Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Palmyra / Lyons Canal Items - 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 forever confound and put to silence its 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. [Mordecai] Noah cannot say to 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 oppose 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 Palmyra, 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!

Thursday, September 23, 2010



Seth Pease leaves the Holland Land Office survey team.

Jan 1

Buffalo architect Lewis Falley Allen, an uncle of Grover Cleveland, is born in

Westfield, Massachusetts.

Jan 7

U. S. President Millard Fillmore is born in Summerhill.


Naples' First Presbyterian Church is organized.

Feb 4

John P. Fish is born to Josiah Fish and his second wife in Ebenezer Allan's old mill at the Falls of the Genesee, the first known white child born within the city limits of today's Rochester.

Apr 1

The Old Line Mail coach company is incorporated, with a capital stock of $110,000. It will run from Albany to Buffalo.

May 1

New York primary polls close. Burr and the Republicans sweep the state.

Jun 27

Charles Williamson and his adjutant Moses van Campen inspect his New York State Militia battalion at Bath on this day, the 28th and the 30th.


English traveler John Maude comes to New Hartford (early Avon) from Canandaigua, dines at Mrs. Berry's tavern. He moves on up the Genesee River to Stafer's (Scaheffer's) farm, near the future Geneseo, stays overnight.

Aug 18

A forty-ton schooner departs from Genesee Landing for Kingston, Ontario, carrying a cargo of potash from Canandaigua, sent via Irondequoit Bay.

Aug 19

Maude travels down the Genesee to visit the series of waterfalls. His horse slips while crossing Black Creek on a rickety pole bridge, but neither is hurt. He settles in at Genesee Landing, about four miles above Lake Ontario. Accompanied by local resident Josiah Fish he crosses the Deep Hollow on a bridge built by Fish and his neighbors. Maude visits the Falls of the Genesee, which he sketches, comments on the poor situation and condition of the mills. He mentions plans by current mill owner Charles Williamson to make improvements.

Sep 11

Binghamton lawyer and U. S. Attorney General Daniel Stevens Dickinson is born in Goshen, Connecticut, to Daniel T. and Mary Caulkins Dickisnon.


Batavia's Holland Land Company surveyor Joseph Ellicott completes the two-and-a-half-year survey of their holdings, at a total cost of $70,291.69.


Paolo Busti is named General Agent of the Holland Land Company and hires surveyor Joseph Ellicott as Land Agent.


Joseph Ellicott arrives on the site of the future Buffalo to begin operations.

Dec 3

Aaron Burr carries New York. Jefferson and Burr are elected President and Vice-President of the U. S.

Dec 5

Arabella Granger is born to Eli Granger and his wife at King's Landing, the first known white girl born within limits of today's Rochester.

Dec 13

Charles Williamson has the Pulteney lands ready to transfer back to the associates as soon as he receives $275,000 from them. The associates have invested $1,300,000 in the Genesee Valley area.


The population reaches 589,051, fewer than 100 in the western part of the state. ** Charles Williamson is named as a state representative for the third year in a row. ** James Wadsworth sells Genesee Valley land to the painter Benjamin West. ** The first printing press in Tioga County. ** Onondaga County area's white population is eight people per square mile. ** Eben Eaton begins publishing the short-lived Impartial Observer and Seneca Museum. ** The cow belonging to the recently widowed Mrs. William Wickham, wife of the Hector pioneer, is killed by a falling tree. ** Hagerstown, Maryland, businessman Colonel Nathaniel Rochester visits western New York, along with Colonel W. Fitzhugh and Major Charles Carroll, guided by Charles Williamson. Fitzhugh and Carroll purchase land from Williamson in the Mount Morris area, while Rochester buys a mill at Dannsville from David Sholl. ** A bridge is built across the northern end of Cayuga Lake by Charles Williamson and some associates, organized as the Bayard Company. ** Eli Lyon builds a flour mill on Irondequoit Creek for Daniel Penfield. Abram Bronson builds a triphammer nearby. ** The Steuben County board of supervisors does not meet, for this one year only. ** Major Isaac Smith opens an inn halfway between Caledonia and the Genesee River. ** Sir William Pulteney, worried by expenses occurred by Charles Williamson, refuses to honor further drafts for money and requests the land agent withdraw, dividing the holdings among himself, and associates William Hornby and Patrick Colquhoun. ** The first settlement in the Steuben County town of Avoca is made by Michael Buchanan. ** The total amount spent for improvements at Williamson's Mile Point house is $11,625.43. ** The approximate date the Wayne County town of Walworth is settled. ** A road is opened westward out of East Mendon. ** The approximate date Joseph Ellicott builds a house on the north side of Main Street in Batavia. ** The Reverend John Lindsley, a Reformed Protestant Dutch preacher, becomes the first minister in the Seneca County Town of Ovid. ** The approximate date a house is built by Augustus Porter at North Main Street and Scotland Road in Canandaigua. ** A Baptist Church is founded in Cheshire. ** The Town of Northampton chooses four path-masters, from Le Roy, Stafford, Durham's Grove, Clarence Hollow and Buffalo. There are fewer than 150 residents on the tax rolls of collector Peter Sheffer. A resolution is passed calling for a division of the town. ** Future Utica minister James Carnahan graduates from the College of New Jersey (Princeton). ** Roads are laid out from Irondequoit Landing and from Tryon Town to the Genesee River, via the future East Avenue. ** The road between Canandaigua and Batavia becomes a toll road, the Ontario and Genesee Turnpike Road. ** Oxford Academy in the Military Tract (Onondaga County, later Chenango County) is given Lot 25. ** The Monroe County community of Northfield has 414 residents, including 135 adults. ** Senator Gouverneur Morris suggests the construction of a canal across New York State, from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. ** Caleb and Dorothea Hopkins move from Penfield to Stonetown (Pittsford).

Cayuga County

William Stevens of Massachusetts becomes the first settler in Brutus. ** Samson Lawrence begins a settlement that will become Cato. George Snyder of Schoharie County and Israel Wolverton from Tompkins County become the first settlers in the town of Conquest.

New York City

Daniel Penfield engages James Smedley to lay out a town and roads east of the Genesee River – the future Penfield.


The sawmill on the Genesee is washed out by a spring flood. ** Future tavern keeper Abel Eaton and his brother Stephen arrive in the Allens Creek area from Hartford, Connecticut.

(c) 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Davis mansion - Town of Gorham

by George Henry, Historian

Three brothers Phillip, John and William left Wales and migrated to the new United States. Philip settled in Pennsylvania. He early came to Hopwell in 1789 where he purchased in township ten, second range, lot number five ( this is in the Chapin area) two hundred ninety three acres for 44 pounds. In 1790 he purchased lot number seven, joining the above property, two hundred and ninety three acres for 43 pounds. He built four mills and sold the property.

Then in 1796 the same Philip Davis of Northumberland PA. purchased from Nathaniel Gorham in township number nine`town of Gorham east side of Canandaigua lake 1051 acres for 163 pounds. (this is $270.00 at current exchange rate) The description of the property is as follows.

"Beginning at the north line of the town and the lake 186 perches east to a stake.
Then south two miles and 186 perches to a stake.
Then running west 270 perches to the lake. Then north along the lake to the beginning."

Thanks to Mary Jo Lamphear at the county archives I was able to find what a "perch" is. It is a rod or about 16.5 feet. The property then is about one half mile east along the Hopewell Gorham town line, then south two and one half miles about to the Kipp road then west to the lake.

This track was later taken over by Philip's son William. He planned to allow use of the land for a limited period in consideration for it's improvements. When the land was in condition for crops a rental was taken of five to seven bushels of wheat per acre.

Ezekel S. Davis born 1818 in Northumberland PA was a son of William and Mary Davis. In 1840 he came to Gorham and took possession of the remaining 300 acres left him by his father. The Davis tract then extended from the Turner Rd. to the Hopewell town line. He built his home on the corner of the Turner Rd. and the East Lake Rd. He married Elizabeth Thorp from Gorham in 1841.

Edmund Davis born 1848 married Anna Spry in 1873. They lived in the home built by his father Ezelel. Both Edmund and Anna are buried in the Reed Corners cemetery.

On March 17, 1928 Edmund and Anna Davis sold to Clarence J. and Frierda M Averill the remaining Davis land. Mr. Averill, commonly known as Jack, operated a gas and oil business. He also had another branch on the west side of the lake. Jack added a large circular porch to the House.

On April 1, 1944 Clarence J. and Frieda M. Averill sold the property to Donald M. and Louisa R. MacKinzie. On April 10 MacKinzie filed a DBA for the MacKinzie Inn. And the old Davis mansion became a Restaurant and Inn for the next fifteen years.

The MacKinzies sold the property to Edith Perger on July 1, 1959. Who sold it to George Chapelsky and Leah Parry on July 16, 1962. They filed a DBA on December 12, 1962. It then became known as the Parisian Manor.

This last part is a bit fuzzy and taken from memory of three different people. There was never a DBA filed. But sometime between 1962 and 1972 it was leased by a Mr. Streeter and became known as the Chula Vista.

On June 30, 1972 Edith Perger foreclosed on the mortgage and again retained title to the property. On February 19, 1975 Edith Perger sold the property to Joseph E. And Dorothy A. Kennedy. Today the Davis mansion has been converted to apartments.

Source material
Conver-History of Ontario county
record of deeds Ontario County Archives
Ancestry genealogy records
Ontario County Clerk

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Artisans' Loft in Pultneyville will host a book release party featuring Eileen Loveman & her Book of Stories From The Lake: A Collection of Columns, on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010, from 3-5 pm at The Landing at Pultneyville. Reservations required for this complimentary hors d’oeuvre reception.

Introduction of author at 3:30 pm who will speak about her 5-year collection of columns, and answer questions. Tickets [$12] available at Artisans' Loft. Cash bar available for this event.

Cazenovia College's Faculty Library Lecture Series

The seventh season: "Great Minds / Great Ideas," at Cazenovia Public Library and the Manlius Library, continues beginning Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. The series, sponsored by Doris Eversfield Webster, Cazenovia College Class of 1946, features noted faculty members from Cazenovia College discussing the lives and work of important thinkers who opened doors of opportunity for the human spirit. Ample time for questions and conversation follows each lecture. Complete information may be found at

Sept. 21, 2010, at The Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Avenue, Manlius, N.Y. "Real Horse Power!" presented by Karin Bump, professor of equine studies. This presentation will encompass a journey through time to provide an understanding of 'horse power' from past to present, and celebrate the remarkable power of the horse to capture the hearts and minds of young and old alike.

Sept. 21, 2010, at Cazenovia Public Library, 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, N.Y. "What a Great Idea! The Inventive Minds behind Some of Our Favorite Toys," presented by Scott Jensen, assistant professor of visual communications. The creators of many familiar toys all started with a great idea... but didn't always know what to do with it. Discover the fascinating stories of these and some other familiar playthings in this fun, playful lecture.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable

Meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15th at the American Legion, 53 West Main St., Le Roy. A discussion period will follow. Prospective new members are welcome

John Baronich will present "Underground Quilt Codes",

explaining how slaves would follow this code to freedom.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

1825's Grand Celbration

This Monday evening, September 13th, I will be giving a talk at the Pittsford Library, on the celebrations held along the new Erie Canal and the Hudson River, on down to south of Manhattan, where the Wedding of the Waters took place off New Jersey's Sandy Hook.

The talk will begin at 7 PM at the rear of the library. Parking in back. Admission is free.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hamlin CCC / POW Camp

The Greece Historical Society is offering a free lecture on the Hamlin Civilian Conservation Corps and POW Camp at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at Greece Town Hall, 1 Vince Tofany Blvd.

The discussion will be led by Ed Evans, a retired teacher and historian. Evans and a crew of volunteers have excavated a site in Hamlin that was established as a CCC camp in 1935 and later served as a POW camp until 1946 when the buildings were destroyed.

For details, call (585) 225-7221 or go to

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Society September Trip

Here are the details for the meeting on September 18 in Syracuse. If you plan to attend, please contact me by email at or by telephone at (585) 473-0404. Thanks to David Minor for making these arrangements.

We're all set for the 18th. We will meet at the Onondaga Historical Association at 321 Montgomery Street in downtown Syracuse at 11AM Saturday morning. We will be on our own to explore the exhibits. The OHA's website explains, "Our museum is free, however, we encourage donations. We have many permanent exhibits covering areas of interest including the Underground Railroad, the Franklin Automobile, local brewing artifacts and early pottery manufacturing in CNY."

The Everson Museum of Art, several blocks away within easy walking distance will also be open for those who wish to divide their time between the two facilities. "Our permanent collection encompasses approximately 11,000 objects, including paintings, ceramics, sculpture and videos."

At 2 PM we will gather for lunch at Coleman's Authentic Irish Pub to the west of downtown - 100 South Lowell Avenue. Gerry Muhl will provide us with driving instructions at the OHA. We'd like to be able to provide them with an approximate number for us, by the day before or at least by that morning, so please reply to Martha Johnstone by e-mail reply or phone when you're more certain of your plans.

From the west - Take the New York State Thruway to exit 39 toward I-690
East. Drive 1.0 miles then keep right at the fork, follow signs for I-690
E and merge towards the Fairgrounds/Syracuse. After 2 miles take the exit
toward S West Street. After a tenth of a mile keep left at the fork toward
S West St. Curve slightly to the right after 2 tenths of a mile. After
another 3 tenths of a mile take the first left onto West Fayette Street.
Half a mile further turn right at Montgomery Street and the OHA will be on
your left. There are a number of parking lots in the immediate area.

If coming up from the south on I-81 - Take Exit 18 at Harrison Street,
drive two blocks west to South State Street and the local parking lots
near the intersection in the next block. You'll be within walking distance
of the OHA. Hope to see you there.

(Non-Members are welcome on our trips. Just let Martha Johnstone know you're planning on attending. Let her know as well if you'd like to b put on the e-mail list for announcements of future meetings.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Viewer's Query

Received the following e-mail several days ago. Perhaps one of our viewers has some information on the following four queries. If so feel free to respond to me and I'll post the information

or directly to the writer, Trevor Delafield


I was pleased to find your website and to find out about your publication.

I see you have as an objective to preserve knowledge about persons figuring in the history of the region. Do you have any source material or sources of information about any of the following:

1. A person by the name of Delafield who had a farm on one of the Finger Lakes which was designated as NY State Farm at some time in the 19th century, and was one of the founders of the NY State Agricultural Institute (or something similar which became or became part of Cornell).

2. A Dr. F B Hahn, of Canandaigua, President I think of County Medical Society in his county, c. 1840s, 1850s.

3. An O.R.L. Crosier, a school teacher and editor and writer, same period, from vicinity of Clifton Springs or Canandaigua.

4. Also, there was a gentleman in a small town in the Finger Lakes area somewhere whom I met in the late 1980s, or early 1990s who was very knowledgeable about the Washington Hand Press, the hand press which was responsible for the dissemination of much of the intellectual output of the early and mid-19th century nation-wide. He was elderly at the time but I wonder whether this gentleman has come to the attention of anyone in your entity and whether he passed along his interest in early printing to anyone. That would have been a significant area activity. Most towns had their periodicals and printing establishments.

Trevor Delafield