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“History of Canadice” by Beverly Deats

Photos and information courtesy of Andrea and Bob Deats.

The History of Canadice

Forward

by Beverly Deats

1980

The opportunity to read the treasures of the past about the Town of Canadice, has been a wonderful experience for me. This is an accumulation of different records, articles, collections and books people have been so generous in allowing me to copy.

If only for the enjoyment of my family and myself, I have completed this collection.

~ Beverly Drain Deats.

Canadice

A beautiful lake is Canadice,

And tribesmen dwelt on it’s banks of yore

But a hundred years have vanished thrice

Since hearthstones smoked upon it’s shores.

A beautiful lake is Canadice,

And wild fowl dream on it’s broad expanse

The golden broach of costly price

In dim with it’s radiant wave compared.

~ W. C. H. Hosmer, the Bard of Avon, written long ago.

Canadice lies on the northern declivities of the central Allegheny Mountain Range, Separated by Canadice Lake into two distinct ranges running in a northerly and southerly direction.

The west ridge is sometimes written as Bald Hill from the impression it presented to early pioneers, being covered only with small trees and shrubs, burned and stinted by the frequent fires of the Senecas. It was also referred to as Ball Hill from the shape, being a very well formed segment of a circle perhaps twelve or fifteen miles in diameter. The east ridge, or Kimball Hill, named for its earliest settler, lies 700 feet above Honeoye Lake and 2,200 feet above sea level.

Canadice is located in the Southwest corner of the present Ontario County. Honeoye Lake forms one-half of its eastern boundary. Hemlock forms seven-eights of its western boundary and Canadice Lake occupies a position a little west of the center of town, lying nearly parallel with Honeoye Lake and Hemlock Lake.

It can truthfully be called the “Land of the Lakes.” The soil in the valleys is a clay loam. Upon the declivities of the hills, it is mainly disintegrated shale and slate. On the summits of the southern part, loam and black muck are found. The principal streams are Canadice inlet and outlet and Honeoye inlet.

The name of Canadice is derived from the lake. It is a compound of the Indian word. The “Can,” or “Con,” is found in all Iroquois tongues; Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Tuscarora, Cayuga and in the Wyandot. We see it in the words corresponding with the English for sea, water, lake, etc. It means water. Some old lake maps have it written as “Skaneatise,” the root corresponding with the “S,” an Indian article meaning “the.” Honeoye Lake was named by the Indians “Hane-a-yek,” meaning “lying like a finger.” The Indian name for Hemlock was “Oned-ha.”

Canadice has no central or business point and the inhabitants receive their mail either from Honeoye, Hemlock or Springwater.

The first settlers of Canadice, with the exception of Ebenezer Kimball, selected its lowlands or valleys. Whether from dense forests that primitively covered its valleys, the forbidding and un-Canaan like appearance of some of its hills, the fear of measmatic disease or the still waters of lakes and ponds, we know not, but from the numerous beds of tansy planted in close proximity to the shanties of the earliest settlers and knowing that “tansy and whiskey” were the fashionable and almost universal antidote for fever and ague (about the only disease known in the earliest days), we think that we can safely say that the latter was the cause of Canadice being the last town in the County of Ontario to be settled.

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