Sunday, November 27, 2011




The first settlers - Vermonters Isaac Smith, Rufus Trumbull and Reuben Wolcox, and Otsego County’s Elias Smith - arrive in Allegany County and settle the future Town of Granger.

Feb 10

Future Pittsford farmer, grocer and politician Jarvis Lord is born in Ballston Spa.

Mar 8

The New York State Canal Commission submits its final report to the legislature, based on surveys done by Benjamin Wright.


The approximate date Jacob Townsend sends his son Sheldon to Oswego aboard the schooner Niagara to work for his partner Alvin Bronson, a Lake Ontario commission agent.

Apr 4

Connecticut–born silversmith Eleazor Southworth and his wife Mary Southworth settle in Elba.


Killing frosts over the next three months wipe out all major crops in the Genesee Valley - The Year Without a Summer.

Jun 7

Light snow falls over the Finger Lakes.


Edwin Scrantom is apprenticed to A. G. Dauby, publisher of the new Weekly Gazette, the first newspaper in Rochesterville.

Sep 3

Holland Land Office clerk David E. Evans marries Lucy Grant in Batavia.

Sep 7

The steamboat Frontenac is launched in Buffalo for the Lake Ontario trade.


Bethlehem, Connecticut, store clerk Charles J. Hill, left without a job when his employer retires, and having moved to Rochesterville, then to Utica, then back to Rochesterville, accepts a bookkeeper’s job with Bissell & Ely.

Dec 2

Rochester nurseryman George Ellwanger is born at Gross-Heppach, Germany.

Dec 30

Two Oswego, New York lake sailors – Captain McDonald of the schooner British Queen and sailor Duncan Campbell - fight a duel with rifles at 15 rods - over claimed advances made to Campbell’s wife. Both men survive the incident.


The grandparents of temperance reformer Frances Willard settle in the Churchville area. ** The first printing press in Monroe and Seneca counties. ** The approximate date David Rumsey founds the Bath Gazette and Benjamin Smead begins the Steuben (& Allegany) Patriot. ** General Peter Porter is appointed to the commission studying the boundary with Canada. He resigns from Congress this year, builds a house in Black Rock (Buffalo). ** A front porch with Doric columns is added to Batavia’s Holland Land Office. ** Dansville’s Colonel Nathaniel Rochester is appointed a presidential/vice-presidential elector for the second time. ** Elisha Swift tours the state as a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. ** Eliphalet Follet settles on Chautauqua Road to the east of Rutledge, founding he village of Connewango, where he will soon build a tavern. ** The first church in Brutus is founded by the Methodist Episcopalians. ** The state office of Deputy Superintendent of the Onondaga Salt Works is abolished and the salary of the Superintendent is increased by $250 a year. A duty of 12.5¢ per bushel is levied on Onondaga salt for the increase of the canal fund. The Superintendent, instead of making a yearly report, is required to make one quarterly, and pay into the State treasury , all money collected, except expenses, on the first Tuesday of February, May, August and November. ** The Seneca Republican becomes the Ithaca Journal . ** Amos Bliss opens the first inn in the Erie County village of Alden. Seth Eastabrook opens the first store there. ** Nathaniel and Mehitable Kellogg arrive in Sodus with their family, from Williamstown, Massachusetts. They build a frame house at Main and Mill streets. ** The capital earmarked for the Seneca Lock Navigation Company project is increased to $60,000. ** Joseph Adams and his son Bina, along with Joseph Bartlett, make the first settlement in the Cattaraugus County Town of Otto. ** Canandaigua's St. John's Episcopal Church builds a wooden building at 183 North Main Street. ** Settler Horace Fowler becomes a deacon in Cohocton's First Presbyterian Church. ** The U. S. Government declines to participate in an Erie canal project. ** Bela Coe sells Coe's Stage House in Canandaigua for $14,000 and moves with his brother Canfield to Auburn, where they purchase William Bostwick's tavern. ** Benjamin Wright appoints Nathan Roberts assistant engineer, responsible for the section of the new canal between Rome and the Seneca River. ** The Comstock family of Quakers buy land in the future Lockport area, plant an orchard. ** Michah Brooks of Bloomfield and Jellis Clute of Leicester begin negotiations to purchase part of Mary Jemison’s Gardeau Reservation lands on the Genesee River. ** Educator Simon Newell begins raising $4,000 for a academy at Middlebury. ** Penfield sawmill owner Samuel Rich builds a home on Five-Mile-Line Road, still standing in the 21st Century.


The town annexes part of the town of Angelica. ** The first Seventh Day Baptist church is completed.


Judge Elijah Miller has a house built in Auburn. He will give it to his daughter Frances and her new husband William Henry Seward in 1824. Carpenter Brigham Young works on the house. ** Auburn Prison is built. ** The original Auburn Academy is destroyed by fire.


The approximate year David Rumsey attempts to revivie the Farmers’ Advocate; the paper lasts about a year. ** A two-square -mile area based on Pulteney Square is incorporated into the village.


The city is reincorporated. ** The Old Red Warehouse is built on the waterfront just north of Main Street. ** A request for harbor improvement funding is sent to Albany. Only a survey results.


Hardware merchant Phineas Prouty, Sr. begins advertising in local newspapers. He joins the first fire company, formed this year. ** Branchport landowner John Beddoe advertises 5,000 acres for sale, in the Geneva Gazette.


A house (later known as the Guetersloh house), is built on Church Street, for the village’s first doctor, John Ray. ** Village Presbyterians begin meeting in a frame house at the Milepost.


Pioneer Oliver Culver builds a house and tavern on East Avenue. ** Pioneer Ashbel W. Riley arrives. ** Elisha Johnson buys eighty acres of Enos Stone's farm on the eastern bank of the Genesee River for $10,000. ** A cotton mill, utilizing 1,392 spindles, is built. ** The population totals 331 at the beginning of the year, approaches 500 toward the end. ** Albany printer Everard Peck, a native of Berlin, Connecticut, moves his business here. ** Forms for "Petitions for a Division of the Counties of Genesee and Ontario" are printed here, the first printing job in the village. Forms will be made up again in 1818, 1819, and 1820. ** Matthew and Francis Brown, Sr. have a 1200-foot mill race dug along the western rim of the Genesee River gorge.

Sackets Harbor

The Ontario, the first steamboat on the Great Lakes, is launched. ** Construction of the Madison Barracks military post is begun.

Steuben County

The board of supervisors, contravening last year's decision to not pay Indians bounties on wolves and panthers, pays Tall John, a Bath-area native, $27.50 in bounties on wolves. ** The county’s tax levy amounts to $11,696.61. **

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, November 24, 2011


If retailers have "Black Friday" on the day after Thanksgiving, Graycliff offers an alternative:"Orange Friday" –the color of autumn leaves and the muted hues of Frank Lloyd Wright'smagnificent architecture at Graycliff.  Fresh air and stellar architecture are on offer, with tours every hour on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 25,
2011…and throughout the holiday weekend as well.
(Graycliff will be closed on Thanksgiving Day itself.)

Some fresh air and some leisurely walking are just the thing after all that pie!  Enjoy the last of the autumn foliage a short twenty minute drive along the lake from downtown Buffalo.
Then tour Graycliff's stunning architecture, and sip a free cup of hot mulled cider.

If you insist, you can even shop—there are all kinds of exclusive items available in Graycliff's Pavilion Gift Shop.  Reservations are required; please call 716-947-9217 or email
Please see our website at for more details.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Quotable Buffalo Debuts Tomorrow

A new book compiled by respected local historian Cynthia Van Ness is sure to spark lively conversation throughout Western New York. Quotable Buffalo: The Most Marvelous and Maddening Things Ever Said About the Queen City is a colorful collection of 250 quotes that focuses on every aspect of our region.

From the description of the book: People talk. When it comes to Buffalo, they've beenobserving, debating, admiring, and, yes, bashing us for over200 years. Quotable Buffalo presents some of the most insightful, complimentary, opinionated, unexpected,wrong-headed, and laugh-out-loud things ever said aboutthe Queen City. These quotes were found in books, magazines, newspapers, websites, and blogs, and showcase the voices of the living and the dead, the resident and the visitor, the famous and the anonymous. Only Buffalo could have united Abraham Lincoln, Leon Czolgosz, ElbertHubbard, Jackie Robinson, Garrison Keillor, Aretha Franklin, and Ani DiFranco in one small book!

Cynthia is a tireless advocate for promoting the history of Buffalo and has another publication, "Victorian Buffalo," which documents Buffalo life in 19th Century through historical photos. She is the director of the library archives at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and is always willing to lend a helpful hand in researching the history of the city. She operates the Buffalo Research website, which provides links and guides for anyone doing research about the city including buildings, people, and much more.

Quotable Buffalo retails for $11.95. Orders can be made over the phone at 716.832.6088 or via e-mail at

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1822 Central NY Canal Excursion

American Journal, Ithaca, N.Y.

July 3, 1822


The opening of the Erie canal has given a celebrity to the western part of this state, which without this great enterprise, it would have probably taken many years to acquire. Its fertile soil, its extensive and internal water communications, and its beautiful and variegated scenery begin to attract the attention of travellers and strangers. No portion of our country will within a few years be able to compete with us in prosperity and improvement. Blessed with a climate equally removed from the scorching rays of a torrid sun, and the rigor of a polar winter, all the necessities of life, may be produced in the greatest abundance: and whatever surplus ins produced, may, by means of the canal, be transported at a moderate charge to sure and profitable markets.

I have been led, Mr. Editor, to these brief reflections, from a short excursion I lately made down the Cayuga Lake to Montezuma, and a few miles on the canal. A more agreeable and pleasant excursion than this cannot be made in our country. The shores of our beautiful Lake are not surpassed by any other in this country, and perhaps in the world. In passing from Ithaca to Cayuga Bridge, we have a delightful and gradual transition from loft and elevated banks, rising with a gradual ascent to the height of five hundred feet but all susceptible of the highest cultivation, to scarcely fifty feet above the level of the Lake.

Many elegant and well-cultivated farms, line the shores of this delightful Lake; and here and there a village crowns its banks, apparently resting in ease and opulence. Prominent and appearance rises Aurora, on the easter shore of the Lake twelve miles from the Bridge. It contains between thirty and forty houses, some of them elegant, and all neat and rural. The Lake is here 4 miles wide, and the opposite shore in a high state of cultivation. Here are a male and female Academy, both in a flourishing state; and indeed its rural secluded situation, points it out as the seat of the muses. The Academic groves, and the rippling waters, carry our imaginations back to the ages of ancient Greece, to the days of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle.

Two miles below Aurora, Savanna Point projects into the Lake - a most delightful situation, and to the man of taste and rural disposition, a most desirable residence. Four miles below this, is the village of Union Springs. This has the appearance of being a thriving little spot. A large spring affording sufficient water to move a flouring mill and other machinery, gives importance to that place.

Below this, commences the chain of beds of Gypsum, of more real value to the country than the same quantity of precious metals. These quarries produce annually several thousand tons of this substance, which is consumed in the country around the Lakes, and large quantities sent up the Lake to Ithaca, from thence transported to the Susquehanna river, and floated down its current to the interior of Pennsylvania. This trade was carried to a very great extent during the late war.

From the village of Union Springs, in passing down he Lake, the Cayuga Bridge can in a clear day be perceived, stretching like a line more than a mile in length across the Lake; and the villages of East and West Cayuga, present a very pleasing appearance as they are approached from the south.

The west side of the lake, though destitute of any villages on its shores, is by no means devoid of interest. The great number of delightful farms cultivated to the very water's edge, and a number of projecting points of land, give a pleasing variety to the scenery. Some of those points have an enchanting effect upon the traveller, as they are approached. They are level plains, evidently produced by the alluvian deposits of the streams in their immediate vicinity, clothed with scattered elms and maples, and destitute of underbrush. In passing them, one is reminded of the tales of a fairy land.

This lake is becoming the channel of a very considerable commerce. It is the connecting link of a very extensive, rich, and flourishing country, with the great canal. A Steamboat has been in operation two seasons on the lake. The public are in a great measure indebted to the enterprise and public spirit of Oliver Phelps, Esq. for this eligible and delightful conveyance. The boat is more than a hundred tons burthen, handsomely fitted for the accommodation of passengers, and every attention is paid to their comfort and wants, by Mr. Phelps, who superintends himself.

Mr. Phelps has lately constructed a ingenius horse-boat to ply between the Bridge and the canal at Montezuma. This boat is a pleasing change from the monotonous movement of the canal boats, to the more animated motion of the American Water Coach, as the proprietor has very happily named it. The conveyance in this boat is pleasant and safe. It is handsomely fitted for the accommodation of twenty or thirty passengers. It reflects great credit on the projector and proprietor, and it is to be hoped that his enterprise will be justly appreciated and rewarded.

Submitted by Dick Palmer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

South Wedge Events

~ Tuesday Nov. 15, 7 p.m.

Mystery play, "The Bulb Stops Here," Ellwanger Estate, 625 Mt. Hope Ave. Tickets, $20, incl. refreshments, Mise En Place, 683 South Ave. or Swedge Shop, 732 South Ave., Rochester, NY 14620.

~ Friday Nov. 18, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

Brown Bag History Lunch, NeighborWorks, 570 South Ave., Roch. 14620. Enjoy Rose O’Keefe’s new video, An Armchair Tour of Genesee Country. Free. BYO lunch.

Info, Rose O’Keefe, 244-4558.

Monday, November 14, 2011



The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable meeting will be held at

7:30 p.m. Nov. 16th at the American Legion, 53 West Main St.

Derrick Maxfield will present "Victorian Funerals."

on how funerals changed during the Civil War.

The public is welcome

Friday, November 11, 2011


595 Long Pond Rd. 14612

Sunday, November 13th

1:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.

Several local authors will be available to autograph their books. Each author will sell their own books accepting only cash or checks (sorry no plastic). Each author will sell their own books accepting only cash or checks (sorry no plastic). Do some early holiday shopping while supporting these local authors.

Pat Wayne - “Irondequoit” and “Early Irondequoit Memories”

Richard Reisem - “Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad”, "Erie Canal Legacy" and "Historic New York”

Sally Valentine - “The Ghost of the Charlotte Lighthouse”, “Theft at George Eastman House”, “What Stinks? An Adventure in Highland Park”, and “Lost at Seabreeze”.

Donovan Shilling - “Photographic History of Bausch & Lomb” and “A Towpath Tale”

Mike Keene - “Folklore and Legends of Rochester, The Mystery of Hoodoo Corner” and DVD “Visions, True Stories of Spiritualism, Secret Societies & Murder”

Ron Mazzarella – “There’s a Whale in the Canal!”

Ronald C. Anderson – “Growing Up in Charlotte--Encore Edition”

Marie V. Poinan - “Firefighting in Charlotte, Hose 22”, “Discover Charlotte in the War of 1812” and “Discover Charlotte and the Port of Rochester”

Other books will also be available in the Museum gift shop, including:

“History of the Rochester Library System”

“Eight Miles Along the Shore”

“If you lived 100 Years Ago”

“Cobblestone Quest”

“Horses in Motion”

“Manitou Trolley Days”

And more !

For more information call 585-225-3760 or visit

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Seating is limited. Advance reservations required.
Please contact (315) 252-7291

or email:

Sponsored by,

Monday, November 7, 2011


Jan 1
Dr. William Kirkpatrick, superintendent of the Onondaga Salt works at Salina, reports 1814 revenue of $8,976.45 on 295,215 bushels of salt. Other revenues amount to $940.00.
Mar 3
Catatunk Dock Navigation Company is organized, capitalized at $70,000, to improve Catatunk Creek from its mouth, at Owego Creek (shortly before the latter empties into the Susquehanna River near Owego) to its northwest branch. The work is never done.
Mar 23
Rochester Theological Seminary professor Ezekial Gilman Robinson is born in Attleborough, Massachusetts.
Mar 31
The Seneca & Susquehanna Lock Navigation Company is organized, capitalized at $300,000, to connect Seneca Lake to the Chemung River, near Elmira. The work’s never done.
Apr 11
The Ontario County town of Honeoye changes its name to Richmond. ** The town of Porter holds its first recorded town meeting.
Apr 18
The village of Auburn is incorporated.
Apr 20
The Cayuga and Seneca Canal Company is chartered, to connect Montezuma and Seneca Lake.
Jul 4
Jonathan Ingersoll begins publishing the first newspaper in Tompkins County, the Seneca Republican, in Ithaca.
Jul 26
Elizabeth Wadsworth is born in Geneseo to James and Naomi Wolcott Wadsworth.
Aug 10                       
The approximate date Ganiodaio (Handsome Lake), Seneca half-brother of  Cornplanter, on the Onondaga Reservation near Syracuse, New York, at about the age of 80 (exact birth date unknown).

Ship owner Jacob Townsend and his son Sheldon C. Townsend sail from Oswego, late in the month, to Niagara, aboard the schooner Genesee Packet, commanded by Captain Obed Mayo.
Sep 12
New York State purchases Grand Island and other small islands in the Niagara River from the Seneca Indians for $1000.
Oct 6
The Genesee Packet arrives at Niagara.
Nov 12
Suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton is born in Jamestown.
Rochester carriage manufacturer James Cunningham is born in County Down, Ireland.
Dec 15
Rochesterville's first census is taken; the population has reached 331.

The price for Genesee River wheat reaches $15 a barrel. ** The approximate date Samuel De Veaux opens a store in Le Roy, that will one day become the Wiss House Hotel. ** Historian-physician Dr. William Seaver becomes the first physician in Darien. ** Businessman Nathaniel Rochester moves from Dansville to East Bloomfield. ** The approximate date the shipbuilding firms of Townsend, Bronson & Co. and Porter & Barton merge to form Silas Thompson & Co. at Black Rock. Thompson moves there. His firm will build the Michigan and Red Jacket and become part owners of the Erie. ** New York City mayor De Witt Clinton presents the state legislature with a “memorial” pressing for a trans-state canal, predicts it will make his city a world commercial leader. ** Ira Chubb begins building a farm in the Yates County Town of Barrington. ** The first church in the Oswego County town of Hannibal is organized by the Baptists. ** The house of Dr. Ives, a dentist, on the East Seneca Turnpike, east of Jamesville, begun in 1812, is completed. ** 98,905 men are currently enrolled in the state militia. ** Over the next three years 80 religious revivals take place in central and western New York. ** The state levies a two-mill tax on real and personal property of every town. ** Catharine Beddoe, wife of Keuka Lake landowner John Beddoe, dies at the age of 35. ** Bluff Point in the fork of Keuka Lake, part of the Steuben County town of Wayne, is transferred to the Ontario County town of Jerusalem (later part of Yates County). ** Master Commandant Melancthon T. Woolsey purchases the brig Oneida for the U. S. Navy. It will be used to transport troops between Oswego and Sackets Harbor. ** Phineas Staunton, released from a Canadian jail after being wounded and captured on the Niagara frontier during the war, returns to his home in Middlebury (now Wyoming). ** Elisha Williams settles Waterloo. ** The approximate date the Seneca Lock Navigation Company constructs an artificial cut at the Seneca Lake outlet. ** Albion now has a post office and school. ** The approximate date blacksmith Leonard Stoneburner buys 22 acres in the future Corbett’s Glen area of Brighton and turns to growing vegetables. ** Engineer James LeRay du Chaumont has a stone house built in Cape Vincent – the first such in the settlement – for his family. ** The State Board of Agriculture is formed. ** The landing at Tryon on the south end of Irondequoit Bay falls into disuse by sailing vessels due to the buildup of weeds.

The Holland Land Company builds a limestone fire-proof land office building. It will become the Holland Land Office Museum. Total cost for the building and a retaining wall behind the building for the Tonawanda Creek - $8,593. ** Trumbull Cary is appointed postmaster, taking over the position held by his brother Ebenezer. ** The village takes over the entire building that had housed the courthouse and a tavern. ** Hinman Holden builds a three-story frame inn in the Town of Batavia.

The city is rebuilt. ** The Buffalo Baptist Association is organized, with 21 churches and 2,512 parishioners. ** George Coit has a Federal-style house built, on Virginia Street. ** Former Connecticut medical student Albert H. Tracy begins practicing law in Buffalo.

The first newspaper in the Monroe County area is published here. ** The approximate date Vermont transplant Caleb Hopkins builds a house on South Arab Street (later Clover Street). ** Methodist circuit preachers begin coming through.

The First Presbyterian Church of Rochester is founded. ** Elisha Johnson lays out the first Court Street. ** Lyell Street is created. ** Josiah Bissell and Hervey and Elisha Ely build the Red Mill, near the western end of the Genesee River bridge at Main Street. ** The village's first wedding ceremony is celebrated. ** Flour Merchant Wickens Killick is born. ** Brothers Francis and Matthew Brown start the Genesee Manufacturing Company at the upper falls of the Genesee River. ** Settler and school commissioner Enos Blossom helps found the first Allens Creek school - four others will follow on the site – on land belonging to Eleazer Bingham. The first trustees are William Penfield (son of Daniel) Matthew Dryer and Jacob Stoneburner (son of Leonard).

Steuben County
The board of supervisors resolves to cease paying Indians the bounty on wolves and panthers. ** The board directs the sheriff to make improvements to the jail in Bath.

London, England
Sarah Eyre Piffard, wife of future New York State pioneer David Piffard, dies in her late forties.
© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte