Bristol Historical Society

Bristol Historical Society

The Town of Bristol has had many families live all, or parts of their lives here. Generations come and go with whole lifetimes sometimes taking place right on the very ground that you inhabit today. Have you ever looked at old houses in town and wondered what the lives of the people that lived there were like? Have you ever wandered through any of our old historic cemetaries and wondered what events may have paralleled the short stay here on earth of the people whose names are on the stones? Have you ever looked at some of the old forgotten fields that have now returned to brushlands or forest and tried to picture the horses pulling plows through that very same ground? Have you ever walked through the woods and found old stone piles or discarded farm implements and pictured people of another time turning these areas into productive farmlands? Did you ever wonder what people of a century or more ago used to do for a living here? Do you ever wonder if there are people of historical note that have lived in this town? Have you ever wondered what Bristol was like back when the lowly hop was king, or when the raising of sheep was a major economic influence on the town?

If any of these questions have ever run through your head or if you just simply have a curiosity about the past involved on this land that you now call home, you are a good candidate for becoming a member of the Bristol Historical Society. Perhaps you have an interest in expanding the understanding of our past or are interested in helping to preserve the knowledge and record of our past. If so, the Bristol Historical Society is an organization that you should become a part of. Just pop into one of the meetings or contact Beth Thomas(Town Historian) at the Bristol Town Hall (229-2400) or Alan Jones (President) at 229-2999 and check out the details of belonging to this organization. 

Bristol Historical Society Building Bristol Historical Society Building


About the Bristol Historical Society

From the brochure donated by Robert Day

The New York State Board of Regents charters the Bristol Historical Society. The original charter was recorded in September 1953 by the diligent efforts of Mrs. Harry Marble, also known as "Effie" to many Bristol residents. During the prior three years, Mrs. Marble and other interested community members lay plans and established the goals and by-laws that our Historical Society is based on today. Like many locally organized Historical Societies we do not have paid board members or other providers, volunteers carry out all the work. Our financial base is entirely from memberships, special donations, and specific fund raising events. The society sponsors several presentations a year that try to focus on the people, events and artifacts of our local history. These presentations are open to the public, as well as the membership.

We have a display case set up in the Bristol Town Hall. Beth Thomas, the Town Historian, changes the display every couple of months.

The church, which now serves as the Historical Society's building, was built in 1846 under the direction of Abner Reed for the Methodist Episcopal Church congregation. In or around 1930, the steeple you now see on the building replaced the original steeple.Since its construction, the congregation and community members had kept it in repair until 1975 when its congregation merged with the United Church of Bristol located at the corner of Baptist Hill Road and Oakmount. At that time the church was sold to the Bristol Historical Society. The United Church of Bristol occasionally holds Memorial Services in the building and there are several weddings and other community events held during the year. Since 1975 the Historical Society has maintained the church through special donations and its general membership fund. Efforts are made with every repair and improvement not to compromise the church's original design elements. During the early 1990's the eight stained glass windows were cleaned and re-hung because they were sagging. As a homeowner you are familiar with the constant upkeep of a building in this area. Although at a quick glance while driving by the building, all seems sound, there are a number of interior and exterior repairs and improvements that need to be scheduled over the next couple of years. We are confident that during this time the membership and the community will support our efforts in keeping this historic building a proud landmark for the Town of Bristol.

The objective of the Society is to promote an interest in and an appreciation of, the history of the Town of Bristol and as it pertains to the history of Western New York. The Society will cooperate with educational institutions, state and local agencies, other museums and community institutions, and county and town historians for extending to the people of the town programs of educational and historical significance. We continue to encourage research in the history of the town by collecting appropriate source material and allowing appropriate access to the public.


An important link for you to the Ontario County Historical Society
Click Here

Link to the newly formed BristolHillsHistorical Society
Click Here

Link to the East Bloomfield Historical Society
Click Here