TRYON: THE LOST CITY














Beside sluggish Irondequoit Creek in the shadow of old Fort Schuyler is a boulder. It was dedicated with considerable ceremony in 1938. Since then few have visited it. It marks the site of Indian Landing. The inscription on the marker tells the story of Indian Landing succintly and well: "The most important place in the early history of the Genesee Country, all of whose trails led to Irondequoit Bay. A gateway of the Iroquois Confederacy. Here were scenes of adventure and romance for more than 300 years, involving Indian wars, the struggle for empire between the French and English and the Revolutionary and pioneer period. By 1826 when the Erie Canal had been cut across the state, Tryon Town was all but deserted. It fell swiftly as it had risen. Now there is only the blue sign amid the brambles to tell of "the lost city" on the banks of the Irondequoit.

Religion, commerce and war made this territory a famous battleground, bringing here many noted traders, priests and soldiers." On North Landing Road on a hill at the edge of Ellison Park stands another blue marker. It is hard to realize that on that spot, as quiet as a churchyard, once stood a thriving town, "the lost City of Tryon." It began in 1797 and Salmon Tryon was it's father. He sold the site to John Tryon, who cut it up into town lots. Soon there was a store, a five-story warehouse, a $15,000 flour mill, a customs house, a tavern, a distillery, an eshery, a huddle of houses and even a form of self-government called a "lynch-court." Irondequoit Creek in those days was wide and swift and devoid of sandbars. At Indian Landing, 30 ton schooners docked to transport the produce of the frontier. Tryon Town was the only settlement along the lake between Oswego and Lewiston. The rest was dismal forest. The nearest center was Canandaigua. Settlers came to trade at Tryon Town, on horseback and by boat. It was a busy place and its promoters dreamed of a great city there.