Situated in the Northern tier of western New York, the New York State towns of Royalton and Hartland present a very interesting insight into the transformation of the United States over the last fifty years. The area was dotted with small, self-sufficient population areas which have seen life as it was change into mere residential communities. Although hardly unique in that regard, the vibrancy which permeated the area can still be detected from what has remained, either abandoned or active.
The entire area was once the major East-West axis running from New York City to the interior of the nation.
It contains the Erie Canal, the Military Road (a route which began in Batavia, New York, home of the head office of the Holland Land Company which settled the area in the late 1700s and terminated at Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario) the Route 104 (Ridge Road) and Route 31, which connected Rochester and Buffalo. Because of the transportation system and the fruit industry of the region, these towns were once part of an economic powerhouse.