See also Town of Bergen
The Bergen area was opened up in 1801 when a road was hacked through the thick "Northwoods" from LeRoy to Lake Ontario. (In its early days of settlement, Bergen was called Northwoods.) Bergen was first settled in 1801 by Samuel Lincoln. In the same year George Letson, William Letson, Benajah Worden, Richard Abbey, Solomon Levi, Jesse Leach, James Letson, Gideon Elliott, and David Scott settled in town.
A colony of 60 families from Connecticut settled the area along Route 19 from Fort Hill (near Parmalee Rd) to Black Creek from 1805 to 1810. The first store was a mile south of Route 33 on Route 19 on the east side of the road. The first group of stores was located from the intersection of Lake Rd. (Rte. 19) and Route 262 to the intersection of Rte. 19 and the Scottsville Road (Rt. 33A). This area was called Buell's Corner, later Bergen Corners or High Bergen. The first church organization was established in December 1807. The Congregational church was founded January 25, 1808. Harry Kelsey, a graduate of Yale college, taught the first school. The first frame house in the town was erected by Levi Ward, a pioneer physician. Jared Merritt built the first saw mill. Dr. Ward was proprietor of the first store, in 1808. The first inn was opened in 1809 by Samuel Butler. Colonel W.H. Ward was the first postmaster.
After the railroad came through in 1836, an area was laid out around the intersection of Lake Road (Route 19) and the railroad for businesses and houses. It was called Wardville after the Levi Ward family who laid it out. It was also called Cork, after the Irish who settled there while and after the building of the railroad, and Lower Bergen. The two areas were soon connected by residences and churches.
This area, along with the surrounding residences was incorporated in on March 5, 1877 as the Village of Bergen. The village of Bergen is near the center of the eastern boundary line, on the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad.
Fire destroyed the business area around the railroad tracks again in 1880. The Village Board passed an ordinance requiring that all structures in this area should be built of brick, stone, or wrought iron.
The west side of the district south of the railroad is on the National Register as the Lake Street Historic District due to its 1880 wrought iron store fronts, transom windows and probably, also, because of the famous family who founded "Wardville". Some of the family went on from Bergen to the Rochester area and were primary developers of that area.
Due to better building material and firefighting equipment, another fire in 1906 destroyed only some of the buildings on the west side of the street. A fire in 1932 leveled some of the buildings on the east side of the street. Since then, fires in individual buildings have caused some alteration of their facades.