Hammondsport Village Hall is located at 18 Water Street, Hammondsport, NY 14840; phone: 607-569-3700. The village was incorporated in 1856.
In the year 1802, General George McClure purchased several hundred acres of land in Pleasant Valley, near Cold Spring, on which he caused to be built a saw mill, fulling mill, flour mill and carding machine. About this same time he also opened a store on the site of Hammondsport, and by all his operations laid the foundation for what became one of the most progressive villages in Steuben County. General McClure also built the first vessel on the lake, the Sally, a small schooner of about 30 tons burden, and thus was the pioneer in opening Lake Keuka to navigation. The schooner is said to have been built in 1803.
However, it remained for a later comer to formally establish the village. Captain John Shether was the original settler on the village tract, in 1796, and a portion of his lands afterward passed to Judge Lazarus Hammond. This was in 1807, and about the same time the purchaser came to reside on the land. He at once saw the possibilities of a village at the head of the lake, hence laid out a series of lots, and also donated a pleasantly located tract of land for a public park or square. Still many years passed before the settlement assumed the proportions or character of a settlement, and even as late as 1825 the lands in the vicinity were used chiefly for farming purposes.
In 1825 William Hastings opened a well stocked store with Lemuel D. Hastings acting as clerk. In the following fall, Ira G. Smith, of Prattsburg, built a store and soon afterward a number of business interests were established about the public square.