Naples

The Village of Naples, organized in 1789, is located in beautiful Naples Valley, three miles south of the southern end of Canandaigua Lake. It is located between the intersection of Routes 21 and 245 and the intersection of Routes 21 and 53. Naples is known for its early 1800s main street, Bristol Valley Theatre, Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area, rainbow trout fishing in Naples Creek, the Naples Grape Festival and Widmer Wine Cellars of the Canandaigua Wine Company.

Nearby is Arbor Hill Grapery, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, Cumming Nature Center operated by the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and Ontario County Park with camping, hiking and picnicking facilities.

The first settlers in Naples Valley were Seneca Indians, who moved into the Valley around 1400 from the Adirondack Region. The Senecas were looking for a peaceful place to settle to escape from the warlike Massawomeck tribe. They called the Valley Koyendaga.

The earliest Seneca Indian village in the Valley, Nundawao ("great hill"), was located two miles south of Canandaigua Lake. A second Indian village in the valley was Kiandaga ("corn planting ground"), located just east of the visitors' entrance to Widmer Wine Cellars. The third village, the smallest, was located near West River Bridge.

General Sullivan's army destroyed the Seneca village at Canandiagua in September, 1779, but it didn't visit the southern end of the Lake. In 1789, the first white men entered the Naples Valley to suvey the land after it was purchased from Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Phelps. The first white settlers, from Connecticut and Massachusetts, purchased six square miles for $2,534.20 in April 1789. The 150 Senecas who lived in the Valley when the first white settlers arrived, were given 20 years to leave. The last Seneca Indian family left the village in 1815.

In 1848, Edward McKay planted 150 Isabella grapevines at Naples, at the southern end of the Lake. The vines prospered and an industry grew. John Jacob Widmer and his wife, Lisette, moved to Naples from Switzerland, planted a vineyard, and began to make wine. Their early efforts grew into Widmer Winery, now part of Constellation Brands Corporation.