Webster History Bit: What’s in a name?

17 May

The names are all very familiar to us: Plank Rd., Salt Rd., Basket Rd., Five Mile Line Rd., Shoecraft Rd., Whiting Rd. But what might not be so familiar is exactly how these well-known roadways got their names. 

Plank Rd. is pretty self-explanatory. It used to be covered in wooden planks. But how about the others? Their stories, recounted in Webster Through the Years by Esther Dunn, offer a glimpse into Webster’s history: 

  • Salt Rd. was named after salt springs located nearby.
  • Basket Rd. was originally known as Basket Street because many of the early settlers in the area made baskets out of branches from the willow trees that grew nearby.    
  • Five Mile Line Rd. referred to the distance from Penfield Village to Ridge Rd. 
  • Shoecraft Rd. bears the name of John Shoecraft, an early settler of Penfield who served in both the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
  • Whiting Rd. was named for John Whiting, a pioneer who settled on the lakeshore near the junction of Lake and Holt roads. You can still see the grand home he built near that intersection, in Webster Park, which we now know as the White House Lodge.

Webster history is all around us, even hidden in the streets on which we drive. Uncover more historical surprises at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Visit the website at webstermuseum.org to learn more. 

* * *

email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/17/2023)

12 Responses to “Webster History Bit: What’s in a name?”

  1. Sandy Pagano May 18, 2023 at 9:15 am #

    We lived in beautiful Webster before moving out to Sodus Bay. My two boys and families live there now. My question is how did Dunning Ave. in the village get its name? Our son lives on that beautiful street.

    • websterontheweb May 18, 2023 at 9:18 am #

      Fine question. I’ll ask my museum friends about that and get back to you. It is a beautiful street. I live a few blocks from there and walk it frequently. The porches are incredible, and so beautifully decorated at Christmas.

    • websterontheweb May 18, 2023 at 11:12 am #

      I asked Lynn Barton, our Webster Town Historian, who was able to provide the answer. She wrote: “the name came from Dr John Dunning, he lived at the corner of East Main and Dunning on the west side. He owned a track of land that was later subdivided into lots. He was a medical doctor who graduated in 1852, he worked for Dr Potter shortly before starting his own practice. He died in 1901.”

  2. joanne May 18, 2023 at 9:22 am #

    then there is Klem rd and with Klems all around us we know it was named after a klem that lived on that dirt rd. How about Phillips rd, named after the Phillips family that lived at the top of Phillips rd.Loved your history tidbits,thanks. Jan

    • websterontheweb May 18, 2023 at 9:25 am #

      Jan, do you happen to know where Dunning got its name?

      • jan naujokas May 18, 2023 at 9:45 am #

        Lynn would know, I just know it looks like an all American street when they all put their flags it is lovely with its trees, and front porches. I think there was a Doctor that was Dunning but I may be wrong. Jan

      • websterontheweb May 18, 2023 at 9:47 am #

        Yeah, I dropped an email to Lynn before I asked you. We’ll see if she has the scoop.

    • Paula Randisi May 18, 2023 at 9:21 pm #

      Any photos of klem rd and a bit of history

      • websterontheweb May 19, 2023 at 4:13 pm #

        HI Paula, that sounds like something you can ask the kind ladies at the Webster Museum about. You should pop by there and they can help you find all sorts of stuff like that.

  3. Adam Traub May 18, 2023 at 4:09 pm #

    Great bit of history, Missy! Thank you for sharing!

  4. MJ Ocke May 19, 2023 at 9:18 am #

    How is five mile line a distance from Ridge Rd when they are perpendicular? i thought five mile line was like Hedges, nine mile point, the distance to the Genesee point/ outlet?

    • websterontheweb May 19, 2023 at 9:24 am #

      As I understand it, it’s the north/south distance from Penfield to Ridge Rd.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: