Saturday, July 31, 2010

Canal News - 1820 / 1821 / 1825

Palmyra Register

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 1820

The Canal

The Western section of this great work is progressing as fast as the most sanguine friends could have reasonably anticipated. We learn that it is expected nearly one half of the distance from Montezuma to Genesee River will be completed this fall. The jobs in the vicinity and through this place, are in a state of great forwardness- - some of them are already nearly finished. There is but little doubt of the entire completion of the whole distance ready for navigation, by the close of the next season.

The middle section, which extends from Utica to Montezuma, as is well known, has been completed and navigable for boats, for nearly a year. And the benefits which have already resulted in the state from the use of this section and forever confound and put to silence in most bitter and unprincipled opposers.

The Canal, which at its commencement, according to Mr. Noah's calculation, was to cost the state millions to carry it on, and ages to complete, and when done, would be a curse rather than a benefit, has thus far been finished at the rate of at least 45 miles a year, and has cost the state less than 12,000 dollars per mile.

Now even Mr. Noah cannot say too much in commendation of this great and prosperous undertaking. He has even gone so far as to give it a formal divorce from Mr. Clinton, whom but a short time since, he declared with all the prophetic wisdom of a Jewish High-Priest that it was indissolubly wedded. He once opposed the Canal as the "project" of Mr. Clinton. He now denounces Mr. Clinton, apparently for no better reason, that the Canal project has not failed agreeably to his former predictions, and ruined Mr. Clinton's popularity as its "projector."

Lyons Republican

Oct. 19,1821

Utica, Sept. 25.

Canal Navigation

Arrived the last two weeks, 60 boats, with 937 brls. Flour, 397 do. Salt, 226 do pork, 148 do. Ashes, 2061 bushels wheat, 500 do water lime, 1033 galls whiskey , 90800 feet boards, 4000 do lumber, 276,000 shingles, 17 cords wood, 15 tons gypsum, &c, and passengers.

Cleared same time 55 boats with 62 tons merchandise, 6 do clay, household goods, &c and passengers.

Wayne Sentinel


Wed., April 13, 1825

The inauguration of the Erie Canal commenced last Monday, and the various lines of freight and package boats, (having undergone great repairs and amendments since last season,) are now all or nearly all in motion- - and a new aspect is given to business of all kinds. The Packet boats have been fitted up in a manner worthy of remark, and the proprietors are determined to stem the effect intended to be produced by the sudden and extravagant increase of toll. Great improvements are yearly made by the inventive genius of New Yorkers upon canal boats. The necessity which heretofore seemed to exist in warm weather, for passengers to resort to the upper deck, to regale themselves with the occasional fresh breezes, at the same time exposing themselves to the scorching rays or the sun, and to the frequent bridges, is wholly superseded in the packet boats by the enlargement of the windows, and by the construction of folding doors, by means of which a free circulation of air is admitted into cabins. Numerous other improvement have been made the present season - and upon the whole, we shall not be disappointed if the proprietors should realize a handsome profit, even at a toll of twenty cents per mile!

Submitted by Richard Palmer

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



The Finger Lakes Boating Museum will launch its annual boat show July 24-25 at Geneva Lakefront Park.

The museum's first show at its new home in Geneva will be part of the Cruisin' Weekend activities. The theme is "Sailing in the Finger Lakes" and the show is free and open to the public.

Bill Oben, president of the Boating Museum, said the highlights of the show will include "fleets of boats coming in from across the country, the largest regatta of vintage one-design wooden boats in memory, rebirth of an historic Penn Yan Imperial inboard built during the Depression, Boating Museum-restored Lightning and Snipe sailboats, a Saturday night dinner gathering of show participants and the introduction of the future home of the Boating Museum in Geneva."

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The facility will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site.

The boating museum will be displaying sailboats built by several noted Finger Lakes builders, including Brainard, Emmons, Morehouse, Penn Yan Boats, Inc., Skaneateles Boats, Inc., Thompson-Cortland and Murray Wright.

The 13th annual show also will include displays of other types of boats made in the Finger Lakes, including trout boats, canoes, row boats, and power boats as well as boating equipment. Displays will be from the Museum's collection and from private owners.

The boat show also will offer classic wooden sailboat racing, workshops for youths and adults on various aspects of boat building such as wood bending and booths by area yacht clubs and collegiate sailing programs.

The Museum's Ships Store will sell shirts, hats bearing the Museum's logo and copies of the Museum's publications.

The show will open to the public at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 24.

The schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 23

5:30-7:30 p.m. - Registration and reception for boat show participants.

Saturday, July 24

9 a.m. - Show opens to public.

9:30 a.m. - Skipper's meeting at Headquarters Tent (Lightning & Snipe)

10 a.m. - Sailboat races.

10 a.m.-Noon - Workshops.

1-3 p.m. - Workshops.

2 p.m. - Sailboat races.

6 p.m. - Social hour at Torrey Park Restaurant

7 p.m. Banquet at Torrey Park Restaurant

Speaker - William Oben, President of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum.

Sunday, July 25

9 a.m. - Show open to public.

9:30 a.m. - Skipper's meeting at Headquarters Tent (Lightning & Snipe)

10 a.m. - Sailboat races.

10 a.m.-Noon – Workshops.

Wood Bending - Sterling Klinck, East Hill Boat Shop.

1-3 p.m. – Workshops.

4 p.m. – Show ends.

The 300-member boating museum anticipates occupying approximately 18,000 square feet of space initially, with future expansion on the lakefront and off-site eventually growing to approximately 60,000 square feet of space.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of more than 90 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility. Also planned are interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and an active on-water program including sailing and small boat handling.

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its

website (

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Society of the Genesee Meeting - July 17th

From: Rosemary O'Keefe -

To: Martha T. Johnstone -

NSG revised July meeting

Hello All,

Marie Poinan has kindly made new arrangements for July 17th.

10:30 a.m.: meet at Hose 22 Firehouse Grill, 56 Stutson Street;

11:15 a.m.: visit the Charlotte Lighthouse at 11:15 a.m.

(their craft fair starts at 11)

noon-12:30 p.m.: go back to Hose 22 for lunch.

The lighthouse is a short block from the restaurant.

If you have not already replied about lunch, R.S.V.P.

To Rosemary O”Keefe or Martha Johnstone

Saturday, July 10, 2010




The survey of the Holland Land Company's new territory is begun by Joseph Ellicott and his crew (including his brother Benjamin, Amzi Atwater, George Burgess, Ebenezer Carey, George Eggleston, Augustus Porter, Warnham Shepard, John Smedley, Richard M. Stoddard and John Thompson.) They will clear a path four rods wide from the Pennsylvania border to Lake Ontario - the Transit Line.

Mar 9

The Schuyler County town of Catharine, including the inlet of Seneca Lake, is formed from the Chemung County town of Newtown (later Elmira), New York. ** The Onondaga County Town of Fabius is formed from the Town of Pompey.

Mar 30

New state regulations go into effect for those producing salt in the Onondaga Lake region, regulating leases, rents, production levels, quantities, and packaging. They call for the establishment of a village at Salt Point at the eastern end of the lake.

Apr 2

The New York Assembly, bribed by Theophile Cazenove of the Holland Land Company, passes the Alien Land Holding Act, permitting foreigners to own land in the state. From Cazenove the State Attorney receives $3,000, Thomas Morris $1,000 and Aaron Burr $5,500.

Apr 5

The Niagara Canal Company is organized, for the purpose of connecting Great Lakes Ontario and Erie. Nothing is ever done.

Apr 6

The State Legislature calls for the surveying of a mile-long reservation along the Niagara River to be set aside for the Alleghany Indians.


French cartographers Haudeceour de Jaumeville and Alexandre Autrechy, sent by Theophile Cazenove from Philadelphia, join Joseph Ellicott's surveying party. ** John Beddoe, his wife Catherine, and his cousin David Morse arrive in New York City from England, set out for the Finger Lakes region.

May 10

Surveyor Joseph Ellicott receives his official instructions from Theophile Cazenove.


The Beddoes and Morse arrive at Keuka Lake to settle.

Jun 14

Benjamin Ellicott is sworn in as surveyor for the Holland Purchase.


Eli Granger sells the schooner Jemima to Augustus Porter of Lewiston. ** Surveyor Seth Pease joins Joseph Ellicott's team.

Jul 30

Asa Willey Gifford, an early settler of the Genesee Valley, is born in Bennington, Vermont, to Gideon and Betsy Willey Gifford.


French emigre the Count de Colbert Maulevrier, touring western New York with a large party of men and women, stops at Canawaugus then Ganson's Settlement (Le Roy) where they are entertained.

Oct 6

Colbert Maulevrier, traveling on horseback from Canandaigua by way of Perinton, arrives at Allan's Mills. He meets the Fishes, finds two families on their way to York (today's Toronto) waiting for schooner to take them across Lake Ontario.

Oct 7

Josiah Fish shows Colbert Maulevrier the falls of the Genesee, who afterwards travels up the river and stays overnight at the farm of Peter Shaeffer near Scottsville.

Nov 5

Joseph Ellicott instructs Pease on surveying the Niagara River.

Nov 6

Ellicott instructs Pease on laying out New York's reserved lands along the Niagara and making a map of the lands, and calculating the contents of the water in Chautauqua Lake for Robert Morris.

Dec 12

New York land proprietors' representative James Rees writes to Holland Land Company surveyor Seth Pease, requesting a corrected traverse survey of the Genesee River affecting his clients, who had purchased land from Robert Morris, including properties for Watson-Craigie & Greenleaf, Andrew Craigie, Samuel Ogden, Garrett Cotringer, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Sterett, Thomas Morris, Jones and Smith, and LeRoy, Bayard and McEvers (the Triangle Tract).

Dec 26

Land agent James Rees writes to Seth Pease requesting corrections to the eastern boundary line.


Eli Granger lays the keel for the 30-ton Jemima at the mouth of the Genesee River, the first schooner built in the U. S. ** The first printing press in Cayuga County. ** Ephraim Webster is elected Justice of the Peace and Supervisor of the town of Onondaga. ** Joseph Ellicott is hired to perform a survey of the Holland Land Company purchase, aided by his brother Benjamin and a 130-man crew. ** The approximate year pioneer William Johnston marries a Seneca Indian and is given two square miles of land at the mouth of Buffalo Creek. He is the first title holder of the Holland Land Company. He erects a sawmill and four other buildings. ** Martha Hultz, aged 4, is brought to the Hector area from Enfield, Connecticut, by her parents. ** Philadelphia businessman James Brisbane opens a storehouse in Stafford. ** Connewango pioneer James Battles is born in Vermont. ** Elisha Alvord, Ebenezer Butler, Asa Danforth, Thomas Hart, Daniel Keeler, Hezekiah Olcott and Jedediah Sanger organize the Federal Company to manufacture salt on the shores of Lake Onondaga. ** Indians in the Mile Strip along the Niagara River grant Horatio Jones and Jasper Parrish two square miles of land north of Scajaquada Creek, near the northern city limit of today's Buffalo. ** General Timothy Hopkins settles at the future site of Alden. ** Tobias Newcomb builds a windmill at Williamsburgh, at a cost of $20. ** Vincent Matthews becomes the first politician from the Steuben County area to be elected to the state senate. Charles Williamson is elected a representative. ** The state legislature declares Keuka, Lamoka, and Waneta lakes; the Canisteo and Conhocton rivers; as well as Mead and Mud Creeks, to be public highways. ** Using lottery revenues, the state launches a road-building period with a bridge over the Conhocton River at Cameron Street in Bath as well as a road from there to Hornell. ** Circulation of Lucius Carey's Geneva Gazette and Genesee Advertiser, now published in Canandaigua, is reportedly close to 1,000. ** Williamson has spent $7,700 on Ontario County roads to date. His Description of the Genesee Country is published in Albany. ** Geneva's Presbyterian church is established. ** James and Robert Cravarth, John Gillett, and Elijah Mason settle the future Cortland County town of Preble. ** Henry Everts settles the Scriba area of Oswego County. ** Batavia has three recorded inhabitants - Joseph Ellicott and his brother Benjamin, and James Brisbane. ** Freegift Patchin settles in the town of Blenheim and builds a mill on West Kill. ** Quakers in southwestern New York begin teaching the Senecas the use of the plow and animal husbandry. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company pays its first dividend - 3%. The directors report the cost of transportation between Albany and Geneva has dropped from $100 per ton to $32, and the cost to Niagara Falls from Albany to be cut in half. ** The legislature votes to extend the Main Genesee Road from the Genesee River to the western end of the state. ** Amherst Humphrey is elected Pathmaster of his road district in Lima. ** 1795 English immigrant Thomas Billinghurst arrives in Northfield (later Pittsford).


The First Baptist Church is organized.


The wife of Josiah Fish dies at Allan's Mills. Their daughter Sophia marries Frederic Hosmer.

(c) 2010 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, July 2, 2010

I Have My Permission

Script No, 546 February 16, 2008

(c) 2008 David Minor / Eagles Byte

There is a possibility that during his unintended one-day 1830 layover in Avon, New York, traveler John Fowler might have passed a 16-year-old budding author somewhere around the village. One about to blossom. William Henry Cuyler Hosmer had been born here on May 25, 1814, to lawyer and former legislator George Hosmer and his wife Elizabeth, whose Berry family ancestors had been some of the first Europeans to settle among the region's Seneca Indians. The mother has been described as "accomplished", speaking several Indian dialects. Which seems to have had an influence on her son.

Reportedly he had learned the Seneca language and tales from her at about the same time he learned his own language. This year he was beginning to put his knowledge to good use, when a local printer published his drama, "The Fall of Tecumseh". He would go on to publish a number of articles and volumes of poetry, including "The Themes of Song," - printed in Rochester four years from now - 1838's Pioneers of Western New York", "Yonnondo, or the Warriors of Genesee", and Legend of the Senecas", among others. While his publications poured from his quill he also found time to follow his father into the practice of the law, travel among Florida and Wisconsin Indian tribes, and become a clerk in the New York City customs house. But for now, at the beginning of his career he'd attracted little attention and Fowler doesn't seem to have been informed that there was a young man of letters about town. Maybe if our man had stayed at the other inn in town, run by another member of the Hosmer clan, word would have reached him.

The next day Fowler is in the right place at the correct time to catch the first stage west. He pays his tab - 81 cents for two meals and the overnight lodging - says his countrymen back home should get off so cheaply - and climbs aboard. Seventeen miles further along he passes through Le Roy, in the eastern third of Genesee County. He grades it a pleasant village, noting a number of good houses and stores, occupied by its nearly 4,000 inhabitants. Had he chosen to stay overnight it's quite possible he would have put up at John Lent's Tavern, opened back in 1813. Lent was quite the promoter, and when he died, in 1861, he was accounted the richest man in town, leaving an estate worth a quarter of a million dollars. He even rated his own poem by our Avon (New York) bard, Mr. Hosmer. It's possible that for the last few years before Fowler's arrival in town that business had been a bit slow - it was reportedly in Lent's Tavern that Masonic tell-tale William Morgan had last been seen back in 1827. Recently, at the beginning of 1830 there had been some excitement here in town (actually not even a village until 1834). On January 2nd, Samuel Davis had been murdered, a father and son, both anti-Masons, had been accused of the crime. The trial would take place later in the year (we'll wait until we get to Batavia for that account, next time).

Apparently Mrs. Lent was quite a formidable character in her own right. Lynne Belluscio, director of the Le Roy Historical Society recounts how, earlier that year, Presbyterian minister the Rev. Crawford took Lydia Lent to task for having recently attended a dance. She was directed to report and explain such scandalous behavior. She refused, explaining in a letter that it was none of Crawford's business. In turn Crawford banned her from attending services for three months. Upon which her husband entered the church and nailed the door to their paid-for pew closed, to keep other parishioners out