During the 17th century, while French explorer Robert Cavalier de LaSalle was traveling around this part of New York state, he made references in his writings about the beautiful landscape and the friendliness of the natives.
According to documents, LaSalle entered the capital of the Seneca Indians, Ganondagan, (formerly called Gannagaro) and was warmly received. He didn’t stay long — his mission was to find a route to the western part of the United States and open up the New World for other Europeans to settle.
Settlers did come to the eastern part of our country, and when the Revolutionary War was over, the Boughtons of Stockbridge, Mass., bought a 6-square-mile piece of the Phelps-Gorham Purchase for 20 cents an acre in 1788.
By May 1812, the town was incorporated, and Boughtontown became Victor. Our town was named after a Boughton family member who distinguished himself in the War of 1812 —Claudius Victor Boughton.
The first town meeting was on April 6, 1813, and named as supervisor was Jacob Lobdell, a cousin of the Boughtons who stayed the first winter in Victor (Boughtontown) by himself to take care of the livestock and have a permanent claim on the land.
Victor has influenced other communities, such as Pittsford village, which has a Boughton Avenue named after Claudius Victor Boughton, and Bushnell’s Basin, which was named after Victor resident William Bushnell.
Victor’s Fred Locke became the “Father of the Porcelain Insulator” and made Victor Insulators the largest producer of porcelain insulators in the world.
The first leg of the Thruway on the western part of the state was begun in Victor on Oct. 25, 1946.
Victor’s history is acknowledged through the Native American State Historic site at Ganondagan, which shows our Seneca past and at the Valentown Museum, which shows the early Colonial history with thousands of artifacts.
Victor, a busy town on the crossroads of the New York state Thruway and Interstate 490, still values its past. The town of Victor celebrated its centennial in 1913 (pictured above), its sesquicentennial in 1962 and now its bicentennial in 2012 and 2013 — commemorating its incorporation on May 26, 1812, and its organization as a town on April 6, 1813.
Go to victorny.org/bicentennial to view the bicentennial events.
Photo and text provided by Babette Huber, Victor historian.