Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Jan 1

Dr. William Kirkpatrick, superintendent of the Onondaga Salt Springs, reports that last year 221,011 bushels of salt, (not including 100 bushels delivered to the Onondaga Indians) at a duty of 3¢ per bushel, have yielded a revenue of $6,630 33.

Jan 7

Cleveland & Sons contracts with the incipient Seneca Lock Navigation Company to erect a lock and dam at Waterloo for $317,646.

Mar 12

The Onondaga County village of Manlius is incorporated.


The newly-organized township of Mendon holds its first town meeting at the home of Thomas Ewer. Timothy Barnard is elected moderator and will run the first post office. Cornelius Treat is appointed assessor.

Apr 2

Binghamton is incorporated.

Apr 6

New York's Seneca Lock Navigation Company is incorporated, with a capital stock of $50,000, and secures the rights from the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company to improve navigation on the Seneca River (eventually part of the Cayuga and Seneca Canal). The legislation sets a minimum lock dimension of twelve feet broad at the base and seventy feet in length between the gates. The company has five years to complete the work and provisions are made for the state to subscribe for 500 shares after the first 1,000 shares are distributed.

Apr 12

The Steuben County Town of Prattsburgh is created.

Apr 13

Rochester pioneer Ebenezer “Indian” Allan dies in Delaware (in the future Canadian province of Ontario, at the age of 60.

Apr 18

Lake Ontario ice breaks up at Sackets Harbor.

May 13

A British naval force strikes at the mouth of the Genesee River (Charlotte), on Lake Ontario, remove some stores and depart. They leave a receipt with Bushnell's store. Flour from Brown’s Mill is moved beforehand to the woods to keep it out of British hands.

May 28

British troops under James Yeo, attack Sackets Harbor.

Jun 19

British naval forces attempt a landing at Sodus Point, are rebuffed.

Jun 20

The British land at Sodus unopposed. Not finding any naval stores they burn the village.


U. S. General Peter B. Porter leads a force of militia, regular troops and Seneca Indians, to repulse a British attack at Black Rock. ** Future Geneseo schoolteacher Epaphroditus Bigelow enlists in the 1st Regiment, Connecticut State Troops, under Captain Enos Buell.

Jul 11

British forces depart across the Niagara River to attack Black Rock at 2 AM. They drift past the chosen landing site. After landing, Fitzgibbon's force heads for the enemy barracks and blockhouse, burning them before moving on to Fort Gibson. General Porter slips out in his nightshirt five minutes ahead of Fitzgibbon and heads towards Buffalo and his militia.


U. S. ships drive off a British naval force at the mouth of the Genesee River. ** ­ Epaphroditus Bigelow receives an honorable discharge. ** While the battle of Lake Erie is taking place Seneca Indians in the southern tier assemble to protect Anna Church at Angelica, alone while her husband's trapped in Europe by the war.

Nov 7

Early Pittsford settler Josiel Farr dies at the age of 66.


Troops and civilians fleeing the British arrive in Batavia, which will become the central war office. The postmaster’s wife Lucy Brisbane offers to get food for the wounded Winfield Scott’s troops if he will see that her home is protected. The offer is accepted.

Dec 14

Rochesterville’s first sawmill begins operating.

Dec 18

British Colonel John Murray captures Fort Niagara from the U. S. ** British General Phineas Riall razes Lewiston.

Dec 29

The British under Drummond attack Black Rock and Buffalo over the next two days. The house of Gamaliel St. John will be the only building to remain standing.

Dec 30

Buffalo doctor Cyrenius Chapin, called to military duty, has his two daughters taken to his farm at Hamburg, ten miles away, by 13-year old future Buffalo mayor Hiram Pratt.


William Weston turns down an offer to become chief engineer on the Erie Canal. Benjamin Wright accepts the post. ** The Seneca Lock Navigation Company is incorporated and secures the rights from The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company to improve navigation on the Seneca River. ** U. S. politician and Pulteney land agent Robert Troup builds the first house on Geneva’s Washington Street, at No. 98. ** The Ontario and Western Turnpike, between Canandaigua and the Niagara Frontier, is completed. ** The legislature provides for an assistant deputy superintendent for the Onondaga Salt Works. ** John Jennings becomes proprietor of the Painted Post Tavern. ** Canandaigua's Congregational church is built, at a cost of $13,000. ** Monroe County's Town of Boyle has a population of 2,860. ** The region that comprised Ontario County in 1791, in the Census of 1810 had reached 72,774 people, as opposed to 1,075 then. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company pays its second and final dividend - 3%. ** Ridge Road is pushed through from Parma to Buffalo and a bridge built on the Niagara River at Lewiston. ** The family of future western New York settler David Piffard moves back to London from Paris. ** Pompey Academy in the Military Tract (Onondaga County) is given Lot 15 of Towmship 5. ** Canandaigua lawyer Nathaniel W. Howell is elected to the Thirteenth Congress. ** The town of Sweden has a population of 819, with 140 households. ** Daniel Penfield builds a house on the future Penfield Road. In the late 20th century it will become the Yellow Rose CafĂ©. ** Henry Bailey builds a carding mill on Irondequoit Creek, where Thomas Creek enters the creek.


The approximate date a Presbyterian Church is organized here, the town’s first church. Also the approximate date John Rogers builds the first sawmill.


U. S. Postmasetr General Gideon Granger resigns, moves here. ** Colonel Caleb Hopkins buys Titus Lord, a teenage slave. Lord will attend Pittsford’s earliest school.

Cayuga County

1360 looms in the county turn out 340,870 yards of cloth annually. Local businesses also turn out 2500 skeins of silk and 60,000 bushels of salt. ** Eliza Davison, mother of John D. Rockefeller, is born.

Le Roy

The town of Bellona is renamed Le Roy, after prominent resident, Herman Le Roy. The Lent Tavern is built by Washington County transplant John Lent. Local land agent Egbert Benson replaces a log cabin at Buttermilk Falls with a brick residence.


Town Clerk Doctor John Ray retires after 17 years of holding the position. ** John Mann’s mills are destroyed by fire.


Postmaster Abelard Reynolds brings his family from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, builds a home on the future site of his Arcade. The first post office opens, west of the Genesee River bridge ** The village gets its first doctor, Jonah Brown, and its first schoolteacher, Miss Huldah N. Strong, who gives her first classes in a temporary schoolroom. Pittsford minister Daniel Brown travels here to preach the first church service, in the upstairs room over Jehiel Barnard’s tailor shop. Preston Smith begins operating a twice-weekly ox-wagon out to Indian Landing, Rochesterville’s first public conveyance. ** A schoolhouse is built on Fitzhugh Street, later the site of the high school. ** East bank landowners Samuel J. Andrews and Judge Moses Atwater hire millwright Eli Lyon to erect a sawmill for them at the brink of the lower falls, for $500. ** The Seneca Indians celebrate the Sacrifice of White Dog for the last time, in today's Livingston Park neighborhood. The ceremony involves the sacrifice of a white dog to expatiate sins. ** An ox-team and wagon begin regular semi-weekly service between the village and Indian Landing, Rochesterville's first public transportation. ** Twenty-two-year-old Hervey Ely arrives here from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, along with his brother Elisha, and friend Josiah Bissel. In five week he’s started his own sawmill.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Society of the Genesee's Buffalo Visit to Darwin Martin's House

Hello New Society members:
It's only necessary to notify the Muhls by Monday the 26th - with the number in our party - then show up at the Buffalo site by the appointed time. If you enjoy the experience we can get you added to the notification list for next year's meetings. We always welcome feedback. - editor

The October meeting--and final meeting for this year--will be a visit to the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo on Saturday, October 1. The house is considered one of Frank Lloyd Wright's prime achievements. Gerry Muhl has provided the information below and has made the arrangements for our visit and for lunch afterwards.

Our guided tour is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., so please plan to arrive by 10:15 a.m. We will gather at the large glass pavilion next to the site. Tour tickets are $12.00. We will have a guided tour of the main house and grounds for one hour. The last stop is the carriage house gift shop. From there, we will drive one half mile to Buffalo's "Little Italy" for lunch at Guttuso's North End Trattoria, located at 1458 Hertel Avenue (716-235-8070).

After the tour and lunch you may want to visit the Buffalo Zoo, one of the best in the state and only three blocks from the Martin House. The Albright Knox Art Museum and the Buffalo Historical Society are one half mile away also.

Please let Gerry Muhl know that you are coming by calling him at (585) 336-9459 or by email at Gerry would appreciate it if you could notify him by Monday, September 26, 2011.

1. From the large toll booth at the Buffalo end of Thruway, bear left to Route 33 West. Head towards Buffalo on Route 33.
2. Exit from Route 33 onto Route 198 West and head a few blocks to Main Street (Rt 5) Turn right onto Main Street, heading north.
3. Proceed on Main Street to the intersection of Jewett Parkway and turn LEFT (Jewett is well marked). NOTE: Jewett PARKWAY turns LEFT off Main Street, Jewett AVENUE turns RIGHT off Main Street at the same intersection!
4. Proceed on Jewett Parkway to the Martin House, located at 125 Jewett Parkway. Park where you can on the street, as there is no parking lot.

1. Head a few blocks on Jewett Parkway to Parkside Avenue (away from Main Street and the Martin House). Turn RIGHT on Parkside.
2. Go about 10 blocks to Hertel Avenue and turn LEFT. (Hertel is a main intersection).
3. A few blocks ahead you will see Guttuso's on the RIGHT side of the street next to a Bank of America. It has big pots of flowers outside. There is free parking in the lot behind the Bank of America or on the street. Lunches range between $8.00 and $12.00. Their website is

Saturday, September 17, 2011


© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Traditional & Historic Songs of New York

Greece Historical Society and Museum

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – 7:00 p.m. Greece Town Hall, One Vince Tofany Blvd.

A lecture/concert by Dave Ruch

In this concert-and-lecture program, Dave Ruch ( presents and tells the stories behind the songs of real “Yorkers” from days gone by – farmers, lumbermen, soldiers, Native Americans, canallers, lake sailors, and more – collected through considerable research and interpreted for all to enjoy with guitar, banjo, mandolins, jaw harp and more. A selection of music from the War of 1812 will also be included.

Dave Ruch from Buffalo, NY is a special musician and performer widely noted for his ability to engage audiences of all kinds. Equal parts historian, entertainer, educator, humorist and folklorist, Dave gives over 300 programs each year at schools, museums, libraries, historical societies, music festivals, professional conferences, cultural organizations and community events. He has performed widely in the northeastern USA, Canada and the UK.

This is a Speakers in the Humanities event, which is free and open to the public, and made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Reservations are not necessary.

For more information call 585-225-7221

Underground Railroad Familiarization Tour

Friday, September 9, 2011


Feb 5
Governor Tompkins's committee submits a report suggesting the basic features of a common school system that will become state law later in the year.
Mar 20                       
The towns of Concord, Eden and Hamburg are established.      

Mar 30
Holland Land Company agent Joseph Ellicott writes from Batavia to his boss Paolo Busti in Philadelphia, reporting on his meeting in Albany with the canal commissioners, in which they attempted to find out just how much land the Holland group would be willing to donate for such a waterway. Ellicott refers the question to Busti.
Apr 20
U. S. vice-president and former state governor George Clinton dies in Washington, D. C. at the age of 72.
May 1
Hamlet Scrantom and his wife and six children arrive at the falls of the Genesee, becoming the first white family to settle in the future Rochester area west of the river. The site is on today's State Street, just north of the Four Corners, home to the Powers Building.
May 4
Busti writes to Ellicott that, while disapproving the final route as too far north in Genesee County, he nevertheless agrees to the appropriation, by the state, of one half of a township for a twenty-year option, for the canal. He expresses doubts the canal will ever be built.
May 20
Rochester pioneer shoemaker Jesse Hatch is born to Lemuel and Mary Williams Hatch in Granville.
May 26
The Monroe County Town of Perinton is formed out of the Town of Boyle. ** The Ontario County Town of Mendon is taken off from the Town of Bloomfield, becomes part of Monroe County.
Jun 1
The northwestern New York Town of Porter is formed, named for Niagara County’s first judge, Augustus Porter.
Jun 8
The towns of Pembroke and Bergen are formed out of the town of Batavia.
Jun 10
The Monroe County town of Northampton in has its name changed to Gates.
Jun 18
The Steuben County town of Cohocton is formed from Bath and Dansville. The Town of Howard is also formed.
Jun 27
The cargo ship Commencement, out of Black Rock, is seized by the British on Lake Ontario.
Jul 4
The Scrantom family moves into the cabin built for them by Henry Skinner.
Commodore Isaac Chauncey is named commander of U. S. naval forces on lakes Ontario and Erie.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, saddler Abelard Reynolds, newly arrived in Rochesterville, is named postmaster. He was on his way to settle in Ohio, but liked the Genesee Falls area so much he changed his mind and bought lots 23 and 24 on Main Street. Postage revenues for the first quarter of operation will total $3.42.
Nov 3
A Republican caucus chooses De Witt Clinton to run for the governorship.
Nov 21
U. S. forces at Fort Niagara exchange gunfire with British artillery at Fort George, across the Niagara River.
Dec 25
Cornelia Wadsworth is born in Geneseo to James and Naomi Wolcott Wadsworth.
The changeover from the office of State Auditor General to State Comptroller, legislated in 1797, is completed. The office will be under the jurisdiction of Council of Appointment until 1822. ** Jonathan Child opens a store in part of Peter Holloway’s East Bloomfield tavern. ** In Cayuga County, Sterling is taken off the town of Cato. ** John Walker builds the first frame house in Canadice. ** Hamilton College is founded in Clinton. ** Early settler William Dayton arrives in Alden. ** Philip Church's Angelica mansion is completed. ** Cary Burdie and Peter Henderson settle the Oswego town of Albion. ** The state canal commission is denied funds. ** Future abolitionist Gerrit Smith enrolls in Hamilton College. ** The approximate date farmer Martin Keiffer builds a two-story log cabin in Rush, near Honeoye Creek. It will become part of the Genesee Country Museum. ** British investor Patrick Colquhoun is compensated by the heirs of fellow capitalist Sir William Pulteney for state lands overlooked by the original 1791 survey. Colquhoun had foreseen the possibility and written it into his contract with fellow investor Pulteney. ** The Ontario County Town of Canadice experiences a large influx of settlers. * A log cabin tavern, later to be known as the East Mendon Hotel, is built. ** The approximate date a stone arsenal is erected on Main Street in Batavia. ** Construction begins on a house for Dr. Ives, a dentist, on the East Seneca Turnpike, east of Sinai (later Jamesville). ** Thomas Stokoe starts a farm near Scottsville. It will still be in operation more than a hundred and eighty years later. ** The debt on James and Williams Wadswoth's Genesee Valley lands rises above $62,000. ** The approximate date Colonel James Leslie Voorhees moves to central New York from the Mohawk Valley. ** Stonington, Connecticut, native George Brown buys 640 acres at the future site of Branchport from John Beddoe, intending to build an inn there. ** A road from Avon to Buffalo, via Batavia, is built. ** A squatters’ town, Sandytown, grows between Buffalo and Black Rock. ** A dam at Port Byron creates a mill pond from Owasco Lake Outlet creek. ** Mary Jemison’s sons John and Jesse, and her son-in-law George Shongo, are working for Wolf Creek sawmill owner Robert Whaley, of Castile. ** Victor is broken off from Bloomfield, and named for Claudius Victor Boughton, veteran of the current war with Britain. ** A state law extends the canal commission and authorizes its members to borrow and deposit money, and to accept land transfers. The war with Britain will delay further operations.
Gilbert R. Berry's widow ceases to operate his inn. ** Timothy Hosmer takes over as innkeeper of the Hosmer Stand, owned by his brothers Algernon Sidney and William T. Hosmer. ** John Pierson builds the White Horse Tavern. ** Lawyer poet William Howe Cuyler Hosmer is born to Avon lawyer George Hosmer and his wife.
Le Roy
The town of Bellona is created out of part of Caledonia. It will be renamed Le Roy next year. ** An inn is built at West Main Street and Craigie Street. It will one day become the residence of Harold B. Ward. ** After Buffalo is burned by the British at the end of 1813, blacksmith John Gilbert this year moves east to Le Roy. ** Dr. Levi Ward is authorized by the U.S. postmaster general to transport weekly mail between Caledonia and Charlotte.
The approximate date distiller and land speculator Augustus Ellicott builds a house here. Later known as the Hargous-Briggs house, it will eventually become the convent of St. Louis Church. The Phoenix Hotel, at the village’s main intersection, is also built about this time. ** Farmer Noah Norton dies during a typhoid epidemic.
A 120-plus acre piece of property east of the Genesee River, on the future site of Rochester, is bought for mill sites by Samuel J. Andrews and Judge Caleb Atwater for under $2000, a depressed price due to the war. ** The village of Rochesterville is laid out on the Genesee, below the falls. ** The approximate date Boyle is renamed Smallwood. ** Benjamin Wright is hired to survey Frankfort. ** A public square is chosen as the site for a court house. ** Francis Brown and several others arrive from Rome, New York, with mill irons from Albany, run into deep mud west of the Genesee. ** Matthew Brown’s clerk Gaiu B. Rich arrives from Rome with two sleighs full of goods. Rich had stopped at Stone's Tavern in Brighton, traveled to the mouth of the Genesee on the east side, crossed on the ice and driven south to the Upper Falls. ** The bridge across the Genesee River at Main Street is completed. ** Settler Darius Perrin arrives in the area. ** Nathaniel Rochester starts a settlement on the site of the old Ebenezer “Indian” Allan mill site. ** Settler Enos Stone builds a frame house, the first on the east bank of the Genesee River, to replace his log cabin. ** The Tinker family arrives in the Henrietta area. ** The village begins getting mail once a week, often by a female post rider. ** Educator Celestia Bloss is born.
A house is built in Onondaga Hollow for John Gridley. Fearing British troops might harm the house he has a Masonic emblem carved into the keystone over the front doorway. ** State legislation is passed requiring the Superintendent of the Onondaga Salt Springs be appointed by the Legislature rather than by the Governor and Senate. William Kirkpatrick is re-appointed Superintendent. ** A house on the West Seneca Turnpike is built for General James Hutchinson.
War of 1812
House Foreign Relations Committee chair Peter Buell Porter, of Buffalo pushes for a declaration of war against England. Instead of running for re-election to Congress he will enlist, becoming a major general.
© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Monday, September 5, 2011

WBTA marks 40th anniversary of Attica Prison riot with special news series

From the Batavian blog:

Here's a press release from The Batavian's news partner WBTA:

This week AM-1490 WBTA & will air a special presentation marking the 40th anniversary of the Attica Prison Riot.

Listeners in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are invited to tune into the “Listen Live” stream, Sept. 6-9 for a news series called “Attica at 40: In Our Own Words.”

This series takes a retrospective look at the Attica Prison Riot through the eyes of WBTA correspondents who lived it in 1971. Produced and anchored by WBTA’s Geoff Redick, this 40th anniversary commemorative broadcast takes place as a special feature on Main & Center, beginning at approximately 9:07 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Former WBTA personalities Rich Funke, Jim Lanigan and Frank Mangefrida recount their experiences at Attica, and in area hospitals following the tragic massacre of prisoners and hostages. The series concludes on Friday, Sept. 9 – the day the riot began – with a special appearance by former WBTA president Bill Brown, offering one of his legendary on-air editorials.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Society of the Genesee Meeting

The (Saturday) September 10 meeting will be a tour of the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 West Main Street in Batavia.

Don Kneeland has arranged for us to meet there at 10:30 a.m. Admission is a $2 donation. After the tour of the Holland Land Office we will have lunch at Sunny's, 12 Batavia City Center, at 1:00 p.m.

If you are planning to attend, please reply to me by Wednesday, September 7th, to let me know that you will be attending.

Reply to me at

Martha Johnstone

Editor: New members are always welcome to join us. No membership dues required. To get on the mailing list e-mail Martha Johnstone at the above e-mail.


Living History Special Event “Abolition Meeting and Cookout” to be Held at Hull Family Home & Farmstead September 10th

Hull House Foundation, in collaboration with Mo’ Better Buffalo, the heritage tourism/historical re-enactment marketing and development company, will host the “Abolition Meeting and Cookout” on Saturday, September 10, 2011 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Hull Family Home & Farmstead, 5976 Genesee Street at Pavement Road in Lancaster, New York.

This first-of-its-kind fundraising and awareness-raising event will include:

Docent-guided tour of the c. 1810 National Register-listed Hull House currently under restoration;

Cookout luncheon catered by authentic New Orleans Chef Dale Holt;

Living History Re-enactment, “Women’s Anti-Slavery Meeting hosted by Sophia Hull.” Sophia Hull was one of the Hulls’ twelve children who lived in the home, and who later was a prominent leader in the Abolition movement.

Advance reservations are required. Tickets are $50 per person or $75 per couple.

Proceeds go toward the restoration of the Hull Family Home & Farmstead.

Reservations should be made online at For special rates for children, families and groups, or for more information, call 716-362-0230 or email:

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Mo’ Better Buffalo to prototype this Living History adventure as a new heritage tourism product that potentially can become a source of income for the preservation of our site,” Hull HouseFoundation President

Hull Family Home & Farmstead, 5976 Genesee Street at Pavement Road, Lancaster, NY 14086

Gary Costello said. “It’s another opportunity for us together to share more of the stories of WNY’s rich past in some new engaging ways.”

Mo' Better Buffalo is a partnership of Kevin Cottrell’s Motherland Connextions Underground Railroad Tours and Outside the Box, a marketing and development communications business. Founded in 2004, its collaborative mission is to develop and market heritage tours and living history re-enactment products as a sustainable strategy for regional economic development.

“This concept of ‘histonomics,’ cultivated with foresight, has a great potential to bring positive economic change to Buffalo and the surrounding region,” Cottrell said. “There is an untapped market for innovative tourism products that immerse people in a viable and authentic living history experience. With its rich history, multicultural history and many historic structures and landmarks, the Buffalo-Niagara region offers a nearly limitless resource for the development of these products, which can be implemented as an effective tool for both not-for-profit and private sector advancement.”

“Our September 10 event is an opportunity for an enjoyable different sort of afternoon, a fine outdoor meal and sharing in regional history in an engaging and entertaining way. You’ll also be supporting our ongoing efforts to fully restore Erie County’s oldest intact residence, a singular historic resource for the WNY region,” Costello said.

The Hull Family Home & Farmstead is the project of Hull House Foundation, the all-volunteer non-profit organization formed in 2006 to research, restore and operate the site, anchored by Erie County’s oldest residence c. 1810, as a Living History interpretive experience representative of the lives of the earliest settlers of the Western New York region.