The following account comes from Hand's History(p 614). The description includes both an account of Nunda in 1842 and Mr. Hands comments written in 1908. We have put his comments in italics.
"A school paper, printed in 1842, gives us Nunda Village as it then existed. We have often heard that Nunda was greatest at the time when the canal was building. The canal stopped operations for nearly ten years, and the following estimated printed at the office of the Genesee Valley Recorder will give us some idea of the village at that time.
One hundred and fifty dwellings , 1,000 buildings, three churches, First Presbyterian, first Baptist and First Universalist. The Baptist church had 464 members, the Presbyterian 340 members, the Universalist just formed, its charter members were 30. One academy, 30 scholars, the Nunda Academy (Session House building), S.A. clemons, principal; one woolen factory, 23 x 90, four stories high, four looms and 216 spindles; two carriage shops where coaches and carriages are made; one steam furnace; one steam engine factory; three flouring mills (within three miles); two cabinet and chair shops' one printing press; nine dry goods stores; one hardware; one drug store; three groceries; two taverns; two saddle and harness shops; one large tannery, owned by Daniel Ashley, Esq.; a shoe shop, Vancourt & Gardner, employing eight hands.
The Methodist worship above a store.
There were other shops, blacksmith for example, not mentioned, but the estimate was a fair one.
The population of the town was larger than in 1840, and that it had ever been or ever has been since, but the thousand buildings, probably an exaggeration, were mostly very humble in size and architecture. This included all out buildings. Some of the barns are still in existence and show what the houses might have been had they not been greatly enlarged and beautified.
The Samuel Swain house (Whitehead House, Portage Street), the Asley house ( Van Dusen, 39 East Street), Carlos Ashley house ( Mrs. Campbell, Mill Street), and Samuel Swain House, below the mill,, were then the largest in the village. Only ;one of those first three churches are used for church purposed now. The Methodists purchased the First Presbyterian, the First Baptist became the Nunda Literary Institute and was burned by an incendiary. The Universalist is used as a public hall, while three newer churches on a more modern and somewhat magnificent scale have taken their places."
Also see Image 3 for a view of Nunda from this time period.