Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Jan 19

Cohocton settler Horace Fowler marries Martha Howe of Prattsburgh.

Feb 21

Land investor Oliver Phelps dies in debtors’ prison in Canandaigua at the age of 59.

Feb 24

Businessman and Buffalo mayor Elbridge Gerrry Spaulding is born in Summer Hill


James Wadsworth publishes notices to lure settlers to the Genesee Valley.

Mar 31

Former U. S. president Thomas Jefferson writes from Monticello to Nathaniel Rochester, chairman of Maryland's Republican Citizens of Washington County, thanking him for his retirement wishes.

Oct 11

Phrenologist and octagon house promoter Orson Fowler is born to Horace and Martha Howe Fowler in Cohocton.


65 boats pass through Dr. Jonas C. Baldwin’s locks at Baldwinsville. ** Western New York politician Peter Buell Porter is elected to the Eleventh U.S. Congress. He moves from Canandaigua to Buffalo.


Solomon Chadwick settles on the shore of Lake Erie, founding the community of Chadwick's Bay. It will become Dunkirk. ** Early settler John Hooker arrives in Angelica from Vermont. ** Transplanted Virginian Robert Selden Rose builds a frame house outside of Geneva, names it Rose Hill Farm. ** Folk artist Noah North is born in Alexander. ** Albert Brisbane is born to Batavia postmaster James Brisbane and his wife Mary. ** Silas Newell arrives from the Hudson Valley and builds a house in the Town of Wyoming. The place becomes known as Newell’s Settlement (later Wyoming). He plants apple and pear trees. ** Hermitage, near Warsaw, is settled. ** The Cayuga County courthouse at Auburn is completed. ** The first religious services are held in Canadice. ** Allegany County court judge Philip Church buys two male slaves, at $100 each. ** Sylvester Hosmer marries Laura Smith, daughter of Avon innkeeper Major Isaac Smith. ** Lenox, Massachusetts, native Enos Stone acquires a farm at the Falls of the Genesee River, part of the future Rochester. ** Elijah Blodgett, James Sayres, and Moody Truman settle in the Clarkson area of Monroe County. ** The state legislature approves funds for building a bridge at the falls of the Genesee. ** The first religious service in the Wyoming County town of Genesee Falls is conducted by Methodist Episcopalian minister the Reverend John Griffith. ** Timothy and Phebe Dewey Barnard and their five children arrive in Mendon by ox cart, having come from Lenox, Massachusetts. A former paymaster for George Washington, he will build a home near Canfield and West Bloomfield roads, the section to be known as Barnard's Corners. ** James Van Horn builds a cabin near Eighteen Mile Creek in New Fane (Newfane). ** Daniel D. Tompkins is elected governor. ** Smallwood (later Pittsford) collector of taxes Caleb Hopkins is elected supervisor. ** Isaac Barnes opens a grist mill on Allyns (Allens) Creek in Penfield.


A local playhouse features an apparatus called the Invisible Lady. ** The first brick house in the city is built at 39 North Main, as a home for the Masonic Temple (through 1819).


Hudson, New York, native John C. Spencer begins practicing law here. ** The approximate date Leonard Stoneburner arrives from Canada, after a period of being held prisoner by Indians and settles along Allyns (Allens) Creek in Brighton. He sets up a blacksmith shop.

Sackets Harbor

Landowner Augustus Sacket sells his holdings and leaves the area. Jacob Brown is appointed commander of the local militia in his place.


Rochester architect Henry Searle is born in Burlington.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rochester History Lecture Series

Tuesday, June 21, 7 p.m.

Ellwanger Estate, Carriage House

"South Wedge History and Architecture," with Cynthia Howk

Ellwanger Estate, 625 Mt. Hope Ave.

$12, with coffee, tea; and light refreshments by Eco Bella Bakery.

For details, contact Rose O'Keefe:; (585.244.4558)

These events support B.A.S.W.A. programs

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable

presents R L. Murray on "Killers in Green Coats" at 7:30 PM, June 15th. The meeting will be held at the American Legion, 53 West Main Street, Le Roy.

R.L.’s program will be on Hiram Berdan’s sure-shooting

regiment which first plied its deadly trade during the

1862 Peninsula Campaign.

There will also be books for sale and signing.

A discussion period will follow. New members are welcome.

Friday, June 10, 2011



James Wadsworth just barely manages to pay $750 to a creditor.

Feb 4

Onondaga County assemblyman Joshua Forman, an associate of judge James Geddes, recommends surveying a canal route across the state, and that surplus federal monies be appropriated to build canals.

Feb 12

“An Act for the defense of the northern and western frontiers” is passed, calling for the establishment of a number of state arsenals.

Feb 14

The Steuben County town of Troupsburgh, named for Pulteney land agent Robert Troup, is formed from Middletown (later Addison) and Canisteo.

Mar 2

Jesse Hawley writes the final, fourteenth, of his essays promoting a trans-New York State canal, for the Canandaigua Genesee Messenger.

Mar 11

Part of Steuben County is annexed to Allegany County. The Allegany county seat is permanently moved to Angelica and construction of a courthouse and a jail are mandated. The town of Alfred is formed from Angelica. ** Cattaraugus County is formed. Asa Ransom, Jonas Williams and Isaac Sutherland are chose to select a county seat. They will chose Ellicottville, as yet just a wilderness. ** Niagara County is formed from Genesee County. ** The Livingston County town of Ossian is formed from the Allegany County town of Angelica. ** The Erie County town of Clarence, including the future Buffalo, is established; the county's first town.

Apr 6

The state legislature renames 33 towns having duplicate names. Ontario County’s Town of Pittstown has its name changed to Honeoye (it will finally be named Richmond). Yates County’s Augusta changes its name to Middlesex. Cayuga County’s Milton is renamed Genoa. The township of Boyle is formed out of the township of Northfield, to the south and east of the future Rochester. ** Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin submits his report on roads and canals to Congress.

Apr 8

Cortland County, named after the first state Lieutenant Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt, is formed from Onondaga County. The town of Preble, named for Commodore Edward Preble, is formed from Tully. The Monroe County towns of Parma and Riga are incorporated.

Jun 13

New York's State Surveyor Simeon DeWitt writes to Holland Land Company's Batavia agent Joseph Ellicott, seeking his thoughts on a canal route across the state.

Jul 14

The first church in Warsaw is founded by the Congregationalists. ** Henrietta Laura Pulteney Murray, daughter of Sir William Pulteney and Countess of Bath, dies at the age of 41, leaving no heirs.

Jul 30

Ellicott replies to DeWitt. While strongly advocating a canal, he does not advise following the Niagara escarpment east to Mud Creek because of the number of ravines that would be encountered. He also advises against a combination of a canal along the Niagara River and one from Oswego to the Mohawk, due to the rock in the various regions. He advocates an east-west canal from Lake Erie to Mud Creek, and offers to subscribe $2,500 to such a project.

Aug 24

DeWitt writes to Ellicott thanking him for his insights and agreeing on the suggested route, primarily because it would keep the canal commerce within New York, instead of its being diverted to Canada.

Aug 28

Former land agent Charles Williamson dies of yellow fever at sea while returning to England from Havana, Cuba.

Oct 20

Joseph Ellicott writes from Philadelphia to his nephew David E. Evans in Batavia, reporting that land agent Paolo Busti has seen their correspondence and has now changed his mind, expressing an interest in investing in a cross-New York canal.


An inn is built at Riga, the first building in the newly-created town. ** Pork, potash, wheat, whiskey, etc. worth $100,000 is shipped from the Genesee River. 15 schooners ply the Lake Ontario shore ports. ** Daniel P. Tompkins, the "farmer's son", is elected governor of New York State. ** Stagecoach service is inaugurated between Batavia and Canandaigua. ** Michael and Cynthia Loomis settle in a log cabin in Wyoming. They will be the great grandparents of newspaperman and author Arch Merrill. ** Warsaw is incorporated as a township, with pioneer Elizur Webster as supervisor. ** John K. Gould, editor of Ontario County’s Western Repository and Genesee Advertiser, dies. ** East Bloomfield blacksmith Peter Holloway builds a tavern. ** Daily mail service begins between Utica and Canandaigua. ** The New York State Legislature introduces a bill to fund a feasibility study for a New York State canal, retains Judge James Geddes to make surveys of routes across the state, to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. He completes his study and reports the project can work, even with a 500 foot elevation from west to east. ** Missionary Narcissa Prentiss (Whitman) is born in Prattsburg. ** New Town is renamed Elmira. ** Jesse Hawley’s 14-part treatise “Observations on Canals” predicts that a canal across the state would greatly increase New York City’s trade and importance. ** Delegate Abraham Yates, Jr.'s, notes on the U. S. constitutional convention are published. ** The log Steuben County jail at Bath is replaced with a stone structure. A dog pound is authorized, at a cost of eighty-two dollars. ** Squatters occupy Buggarsburgh, the future Piffard area, often helping themselves to nearby farmers' Merino sheep, wearing down a path that later became Flats Road, into Geneseo. ** A son, James Junior, is born to Newfane settler James Van Horn and his wife Abigail, their first child. ** Settlers arrive in the future Wyoming County town of Eagle. ** Nine new families join the six families already living in the Town of Sweden. ** Lodi politician Silas Halsey is sent to Congress as a state senator. ** Robert Whaley has a sawmill on Wolf Creek in Castile. ** The Western Inland Navigation Company relinquishes all rights west of Oneida Lake to the state, goes bankrupt. ** Levi Duncan opens a woolen mill on Irondequoit Creek.


The name of the Livingston County village of Hartford is changed to Avon. ** George Hosmer opens a law office. ** The Holland Land Company begins creating more roadways through its holdings.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Monday, June 6, 2011


Thursday June 9, 7:30 p.m.

"Rehabilitation of The Avon Opera Block - Process and Results"

Join Kelly Cole, Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Avon and Joanne DeMarle, Architect for Bero Architecture, to learn about the successful rehabilitation of the 1876 Avon Opera Block building into Town Offices and Town and Village Court facilities.

United Church of Pittsford, 123 South Main Street at Sunset Blvd., Pittsford, NY.

Suggested adminssion: Donations for the Pittsford Food Cupboard in appreciation for the use of the church facilities.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


BRANCHPORT, NY (May 15, 2011) - A Finger Lakes success story of lakes, land, people and wildlife will unfold before your eyes in “Back From the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes,” the inaugural program of the Finger Lakes Museum.

The programs will take attendees on a journey spanning 150 years as experts trace the history of Canadice and Hemlock lakes, the rescue of the Bald Eagle and the permanent protection of the lakes for all to enjoy.

The series includes three programs, which will be presented June 4, 16 and 23 at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, on July 2, 14 and 28 at Keuka College and Aug. 6 and 18 and Sept. 1 at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca. The series is open to the public and pre-registration is requested at or call 315-595-2200. Admission is free and donations are welcome.

In addition, family-oriented outdoor events such as lake paddles, hiking and a plant and folklore walk also are being offered.

John Adamski, chairman of the Museum, summarized the focus of the programs: “Learn how these two lakes evolved to become wild and undeveloped; how America’s bald eagle was saved from the brink of extinction, beginning at Hemlock Lake; and how inspiring community action, spanning more than a century, has protected both lakes, so they now offer visitors a glimpse of the past when all the Finger Lakes were wild.”

In July 2010, the State of New York completed a landmark conservation agreement with the City of Rochester and the Nature Conservancy by purchasing Hemlock and Canadice Lakes and nearly 7,000 surrounding acres, creating the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. These lakes, the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes, are now wild, evermore.

“This was, without a doubt, the most important land acquisition project the state has undertaken outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks in more than a generation,” proclaimed Pete Grannis, then commissioner of the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

The series will kick off with Part I, From the Brink of Extinction: The Bald Eagles of Hemlock and Canadice, at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 4, in the Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607.

State DEC eagle expert Mike Allen will relate one of North America’s most successful conservation stories, which began in the Finger Lakes. Allen will even have on hand at the program a magnificent rehabilitated bald eagle, Liberty.

In 1965, the last remaining pair of bald eagles in the state built a nest in an 80-foot tree at the south end of Hemlock Lake. Tom Rauber, an amateur naturalist and utility lineman, discovered the nest and spent the next 27 years observing and photographing the eagles. He teamed up with Allen in the mid-1970s

Allen will explain how the bald eagle population has grown to more than 200 nest territories statewide. The bald eagle, which is the chosen icon for the Finger Lakes Museum, is a sentinel or indicator species, sensitive to the living conditions in a particular habitat. Their presence is testimony to the pristine Hemlock-Canadice ecosystem.

In Part II, Blue Blood to Blue Water: From Cottages, Hotels & Steamboats to Drinking Water for Rochester, Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will tell the story of early cottage life and the people who came to both Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for recreation and entertainment. Part II will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Eisenhart Auditorium in the Rochester Museum & Science Center.

Morgan will utilize antique photographs from 1875 through 1945 as he relates tales of the local lake, Canadice, and the blueblood lake, Hemlock, where wealthy Rochesterians summered. At its peak in the 1890s, five hotels thrived on Hemlock Lake, and steamboats traveled back and forth to serve summer residents and tourists. In the mid-1800s, a deadly water-born cholera outbreak ravaged the City of Rochester. Unable to completely eradicate the disease from its cisterns and wells, the City looked south to Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for clean and reliable water.

Lakes Go Wild: Permanent Protection of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes is the topic of Part III at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum &Science Center.

The story of how watershed protection in the area started in the 1890s and culminated in 2010 with the creation of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest will be told by Jim Howe, executive director of the Central & Western NY Nature Conservancy; Don Root, former Hemlock-Canadice watershed conservationist; Steve Lewandowski of the Coalition for Hemlock and Canadice; and Paul D’Amato, regional director of the state DEC Region 8.

A new hotel was proposed on Hemlock Lake in the late 1800s, which prompted the City of Rochester to begin acquiring properties to protect its water supply. By 1950, all shoreline property and 7,000 acres around the lakes were acquired. Hotels and cottages were removed, agricultural land was reforested and development was prohibited.

By the 1980s, when Rochester was required to build a water treatment plant, it was feared the city no longer would need the protected lands. The public voiced support for keeping the lakes untouched, and a new coalition to preserve the lakes was born. After a century of community effort, these two lakes will remain the way they are - wild and undeveloped.

Adamski urged people to “join us to hear one or all three of these stories. See the beauty of our lakes, landscapes, wildlife, and people through the lens of premier Finger Lakes photographers featured in each program and begin to imagine the future Finger Lakes Museum experience.”

The three-part series will be repeated at Keuka College in Keuka Park and in Ithaca at the Finger Lakes Wine Center. The dates are as follows:

Saturday, July 2, From the Brink of Extinction, 2 p.m., Lightner Library, Keuka College, 141 Central Ave., Keuka Park, NY 14478;

Thursday July 14, Blue Blood to Blue Water, 7 p.m.; and

Thursday, July 28, Lakes Go Wild, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 6, From the Brink of Extinction, 2 p.m., Finger Lakes Wine Center, 237 South Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY 14850.

Thursday, Aug. 18, Blue Blood to Blue Water, 7 p.m.; and

Thursday, Sept. 1, Lakes Go Wild, 7 p.m.


BRANCHPORT, NY (May 18, 2011) – The Finger Lakes Museum’s series of programs on “Back From the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes” also includes outdoor events where people can live and breathe the stories they have heard.

The schedule is as follows:

Canadice & Hemlock Paddles - Naturalists and Finger Lakes Museum volunteers Angela Cannon-Crothers and Ramona Englebrecht will meet people on the shores of Canadice or Hemlock Lake for an introduction to kayaking with professional guides from local outfitters Pack Paddle Ski. The pristine beauty of these rare, undeveloped lakes will become evident as kayakers look for bald eagles, waterfowl, turtles and more. Also on tap is investigating old foundations of former cottages and on Canadice, a monastery.

Dates are Sunday, June 26 (Canadice) and Saturday, Aug. 6 (Honeoye) at 10 a.m.

The fee for this experience is $69 per person and reservations are required. The group limit is 12 people.

People who have signed up will be contacted prior to the scheduled event with specific start locations and directions.

Hike Rob’s Trail with the Nature Conservancy - The staff of the Nature Conservancy will lead a guided walk along Rob’s Trail. Completed in 2008, the trail was built to connect two undeveloped lakeshore properties between Hemlock and Canadice Lakes.

Dates are Saturday, June 25, Saturday, July 16 and Saturday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m., starting at the parking lot off South Old Ball Hill Road. The fee is $12 per person and there is no group limit. Children 12 and under are free. Reservations are required.

Nature Journaling at Keuka Lake State Park - Naturalist, writer and Finger Lakes Museum volunteer Angela Cannon-Crothers will teach people how to slow down and closely observe the natural world through words, writing, sketching, painting or mixed media. The journaling is for ages 8 and up and participants need to bring a blank journal, a sketch pad and pencils or watercolors and inks.

The date is Saturday, July 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Keuka Lake State Park. The fee is $12 per person, the group limit is 15-20 and reservations are required.

Invasive Species of the Finger Lakes – Environmental educator and Finger Lakes Museum volunteer Nicole Landers will take participants on a guided walk along the lakeshore area of Keuka or Hemlock Lakes highlighting the common invasive plant and animal species in and around the water. She will discuss how these species came to live here and how their presence may affect native species and ecological processes.

Dates are Friday, July 8, and Friday, July 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Keuka Lake State Park Location: Hemlock Lake Park – directions here

The group limit is 30, the fee is $12 per person and reservations are required.

Medicinal Plant and Folk Lore Walk - Herbalists Andrea and Matthias Reisen of Healing Spirits Farm in Avoca will teach fellow walkers about the historic use of native plants that still hold valuable lessons in health and well-being for all of us today. They also will talk about how the early settlers of this region and the Native people before them utilize our diverse plant life for healing and medicine?

The date is Saturday, June 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Keuka Lake State Park. There is no group limit, the fee is $12 per person and reservations are required.