Milo Center was already settled in 1790 and is thus in all probability
the oldest continuously settled place in western New York. The accompanying
map shows how it looked in 1876. The road down the middle runs north and
south and is called the Himrod Road; in this stretch it runs exactly along
the course of the Old Pre-emption Line.
The settlement was originally called Nichols' Corners, for its most
numerous family. It was convenient to the Friends' Mill on Keuka Lake Outlet,
or Mill River as it was called in this period of very early settlement.
Some, though not all, of the families who lived here were members of the
Society of Universal Friends. Practically all of them were from New England
and thus the hamlet has something of the air of a self-sufficient New England
village with its farmland stretching in all directions around it. Nowadays,
except for the Methodist Church, it is completely residential, though examination
of the map will reveal the existence of several manufacturing and commercial
establishments during the latter part of the 19th century.
In 1790, when the federal census was taken, the eastern boundary of
Ontario County was the Pre-emption Line. Thus, the census-taker enumerated
only those families living on the west side of the road. Unfortunately,
the Montgomery County census-taker was not so meticulous, and apparently
took a stance on the fact that the Line was in the wrong place. In any
case, he did not count the people living on the east side of the road here
in Milo Center, or in fact in any place between the Old and the New Pre-emption
Lines, even though the latter was not laid out until 1794.
Many of the houses on the map are still in existence today, and some
do in fact date back to the 1790s or soon afterward.
on the map image to see a large map of Milo Center.