A History Of Huntington Hills, Inc.
1922 to 2005
Links
More History

Historic Photos

Postcard pictures are available online. [submitted by Sam Ruggeri]

Old photographs are also available online. [submitted by Tim Golan]

Pictures of Alcesta Huntington. [submitted by Don Becker]

Pictures of the Center Entrance swimming pool August 25, 1979. [web page by Matt Shearer]


Rochester Suburban Directories

Directories for Irondequoit are available online thanks to the Monroe County Library Sytem.

Currently, only the years 1930 through 1940 are available.


Henry Durand Letter

Letter from Henry S. Durand to Clarence D. Van Zandt (Mayor of Rochester) in 1922.

It appears Durand was unaware of the agreement to keep the sale of the Huntington estate within the family.

Note the map showing that Zoo Road was Wisner Rd at the time of Durand's letter.

This letter shows how poorly Durand was treated.

[submitted by Tim Golan]


Poetry

1930's poem about Irondequoit. [submitted by Adam Stein]


Rochester Ski Club

The original Rochester Ski Club was in Huntington Hills. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Irondequoit Centennial Album 1839-1939

Huntington Hills is mentioned in the centennial album on the bottom of page 19. [submitted by Adam Stein]


Library History

The Library System in Irondequoit was started in 1947 by a small group of residents; two lived on Center Entrance. Carol Golan at 95 Center Entrance and Kitty Tuthill at 155 Center Entrance. Several residents of Huntington Hills volunteered at the branches. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Center Entrance Pool Club (1953)

D&C article titled Unique Club Provides Pool For Huntington Hills. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Hammer, Grog & Hat Club

Short history of the Hammer, Grog & Hat Club. [submitted by Jeanne M. Colombo, written by Dr. Suzanne Rodgers]


Center Entrance Pool Club (1953)

D&C article titled Unique Club Provides Pool For Huntington Hills. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Videos

In the 1940's through the 1960's, residents used Kodak 16mm movie file to record neighborhood events. Recently, several of these were digitized and published on the Huntington Hills YouTube channel.

Uploaded movies include a parade with a glimpse of the famous Rolls Royce of John Mcfarlane, ski club skiing, and the HGH club pool (to name just a few).


Irondequoit Story: a history of the town of Irondequoit (suburb of Rochester, county of Monroe, state of New York) covering the years 1839-1957

History of Rochester, most specifically Irondequoit, from 1839 to 1957. Huntington Hills is mentioned briefly.


Juniors Worst Tennis Exhibition in 1958

Jim Allen, David Tuthill, and Tim Golan met for lunch and reminisced about the Juniors Worst exhibition. Tim then provided the file for the Huntington Hills web site. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Huntington Hills Cookbook

This cookbook was most likely created in the early to mid 1960's. Most are from Center Entrance although Bagg and McMaster were on lower Hoffman. Hodges was on Wisner. There are some from Jeanette Trimble (original family). [submitted by Tim Golan]


1966 Tuthill Fire

The fire that destroyed the Tuthill residence in 1966 had a direct effect on how emergency calls are made today. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Tour of Irondequoit Homes

Fourth tour of Homes presented by the Friends of Irondequoit Public Libraries . This tour visits homes on Center Road. [submitted by Tim Golan]


Irondequoit Memories (12/02/2010)

An article appears in the Irondequoit Post about Huntington Hills history by Patricia Wayne , Irondequoit town historian.


Deer Law and Regulations (03/2016)

History of the legal issues pertaining to the Culling of the Irondequoit Deer Herd as of March, 2016. [submitted by Jeanne M. Colombo]

Huntington Hills, Incorporated, is a residential tract of land and the home of 65 families. This wooded area of about 200 acres, is bounded on the north by Durand-Eastman Park and on the east by Wisner Road. It is located in the town of Irondequoit in Monroe County, New York.

Many years ago as Lake Ontario receded from what is now Ridge Road, all of this area appeared and that is the reason for the predominately sandy soil with some sections, mostly by Hoffman Road, which contain pockets of clay. Anyone who has done gardening in the New England area will appreciate the lack of rocks in this area. Digging in our soil has been described as like cutting through cheese.

Huntington Hills began when Mr. E. Maurice Trimble purchased about 200 acres from Alfred J. Elston in 1922 for about $20,000.00.  Alfred worked for Alcesta F. Huntington. When Alcesta died in 1919, she willed all her land to Alfred.

Alcesta was one of six children of Elon Huntington, who died in 1889, leaving his real property to his children. Elon Huntington was one of the founders of the University of Rochester and on its first Board of Trustees from 1850 to 1889. Alcesta bought out her brothers and sisters. She had been given 63 acres in 1889 by her father. In 1902, Alcesta acquired 80 more acres from the estate of Mathias Hoffman. She lived part time in what was originally a carriage house at the corner of Hoffman and Wisner Road. It's possible she acquired this carriagle house when she bought the 80 acres. She allowed Alfred Elston to convert it into a full house so that he could move himself and his family in. Sometime after, she added a private wing for herself (complete with separate entrance and staircase to her bedroom).

Maurice and Jeanette Trimble built a summer home on Center Road which they winterized and made their permanent home 10 years later. Mr. Trimble took care of the woods and pathways, leading a group of neighbors in this for 40 years. He knew each and every tree, and when you wanted to cut down a tree in those days, you had to ask Mr. Trimble. He personally oversaw the planting of pine trees all along the Center Entrance road, giving the road a beauty rarely found in other residential areas.

Maurice Trimble was the prime mover in establishing Huntington Hills the way it is today. His wife Jeanette was the granddaughter of Elon Huntington and the daughter of Horace Hooker and Susan Huntington. Horace Hooker was in the nursery business selling fruit trees. He was a Lt. in the Civil War and when the war was over he went into partnership with his father-in-law, Elon Huntington. The new business was called Genesee Falls Nursery. At that time many apple trees were planted on the flat areas of Huntington Hills. There were Russets, Greenings and Baldwins.

In 1922 Mr. Trimble decided to sell some of the acreage that he owned. He hired George Newell, a surveyor, to make a topographical survey of this very irregular terrain. There were three residential areas in the flat lands or “hog backs” and the rest of the land in between was left as the Common Areas or, as said today, green belts (forever green). Premises were subdivided into 74 residential lots, 75 Garden plots and the Common Areas of about 54.05 acres, with private roadways and pathways being part of the “commons”. (The boundaries of the original parcel have remained the boundaries of the Corporation). A subdivision map was officially filed in the Monroe County Clerk’s office on February 28, 1922 as well as a map showing the original Garden Plots dated June 12, 1922. These Garden Plots are now part of the overall Commons.

Mr. Trimble invited several of his friends, Wesley Angle (president of Stromberg Carlson), William Boswell, Roland Will, William Gorsline, Sara Durand Moore and Samuel Durand as first prospects to purchase lots in Huntington Hills. When Boswell and Will bought their lots, they also purchased surplus World War One army barracks and installed them as their summer homes. After that Mr. Trimble made a restriction that further home plans were to be approved by an architect selected by the corporation. These summer homes were built by original purchasers from 1922 to 1926, and most of them, albeit upgraded and remodeled are still located on Center Road. Samuel Durand bought several lots on the north side of the sub-division and gave them to Durand-Eastman Park. Few lots were sold because of the depression of 1928. But George Long, founder of Sea Breeze Park had the courage to buy and build, and under contract built several other homes.

Mr. Trimble also built a sizable dam just south of the south line of Durand-Eastman Park, with timbers taken from the woods of Huntington Hills, making a shallow lake of about six acres. It was stocked with fish and used for ice skating in the winter. However, it lasted only three years before washing out. It was then rebuilt using interlocking steel piling, but again it did not hold. Remains of this project can still be found today, but the lake is now again swamp or wet lands.

Initially, the only problem then was lack of water. Only a 2” main running from Culver Road via Fairlea supplied the growing number of homes. Things could get rather desperate during the summer months when the demand for water was at its peak. Fortunately, soon after a disastrous fire, the Sea Breeze Water District provided Huntington Hills with 6” mains, fire hydrants and a more relaxed feeling about its water supply.

A Stock Corporation, Huntington Hills, Inc. was formed with 74 shares of no par stock authorized. The commons and roadways were conveyed to the corporation and each buyer of a residential lot received a garden plot and one share of stock as well as a right in common with other owners to use the “commons” and roadways. The “commons” included private, wooded trails, private roads such as Center Entrance, and various rights of ways allowing access to lots which would otherwise be inaccessible. The directors submitted an annual budget to cover taxes on commons, liability insurance and other corporate expenses. Each owner was assessed a prorate share of between $5.00 and $10.00 per year.

The Original Restrictive Covenant Agreement in 1922 was:

  1. No building lot could be subdivided.
  2. Each lot had a garden plot, for farming only. The garden plot could not be built upon, nor could it be sold separately. (The garden plots were near Spring Valley Drive and Hoffman Road).
  3. Each building lot by shared ownership had access to the common lands, but did not have individual rights.

In 1949, the stock corporation was dissolved and a membership corporation was formed with the same name. This was done because stock shares were often lost and not transferred to a buyer and because New York State required franchise tax returns each year and raised the minimum annual tax to $250.00. Commons and roadways were conveyed to the new corporation with each owner of a lot becoming a member with voting rights. (The By-laws were amended on November 25, 1996 to allow members to vote by proxy). Directors were then elected and were responsible for the “commons”. The By-laws of Huntington Hills, Inc. were adopted January 10, 1949, revised February 19, 1953 and revised October 29, 1970.

Annual assessments were made to members. However, such assessments, as well as the garden plot taxes, went frequently unpaid and unfortunately garden plots were occasionally not conveyed with a residential lot. In 1974-75 the town of Irondequoit threatened that the assessment on the “commons” would be increased from $2,000.00 to $10,000.00 and that the assessment of the garden plots would be increased from $50.00 per lot to an amount sufficient to pay for preparation and mailing of tax bills. Due to unpaid taxes, the County had foreclosed 8 or 10 garden plots which were subsequently auctioned and bid upon by land speculators. Since tract restrictions prohibited the resale of any garden plot without an accompanying residential lot, purchasers were allowed to own them but were not allowed to build on them. As a result of the restrictions, title companies would not insure them and the purchasers could not convey them with good title.

An effort was made by the members of Huntington Hills, Inc. to repurchase the garden plots so that they could be returned to the “commons”. Funds were raised but the negotiations failed. On April 20, 1976 in cooperation with the Town Assessors Office, all but 16 of the 74 garden plots were conveyed by separate owners to Huntington Hills, Inc., and were made a part of the “commons”.  The garden plot portion of Huntington Hills was disclaimed and abandoned and removed from tax rolls, except for 16 lots conveyed. On April 28, 1976, the Corporation conveyed to each owner of a residential lot a 1/74th fractional share of the combined “commons” and former garden plots. Such a share became a part of the title to each residential lot. The Corporation has retained the right for its directors to “impose reasonable regulation on use, as shall not be harmful to the natural state of common areas, including manner of maintenance of roads, pathways, gardening areas, cutting of trees, clearing of brush and other uses as approved by the directors as shall not be harmful to the natural state of the premises or to the environment.” Since then, the directors have been successful in securing all but 4 of the 16 remaining lots and have added them to the commons.

The Town tax rolls now indicate about 63.5 acres of commons. Maps, which are available upon request, show the common lands, right of ways and the trails that lead through them, together with the layout of all the building lots. The purpose of the Commons (which now includes the formerly named Garden Plots) is to provide a forever wild and natural area for the private enjoyment of the Huntington Hills, Inc. residents and enhancement of our homeowners’ property values.

Hoffman Road became a public roadway in 1996. Spring Valley Drive, Rainbow Drive and Conifer Lane remain private. North, Center and South Entrances, and the road off Center Entrance, Dogwood Lane, are private.

The ownership and use of roadways and common areas is all a matter of record in the Monroe County Clerk’s Office and should appear on the Abstracts of Title if the residential lot was purchased since April of 1976.

Charter members of the corporation were those who owned residential lots when the Membership Corporation was formed in 1949. As houses have been sold, the buyers have been considered to automatically become members. The By-laws provide for annual and special meetings of members, assessments payable by members, election of directors, meetings of directors and the election of corporate officers by the directors as well as the usual corporate detail. Officers serve for two years and may be reelected. An annual meeting is held usually in November. The Directors call for an assessment, as needed, at the annual meeting. (The assessment must be voted upon if over $300.00). In recent years, the assessment has been between $10.00 and $35.00 per year, except for 2004 when a special assessment was $200.00 to cover anticipated one time expenses. The money has been used for ordinary costs, such as the payment of premiums on liability insurance, taxes paid on the common lands, copying and mailings. Annual taxes are paid by the treasurer. A liability insurance policy covers the officers and directors against suit.

Historically, the Association appears to have been a deliberately loose banding of homeowners. However, the Corporation does have legal authority, based upon the written covenants in all of our deeds (as shown in the abstracts of title), to formally act to protect and enforce those covenants. On occasion the members act as sub-groups and at other times we act as one. For example, the residents of Center Entrance and Dogwood Lane may elect to join the Hammer Grog and Hat Club which manages a tennis court and swimming pool, that they alone support. All residents of Center Entrance and its side road, Dogwood Lane, assess themselves to have their two roads blacktopped. Likewise, South Entrance owners have their own deeded pool and are responsible for their own road paving. North Entrance has three homes, and their owners are responsible for their own roadway, too. There is the Huntington Hills Garden Club, which obtains its base membership from Huntington Hills, Inc. Finally, with the approval of the directors, the Commons Committee has been formed. This ad hoc committee has been helpful in maintaining and updating relevant maps of Huntington Hills, surveying and recording its flora and fauna, and assisting in keeping the trails of the “commons” clear of debris.

If you plan a new free-standing building, you are asked to submit drawings and plans to the Board of Directors so that the architectural committee can review. Additions to existing structures need approval of the Town and other governmental agencies. Mostly, we try to be good neighbors, mindful of the rights of each other, working together on common causes to improve our neighborhood.

Huntington Hills is one of the best, and last, remaining wooded areas in the County. Its natural beauty, seclusion and protection from encroachment, with easy access to the City of Rochester, make Huntington Hills a very desirable place to live. Upon first visit, one is amazed at the dense woods, deep ravines and beautiful streams. The area is home to a diverse population of plants and animals. Among them are American chestnut trees, cherry trees, pine trees, maple trees, oak trees, woodpeckers, nuthatches, wild turkeys, fox, deer and many others. With the continued interest of Huntington Hills’ members, the natural beauty of the area will be preserved for each others enjoyment as well as for future members.

The above “History of Huntington Hills, Inc. 1922 to 2004” has been compiled from previous “Histories” written by Carol Golan and Jeanne Colombo, with contributions from Marsden Tuthill and Frank Giangiobbe. Historical corrections were made in 2016 by Adam Stein from information provided by Mary Jones.

Donald T. Becker
President
November 2005

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