Village of Clyde
Historical archives relating to Clyde and Galen go deeper back into recorded history than any other place in the area. More than half a century prior to the Revolutionary War, a blockhouse was erected in the summer of 1722 on the site of the present village as an outpost on the fur trade route.
The village of Clyde, formerly known as Blockhouse and Lauraville, was named by Andrew McNab from its similarity to his homeland near the Clyde River in Scotland. This was incorporated by state law on May 2, 1835.
The first school was taught by William Mc Louth in a log house which stood on the corner of Sylvester Clarkís garden. The Clyde High School was legally incorporated on April 23, 1834 and a 2 story brick building was erected on the corner of Lock and Caroline Streets.
In the western part of the village is an old cemetery in which the first interment was the child of Peter Moon. The Catholic cemetery is located to the southwest and the Maple Grove Cemetery Association organized on March 25, 1859 purchased 13 acres on the southeast part of town.
The first tavern was built about 1814 on the corner of Waterloo and Water Streets and in itís ballroom the first Sunday school was organized in 1825.
The first settlers of this village were a Christian people, and when they built their homes in the poverty of the wilderness, they endowed them with the Holy Bible and consecrated them with the family alter. As the population grew they gathered together in dwelling-houses, barns or in the open forest. The first to be organized prior to the incorporation of the village were the Presbyterian July 8, 1814, Baptist July 26, 1817, Methodist November 23, 1824, and the Scottish Secession, or Covenatorís churches prior to 1830 Those of the Old School Baptist 1837, Episcopal September 26, 1840, Roman Catholic (St. John the Evangelist) about 1845, the German Lutheran ( St. Paulís) 1859 the Universalist 1859 and Free Methodist 1864 churches soon followed.
The first post office was located in Lauraville as Block House on October 6, 1817. In 1818 the mail was carried from Geneva to Marengo on horse-back, and 2 years later to Block House where the name was changed to Galen Post Office on June 12, 1880. The name was once again changed to Clyde Post Office April 18, 1829 due to efforts of Robert S. Rose and William S. Stow. On April 21, 1941 the present post office building was dedicated featuring a mural at the south end of the lobby by Thomas Donnelly depicting a rural canal scene.
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 was the most important factor of settlement in Western New York and the development and growth of the Village of Clyde. It diminished the influence of Marengo upon the Montezuma Turnpike where 4 horse stages passed daily. Clyde became one of the leading villages in the area. The value of farm produce was doubled by the low cost of transportation and merchandise was greatly reduced in price due to the same. An inexhaustible market was opened for farmers. 120 boats could pass through the locks in 24 hours. As the Erie passes across town, incorporating part of the Clyde River due to the renovation of 1909 it left behind remnants of the Old Erie Canal.
The Rochester-Syracuse Railroad was organized on August 1, 1850 and it was on November 11, 1852 the first locomotive entered Clyde from the east. This was accomplished through much discussion and work by citizens. The first passenger train with a fare of 75 cents from here to Syracuse passed .The freight office and depot were constructed in 1853 then the depot was taken down in 1885 and replaced with a brick depot in 1886. Both buildings were razed in 1962.
The railroad stop in Clyde was a wood and water stop. Steam engines required both to operate. Clyde was chosen as it is half way between Rochester and Syracuse.
The most notable happening was when President Elect Lincolnís train stopped in Clyde February 18, 1861 at 8:41 Sunday morning on his way to the inauguration. The funeral train also traveled through Clyde on its way back to Springfield, Illinois.
The First Industries in the village were the grist mills and several asheries. By the year 1830 Clyde flourished with seven dry goods stores, ten groceries, four hotels, two drug stores a glass factory, two lawyers, an insurance office, a printing office and newspaper, two saddle and harness makers, two hatters, two gristmills, a saw mill, a wool carderone cloth dresser, two physicians, two milliners, five shoemakers, two blacksmiths, three tailors, two tanners, four storage and forwarders, six painters, twelve carpenters, four masons, a cabinet maker, two distilleries, one wheelwright, three coopers, and upwards of 200 homes. By 1845 the population was around 1,400.