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Town History

Formation

The Town of Mentz is located in Central Cayuga County, New York. The town was formed in 1802 as the Town of Jefferson from the town of Aurelius while still part of Onondaga County. In 1808, it assumed its current name.

Early Settlers

The first permanent settlers arrived in 1810, although others had attempted to settle the area previously.

Port Byron

In 1837, the community of Port Byron set itself apart from Mentz by incorporating as a village.

Canal Museum Building

Erie Canal

The Erie Canal was moved to include the Seneca River in 1856.

Montezuma & Throop

In 1859, part of the town was used to form the towns of Montezuma and Throop.

Notable People

There are a number of people who can trace their roots back to Port Byron or who settled here for a while. Before he was a leader of the Mormon faith, Brigham Young lived here in the early 1830s. He was a painter and builder. One of the early buildings he lived in still exists on Pine Street.

Henry Wells of Wells Fargo fame also lived here in the early 1830s. We can trace Isaac Singer of sewing machine fame here in 1837. Opera singer Richard Bonelli was born here as Jacob Bunn.

Location

The New York State Thruway (interstate 90) crosses the town, following along the original path of the Erie Canal. New York State Route 31 (East/West) crosses New York State Route 38 at Port Byron.

Coordinates

43°2′25″N 76°37′44″W

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