6720-6722 Chili Riga Center Rd
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28 settlers spent winter, 1806, in surveyor’s cabin called “The Hotel.” First Riga home, 1806, by Elihu Church, owner of this land.
By the County of Monroe — 1959
What was there
A makeshift log surveyor cabin built by John Smith served as the primary winter shelter for the village’s first pioneers who were surveying the land as a purchase from the Pulteny Associates (England) represented by James Wadsworth. The land was originally of the Seneca, but then purchased by Phelps and Gorham, sold to Robert Morris (Philadelphia) and then to the Pultenys.
In the Spring (1806) Richard and Rebecca (Warner) Church, their grown sons, Samuel and Elihu (and their families) relocated here from Massachusetts and Elihu built a log home here. He was the first to clear land and raise grain in Riga (which was then West Pulteny). Elihu served as Town Supervisor from 1833 to 1835.
What is there now
Suburban housing and farmland. An old-looking stone home across from the sign appears to be on maps at the turn of the 20th century when the land was owned by Dennis and William Church, descendants.
An excerpt from History of Monroe county, New York (1877) by W. H. McIntosh reads:
The log house has been superseded by finer and more commodious structures, in consonance with the taste and changed circumstanced of the people…
- Elihu Church was born on March 16, 1774 in Williamsburgh, Massachusetts and died on July 23, 1854 in Riga, NY.
- Riga is named after Riga, Latvia (then part of Prussia).
- The town of Riga was formed in 1809.
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