Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TIMELINE 1830-1831


Jan 1
Total state canal debt reaches $7,706,013, which includes construction costs on the Cayuga, Oswego and Seneca canals. [nysbsnengnrwtrn]    **    Lodi farmer Philip S. Lott begins keeping an account book; he will make entries for more than fifty years.    
Jan 20
Native American Seneca (Wolf Clan, his mother's) orator Red Jacket (aka Otetliani/Sagoyewatha) dies in the Buffalo, NY, area at about the age of 80 (exact c. 1750 birth date uncertain). His remains will be buried in an Indian cemetery. On Oct 9, 1884 he is reburied Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Feb 3
Cohocton's Congregational Church, built on land donated by deacon Thomas Crosby, is dedicated.

Feb 22
New York's Allegany County Town of Amity is formed from the town of Angelica and Scio.
Mar 24
The Buffalo Journal and General Advertiser announces that businessman Nathaniel Rathbun will build the local headquarters of the Bank of the United States branch, at Main and South Division streets.
Apr 16
The Allegany County Town of Genesee is formed from the Town of Cuba.

New York's Dansville Village Chronicle advertises the opening of a daily stage line of mail coaches between Oswego and Rochester, leaving Oswego every day at 2 AM, passing through Elmira, Painted Post, Cohocton, Dansville and Geneseo, making the trip in two days.

Jul 12
Very heavy rain begins falling in western New York and continues through the next morning.
Jul 13
Mid-day, the heavy rains cause a break in the Erie Canal in Bushnell's Basin near Pittsford's Great Embankment. A culvert gives way a mile-and-a-half west of Pittsford and damage is done as far as Fairport.

Evangelist Charles Grandison Finney addresses Rochester, NY's Third Presbyterian Church, tells them that if Christians dedicated their lives to the task they could convert the world and bring the millennium along in three months.
Nov 11
Massachusetts native Glover Perrin dies in Pittsford, NY, at the age of 68. The nearby Town of Perriton will be named for him.

New York State
The population of Pittsford reaches 1,831 which is up from 1,582 recorded in the 1820 census.    **    Escaped slave  Austin Steward, backed by a number of Rochester, New York, liberals including Everard Peck, establishes a black colony at Wilberforce, Ontario.    **    The weekly Dansville Village Chronicle begins publication, continues through 1832 when it becomes the Dansville Chronicle.

Rochester, NY
Financed by Abraham M. Schermerhorn, the Eagle Tavern is built at the northwest of the city's Four Corners.

Law apprentice James S. Wadsworth receives a letter in New York City from his father James in Geneseo, informing him that his mother is ill and requesting that he pick up his sister Elizabeth at her Philadelphia boarding school, stop in Harrisburg to conduct some business, then bring his sister home.

Feb 25
Teacher, Daughter of the American Revolution, and future newspaper publisher Melinda Wheeler Bennitt is born in Urbana to Obediah and Olive Woodward Wheeler, settlers from Vermont.

Mar 1
Naomi Wolcott Wadsworth, wife of James Wadsworth and mother of James S. Wadsworth, dies in Geneseo, at the age of 53.
Mar 3
Inventor George Mortimer Pullman is born in Brocton.
Mar 4
Rochester lawyer Frederick Whittlesley begins serving as the city’s representative to the 22nd and 23rd U.S. Congress. He will resume his practice in 1835.
Mar 24
The Bath & Crooked Lake [Keuka Lake] Rail Road is organized, to connect the two upstate localities, capitalized at $20,000. Nothing is ever done.
Mar 26
The New York state legislature incorporates the Rochester Canal & Rail Road
Company, capitalized at $30,000. to connect the city to Lake Ontario, the route 
bypassing the falls of the Genesee River. Only the railroad is built, as far as the 
steamboat landing.

Apr 1
Construction begins on THE eight-mile-long Crooked Lake Canal, connecting Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.
Apr 18
The Cattaraugus County town of Burton (later Allegany) is formed from Great Valley township.   **    The Tioga County town of Arlington (later Richford) is formed from Berkshire.
Apr 21
The Rochester Savings Bank is incorporated.
Apr 26
The New York State legislature abolishes debtor imprisonment.    **    Weedsport is incorporated.

An organizational meeting for the Rochester Savings Bank is held.
May 17
Rochester pioneer Colonel Nathaniel Rochester dies - after a protracted illness - in Monroe County, at the age of 80.
May 18
School commissioners in LaFargeville lengthen the school year to one five-month term, running from November 1st to April 1st.

Dec 15
Downtown Buffalo buildings at "Kremlin Corner", owned by William Peabody, are destroyed by fire.

New York State
217 vessels put in at Carthage Landing on the Genesee River, over a third of them Canadian.    **   Captain Oliver Teall’s Syracuse water monopoly, unused, reverts back to the village trustees.    **    President Trumbull Cary and other officers of Batavia’s Bank of the Genesee begin erecting a building at the corner of East Main and Bank streets.    **    Ezra M. Parsons is elected Sheriff of Monroe County.    **    Mary Jemison leaves the Genesee Valley along with her daughter Polly and grandson David, and moves to the Buffalo Creek Reservation in Erie County.    **    Wellsville, reportedly named after someone named Wells who missed the organization meeting, is settled.    **     State courts convictions for the year total 957, down from last year.    **    Daniel Stevens Dickinson comes to Binghamton from Goshen, Connecticut, to practice law.    **    Luther Tucker begins publishing the journal The Genesee Farmer.    **    The Bank of Geneva moves from Pulteney Park to The Bottom, closer to Seneca Lake, as the business district shifts downhill to that area.    **    Skaneateles cabinetmaker Spencer Parson builds a house on East Genesee Street, next to the original First Presbyterian Church.    **    A religious revival movement sweeps across the central and western part of the state.

The Colored Methodist Society, the city's first African-American congregation is founded. Its church, St. Luke’s AME, will be renamed Durham Memorial AME Zion Church, after its second pastor the Reverend Henry Durham.    **    The approximate date Benjamin Rathbun sells the Eagle Tavern and its building to Isaac R. Harrington.

Farmer Ezra Amadon moves to a different lot, begins a new farm.    **    Brothers James and Charles McGlashen build a large hotel and store.    **    William Hollister, Jr. arrives from Granville, Vermont, soon builds a tannery and opens a shoe shop.

The brick Methodist Church is built on land donated by Ebenezer Sutherland on the western block of Lincoln Avenue.    **    After spending some time in New Orleans, Louisiana, local doctor Hartwell Carver goes to London, England, to study more medical techniques then travels through more of Europe. He will return to Pittsford in 1853 and resume his medical practice.

The new public market opens on the city's west side. The east side's Market Street is renamed Clyde Street.    **     Charles J. Hill begins a milling operation in the stone mill on Water Street.    **    Loud and Peck's Western Almanack contains a piece arguing against "ardent spirits". Everard Peck begins publishing his Temperance Almanac, devoted to the promotion of temperance.    **    Property at 13th South Fitzhugh Street is deeded to the school district.    **    Former South Carolinian John Chattin and his New Jersey-born wife Elizabeth buy 55 acres of land in Brighton  for $660, to start a farm.    **    The three Presbyterian churches sponsor a Charles Grandison Finney religious revival meeting in the city.    **    Edward Bush opens an inn and tavern on West Henrietta Road. Much later it will become the Cartwright Inn.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Corn Hill Walking Tour

New Year’s Day Tradition Remembered in Corn Hill

(Corn Hill, Rochester, New York – December 7)  “Memories of a New Year’s Day” will be performed in Corn Hill on Thursday December 29 at 7:00 p.m.  This walking tour, beginning at Ralph Avery Mall at the foot of Frederick Douglass Street between Plymouth Avenue and Adams Street, uses songs, readings and stories about the old Third Ward, as the neighborhood was known before it acquired the Corn Hill name.

Historical Third Ward figures represented during the hour-long presentation include Katherine Rochester Montgomery, Virginia Jeffrey Smith, Charles Mulford Robinson, Samuel Hopkins Adams, and a curious person known only as “A Bachelor.” Corn Hill historian Jim DeVinney serves as narrator.

The free tour, which premiered last year, is inspired by a chapter in Adams’ book Grandfather Stories. A popular journalist and author during the first half of the 19th Century, Adams’ father was pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church that once stood at the corner of Plymouth and Troup Street. Grandfather had been an official in the early days of the Erie Canal.

In the story, Adams describes how he and his cousins visited a series of open houses that took place on New Year’s Day in the famous Ruffled Shirt District, especially at homes with daughters of a marketable age. The boys were too young to be interested in anyone’s daughters but they were eager to sample the wonderful food served on this occasion. Before the day is done, they experience both adventure and misadventure.

The tour provides stories that are humorous, nostalgic and, in one case tragic, as it defines the rise and fall of the Third Ward and its rebirth as Corn Hill. Performers include Ira Srole, Sally J. Millick, Katrina Grbesic, Kevin Petrichick and Shawn Gray.

James A. DeVinney has been Corn Hill’s historian for the past two years. In that capacity, he leads tours through the historic neighborhood and writes a monthly column for the Corn Hill Gazette. Before he retired, he was a TV producer and filmmaker, earning four television Emmys, four Peabodys, an Academy Award nomination, and numerous journalism awards.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

St. John Fisher Book Launch - Lockport Centered Novel

Michael McCarthy will be launching his new book, The Children of Michigan Street on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Wilson Formal Lounge on the St. John Fisher College campus. The public is invited to this meet and greet, book-signing event. 
This book is Mike’s third historical novel about a first generation Irish-American growing up in the Western New York town of Lockport in the 1840’s and 50’s. While his Irish born parents are assimilating into their New World, their eldest son is watching his nation of birth move toward civil war.  This compelling story of loyalty, values, and the spirit of adventure clash with the realities of division, contempt and forgiveness.
I hope to see you there!

Michael E. McCarthy  
From Cork to the New World: A Journey for Survival (2009)
The Flight of the Wretched: A Journey to the New World (2011)
The Children of Michigan Street (2016)
President - Irish American Cultural Institute, Rochester Chapter 

Member - Ancient Order of Hibernians 
Advisory Board Irish Studies Program  St. John Fisher College

Monday, September 12, 2016

Port Byron Canal Site Opening

For Immediate Release: 9/12/2016
Contact: Shane Mahar | shane.mahar@thruway.ny.gov 
Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300
First of its Kind Project Promotes Tourism on the Historic Erie Canal
The New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation today announced the completion of the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park, an attraction for Erie Canal enthusiasts and upstate tourists interested in the history of the Canal and its impact on the economic and commercial development of both New York and the United States.
As part of Governor Cuomo’s “Path Through History” initiative and developed in conjunction with the Canal Society of New York State, the $9.6 million park is the first facility of its kind to offer access directly from the New York State Thruway to a historic site. Visitors can enter the park directly from the eastbound Thruway (I-90) at milepost 308.7 between exits 41 (Waterloo – Clyde – NY Route 414) and 40 (Weedsport - Auburn – NY Route 34), or from NY Route 31 in the Village of Port Byron. Due to the facility’s separate entrance points, visitors will not be able to access the Thruway directly from the Route 31 parking lot and vice versa.
“Governor Cuomo is demonstrating again his commitment to fueling tourism and regional economies in Central New York,” said Thruway Authority Board of Directors Chair and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “The newly constructed Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park is a result of the collaborative efforts between state and local affiliates and will attract tourists and locals alike to experience the history of the Erie Canal firsthand.”
“This project is a shining example of the fostered cooperation we have cultivated between the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation,” saidThruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch. “The Thruway provides access to historic communities throughout upstate New York for millions of motorists each year, and the new Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park gives visitors a chance to experience the rich history of New York State and the Erie Canal by simply pulling off the Thruway.”
The park gives visitors an authentic glimpse into life on the Erie Canal in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Key historical elements include the enlarged Erie Canal Lock 52 and the Erie House Complex, which dates back to 1895 and includes the Erie House Tavern and Hotel, a mule barn, and blacksmith shop. Guided tours provided by the Canal Society of NY, allow visitors a first-hand experience to the facility’s historic structures. The newly constructed Visitor’s Center which is operated by the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council offers interactive displays and educational materials. For example, a model lock featured in New York State’s exhibit at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 is a centerpiece in the facility.
“The Thruway and Erie Canal have been major economic drivers for New York, both commercially and recreationally, for decades,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “With the Canal system spurring hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism-based economic activity each year, it’s clear that people want to experience its history and this park is the perfect way tell those stories.”
“Every day, more and more people are coming to appreciate that New York’s culture and heritage is intimately connected to the development of the Canal system,” said Canal Society of New York State President Kal Wysokowski. The Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park is the culmination of 20 years of work on behalf of the Canal Society and became a reality because of our strong relationship with the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, and we are very proud to now have a place where visitors can reach out and touch history with their hand.”
The entire project was completed by New York contractors and in a three phase sequence. Phase one, completed by Cold Springs Inc. of Akron, NY, included site work, installation of ramps and the parking area. Phase two consisted of the rehabilitation and restoration of various structures and was completed by Bouley Associates of Auburn, NY. The project’s final phase which involved the construction of the new Visitor’s Center with access off the Thruway and Route 31 was completed by Bette & Cring, LLC of Latham, NY. 
“The Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation have given travelers the opportunity to glimpse into a dynamic aspect of New York’s transportation history and we are very proud to have been a part of it,” said President of Bette & Cring Construction Group Peter Bette.
Work completed includes ramps to and from the eastbound New York State Thruway, a parking area, paved trails connecting the parking lot with the historic lock, as well as informational signage. Numerous on-site buildings have been rehabilitated, including the historic Erie House and a newly constructed parking lot accessible from Route 31. Visitors can access historical information at the new Visitor’s Center and walk the grounds on the newly connected park trails. Facility hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.  
“We are proud to be a part of the opening of the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron, and excited to welcome in an attraction that promotes and honors the historical significance of the Erie Canal,” said Mike Linehan, Board Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council. “This is a great new attraction for the Finger Lakes Region, and the FLRTC is honored to be a part of this project in partnership with the New York Canal Society and the New York State Thruway Authority.”
Originally conceived by the Canal Society of New York State, the project has come to life with the support and direction of Governor Cuomo, the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

9/9 Camp Cornplanter program by David Mack Hardiman

Friday, Sept. 9, 2016—4-5:30pm
“The Magic Fire: The Story of Camp Cornplanter” by David Mack Hardiman
The Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main St. Buffalo NY

Join us for this look back at possibilities, friendships and memories that flowed
from one of America’s first summer camps for the developmentally disabled.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ariel Standish Thurston: The Boy with the Awkward Mouth


Ariel Standish Thurston: The Boy with the Awkward Mouth

by Nan Clarke

On October 4, 1829, a resident of Bombay, India, penned the following in a letter to her sister in New York State:
“I read over your letter; you say much about our dear Brother. Poor boy: I do pity him; but I hope his mother’s prayers, & his sisters’ prayers, will all be answered. When he was not 10 minutes of age, he was in my arms, & I was alone in the room, over a bed of fire-coals. I prayed that his life might be spared, his soul washed in the Lamb’s blood, & he at last wear a crown of glory. So did his dear mother pray, in that hour. For the sake of Jesus may every prayer in his behalf be heard, & answered. I thought, at his birth, the little boy had an awkward mouth, it was so very large. Then I thought it might be that he may speak forth more, to the praise of Jesus. Poor dear boy! Shall he, that child of prayer, live without prayer to God! Shall he go down to the dark pit, with all the light which the blessed example of his beloved mother, to the hour of her death, shed, all round! He beheld that example! He heard her dying prayer for him! & then she bade the world, adieu! Jesus is still mighty to save! His spirit is still powerful! That brother is our only dear brother. Our mother’s emotions on the birth of her first-born son, tho’ her last child, were more than ordinary. Her prayers for his salvation were many & constant, I am sure, till the hour of her death. Tell the dear boy, if he dies without God for his God and friend, these prayers––O how much lower will they sink him in the dark depths of endless woe.”
The Bombay resident was Philomela Thurston Newell Garrett, a member of America’s first foreign mission, which had been established in Bombay in 1813. Daughter of a New Hampshire farmer, and the eldest of his five living children, Philomela had left her family in 1817 and sailed to Bombay to marry Samuel Newell, a missionary whom she had never met. Newell was one of the first five men to leave American shores intending to convert India’s “heathen Hindoo” to Christianity. He died in 1821, and a year later Philomela married James Garrett, the mission’s printer.
All the mission’s members had vowed to spend their lives in India. No one ever returned home, even for a visit, without a physician’s certification that continuing to remain in India meant certain death. Indeed, the harsh climate and the diseases that it fostered often proved fatal to Americans and Europeans.  
When she wrote the letter, Philomela had not seen her family in 12 years. Since letters took months to travel to the other side of the world, she had no way of knowing for certain where her sister was. But the Thurstons were a close-knit family, and communicated as best they could. 
The recipient of the letter was Clarissa Thurston, a 28-year-old teacher who had devoted her life to female education. Convinced that girls and young women should have the same scholastic opportunities as their male counterparts, Clarissa left her innovative mark up and down the East Coast as both principal and teacher in academies for “young ladies” in six states. At the time of Philomela’s letter, she was probably in Prattsburg or Lyons, both within 80 miles of Elmira.
The “dear Brother” with the awkward mouth was Ariel, the youngest of the Thurston children. Born on June 11, 1810 in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Ariel grew up in a family deeply impacted by the Second Great Awakening. This massive religious revival encompassed the first half of the nineteenth century, spreading the teachings of evangelical Christianity throughout the eastern United States. At its core was the unshakeable conviction that those who rejected Jesus’ offer of salvation were doomed to burn eternally in the fires of hell. Ariel’s father, Stephen, served as a deacon and elder in the local Presbyterian church, and he organized both the first Sunday school and the first temperance union in Bedford, New Hampshire, when the family moved there after 1810. Ariel’s mother, also named Philomela, was the sister of two pastors of Congregational churches in Massachusetts. So it is no surprise that Philomela joined a mission, or that Clarissa included a healthy dose of religious instruction in her schools.  
But did Ariel follow the same spiritual path as the other family members? Clearly his sisters feared for the state of his soul. Was Ariel truly headed for the “dark pit”?
The letter from Clarissa prompting Philomela’s concern was written from Lyons on January 7, 1829. At that time Ariel was a student at Amherst College in western Massachusetts, having attended Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire, from 1826 to 1828. Amherst was founded in 1821 as “an institution of higher learning for the education of indigent young men of piety and talents for the Christian ministry.”   
But if Ariel entered Amherst intending to save souls after graduation, his plans soon changed. He left the school in 1829, and at the urging of his friend Alexander S. Diven moved to Elmira in 1830, where he began to study law under Judge Hiram Gray. 
Years later Diven spoke of the bond the two shared as “poor boys. … He [was dependent] upon his sister [Clarissa], that sainted little woman. … We met in early life as students, relying upon our own resources. … We had to fight our own way, and when our funds ran out he went home with me to my father’s farm. We succeeded in earning enough to pay $1 a week for our board.”
Over the next few years Ariel continued to study law under Judge Gray, where, “as in school, he was noted as a thorough, industrious student and a deep thinker.” While still under Judge Gray’s tutelage, he taught school in Elmira for a time, and became principal of an academy in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 1835 he was admitted to practice before the  New York City Supreme Court, and he practiced law in that city for a short time. Returning to Elmira in 1836, he married Julia Clark Hart, daughter of the well-known and beloved local physician Dr. Erastus L. Hart.
During the next ten years, Ariel built his law practice in partnership with John Wisner, fathered three children (one of whom died in infancy), became a widower, and remarried. With his second wife, Cornelia Sophia Hull, he had five more children from 1847 to 1863. All these children lived to adulthood except William, who died in 1861 at age 14. 
By the mid-1850s Ariel had assembled a lengthy resume that included a  thriving practice, an interest in local and state politics, and a commitment to community service. In 1847 he was appointed to the Chemung Corresponding Committee at the state Democratic Convention. In 1850 he was elected to serve as Chemung County judge and surrogate, and remained in that position for five years. Also in 1850, he ran unopposed for the local post of First District supervisor. The year 1855 brought a failed bid for state treasurer, and in both 1856 and 1857 he ran unsuccessfully for the office of canal commissioner.  
In the following year, Ariel and two other men obtained funds from the state legislature for the establishment of Woodlawn Cemetery, and in 1859 the Governor appointed him to a three-year term as a state assessor and member of the Board of Equalization, overseeing real estate tax assessment. Also that year he was elected to Elmira’s first Board of Education, and reelected in 1860. 
When the Board of Supervisors decided that the county needed a new courthouse, Ariel was appointed to a commission to oversee the project. The work was done under budget, and the new building was completed and ready for use in 1862. Located on Lake Street, it still serves this purpose more than 150 years later. 
The year 1871 brought an appointment of a similar nature, this time for the construction of a new jail. Charges of corruption during the bidding and nonconformity to the contract specifications had plagued the process from the beginning, and it was up to Ariel and the other commissioners to straighten out the mess. They were evidently successful; when the building was completed the work was pronounced “well done.”
As the result of another political appointment, in 1876 Ariel became a member of the Board of Managers of the new State Reformatory, located where the Elmira Correctional Facility is today. This innovative prison focused on rehabilitation and vocational training rather than on punishment. The following year he was named secretary and treasurer of the board.  
Ariel was a charter member of the Chemung Valley Historical Society when it formed in 1876, serving as its vice president for a number of years. And when the need to revise the state tax code became evident, he was appointed to that commission in 1878. The following year he became both secretary and a trustee of the Newtown Monument Association, and in 1885 he was elected president of the first national gathering of Thurstons, held at Newburyport, Massachusetts. Shortly before his death he was an honorary manager of the Arnot-Ogden Memorial Hospital Board of Managers.
But it was Ariel’s ardent abolitionist views that led him to make his most distinctive contributions to his community. Although he maintained a lucrative law practice and close ties to Elmira’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens, he also befriended and aided the town’s most destitute and helpless residents––the runaway slaves who sought refuge there. 
Through Ariel’s assistance and influence, one such individual, John W. Jones, received housing, education, and employment. Jones had arrived in Elmira in 1844. By 1850 he was living at Clarissa’s Female Seminary on Main Street, and working there as a laborer. Accounts of his education vary, but all credit Ariel with recognizing Jones’ innate potential. There is some evidence that Jones was educated in a private school run by Hugh Riddle, a boarder in Ariel’s home, and that another pupil named Loop was especially helpful in teaching Jones to read and write. Other sources indicate that he was a pupil in Clarissa’s school. If that is true, he was probably the only male student, and the only black student, in the history of the school.
Over the years Ariel devoted both time and money to aid the runaways, and in 1853 he risked his career by openly defying the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, a federal law that required authorities in free states to return fugitive slaves to their masters. The law also specified that local courts could not adjudicate a person’s status as a slave or a free man, and it subjected northerners aiding runaways to fines and imprisonment.  
When a slave from Missouri named Juda Barber came before Ariel’s court, she testified that her owner, Mr. Barber, had hired her out to a Mrs. Warner. Juda had accompanied Mrs. Warner on a visit to her relatives in Horseheads, New York, and at some point she decided that she wanted to be free and to remain in Elmira. In a bold ruling, Ariel granted Juda her freedom.
During his time as Chemung County Judge, Ariel was a member of the Democratic Party, but as the debate over slavery intensified, he found his own abolitionist leanings more in line with the views of the newly formed Republican Party. Consequently he was one of the “prominent politicians” who in 1856 attended a state convention of Democrats desiring to unite with the Republican Party. He was elected to the office of vice president of that convention, and in the same year he changed his party affiliation to that of Mr. Lincoln’s supporters.   
Also in 1856, Ariel and other abolitionists attempted to purchase the Elmira Gazette, a Democratic newspaper that was up for sale. They had hoped to turn it into a Republican paper, but a group of Democrats bought it instead.
As the war approached, some members of Elmira’s First Presbyterian Church left to form  a new church now known as Lake Street Presbyterian Church. The primary motivation for the split was discontent with First Presbyterian’s position on slavery. The Lake Street group included a number of abolitionists, and Ariel was in the first group of trustees elected. He remained a member of the church until his death.
In spite of his prominence in the community, Ariel maintained a simple lifestyle. During the 1850s he lived at 411 Lake Street, in a little frame house, modest but cheerful, valued at $4,000. Opulent Victorian mansions housed most of his neighbors, but a mulatto barber and his family lived next door. Their property was valued at $1,800.
By 1870, having been widowed a second time, Ariel had married Georgianna Gibson, and they had moved into a somewhat larger frame house located at 413 North Main Street. This house was on the site of Clarissa’s former school, which had been closed a few years earlier. The home was not pretentious, but it was comfortable and equipped with a large and well-selected library. The household included Clarissa, several of Ariel’s children, his stepmother, some other relatives by marriage, three Irish servants, and a group of eight people who were probably boarders.   
Ariel appeared to handle his finances wisely, accumulating wealth and indulging in few if any extravagances. His investments in real estate included a 50-acre farm, another property of about 200 acres, and a city block, sold to him by Clarissa, directly north of the Second Street Cemetery. His law office was on Lake Street near the courthouse. Neighboring businesses were unpretentious. They included a barber shop, a furniture factory, a saloon, and a tobacco store.  
But arguably Ariel’s greatest wealth was to be found in his intellect. Describing his voracious passion for acquiring knowledge, he said, “When I learn that one of my ancestors was a soldier in … Sullivan’s campaign against the Six Nations, I do not rest satisfied till I have informed myself in regard to all events within my reach touching the main incidents of … that campaign. Thus I learn history.” And thus he learned whatever subject piqued his insatiable curiosity.  
Genealogy was one such subject. Ariel collected wills and other records, and he traveled to England to learn what he could about the family there. As a direct descendant of Miles Standish, he was especially interested in that line. 
Literature, particularly poetry, was another of Ariel’s passions. A classical scholar, he memorized poetry and was fond of quoting it. He also enjoyed writing it, and he occasionally presented his poems in book form as gifts to his friends. At age 80 he published A Birthday Souvenir, containing such poems as “Wild Roses,” “To Augustus,” and a hymn sung at the dedication of his church. 
Combining several of his interests, in 1876 Ariel published “A Paraphrase of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Poem, Entitled the Courtship of Miles Standish.” Convinced that Longfellow’s poem contained erroneous information about the Standish family, Ariel rewrote it in verse form, making what he believed to be necessary corrections. He sent a copy to Longfellow, who was singularly unimpressed. Writing to his friend George Washington Greene, Longfellow described Ariel as “a foolish man in Elmira” whose paraphrase “consists in altering the lines enough to make them rhyme!” Longfellow added, “I suggested to him that perhaps he might have employed his time and talent more profitably in writing an original work.”
Ariel continued to practice law and pursue his wide-ranging interests until his death, which occurred unexpectedly while he was visiting his granddaughter Julia Gayley in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He died of a broken neck, sustained in a fall down the stairs, during the early morning hours of September 23, 1894. He was 84. Today the Thurston family plot at Woodlawn contains a monument to Ariel as well as the graves of his first two wives, several of his children, and their spouses.  
In his will Ariel left most of his property to his children and grandchildren. The totality of his bequest to his wife, Georgianna, was a book, his portion of another book that they owned jointly, the “bed now occupied by her,” other bedroom furnishings, and the lounge in the front parlor. 
A few days after his death, the Chemung County Bar met to “bear testimony to the exalted worth of the departed … jurist.” One by one, attorneys and judges spoke of Ariel’s “sterling integrity.” He was a man with “one of the best hearts, … always cheery and pleasant. … Among the older members of the bar he was the most active and able.” He had the “least enemies among the profession.”  He was “a lover of wisdom. Within the last twelvemonth he was … endeavoring to discover authorities by which he could solve the mooted questions that agitated the … philosophers of ancient Greece.” 
The boy with the awkward mouth had clearly grown into a man of words. They were essential to his professional success and his enjoyment of life. Yet Ariel is primarily remembered as a man of action with an exhaustive list of personal accomplishments and civic contributions. 
But with all the good that he did, there is no solid evidence that he fit his sisters’ definition of a Christian, or that he worried about the “dark pit.” It may be that he viewed his church membership as a civic activity rather than a source of spiritual nourishment. And it may be that Ariel simply believed that he served God––and earned  his place in heaven––by serving man.  

 Philomela Garrett to Clarissa Thurston, private collection.
 Brown Thurston, comp., 1635-1892 Thurston Genealogies, 2nd ed. (Portland, ME: Brown Thurston, 1892. Facsimile ed., Rutland, VT: Tuttle Antiquarian Books), 84.
 Ibid., 175. 
 “A History of Amherst College,”  accessed June 19, 2011,  https://www.amherst.edu/aboutamherst/facts/history.
 W. L. Montague, ed., Biographical Record of the Alumni of Amherst College, during Its First Half Century 1821-1871 (Amherst, MA: n.p., 1883),     HYPERLINK "http://ia600409.us.archive.org/27/items/cu31924092694680/cu31924092694680.pdf" http://ia600409.us.archive.org/27/items/cu31924092694680/cu31924092694680.pdf. See also Thurston, 1635-1892 Thurston Genealogies, 175.
 Ausburn Towner, Our County and Its People: A History of the Valley and County of Chemung from the Closing Years of the Eighteenth Century (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1892), 131,       http://ia600400.us.archive.org/12/items/cu31924025959192/cu31924025959192.pdf.
  “A Thurston Memorial,” Elmira Telegram, September 30, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.   
 “Ariel S. Thurston: The Death of One of Elmira’s Foremost Citizens,” Elmira Daily Gazette and Free Press, September 24, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.   
 “Ariel S. Thurston,” Elmira Daily Gazette, September 24, 1894.   
 Thurston, 1635-1892 Thurston Genealogies, 175-76. 
 “Committee of Correspondence,” Elmira Gazette, November 25, 1847.
 H.B. Peirce and D. Hamilton Hurd, History of Chemung County New York; with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1879; facsimile ed., Ovid, NY: W.E. Morrison & Co., 1981), 59.
 “The Charter Election,” Republican, May 10, 1850.
 Peirce and Hurd, History of Chemung County, 59.
 “Ariel S. Thurston,” Elmira Daily Gazette, September 24, 1894.   
 Peirce and Hurd, History of Chemung County, 120.
 E.O. Jameson, “Necrology of the New England Historic Genealogical Society,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 49 (January 1895): 90-91,    HYPERLINK "http://books.google.com/books/download/The_New_England_historical_and_genealogi.pdf?id=zsYMAAAAYAAJ&hl=en&capid=AFLRE72DFQOaEwzPudnCEMlzqt9lE2rbyY25noYFT39_Nbn6zXCg47UNq-hE6PjeOxwkELjFHhq4PjyBDZdfdehZbsgj2izhIQ&continue=http://books.google.com/books/download/The_New_England_historical_and_genealogi.pdf%3Fid%3DzsYMAAAAYAAJ%26output%3Dpdf%26hl%3Den" http://books.google.com/books/download/The_New_England_historical_and_genealogi.pdf?id=zsYMAAAAYAAJ&hl=en&capid=AFLRE72DFQOaEwzPudnCEMlzqt9lE2rbyY25noYFT39_Nbn6zXCg47UNq-hE6PjeOxwkELjFHhq4PjyBDZdfdehZbsgj2izhIQ&continue=http://books.google.com/books/download/The_New_England_historical_and_genealogi.pdf%3Fid%3DzsYMAAAAYAAJ%26output%3Dpdf%26hl%3Den.                        
 “The Real Founder of Our Fine Schools,” July 4, 1909, Chemung County Historical Society, Elmira, NY.
 Peirce and Hurd, History of Chemung County, 38.
 Peirce and Hurd, History of Chemung County, 39.
 Ibid., 45-47.
 Ibid., 76.
 “Reform in Taxation,” Syracuse Daily Courier, April 23, 1878,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html
 “Monuments, Markers and Boulders in This Vicinity, Erected in Honor of the Sullivan Expedition,” Waverly Free Press and Tioga County Record, August 30, 1912, HYPERLINK "../../Downloads/www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html"www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html
  Brown Thurston, The Doings at the First National Gathering of Thurstons, Newburyport, Mass. (Portland, ME: Brown Thurston, 1885), 5,          http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/FH31&CISOPTR=68604.
 “Hospital Report,” Elmira Daily Gazette and Free Press, October 18, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.
 1850 US Census, Town of Elmira, NY, 202, Dwelling 159, Family 170, Line 15.
 Abner C. Wright, “Underground Railroad Activities in Elmira,” Chemung Historical Journal (September 1968): 1756.
 “Underground Railroad: Route to Freedom,” Elmira Sunday Telegram, March 8, 1961, quoted in Chemung Historical Journal (June 1961): 863. 
 “Eric Foner on the Fugitive Slave Act,” PBS Online, accessed July 2, 2011,      HYPERLINK "http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4i3094.html" www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4i3094.html.
 “Underground Railroad Series: Abolitionists in Elmira,” Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice, accessed July 2, 2011,  HYPERLINK "http://www.joycetice.com/undergrou/ckfeb04.htm" www.joycetice.com/undergrou/ckfeb04.htm
 “Convention of Republican Democrats,” New York Daily Tribune, July 25, 1856,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html
 Peirce and Hurd, History of Chemung County, 59.
 Ibid., 70.
 “Lake Street Presbyterian Church,” AE Monthly, accessed July 2, 2011,          http://www.americanaexchange.com/AE/aemonthly/aemonthlyarticledetail.aspx?f=2&page=1&articleid=92&month=10&year=2003&type=articles.
 “The Thurston Homestead,” Elmira Telegram, March 25, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.
 1855 New York State Census, Town of Elmira, NY, First Election District, Dwelling 487, Family 526, Line 32.
 “Judge Thurston’s Home,” Elmira Telegram, February 4, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.
 1870 US Census, City of Elmira, NY, 23, Dwelling 145, Family 163-65, Line 9.
 “Obituary,” New York Sun, September 24, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.
 Ariel Thurston, will dated February 13, 1894, proved October 29, 1894, Chemung County Surrogate’s Court, Elmira, NY.
 Erastus P. and Eliza Hart to Ariel S. Thurston, deed dated July 23, 1853, recorded July 25, 1853, Chemung County, NY. 
 Clarissa Thurston to Ariel S. Thurston, deed dated April 12, 1853, recorded April 21, 1853, Chemung County, NY.
 “Disastrous Fire in Elmira,” Baldwinsville Gazette and Farmer’s Journal, February 23, 1888,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.
 Thurston, 1635-1892 Thurston Genealogies, xiii. 
 Ibid., 175. 
 “A Thurston Memorial,” Elmira Telegram, September 30, 1894,  HYPERLINK "http://www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.   
 Thurston to Longfellow, September 7, 1876, Archives, Family Papers, Box 2, Item 29, Longfellow House, Cambridge, MA.
 Longfellow to Greene, September 10, 1876, in The Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Andrew Hilen (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1982), 6:175.
 “Ariel S. Thurston,” Elmira Daily Gazette, September 24, 1894.
 Ariel S. Thurston, will dated February 13, 1894, proved October 29, 1894, Chemung County Surrogate’s Court, Elmira, NY.
 “A Thurston Memorial,” Elmira Telegram, September 30, 1894,  HYPERLINK "www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html" www.fultonhistory.com/fulton.html.                                                 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Previous (7/26/2016) Set from Richard Palmer

Junnction Canal in Chemung, Anthracite Coal Arrives in Elmira, North Branch Log

Semi-Weekly Courier and New York Enquirer
April 5, 1853

    The laborers on the Junction Canal in Chemung, N.Y., a few days since stuck a placer of skulls, supposed to be those of the red man of the forest, who were sadly routed by Sullivan and his party in this valley. Besides the skulls, other relics of the Revolution were found.

Elmira Advertiser
November 18, 1856

First Arrival of Anthracite Coal at Elmira,
        From the Wyoming Valley
         Celebration of the Event.
    Yesterday afternoon,  at 1 o’clock, the first boat load of Pittston Coal arrive at our village, over the Junction Canal. An event of so much importance to the business interests of Elmira, as a matter of course, was not permitted to pass by without some manifestation of public joy.
    Accordingly, at 2 o’clock, a large procession of citizens - including the entire Board of Supervisors - was formed opposite Haight’s Hotel, and proceeded by Wisner’s Band, marched to Tuthill’s Mill, where they found the boat, Towanda, Capt. May, freighted with fifty tons of anthracite coal, direct from the Pittston mines. 
    Among those from a distance that were noised in the procession, Charles Minot, Esq., late General Superintendent of the New York and Erie Railroad; Senator Hall, of Hornellsville; Hollis White, Esq., of Niagara Falls; C.C.B. Walker, Esq., of Corning; Col. Overton, Collector of Tolls at Athens, Pa.; John Richards, Esq., and Capt. May, of Pittston.
    As many persons as could conveniently get on the boat boarded her at once, and she proceeded amidst the firing of cannon, to the Clinton street lock, where Col. S.G. Hathaway was called out and made a brief but eloquent speech, welcoming the offices of the boat, and congratulating our citizens, as well as those of our sister State of Pennsylvania, upon the important event they had met to celebrate - the final completion an successful navigation of the North Branch and Junction - an event which promises to open a vast trade between the two great States, and yield largely to their resources.
    At the conclusion of the Colonel’s speech, cheers were given for the speaker, the Superintendents of the North Branch and Junction Canal, John Arnot Esq., Messrs. Maffit, Shearer and Capt. May.
    The boat then proceeded on to the Canal Basin, where Mr. Richards, of Pittston, was loudly called for and responded in a few appropriate remarks. After which the procession again formed and returned to Haight’s Hotel, and there dispersed.
    The North Branch Canal was commence in 1828, at Northumberland and completed as far as Nanticoke, a distance of fifty-six miles, in 1830. Sixteen miles more, extending from Nanticoke to the mouth of the Lackawanna, were put under contract in  1830 and completed in 1834. Every foot of these sixteen miles is within the Wyoming coal basin, the greatest known anthracite coal field in the world. Prof. Silliman estimated its contents at twenty to thousand millions of tons. Other competent geologists, afar extended and careful explorations, and making a reduction of one quarter for loss, place it at nine thousand and sixty millions of tons.
    By the completion of the extension of the North Branch Canal from the mouth of the Lackawanna to the State line, a distance of 94 miles, and of the Junction Canal from the State line to this place a distance of 18 miles, the whole of this immense deposit is now brought into navigable communication with the entire network of canals that traverse this State, thus ultimately offering the very best and the least expensive mans of supplying the whole of Western New York, and the west generally, with this valuable mineral. We say ultimately, because the advantages of this connection cannot be fully developed till the enlargement of the Chemung Canal is effect; a measure that should urgently be pressed pun the attention of the Legislature at its com in session.
    At Towanda, thirty-three miles below this, the North Branch Canal receives the coal, brought to it by a railroad sixteen mils in length, extending to the Barclay bituminous coal field, a deposit of not less than twenty millions of tons of bituminous coal, of treaty purity, and and of unsurpassed excellence for the smithshop, and for the puddling furnace.
   These deposits must eventually furnish an immense tonnage for the Junction Canal, in the success of which all our citizens have a deep interest, and which owes its existence to the enterprise and public spirit of a few capitalists, prominent among them is our respected townsman, Mr. Arnot, and Mr. Hollenbeck, of Wilkes Barre, Pa.
    The revolution that may be wrought in the course of trade, by the connection now effected, cannot, at this time, be fully appreciated. That it must be extensive and important is apparent when it is considered that Montezuma, by this connection, is brought by canal navigation, as new to Philadelphia as to New York, we are, by the Junction, the North Branch an Pennsylvania canals, but 300 miles from Philadelphia, the navigation of which will commence two weeks earlier, and close two weeks later than will those of our own State.

Pittston Gazette
Friday, November 18, 1856
      Correspondence of the Pittston Gazette.
Taken from notes of a Log Book on the
 First Trip via North Branch Extension
(From log kept by John Richards Jr., a passenger)

                               Elmira, Nov. 20, 1856.
    Mr. Richart: Dear Sir: - Tuesday morning (Nov. 11,) before daylight two boats loaded each with twenty-five ons of Pittston Coal left the outlet lock, bound for the farthest point of navigation up the North Branch Canal, and, if possible, to Elmira. It was soon discovered that we should breast no “lofty surge,” but, instead, about twenty-five inches of water; the berme and tow-path, like Scylia and Charybdis, staring at the marines from either side, between which it was necessary to steer with the utmost care.
    This depth of water increased gradually in our progress when we reached McKune’s lock, three miles about Buttermilk Falls, at midnight, a distance of 14 miles of the Canal, being delayed some hours, and separated from the other half of the “Fleet” by breaks in the Harris narrows. We wish here to thank Mr. Elliot for his kindness and attention, without whose aid we should have have been stranded.
    At McKune’s the water was nearly three feet. From this, we passed smoothly along to Tunkhannock aqueduct, on Wednesday, whee to our surprise we were greeted by the Band of that place, followed by a procession of people, and coming on deck the band struck up a martial air, which seemed to send inspiration into those showy and ever lasting hills of Tunkhannock - looking down upon us - echoing and re-echoing and cheering on the programs of the first boat through their mist via the North Branch Canal.
    Being law in the season - the old story - the old promise of the completion of the Canal, so long listened to, but so often broken to the hope - “the sixth age” about “shifting into the last scene of all” the sight of a boat freighted coal, floating up the channel, inspired an irresistible feeling of gratification, and I heard a man with gray hairs say “Well I have lived to see a loaded boat come up the North Branch Canal!”
    Our Boat went on the same night around that wild Horse Neck to the Dam. Next day, Thursday, we passed the slack water, the village of Meshoppen, Skinner’s Eddy to Laceyville, where we were presented with the “Stars and Stripes.” At night we brought up at the long town of Browntown, and waited patiently the arrival of the rest of the “Fleet,” from which we had been so long separated, and which might have been, for anything we knew, shipwrecked or the horse knocked down.We could, for depth of water, have unloaded one boat into the other at Tunkhannock. The 
    The night wore off, and the East was turning gray before the Chesapeake hove in sight - moving   towards more like a ghost than anything else; and indeed she was ominous like a ghost, for she brought a sudden reversal of my good fortune. It as necessary to unload her cargo into the rival boat just now overtaken. The Captain of the pioneer boat impatient of delay and an advancing rival - the other obstinate as though it as a virtue - the Mules pleased with the exhibition of so much obstinacy, their favorite quality - with all this the day breaking in the East betokened nothing pleasant - the common lot of all explores!!
    For a time no commands, no appeal, no threats, no entreaties availed; but at last the unloading was effected, and the pioneer boat, Tonawanda, set sail once more in four feet of water, winding through the rich flats of Wyalusing, where the people came out to greet us with a cannon’s fire and its rolling echo. They placed the cannon on our deck, and we made it answer back our thank for their kind welcome. This cannon we took with us to Elmira.
    Passing along the Terrytown narrows we fired over to the resounding shore to give some of the people of that place an opportunity to reverse their long declared opinion on the impossibility of navigating the North Branch Canal. All went on smoothly with the exception of the lock-tender at lock No. 12, - growing old in the service, - who, in his anxiety to lock the first boat through in style, had put across the lock a temporary bridge, and nailing down all the boards but one, on which in crossing, by the”perverseness of matter,” he stepped, and fell some twelve or fourteen feet into the raging canal. But  his excited state of mind acknowledged no injury except pretty hard twist of the neck. - We passed on to Standing Stone Friday night, Mr. B. Laporte, Mr. Simon Stevens and others receiving complimentary shots from the deck.
    Next day, Saturday, we passed through the pleasant flatlands of Wysox - the canal in the finest order - occasionally rolling the cannon’s echo along the vales. I heard Mr. Rahn tell a lock-tender not to give us more than six feet of water. Here we wish to thank Mr. Rahn, (Sup’t of the upper half of the Canal, under Mr.Maffit,) fir his assistance, notwithstanding had taken no sleep for three nights previous. Soon the village of Towanda appeared in sight, the cannon announcing our approach. 
    On the burnt bridge, now under speedy repairs, a crowd had gathered to welcome us across the pool. Tying to two tow-lines one skiff, and shooting them over to the bridge, the crowd drew us in fine style to their hospitable shore. Declining any further demonstration which was offered, we went on to Tioga Point, the Packet Boat passing us at Ulster, and its Captain receiving a complimentary fire from our deck.
    The next day was the Sabbath. With an eye to the spiritual welfare of our crew, we hesitated about proceeding on that day; but as the good Clergy in that region, for the last 2 or 3 months, had recognized a political religious excitement we thought there might be such a thing as a North Branch Religion Extension feeling, and that a crew which had encouraged to navigate up a canal for years consigned by the general voice of the people along its whole length, to its grave, and placed with the list of projects never to be revived,- that such a crew was sound in the doctrine of a resurrection. In this frame of mind we passed silently and reverently along the beautiful country around Tioga Point, breaking the stillness of the sacred day by no cannon’s echo, - nothing save an occasional blast of the horn to warn a drowsy lock-tender of our approach.
    When we reached the residence of Mr. David Shearer (Sup’t of the Junction Canal), Capt. May sounded the horn with a true boatman’s cadence, and shortly Mr. Shearer came on deck in high glee, saying, “Ah, I knew that Juniata horn.” He was formerly engaged on the Juniata Canal, and for some years has been in this region “waiting for the moving of the waters” in the North Branch Canal - “As the mind is pitched the car is pleased,” and if any music ever fell pleasantly on the warm the sound of the Juniata horn awakened joy in his heart. 
    Monday morning we were one mile from Elmira, when we received word to stop and wait for a welcome. An extra was issued by the Daily Gazette, calling out the citizens to escort the first Boat Load of the Black Diamonds of Wyoming Valley into their city. Meanwhile our Boat was prepared with flags - the mules caparisoned, and true to their natures in compliment to such honor they presented the most indescribable indifference.
    At 2 o’clock a procession formed before Haight’s Hotel (a Hotel and a landlord not to be surpassed,) and led by Wisner’s Band, proceeded to the Boat filling the deck to overflowing. A gun manned and drawn by horses followed, shaking the air, and answered back by our gun, which was loaded by the citizens and fired off by cigars. The boat stopped at the Junction of the Chemung and Junction Canals, where Col. G.S. Hathaway, addressed the crowd in an eloquent speech, welcoming the Boat to their borders, as the harbinger of another tie of brotherhood, and another means of intercourse between the Keystone and Empire States, complimenting Mr. Maffit for his industry and perseverance. The boat passed on to the Basin, when the procession re-formed and returned to Haight’s Hotel, where cheers were given for Mr. Arnot, Mr. Hollenbeck, Mr. Maffit, Mr. Shearer, Wyoming Valley, and Capt. May. And the citizens of Elmira may be assured that such a welcome as they gave us will be gratefully remembered by the people of Wyoming Valley.
    So ends my Log Book. Grateful for escaping the dangers of a perilous navigation, and thankful for the welcome we received and to Mr. Maffit and his Superintendents, Messrs. Ellio and Rahn, I think of taking a farewell to Boating, and the first train of cars Home.
                                    Yours truly,             J.R.
   P.S. - Above Tunkhannock, the Canal is in fine order. Below to Pittston some repair is only necessary to make it, another season, capable of floating all Boats that can get into it. Below are the names of places and distances from Pittston to the State line, (as given in Maffit’s Report.)
                                                                      Distance from
Names of places                                             Pittston                              Place to place.

Saxs 3.75                                 3.75
Gardiner’s Ferry 5.40                         1.65
Buttermilk Falls       10.64                         5.24
Osterhouts                17.15                                 6.51
Tunkhnnock                                                        22.10                                4.95
Teague’s Eddy       25.06                                2.96
Hunt’s Ferry                                                       26.47                                1.41
Mehoopeny Ferry                                              33.30                                6.83
Black Walnut Bottom            41.00                                4.44
Skinner’s Eddy                                                   43.90                                2.90
Laceyville                                                            44.68                                  .78
Keeney’s Ferry                               46.95                                2.27
Browntown                                                         51.37                                4.42
Wyalusing                                                           54.43                                3.06
Terrytown                                                            56.15                               1.72
Homet’s Ferry                                                     59.75                               3.60
Rummerfield’s Creek                                         63.70                               3.95
Standing Stone               66.60                               2.90
Wysox                                                                   70.00                               3.40
Towanda                                                               74.65                              4.65
Smith’s Mill                                                          80.70                              6.05
Ulster                                                                     82.32                              1.62
Milan                                                                     86.80                              4.48
Athens                                                                   90.00                              3.20
State line (con. with
Junction Canal                                                     94.20                              4.20
Elmira Star Gazette
December 29, 1928

                              The Junction Canal
    The Junction Canal first organized in 1846, was constructed in 1853 and joined the Chemung Canal in 1854 at a point near the present location of East Washington Avenue and Baldwin Streets. The course  was eastward, passing on the south side of the present Lackawanna passenger station, to a point between Lake Street and Madison Avenue; across East Fifth Street to a large basin and dock on  Madison Avenue, about 200 feet north of East Clinton Street.
    The canal then passed eastward between the present large gas tank and the James Manufacturing Company’s plant, to Newtown Creek. The boats passed across the creek to the east bank of the stream and thence along the east bank of the Chemung River, a distance of about 18 miles to the State Line, near the former “Johnny Cake Hollow,” where it connected with the north branch of the Susquehanna Canal. 
    There were 11 locks and three dams in the 18 miles of construction. One lock was located a few feet east of Madison Avenue in Elmira.
                      Abandoned in 1873
    The canal was abandoned in 1873, when the locks and feeder dams were torn out. For many years afterward the old canal bed was partly filled with surface wage and the former William Jeffers saw mill on William Street used the old channel to float logs or the mill work.
    John C. Greves of the Chemung Canal Trust Company is the last surviving member of the board of directors of the Junction Canal Corporation, which was kept in existence many years after the canal was abandoned.
    Among the Elmirans who were boat owners and engaged in freight traffic on the old canal were: Henry C. Spaulding, Peter Morgan, Peter Bigs, George Hulbert, Henry M. Partridge, Isaac Baldwin, John Arnot, Sr., and several others.

    Another feature n the canal was a “packet” boat used for passenger service. All boats were hauled by horse or mule power.