PARMA CORNERS was first settled in the year 1805 by Hope and Elisha Davis, who in 1809 built the first tavern in the town. It was constructed of logs, with a large frame barn adjoining, and was located on the southwest, corner, near where the old Parma Institute building now stands. In 1811, Levi Tahnadge purchased the whole property, and the Talmadge tavern soon became celebrated, from Rochester to Lewiston, as the only public-house within a radius of many miles.
In 1812, J. Thompson built the first store in town, on the north corner, in which was also the first post office. After a few years he was succeeded by Thomas H. Rochester and Montgomery, and they in turn by William McKnight, who kept it many years. Not far from 1816 the second tavern was built by one Bently on the site of the one now kept by D. Trimmer. The original structure constitutes a part of the main building now standing. At the same time, the Tillotson House was erected west of the Corners, on the north side, but closed up in two years.
In 1818, Davis Goodell purchased Bently's tavern, and gave it the name of Goodell House. It is noted as the last place where Morgan was seen on that memorable journey from which he never returned. In 1820, Levi Talmadge erected a larger hotel on the northwest corner, and what was long known as the old log tavern was discontinued. About 1816, Zolved Stevens erected a distillery nearly opposite the tannery now owned by Gorsline & Co. After conducting it a long time, he sold it to A. H. Owens, who moved it east of the Corners, operated it a few years, and rebuilt it into a barn, which is still standing. Mr. Stevens also erected a tavern near his distillery, which he kept several years.
At this time all indulged in great anticipations regarding the future of Parma. Business was brisk and increasing, several hotels, a distillery, and two stage lines in full blast, and everywhere the indications of rapid and permanent growth. The construction of a large race-course was in preparation, in which the prominent horsemen of Rochester and the surrounding country were interested. In anticipation of this, Warham Warner erected and opened a large hotel in its vicinity, west of the distillery, on the place now owned by J. M. Webster.
It was closed very soon, however, on account of the failure of the original project. In 1830 or 1831, Henry Stevens built a hotel between the two latter, and conducted it several years. In 1825, Randall Curtis built a tannery opposite the distillery. The original structure was a small building, still standing in front of Gorsline & Co.'s tannery, which was erected later, as the business increased.
A Universalist church was built on the northwest corner at the same time, and in opposition to the Congregational (then Presbyterian) church at West Greece. After a few years, regular services ceased, when it was used as a public hall, until finally, after becoming a ruin, it was burned in May 1853.
History of Monroe County, New York; With Illustrations
Descriptive Of Its Scenery, Palatial Residences,
Public Buildings, Fine Blocks, and Important Manufactories
published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1877