboat Hotel, a well-known stopping-place for many years for travelers by the Ridge road. These improvements gave to the place the name of Hanford’s Landing, an appellation that remained long after the second set of settlers had passed away and every evidence of human occupation had been obliterated.
Also known as Hanford’s Landing Cemetery.
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