Celebrate the Journey 1827-2002
Third Presbyterian Church
Celebrates 175 Years of Ministry
 
 
Rochester in 1827 

In 1827, when Third Church was organized, Rochester was a boom town of 7,000 inhabitants. The first house had been built by Hamlet Scrantom thirteen years earlier. The town had grown up around the falls of the Genesee, which supplied power for the mills which lined the river providing flour for export. In 1825 the Erie Canal was completed, linking the village with New York City and Buffalo and therefore with trade and commerce. With land and water transportation the village's population and productivity expanded greatly. There was a premium on industry, stability, and morals, reflecting the New England background of many of the leaders. However, the canal had brought not only commerce but the lusty living of the immigrant laborers who had built the canal and who serviced the transportation. "They brought a tendency to looser morals and the temptations of an unstabilized prosperity." 

Only three towns in upstate New York and three in New England were larger. In 1830 there was not a single native-born resident in the village, and 75 percent of the population was under thirty. Rochester was known as the fastest growing community in the nation. Fewer than one in six of the arrivals would stay for more than six years. 

Two Episcopal churches (St. Luke's and St. Paul's), one Methodist, one Baptist, and one Roman Catholic as well as two Presbyterian churches had been gathered on the west side of the river.  

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