MEMORIES OF SODUS POINT
My father’s family came from both Sodus and Sodus Point. As a child in the 1950’s we would often visit one or more of the relatives. My great grandparents were Bert J. Turner and his wife Augusta Amelia DoVille Turner. They lived on John St. and I recall being in their home when they were quite elderly. He was a retired messenger on a local railroad, and I recently discovered that she baked about 50 loaves of bread a day that she sold to the bakeries and markets in the area! Their home always has a welcoming feeling to me.
My grandfather George N. Hopkins, of Sodus, was the owner of the B. A. Hopkins’ Feed & Flour Mill on Mill St. He came from a long line of millers in the area. He owned a cottage on the west side of the Bay, near 1st Creek. I visited the cottage many times as a child. If we went there in the spring, we had to walk on wide boards laid down due to spring flooding. The cottage was quite a quaint place, and my brother, sister and I all loved going there. It had an outhouse in the back, and a beautiful front yard that looked over the bay. We would play in the yard while the adults visited. My most vivid memory is that of the trestle. We could clearly see it from the yard and it was a very busy place! We could hear the noise as the coal was delivered to the boats. We were all fascinated by the site of all the activity.
I believe the site of the cottage was also the location of a unique resort built by my great-great grandfather, Benjamin Allen Hopkins At some point. Ben built a unique business known as “Santiago de Sodus Point” on the shore of Sodus Bay. He evidently built it himself. It consisted of several buildings, one or two of which were bedrooms built in the trees! It could be called one of the first motels in the US, as rooms were rented and you could also eat at the establishment. It was probably known as a boarding house in those days. Ben would take his horse and wagon to Sodus and pick up the customers who would come over from Rochester for the day or weekend. It was quite a creative complex as a large family photo indicates. It was written that he served hundreds of guest from the Rochester area.
I was too young to be interested in genealogy, and regret that I didn’t know all I now know about my ancestors who also resided at the Point. My great-grandmother DoVille-Turner had several brothers who were entrepreneurs. They were ship’s captains, ship builders, shipyard owners, market and hotel owners, and very involved with the community from the 1860’s to the 1920’s. I am proud to have such a rich history with Sodus Point.