April was a busy month for members of the Victor-Farmington Rotary Club.
They continued a club tradition that started in 2004 by assembling Easter baskets for children in Rochester. This year, Rotarians assembled 100 baskets for children at Wilson Commencement Park/Sojourner House, an institution that assists low-income, single-parent families transition from public assistance to financial independence and personal self-sufficiency.
The basket project was initiated by the late Betty Powers, wife of Rotarian Galen Powers. Betty started many of the club’s service projects that serve low-income families in the local area. She originally was involved with a similar project while living in Massachusetts in the 1990s.
In addition to candy, each basket contained a jigsaw puzzle, two toys, three artificial eggs, writing materials and a greeting from the club. Wilson/Sojourner staff members attended a recent club meeting at Ravenwood Golf Club, where they joined Rotarians in filling the baskets with candy and treats that were donated by club members.
The club supports Wilson/Sojourner’s activities in other ways. The children receive gifts from the Rotary Giving Tree during the Christmas season and attend an annual Halloween party supported by the club.
The following week, Farmington Town Historian Donna Herendeen presented an historical overview of the development of the town since its founding in the 1780s.
Farmington was founded by 10 Quaker families from the Adams, Massachusetts, area who purchased land that was available as a result of the Phelps Gorham Land Purchase in 1788. The Herendeen family was one of the original founders, along with the Hathaways and Padghams. The first Farmington town meeting was held in 1795.
The Quakers played a leading role in the township’s early history. The strongly supported women’s suffrage and embraced the temperance movement in the early 1900s, as they believed alcohol destroyed family life. Many leaders of the original women’s suffrage movement were Quakers.
Herendeen reviewed the development of the town from its founding to its current status as a rapidly growing township of 11,000 residents in Ontario County. At one time, most of the roads in the town were centered on traffic to Canandaigua, not Rochester. Among the factors that sparked the township’s development was construction of the NYS Thruway and Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack. The arrival of the Thruway led to the establishment of a Farmington exit. These helped spur increased infrastructure activity and a planning process to chart development.
Herendeen’s presentation traced how the town has grown from the days of the Phelps Gorham Land Purchase to the present.