A Brief History of Spencerport & Ogden
Pioneers settled in the areas of Spencerport and Ogden as early as 1802. Early settlement took place in and around Ogden Center, a few miles south of Spencerport. However, once the Erie Canal arrived, commerce and settlement shifted to the Village area.
Daniel Spencer’s 180 acre farm, purchased in 1804, was bisected by the canal in the early 1800’s. Spencer divided up the rest of his land into lots that were purchased by settlers; and so Spencer’s Basin was firmly established as the business center of the Town of Ogden. Residents decided early on that there were too many “Basins” along the canal, and changed the village name to Spencerport.
According to former Ogden Historian Earl White, the canal created a “...new era of prosperity and growth…” for Spencerport. Warehouses were built all along the canal and handled the sale and shipment of produce from the fertile farms surrounding the village. As the years progressed, more people moved west and settled in the area.
Spencerport continued to grow and, in 1867, the New York State Legislature granted a petition to incorporate the Village. The first election for the Village of Spencerport was held May 13, 1867.
By 1880, numerous businesses lined Union Street. Many of those businesses are represented in the photos included in the Pathways to the Past tours. Thriving businesses included 3 grocery stores, 2 drug stores, 2 meat markets, 3 hotels, 6 doctors, 4 blacksmith shops, and many more.
However, the days of canal commerce are past, and the Spencerport of the 21st century is much more a residential community than a business hub. Visitors walking, biking or boating along the canal often stop in Spencerport to refuel, have dinner, or pick up supplies. Small, unique shops and restaurants line Union Street and provide pleasant browsing and great eating for residents and visitors alike.
Despite the many changes experienced in the last 200 years, Spencerport has retained a small-town ambience and is, as the Village slogan goes, truly “someplace special!”