Pocket History

This neighborhood has a long history of associations.  The Pocket Neighborhood got its name from a 2008 partnership between Neighborworks Rochester, The Rochester Realtor’s Charitable Trust and other community entities which facilitated neighborhood meetings.  How the boundaries of Atlantic/Kansas/E. Main/N. Winton became established is not clear, but the group eventually agreed that the area resembled the shape of a pocket and the name was adopted.  This group was rooted in the concept that neighborhood branding contributes to desireability.  Other Neighborhood associations covering the area include North Winton Village (northwinton.org established 1995) and historically, Northeast Area Development (NEAD, established 1965).  Neighborworks has moved on to work with other neighborhoods.

The Pocket area was part of a series of annexations to the City of Rochester in the early 1900’s.  Part of the town of Brighton and adjacent to what was then the Village of Brighton to our south, this area was then mostly small farms.  Some of the old farm houses still exist.  The Pocket area was part of a section known as the “Holland Settlement” because of a concentration of immigrants from the Netherlands.  Atlantic Avenue was known as University Avenue and East Main Street went only as far as Akron Street (then Henakey Park).

Over the years, farms gave way to residences, sewers and other utilities were added and upgraded, street car and rail service gave way to buses and cars.

For more on the history of city annexations, see the links below.

Brighton Village Annexation

Also, follow the link below to the Rochester Public library and search for the string “Rochester’s era of annexations” to find a book by Joseph W. Barnes;

Rochester’s Era of Annexations

Brighton was formed in 1814, splitting from the town of Boyle (formerly Northfield formed in 1796) after Perinton and Penfield split.  Northfield was formed out of settlements within the Phelps-Gorham purchase.  Even prior to these settlements being established, Merchants Road was a path traversed by the Algonquin and Seneca between the Genesee river and Canandaigua Lake. 1