Saturday, October 31, 2009


2009 Regional History Fair

10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Nov. 14th

Calvary St. Andrew’s Church

68 Ashland St., Rochester, NY 14620

10 a.m. Alan Illig, The Life of Heretic Algernon Crapsey.

11 a.m. Marjorie Searl, Artist George Haushalter

11:30 a.m. Valerie O’Hara, Stained Glass Art at CSA

1:00 p.m. Cynthia Howk, South Wedge History & Architecture

3:00 p.m. Virtual Tour of Mt. Hope Cemetery

Unique Local Vendors & Antique Appraisals All Day

Chili, soups and breads for sale, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Free Admission

Free parking at the Postler Jaeckle lot on South Avenue at Averill Avenue

Proceeds benefit CSA art restoration fund

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WESTERN / CENTRAL New York timeline / 1785-1787


Jan 30

Rochester’s, first mayor Jonathan Child is born in Lyme, New Hampshire, to Revolutionary War veteran and farmer William Child and his wife Mary Heaton Child.

French traveler and diplomat Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur visits Niagara Falls accompanied by a guide named Hunter. They visit with John Burch, a Canadian farmer. He introduces them to another Loyalist, Francis Ellsworth, who acts as their guide to the falls. They may be the first Europeans to go behind the falls. Crèvecoeur and Hunter ride to the mouth of the river where they catch a ferry back to Fort Niagara.

Oct 2
Rochester businessman-postmaster Abelard Reynolds is born in Red Hook (Dutchess County).

Nov 25
Rochester congressman Timothy Childs is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Geneva is founded on the site of an Indian village. ** A survey of the New York-Pennsylvania state line is begun by brothers Andrew and Joseph Ellicott. ** Township size in "waste and un-appropriated lands" of the Military Tract is set at 6.1 square miles, with a lot size of 200 acres. Veterans of the Sullivan Campaign begin buying land in the central and western areas of the state. ** Mohawk chief Joseph Brant tours the western tribes of the Great Lakes seeking their support for an Indian Confederation. ** The Genesee River floods. ** The approximate date artist James Peachey depicts View of Fort Niagara from the west.


Feb 4
Geneseo schoolteacher Epaphroditus Bigelow is born in Marlborough, Connecticut.

Mar 18
The Steuben County town of Bath is formed.

Nov 30
The Hartford Convention convenes at Hartford, Connecticut, with New York State commissioners Egbert Benson, James Duane, John Haring, Robert R. Livingston, Melancthion Smith and Robert Yates, and Massachusetts commissioners Rufus King, John Lowell, Theophilus Parsons and James Sullivan present.

14 Indian tribes of the western Great Lakes, assembled at the urging of New York's Iroquois Confederation earlier in the year, meet in council near Detroit, make a pact for mutual defense in an Indian Confederation. They write to the U. S. requesting an official treaty and repudiate the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Fort McIntosh and Fort Finney.

Dec 12
New York governor William Learned Marcy is born in Sturbridge (today’s Southbridge), Massachusetts, to Jedediah and Ruth Learned Marcy.

Dec 16
The Hartford Convention votes for New York to divide the Iroquois lands with Massachusetts, which gets the land (preemptive rights – right to buy lands west of a pre-emption Line (nearly 6,000,000 acres) from the Indians), while New York gets political sovereignty. The 230,400-acre area known as the Boston Ten Towns, between the Chenango River and Owego Creek, is retained by Massachusetts. The western boundary of Montgomery County is extended to the Niagara River. It contain 15,057 people. The Town of Whitestown contains under 200 whites.

Dec 25
Buffalo merchant and philanthropist Seth Grosvenor is born in Pomfret, Connecticut, to Captain George Henry Grosvenor and his wife Abigail.

The approximate date followers of Jemima Wilkinson hire Abraham Dayton, Thomas Hathaway and Richard Smith to travel to Yates County to scout a site for a New Jerusalem. ** Gilbert Stuart paints a portrait of Mohawk Indian chief Joseph Brant (Thayendorogea). ** Future governor William C. Bouck is born to Samuel and Margaret Borst Bouck in Schoharie Valley. ** The Office of Land Commissioners is established. ** William Harris settles at the confluence of the Tioga and Conhocton rivers, the site of the future Painted Post. ** Pioneer Anna Mathilda Stewart (Church) is born in Philadelphia to General Walter Stewart and his wife. ** Township size in the "Old" Military Tract and in "waste and un-appropriated" land in the rest of the state, is increased from 6.1 to 10 square miles and from 200 to 640 acres. ** The Seneca confer with the British, arrange for refuge in Canada if relations with the U. S. sour. ** Judge and representative Moses Hayden is born in Conway, Massachusetts.

Trader-interpreter Ephraim Webster, along with Benjamin Newkirk, arrives from Schenectady and establishes a trading post among the Onondaga Indians on the east bank of Onondaga Creek, near Onondaga Lake.


Feb 14
The tenth session of the New York State Legislature passes a law appointing a coroner for each county.

Mar 6
The state's Assembly and Senate each vote to name state Supreme Court judge Robert Yates, John Lansing, Jr. and Alexander Hamilton as delegates to the U. S. Constitutional Convention.

May 20
Early Cohocton settler and granddaughter of Indian captive Jemima Howe, Martha Howe (Fowler) is born in Vernon, Vermont, to Squire and Martha Field Howe.

July 25
Followers of Jemima Wilkinson, the Universal Friend, travel from Connecticut to the Mohawk River, then to Seneca Lake where they settle near today’s Dresden.

Jul 26
New York becomes the eleventh state to enter the Union.

Sep 17
The U. S. Constitution, in a final draft by Gouverneur Morris, is signed by delegates in Philadelphia, who then resolve to forward it to Congress, in New York City. New York dos not formally endorse the document.

Nov 30
The New York Genesee Land Company, an independent group of lessees, negotiates a 999-year-lease on the majority of Iroquois lands in New York State for an annual payment of 2,000 Spanish milled dollars. State governor George Clinton will declare all company transactions null and void.

Settlers, mostly from New England, found a settlement at Binghamton. It will be named for landowner William Bingham, who donated land to the village. A Mrs. Blunt is the first resident to die. ** Feudal tenure is abolished. ** A conference meeting at Hartford, Connecticut, sets the western boundary of Indian lands one mile east of the Niagara River, between lakes Ontario and Erie. Rights to the Mile Strip are reserved for the state. ** Great Lakes steamboat operator Josephus Bradner Stuart is born. ** Genesee Valley pioneer Nicholas Hetchler is born in Pennsylvania. ** Painted Post is included in the Albany County town of Whitestown. ** Job Smith, traveling north from the Chemung River, settles at the falls of the Seneca River (today's Seneca Falls), to open a mill. ** The state creates a Board of Regents to oversee schools, setting rules for the incorporation of colleges and academies (high schools), paving the way for a state university system. ** Tioga County’s Boston Ten Towns tract is sold to a company of 60 men, most of them from Massachusetts. ** The first settlement in the Genesee Country is made at the Indian village of Kanadesaga (later Geneva). ** Buffalo merchant and library benefactor Seth Grosvenor is born. ** Lieutenant John Enys of the 29th Regiment of Foot visits Niagara Falls.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rochester Museum and Science Center

Subitted by Rosemary O'Keefe

Rocheseter Museum and Science Center has a new site:
that is an astounding online library catalogue of their photos
and book collections.
The Stone photo collection is on there and they are in the process
of adding their Native American collection.

Shacksboro Schoolhouse

On the way home from a recent Canal Society of New York weekend field trip to central New York, Joann and I happened upon a Baldwinsville museum, at noontime on Sunday, which happened to opening just at that time for the afternoon. We stopped in for a visit and were shown around by docent Mary Hartigan.

Their current exhibit is entitled, “Math 101: The 3 R's + Community = School", featuring “A photographic history of Baldwinsville's schools and students with special emphasis on the rural schools that dotted the countryside until consolidation was completed in 1952.”

There’s lots more to see on their web site

including Historical Overviews of Baldwinsville, the Shacksboro Schoolhouse itself (the museum’s home), the latest newsletter, the area’s flower farms and cemeteries, and the current lecture series on “Remembering Baldwinsville”.

So, check out their web site or pay them a visit if you get a chance sometime. I sense a future New Society destination.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Submitted by Dick Palmer

Oswego Commercial Times, Monday, March 8, 1861

The largest canal boat we have ever seen, and we think the largest
afloat, was launched on Saturday from the boat yard of Samuel Miller
in this city. The new boat is called the Abraham Lincoln bears a
handsome portrait of "Old Abe" on the stern, and belongs to Alderman
George S. Alvord of this city. She is 96 feet 6 inches long, 17 feet
5 inches wide, 9 feet and 2 inches between decks. Notwithstanding
her size, she draws only about thirteen inches of water. The boat
is capable of carrying 11,500 bushels of wheat.

One gains a good idea of the progress of inland navigation as
fostered and encouraged by the State of New York by examining this
craft, which is probably twice as large as the vessel in which
Columbus crossed the ocean and discovered a new world, or one-third
larger than the Mayflower which landed at Plymouth Rock.

Altogether the boat is the handsomest canal craft we have ever
seen, and reflects much credit upon Mr. Miller's yard. Ald[erman]. Alvord
has a consort for the Lincoln on the stocks at the same yard, which
when completed is to be called the Hannibal Handin.

By visiting this yard, one may learn something of Oswego's
activity and enterprise. Mr. Miller has three canal boats now on the
stocks for repairs, and is putting the finishing touches upon a small
fleet of boats. Some fifty or sixty men are kept constantly at work,
getting craft in readiness to transport the surplus grain to tide-water.

Monday, October 19, 2009

November 14, 2009

History Fair in Rochester's South Wedge

Watch here for details as the date approaches

Nice Accommodations

© 2007 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Leaving Syracuse and passing through the outlying settlement of Salina, John Fowler’s coach heads southwest, passing through Marcellus and heading into Skaneateles, at the northern end of the lake of the same name, the town formed back in February from the aforementioned Town of Marcellus. The village itself, which Fowler calls pleasantly situated, will be incorporated three year from now. He’s impressed with its “several genteel residences” and mentions its Friends (or Quaker) boarding school. He may also have passed by a brick Baptist Church and Solomon Earll’s gristmill, both built this year. He probably also went past the Sherwood Tavern, built in 1807. It’s still there now - considerably enlarged - in the twenty-first century.

Continuing on they reach the Cayuga County village of Auburn around 8:30 in the evening. Fowler is fairly satisfied with that day’s progress, seventy miles in twelve-and-a-half hours, “which, taking into account the state of the roads, the heat of the day &c. is by no means to be complained of.” There they check into the American Hotel.

The Sherwood tavern he’d passed back in Skaneateles had been built by Isaac Sherwood. Auburn’s American Hotel where Fowler will spend the night, was completed this year by stagecoach magnate John M. Sherwood, son of Isaac. Fowler is impressed.

“ . . . an establishment upon a very extended scale . . . of freestone, five stories high, with piazzas, twenty feet or more in width, up to the third story. Many of the apartments are large and elegantly furnished, and I am informed they can, if requisite, make up 250 or 300 beds. It has been recently erected, and, excepting at New York, is quite the best inn I have seen in the State . . .” It probably should go without saying, that as passengers on the “Old Line” of coaches, also owned by Sherwood, they were expected to stay at the American.

There was competition. Directly across Genesee Street stood the Western Exchange hotel, now owned by the rival Pioneer Line. Richard F. Palmer’s [yes, our Dick Palmer] 1977 book The “Old Line Mail”: Stagecoach Days in Upstate New York”, contains illustrations of the two buildings. It’s obvious the two were attempting to one-up each other, with their multiple columns, chimneys, balconies and cupolas. The American won out as far as entrances are concerned – it had two. But the Exchange did win out on tradition. Lafayette had stayed here on his 1826 American journey.

Fowler’s certainly impressed enough with the American. “. . . so much has it pleased me, in fact, that I am tempted to forego my half resolve, not to make trial of a public dormitory again in the country. I shall adventure this once upon the credit of fair promise and will report progress in the morning.” Any bets?

You’re probably betting the bugs would once again drive him bonkers. You lose. “For once appearances have not been deceitful. I have slept undisturbed, excepting that I was aroused at a pretty early hour this morning by the loud pealing of thunder . . .” At least he can’t blame that on an innkeeper.

There was one special Auburn institution that Fowler wanted to see. Temporarily, of course. Next time.


Received the following amplification on the recent Hamilton College script - "88 in the Shade" - from listener/reader, Civil War historian, and James S. Wadsworth biographer, Wayne Mahood, a graduate of the college – long after Fowler passed through, of course.

“For what it's worth, Philopeuthian was considered by the Phoenicians the lesser of the two societies, for its members came from less wealthy and established families. But the origin of its name? Who knows?

And, for what it's worth, the college was recovering from a bitter fight between the board of trustees, including abolitionist and alumnus Gerrit Smith, and the president.

Even worse, not too long before this, when James S. Wadsworth may have been a student there, some students hauled a Revolutionary War cannon up the hill from Clinton, then up some two or three flights to fire at a detested tutor. The tutor escaped harm, but not his coat. The miscreants were dismissed, then returned after their parents protested the dismissal.

Young Wadsworth's father may have had his young son return home after this incident, though I can't prove it.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Canal Items - 1822

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Ontario Repository, Canandaigua, N.Y., Aug 6,1822
Lansingburgh July 30

Champlain Canal - Many exaggerated reports have been put in
circulation, respecting the injury done to the Champlain canal, and
the dam at Fort Edward, by the late freshet. The last Sandy Hill
Times, a paper published in the neighborhood of the canal, contains
the following article on the subject, which we believe to be correct:--

The Freshet: The damage done by the late freshet, to grass, corn and
other grain growing on the low lands contiguous to Woodcreek is said
to be immense. Much injury was also done to the lumber with which the
creek had been literally filled from Fort Ann to Whitehall, and
waiting a supply of water in the summit level of the canal. So great
was the rise and fury of the stream that large rafts of timber, board,
plank &c. were forced from their moorings, and carried a considerable
distance into the fields, so that when the water receded they were left
"high and dry," and in a perfect state of hotch-potch. The canal, too,
was very considerably impaired.

"Great fears were entertained for the safety of the dam which was
undergoing repairs at Fort Edward; but which was made to ride out the
storm," by the skill and unremitted exertions of the gentleman who
had it in charge. It gives us pleasure to be enabled to state that it is
now considered out of danger, and bids fair to be completed in a
short time, say three weeks."

Geneva Gazette, Aug. 14, 1822
(From the N.Y. Spectator, Aug. 1.)

Onondaga Salt- We learn from the Albany Argus, that extensive
preparations are making to manufacture salt at Salina, by evaporation
in the sun, instead of boiling as has hitherto been practised. Two
companies one from New Bedford, Mass. and the other from this city,
are stated to be engaged in the enterprise. The plan is the same as
that practised by Judge Quincey, near Boston, as described in this
paper a short time since. By the process of boiling, the bitumen
which the water contains, becomes incorporated with the salt; hence
its impurities and hitherto bad reputation; indeed it could not be
relied on with safety, except for the purpose of agriculture and the use of stock.

An entire change by the new process will take place in this
business, by which instead of an impure, weak, and fine salt, which
has hitherto been made here, there will be produced a coarse salt, of
a quality equal to any in the world. There is no limit to the
quantity which may be manufactured on the proposed new plan, as long
as the sun continues to shed its genial rays on the face of this
globe, and wood can be found of which to construct an increased number of vats.

The fountain which has been pouring forth its saline stream
"since time was" is an inexhaustible as the ocean itself. We have long
been surprised that the process of evaporation by the sun, has not
been sooner adopted. The waters at Salina are five or six times strong as
the ocean, and the product must of course be in the same ratio.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable
Presents Depew, New York historian and re-enacotr Peter Myhalenko
on Emory Upton and the Spotsylvania Campaign

The program takes place at the American Legion, through the front entrance, 53 West Main Street,
LeRoy at 7:30 PM.

Discussion period to follow.
New members and interested parties welcome!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Upcoming Author Talks

Batavia's Bill Kaufman
will talk on cherishing and defending hometowns
at 10 AM, October 13th, at Finger Lakes Community College at Hopwell
check or call 585 394-3522

Phyllis Pittman Kitt (see "rescheduled" note below)
will sign copies of her new book
God's Country: Churches and Chapels of the Genesee Valley
at the Pittsford Public Library on October 13th at 7 PM.

Broadcast Rescheduled

Thursday 10/15
Hr. 1 (12 Noon)
Historian and author Phyllis Pittman Kitt; how the houses of worship we built in upstate NY 100 to 200 years ago
say a lot about our history and values (tape)

Her WXXI-AM interview with Bob Smith on 1370 Connection is broadcast at
1370 on the AM radio dial and also streamed on-line at
Click on the Listen Live link in the upper left corner of the opening screen
(You'll probably want to set this up a few minutes beforehand)

Peanut Line

Submitted by Dick Palmer

Peanut Line 'Gallop' Has Goober Flavor - Ambition Realized By Railroad Fans

(On Sunday, July 21, 1946, the Buffalo Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society sponsored a special excursion over the New York Central's "Peanut Line" from North Tonawanda to Caledonia and return. Following is an article published in the Buffalo Courier Express July 28, 1946).

Buffalo railroad fans have realized a life long ambition. They have eaten peanuts on The Peanut. It happened last Sunday when an "Iron Horse Gallop" was made over this historic one-track branch of the New York Central between North Tonawanda and Caledonia.

Russell H. Shapely, 178 Box Ave., president of the local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, which sponsored the excursion, saw to it that there was plenty of peanuts aboard the train to commemorate the occasion. They were served unshelled in paper bags and in the form of peanut butter sandwiches.

It was the second such trip of the fans in the postwar period, the first having been made last month over the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad between Oneida and Sidney. Next on the agenda are tours over the Niagara, St. Catherines & Toronto and the Arcade and Attica, scheduled for early in September.

Got Name in 1855
An excursion over a little known or used line is considered a red letter day by the railroad fans and the Peanut Branch of the New York Central proved ideal. Originally known as the Canandaigua-Niagara Falls Railroad, the name Peanut has stuck since 1857 when the Central took it over and the late Dean Richmond of Batavia, then operating vice-president, reportedly referred to the acquisition as "only a peanut of a line."
Though still an important rail link, serving among other big customers as National Gypsum Co., in Clarence Center, the Peanut has seen its heyday as a railroad. No scheduled passenger trains have run on it in more than a decade. One freight makes a round trip daily on week days. On Sundays the Peanut is a "dead duck," or was until last week.
Looking from a window as the special nosed out of North Tonawanda at the beginning of the run, one of the fans saw an elderly man apparently sunning himself in the backyard. He was sitting in an arm chair, a pipe in his mouth, his eyes closed. Aroused by the train he awakened with a start and when he saw it was not only a train, but a passenger train as well, a look of surprise spread over his face and his pipe fell to the ground.

Even Cows Surprised
Further on, the train surprised a housewife at her Sunday morning toilet. She had rushed to the doorway to see what was happening and it was apparently not until the last coach had passed and she saw herself in the exposure of several pairs of male eyes on the observation platform that she realized she was standing there in her scanties.

Elsewhere along the line, cows came up to the fence to see the excitement. On the return trip, some fishermen on a small lake near Akron Junction nearly capsized their boat when one of their number stood up to point to the train.

Usually on their "Iron Horse Gallops," the railroad fans are all over the train, in the cab of the locomotive, hanging out of the windows,etc. The older the coaches, the bumpier the roadbed and the more smoke they inhale, the better they like it. In this respect their style was somewhat cramped last Sunday as the Central gave them some of its air-conditioned coaches and you don't open the windows on them.

Ticket Dated 1853
At LeRoy, Earl E. Bloss, a carpenter of that village as well as a railroad fan, boarded the special and presented to President Shapley an unused excursion ticket on the Canandaigua-Niagara Falls Railroad from LeRoy to the Falls, dated August 24, 1853.

Among railroad fans who made last Sunday's "Iron Horse Gallop" were Edward G. Hooper of Baltimore Md., assistant secretary of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and president of the national society; L. Newton Wylder of Lima, Peru, who happened to be in Buffalo on business at the time, and Rogers E. M. Whitaker of the magazine New Yorker's staff, who came from New York City to make the trip.

Whitaker has travelled an estimated 500,000 miles on railroad fan trips, 375,000 miles since in 1936 when he started to keep a tab on mileage. It is not unusual for him to hop a plane to some distant part of the country just for the privilege of riding a few miles on some antiquated railroad.

Friday, October 9, 2009

WESTERN / CENTRAL New York timeline / 1780-1784

Sep 19
After an attempt by Cornplanter's wife Etomeh to poison The-Ship-Under-Full-Sail (adopted prisoner Eleanor Lytle) the voluntary captive is kept secluded by the Seneca, awaiting the chief's return to Oswaya (near today’s Portville).

Sep 21
Cornplanter arrives at Oswaya with his war party. Learning of Etomeh's treachery he divorces her and banishes her to a cabin at the edge of the village.

Indians settle in the area of the future Buffalo. ** The Council House at Caneadea is built for the Seneca by British troops from Fort Niagara. ** Mohawk chief Little Abraham (Tigoransera) brother of the late chief King Hendrick, dies in a British prison in Fort Niagara. (birth date unknown). ** Joseph Brant and his prisoner Captain Alexander Harper pass through the Genesee Valley on their way from Schoharie to Niagara. ** Connewango pioneer Rufus Wyllys is born in Massachusetts. ** The legislature agrees to set aside bounty lands for veterans. ** The state legislature meets for the first time in Albany. ** Ontario County's population reaches 1,075. ** Tuscarora Indians who fled O-ha-gi, their village on the Genesee River, last year at the approach of Sullivan's troops, return. ** Politician Nathaniel Allen is born in the future East Bloomfield.

Mar 1
New York presents its western lands (west of a north-south line running through the western end of Lake Ontario) to Congress, which uses them to provide Pennsylvania with a corridor to Lake Erie. Pennsylvania pays $151,640 for the land New York surrenders.

Oct 19
Cornwallis and his 17,000 troops surrender at Yorktown, Virginia.

Lawyer George Hosmer is born to Avon doctor and judge Timothy Hosmer and his wife. ** Unclaimed military lands and land between Seneca and Cayuga lakes fall under a survey grid plan of seven square -mile townships and 500 acre plots.

North Carolina
Merchant and veteran Nathaniel Rochester moves to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he sets up a nail factory, a flour mill and a ropewalk.

Scots captain Charles Williamson sells his commission and travels to America, with letters of introduction to General Cornwallis. He’s captured at sea by the Yankee ship Marquis of Salem and spends the rest of the war living with the family of Ebenezer Newell at Roxbury, Massachusetts. He will marry the daughter Abigail Newell.

Feb 24
Rochester tinsmith and village treasurer Ebenezer Watts, Jr., is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Early Connewango settler Benjamin Darling is born in Windsor, Vermont.

A party of British and Indians arrive at Chautauqua Lake to build a dam across the outlet, create a flood and sweep down the Alleghany River to attack Fort Pitt.

The force on Chautauqua Lake leaves without attempting their attack. ** The New Military Tract is formed from Indian lands, to award to Revolutionary War veterans. A lot of 400 acres in each township is to be reserved for support of the gospel and two lots of 200 acres reserved for schools.

Oct 29
Congress accepts New York State's western lands.

Dec 5
George III addresses Parliament, announces he has accepted American independence. In the audience are Admiral Richard Howe, painters Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley, and canal promoter Elkanah Watson.

Ebenezer “Indian” Allan, former lieutenant in the British Indian Department under Sir John Johnson, leads a raiding party into Sussex County, New Jersey. He retreats to Gardeau Flats, on the Genesee River near Mount Morris, for the winter and is assigned to watch the movements of the Seneca and the settlers.

The New York legislature passes an act to aid those wishing to settle in central New York.

Mar 21
England’s Parliament naturalizes French-born, future New York State pioneer David Piffard, a bookkeeper.

Mar 22
Congress votes officer compensation.

Apr 1
Piffard, now a member of the Needlemaker’s Company guild, becomes a fee-paid freeman of London.

Apr 24
Piffard petitions London’s Court of Aldermen for permission to become a broker on the Royal Exchange, signs a £500 bond. Three weeks later it’s granted.

Apr 26
Evacuation Day. 7,000 Loyalists leave New York City for Canada and Europe.

Aug 21
The deadline for Loyalists to receive permission to evacuate New York.

Sep 3
Great Britain and the U. S. sign the peace treaty in Paris. Among other provisions France renounces all claims in Canada and the St. Lawrence watershed. Great Lakes boundary lines are set, opening western New York to settlement.

Nov 20
Eleanor Lytle is reunited with her parents Sarah and John at Oswaya.

The British arrest Ebenezer “Indian” Allen, imprisoning him first at Fort Niagara, then at Montréal and Kingston.

Future Syracuse pioneer Comfort Tyler becomes a surveyor and schoolteacher at Caughnawego, on the Mohawk. ** Ebenezer “Indian” Allen carries messages between the Iroquois and British prisoner Rev. Joseph Bull, a Moravian missionary held in Philadelphia, fostering a peace plan. Allen moves from Gardeau Flats along the Genesee River to nearby Mount Morris, where he opens a trading post. ** The Indian Committee of the Continental Congress urges that the tribes surrender part of their lands to the U. S. as part of a final peace agreement. The New York Assembly advocates expelling all Iroquois tribes that sided with the British, and moving the Oneidas and Tuscaroras to then-vacated Seneca lands in the western part of the state. **
Qualifications for veterans of the Revolution for the acquisition of lands in the New Military Tract are established. They range from 500 acres for a private to 5,500 acres for a major general.

The approximate date New York City's Hardenbrook family announces they will be selling the Tea Water Pump property by April.

Jan 24
New York City becomes the capital of New York State. Colonial public records will be moved there from Poughkeepsie.

Mar 15
The Bank of New York is organized, the first bank incorporated in the state.

May 11
The state creates Commissioners of the Land Office to control bounty lands transactions resulting from the Revolution.

Jul 25
Rochester merchant Silas O. Smith is born in New Marlboro, Massachusetts.

Lieutenant Ebenezer “Indian” Allen, freed by the British, is dismissed on half-pay from their Indian Department.

Oct 22
The Six Nations of the Iroquois sign the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (Rome), surrender all claims to the Northwest territory in exchange for protection of an Indian zone in western and central New York, western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, from whites. To help protect local Indian lands the state constitution will forbid the sale of their lands to individuals.

Oct 25
Rochester botanist, minister and educator Chester Dewey is born in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Simeon De Witt is named State Engineer and Surveyor. ** Future governor Enos Thompson Throop is born in Johnstown to George B. and Abiah Throop. ** Benjamin Keyes purchases land from Oliver Phelps that will soon become East Bloomfield. ** A commission is put into place to obtain title to Indian lands. ** French diplomat François Barbé de Marbois begins traveling through the U. S., spending the next five years exploring the new nation, with an emphasis on the Iroquois.

Nathaniel Rochester and Thomas Hart begin a flour milling business at Hagerstown.

Massachusetts and New York both opt for square, rather than irregular-edged, townships.

@2009 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wayne County Historical Society Map Club - October Meeting

The Wayne County Historical Society Map Club will hold their October
meeting at the Museum of Wayne County History. The meeting will be
held on Wed., October 14, at 7pm.

The club will be looking at original Sanborn Insurance Maps from
Macedon and also Gary Fitzpatrick will report on his recent trip to
the Library of Congress.

Anyone interested in any aspect of maps is invited to come.

For more information about this event, call the Museum of Wayne
County History at 315-946-4943 or look at the website, The Museum is located at 21 Butternut Street,
Lyons NY.

1370 Connection [10 /9 Bumped for Special on Swine Flu Virus - no reschedule announced]

For those of you in the Rochester area, this coming Friday (10/9) at noon Bob Smith's guest (on tape) will be

Author and historian Phyllis Pittman Kitt on how the churches and synagogues we built in upstate NY between 1800 and 1930 expressed the values and tastes of the community and their time

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Society of the Genesee - October Meeting

Hello New Society members and friends:

On Saturday, October 10 we will meet at noon in Pittsford (Schoen Place near Aladdin's restaurant) for a ride on the Sam Patch. The trip will take about 1 1/2 hours, after which we will have lunch at Aladdin's. There is a charge of $10 for the boat trip. Please reply to Martha Johnstone at or (585) 473-0404 by October 6 if you are able to attend.

We hope to see you there!

photo by David Minor

Friday, October 2, 2009


posts submitted by Dick Palmer -

Recently I have seen the over-use of the term "hoagie" or
"hoggy" applied to people who drove mules on the canal. The term did
not exist during canal days and is fiction. They were "canal
drivers" and nothing else. if you want a hoagie you go to Jreck
Subs, not to the canal. It was NEVER used during the entire
existence of the Erie Canal - was a term contrived by a folklorist,
possibly Samuel Hopkins Adams.

I had a little discussion with Tom Grasso, president of the
Canal Society of New York State, regarding the blatant misuse of
mythical terms applied to the canal that never existed and he said:

"The hoagie or hoggy thing is among one of the worst offenses. I
have never come across the term in any official publication I ever
read. 'Canawler' is another. I have come across boatman and possibly
driver (even this I am not quite sure about--could have dreamt it).
The only other possibility is that the term "hoagie" was the
equivalent of today's urban street talk. But even in interviews that
I have heard and read about, I can't recall "boat people" ever using
the term."


One comment I got from this was the following, which I think
is sort of weak. It reminds me of all the people who try to define
the origin of the term "Hojack" as applied to the old New York
Central/RW&O railroad along the south shore of the lake. I suppose
it's possible "hoggy" could be derived from what he says, but the
fact it is, I can find no contemporary reference to it ever have been
applied to the Erie Canal.

"I've looked into the hoagie matter and only found one mid-20th
century reference (not specific to the canal) - I heard that the term
was Scottish in origin - so, I referenced a Scottish relation in PA
(now deceased)who understood the term immediately referring to the
trade of driving draft animals. The term combined "ha" or
"ho" (meaning left) and "gee" (meaning right) - referencing the
verbal commands to a team of draft animals. He also noted that it was
important not to switch the team positions - one was always left and
the other was always right. Anyway - perhaps this sheds some light as
to the root of the misuse of the phrase."

The main problem is that the canal parks and museum
interpretors are misleading the public - some even stating with
assurance that little girls were also "hoggies." " Hogwash" is more
like it.


I suppose the loosely used term "hoggie" or "hoagie" is no worse
than those signs "You are now entering the Erie Canal National
Heritage Corridor" posted along the Thruway and seemingly everywhere
else that's not even close to the canal. They say the canal corridor
is 15 miles wide. When was this? During the Ice Age?

I've also suggested that dinner boat cruise operators service
hoagies on their cruises in honor of those who drove the boats.


88 in the Shade

© 2007 David Minor / Eagles Byte

As he prepares to board the stage at New Hartford in 1830 John Fowler mentions a brief visit to nearby Clinton, New York. The pretty village lies at the bottom of a hill, the summit being the site of Hamilton College. As he clarifies, “or colleges, for though the buildings are united there have been three separate erections. . . . Until very lately it was ranking high among institutions of the kind in the State, but I regret to hear that in consequence of some misunderstanding have arisen between the masters and the students, it has been altogether deserted.” He mentions efforts underway to mend fences at the institution, chartered back in 1812, but doesn’t go into further details, probably having no reliable source of information.

Actually the rift was more a matter of student misunderstanding, rather than of one involving the professors as well. Until recently the college had two literary societies, the Phoenix and the Philopeuthian (if anyone knows the meaning of the second name, please let me know; Google never heard of it). In 1828 a tubercular Westmoreland, New York, minister’s son Samuel Eells, returned to Hamilton after taking time off to recover his health. The two college societies smelled fresh blood and began battling for his allegience. They only managed to repel him by their methods (although he did join the Philos) and he determined to form a third society. So, two months after Fowler’s visit a modest group was formed around Eells. Name of Alpha Delta Phi. Began to go co-ed in 1992 through a split and currently has 24 chapters and five affiliates in a number of states and two in Canada.

But Fowler’s visit proceeded the healing of the rift. And now, he was off. His coach passed through Manchester and Vernon, “neither requiring comment; the land good and seemingly well farmed nearly all the way.” Oneida Castle – the ‘castle’ referring to a former Indian defensive works – where an overweight Tuscarora woman and her children chase alongside the coach, begging for handouts. Fowler’s not impressed by them, noting that, “they are a harmless, inoffensive set of beings, but have lost much of their ancient spirit and energy.” He adds that English beggars are much more accomplished and, in similar circumstances would be turning cartwheels as they followed the coach. But, no doubt, they still put their pants on one leg at time.

The coach soon leaves their unasked for escort in the copious dust behind them and head off through Lenox and Quality Hill to Chittenango (which he misspells; don’t laugh until you try it). He mentions only the side cut here from the Erie Canal two miles to the north and admits the village, “has little to attract the attention of a stranger.” Hartsville and Fayetteville fare no better by Fowler. However the latter village this year was the site of proto-Mormon Joseph Smith’s first church. Syracuse is next on the itinerary and a rest stop is taken at a “handsome and commodious brick building”, the principal hotel, which he apparently chooses not to name. He does note, however, that the thermometer on the side of the building stands at 88°, and this at four in the afternoon, (typical August weather, as we know).

Two other Europeans arrived here in 1830, named Georg Stephens and Carl Walter, German immigrants, the beginning of a large influx who would settle and begin working in the settlement’s burgeoning salt industry. After all, their ancestors in the old country had been working in saltworks for over 1000 years.