Many residents are aware that the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern trolley line ran east and west across the entire town of Perinton from 1906 to 1931. More obscure is the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway Company, which did business from 1903 to until 1930. A brochure published by the R&E provided the following description of the route: “Beginning at Rochester, N.Y., the western terminal, the route of the Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway lies in a southeasterly direction, ending at Geneva, 44 miles distant, passing through the pretty villages of Pittsford, Victor, Canandaigua and Seneca Castle.”
Not mentioned in the above description is Bushnell’s Basin. After passing through Pittsford village, the route continued southeast, and eventually crossed Perinton’s Benedict Road a few tenths of a mile north of Marsh Road, where a stop was established for trolley patrons in the area. From there, the trolley continued to Bushnell’s Basin, crossing the canal just east of the Marsh Road bridge. Evidence of the trolley’s concrete bridge abutment is still visible along the canal. The trolley route followed the path of Ketchum Road, today called Pittsford Victor Road, or Route 96, toward Victor and beyond.
Aaron N. Longyear was the trolley agent at Bushnell’s Basin in the early years of the R&E. Longyear was a merchant and the Postmaster of Bushnell’s Basin as well. The station was a repurposed old structure located about where the Fruit and Salad Company’s building is today at 680 Pittsford Victor Road.
According to a 1905 R&E schedule, a total of 36 local trolley cars stopped in the Basin each day, 18 in each direction. The earliest was a westbound car at 6:50 a.m., and the last an eastbound car at three minutes after midnight. Another twelve cars were designated as limited, meaning they stopped only at selected stations. In total, 48 cars passed through Bushnell’s Basin over a period of about 17 hours each day, meaning a trolley car rolled through every 21 minutes or so.
By 1930, the great depression, coupled with growing ownership of personal automobiles spelled the end of the line for The Rochester and Eastern Rapid Railway Company. For those that still required transportation, the Greyhound Bus Company stepped in to provide service to points east and west.