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The History of Clyde

Settlement of the village began in 1811 on the south bank of the Clyde River. Jonathan Melvin Jr. erected a house of hewn logs and it was there that  the first town meeting of Galen was held in 1812. The settlement was named "Lauraville" after Henrietta Laura, Countess of Bath and daughter of Sir William Pulteney  (she is the same person after whom the Town of Henrietta in Monroe County was named). An early reminder of this period is Watson's Cemetery, established in 1810 located on the west end of Geneva Street with simple limestone markers.  


The north side of the river was surveyed in 1817 and Andrew McNab, a Scotish agent for Pulteney estate, came to sell lots. The river of Clyde was named by McNab because it reminded him of the Clyde River in Scotland. He also christened the main street Glasgow Street. Clyde follows the typical Pulteney estate plan, east-west or north-south divided to box a large open square. The (box) or central square was where the militia might drill, public ceremonies could be conducted, and cows and pigs might graze. The squares of Sodus Point and Lyons recall the association of proprietor Sir William Pulteney, with Bath in England.  In 1835 the villages of Lauraville and Clyde incorporated as the Village of Clyde. The village layout consisted of two major north south streets: Glasgow and Sodus on the north side; Mill (after DeZeng's Mills) and Waterloo on the south side. Principal east-west streets were named Genesee Street north of the river, and Water and Geneva streets on the south side.


The Village of Clyde has its roots as an Erie Canal town, for the canal provided the initial means for industry to become the driving force behind the village's early growth. Many of these industries set Clyde apart from other small upstate New York communities. A unique glass works factory and a manufacturer who developed the first typewriter are only a few of Clyde's early industrial gems. Later, the development of the railroad provided for industry as well, resulting in such businesses as a large canning factory. The railroad also provided a means of transportation for out of town jobs in cities like Syracuse and Rochester.  


Today, Clyde looks anxiously to the future to complete the next link in the village's history and we hope you will be a part of it.


Over the past two hundred years and through all these dynamics one thing has remained constant in the Village of Clyde, it has remained a small village. A village where the air is clean, the surroundings are scenic and quaint, the neighbors are friendly, and the housing is affordable.