REPAIRS NOW COMPLETE - Water main break on County Rd. 16 north of Wyffels Rd. to the water treatment facility
All repairs are now complete and water is turned back on. If you experience air in your water lines, run faucets for 3-5 minutes. Contact Water Dept. at 585-394-3300 with any questions.  

Town History


History of the Town | Local History Team | Cemeteries| Books Historic Maps Articles Presentations | Fun Facts

Welcome to the Town Historian's Office

This web page serves as a resource for the residents of the Town of Canandaigua, and others interested in local history, and to communicate to the residents of the Town the various activities in which their historian is involved. Some of the information provided here will be of a semi-permanent nature, while other information will be in a consistently updated newsletter format.

In 1919, New York State took the lead with the passage of legislation to create a legion of officially appointed historians in every town, village, city, borough and county across the Empire State. Unique in its concept, it provided every municipality with a distinctly identifiable person whose duties would be to ensure that the history of that area was collected, preserved and used to promote the history and heritage of our communities.

It is, therefore, the duty of each local historian, in cooperation with the county and state historian, to collect and preserve material relating to the history of the political subdivision for which he or she is appointed, and to file such material in fireproof safes or vaults in the town offices. A primary responsibility of the Local Government Historian is the interpretation of the past. This will involve research and writing on aspects of the history of one's jurisdiction and may include scholarly articles for the general public audience in magazines and newspapers. Another category of responsibilities involves the interpretation of the history of his or her community through teaching and public presentations.

Historians are often asked by their appointing authorities to support the local Tourism Promotion Agency or TPA. Heritage Tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry and depends for success on an accurate and attractive presentation of history. Successful efforts can have an important positive effect on local and regional economy.

He or she shall make an annual report,  in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.

It is not the responsibility of the Town historian to act as a genealogist unless such work is in the best interest of the Town. Nor is he/she required to be a member of local historical societies, although he/she may if it is also in the best interest of the Town.

Your comments, questions and suggestions on this web page and how it can better serve the community are welcomed.

Ray Henry
Former Town Historian

Town History

Media Materials

General Town History

Lake History

  • Canandaigua Lake Facts
  • Steamboats
  • West Lake Legacy Video Clips -- A series of short video clips on notable historic sites and events along Canandaigua’s West Lake Road. From the Yacht Club to Onanda Park, the history of our lakeshore comes alive with the help of historic images, interviews and period music. 

Annual Report of Historian's Activities

Related Links


The Town Historian's office hours are as follows:

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

11:30 am - 2:30 pm

You may also request an appointment. 

The Town's Local History Team is very active in the preservation and promotion of Town history. See link at top of page for more information about the Local History Team.


Leif HerrGesell


 (585) 394-1120
 Email Leif HerrGesell
    Town Calendar

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