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local history

The Fairport 'race riot' that never happened

17 hours ago
The Fairport Herald

A century ago on Tuesday, a young Black man named James Noey was shot and killed by a white police officer amid a massive brawl on Main Street in Fairport.

The melee, in which young men from Rochester squared off with residents of some eastside suburbs, was huge news in its day. Nearly every detail of the incident and the ensuing legal proceedings made headlines over the course of a year.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Anyone setting eyes for the first time on the historical marker denoting the Abner Wight Home in Fairport could have been forgiven for doing a double-take.

The marker, out front of a handsome yellow colonial on South Main Street, was one of those ubiquitous blue and gold cast-iron plaques that New York state handed out between 1926 and 1969 to seemingly anyone offering a scintilla of evidence that history “happened here.”