Monday, April 30, 2012



Jan 15                       
Geneva diarist Josephine Matilda deZeng is born.

Jan 29                       
The Wayne County town of Macedon is formed from Palmyra.

Jan 31                       
The Allegany County town of Allen is created out of Angelica.

Feb 5
Yates County is created and named after the governor. The Town of Benton, formerly in Ontario County, becomes part of the new county. The total county population is 11,025; all but 46 are white. Ontario County’s population is 88,000-plus, under 750 are black.

Mar 16                       
Benjamin Rathbun, owner of Buffalo's Eagle Tavern, writes to Leonard P. Crary, hoping to interest him in investing in a planned stage line.

Mar 27                       
The town of Alden is formed from the Erie County town of Clarence. The county’s Town of Erie is established. In 1831 it will be renamed Newstead. 

Mar 28                       
The towns of Auburn and Fleming are formed out of the town of Aurelius.

Apr 11                       
Wayne County, named for general Anthony Wayne, is formed from Ontario and Seneca counties. Officers are John S. Talmadge, first judge and surrogate; Hugh Jameson, sheriff; William H. Adams, district attorney; Isaiah J. Richardson, clerk.

Apr 12                       
Wyoming's County Town of Wethersfield is formed from the Town of Orangeville.

Apr 16                       
The Chemung County towns of Veteran and Catlin are formed from Catharines.

May 11                       
Pastor F. H. Cuming of Rochester's St. Luke's Church delivers the sermon The means by which the prosperity of the Church may be promoted, printed in pamphlet form next year by Everard Peck.

May 26                       
Businessman and philanthropist William Pryor Letchworth is born in Brownville to Quakers Josiah and Ann Hance Letchworth.

May 28                       
The cornerstone of Rochester's Presbyterian Church is laid.

The politically-motivated Erie Canal Commission meets in Buffalo, suspends construction on the extension there, turns their attention to Black Rock, setting off a massive counter-lobbying effort by Buffalo.    **    The Baltimore-Conewago Canal commissioners leave Baltimore to meet with De Witt Clinton in New York City. They hire James Geddes as their canal director. From there they continue to Albany and take the Erie Canal route to Cayuga Lake. They take a steamboat to Ithaca and travel overland to the Susquehanna River. Their efforts are for nothing, their canal is not built.

Jun 15                       
Rochester  miller Charles J. Hill marries Salome Morgan of Massachusetts. 

A horse-car railroad opens between Rochester and the Genesee River landing at Carthage.    **    Joseph Smith says an angel named Moroni appears to him and shows him the site, at Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, where tablets containing the history of the lost tribes of America are buried.

Sep 3                       
On this day or the next Micah Brooks, Jellis Clute and Henry B. Gibson contract with  former Indian captive Mary Jemison for her land on New York’s Genesee River, except for her 2-square mile Gardeau Tract, which she reserves for herself and her Indian family. Gibson, of Canandaigua, will settle there on the farm known a Taborlea.  

An aqueduct designed by David Stanhope Bates is completed in Rochester, to carry the Erie over the Genesee River.

Oct 1                       
The first water is put into the completed portion of the Erie Canal.

Oct 7                       
Patience Jones Rathbun, 51-year-old mother of Buffalo tavern owner Benjamin Rathbun, arrives there from Batavia with her husband Moses. She will die shortly afterwards and Moses will remarry within eight months, to Batavia widow Charlotte Moore.

Oct 23                       
Burt Van Horn is born to miller James Van Horn and his wife Abigail at their new brick home on Eighteen Mile Creek in New Fane (Newfane).

Oct 28                       
Maryland native and Rochester co-founder Charles Carroll dies in Williamsburg, New York (no longer in existence, near Geneseo), at the age of 56.

The canalboat Mary and Hannah arrives in New York City with a cargo of wheat, the first to arrive from Seneca Lake via the Erie Canal. The owners are presented with an engraved urn.

Nov 21                       
Erie Canal commissioners sign a contract with John W. Hayes for the construction of the river lock on Tonawanda Creek, as well as a guard lock there and the Buffalo guard lock.  

The first printing press in Yates County.    **    The total value of shipments out of the Genesee River reaches $807,000.    **    The top floor of a Syracuse tavern is converted into a stage.    **     William Seward moves from the town of Florida to Auburn to become Judge Elijah Miller’s junior partner.    **    William B. Rochester is named first circuit judge of the eight district.    **     Painter Susan Catherine (Moore Waters ) is born in Binghamton.    **     Historian-physician William Seaver interviews Mary Jemison. He will publish her biography this year.    **     Millard Fillmore is admitted to the Buffalo bar. He takes on partner Joseph Clary, sets up offices in East Aurora to handle rural cases, leaving Clary in Buffalo to handle city cases.    **    English native Henry Pellit arrives in Connewango from Onondaga County to settle. James Hammond arrives from Chautauqua County. Jotham Metcalf arrives from New Hampshire, Ralph Williams from Vermont.  Asabel Brown arrives from Grand Isle, Vermont. Lomis Lillie, Joseph Cunningham and Luke Ward also settle here. Rufus Wyllys and Samuel Farlee build a saw-mill on Elm Creek. Luther Marlow settles in Connewango, on the lot owned by Daniel Whitin.    **     Le Roy lawyer Herman J. Redfield is elected to the state senate.    **    The Baptist congregation of Broome & Tioga is organized.    **   Construction begins on Canandaigua’s Cooley Hardware Store, at 129 South Main.    **    The Reverend Robert Hubbard, a Presbyterian minister, holds the first religious services in Allegany County’s West Almond, at the house of Daniel Dean.    **     15-year-old Geneseo student James Wadsworth is kicked out of Hamilton College for his unstudious ways.    **    New Hope Mills is established on the west side of Skaneateles Lake, begins producing pancake flour.    **    Wyoming County's Town of Eagle is formed out of the Town of Pike.    **    Livingston and Monroe counties petition the state legislature to improve the Genesee River between St. Helena (at today’s Letchworth Park) and the north end of the rapids at Rochester.    **    Under Auburn State Prison warden Captain Elam Lynds and his assistant John Cray the system of having prisoners work in contractors’ shops, under strict silence - the silent system - is adopted.    **    The 1817 steamboat tax, established to help pay for the state’s canal system, is discontinued. Over its lifetime it brought in $73,509.99.    **    Livingston County judge Moses Hayden is elected to the Eighteenth U.S. Congress. He will serve two terms, ending in 1827.    **     Captain Samuel Erwin builds a sawmill on the Conhocton River at Painted Post.

Batavia becomes a village.    **    The Eagle Tavern is built on Main Street.

Erie Canal
The canal opens from Rochester to Albany, where a basin is being built able to handle a thousand canal boats. Brockport becomes the temporary western terminus.    **    Genesee Valley business interests petition the New York legislature for a valley canal to connect the Erie Canal with the Allegheny River    **    Samuel Wilkeson and Dr. Ebenezer Johnson of Buffalo supervise the construction of a dam and a lock at the mouth of Tonawanda Creek in North Tonawanda, the first work done on the western end of the Erie. The dam deepens the creek’s level to 4-and-a-half feet.    **    A culvert is built at Medina to carry the canal over a road.    **     The approximate date Elias and Gould Richardson convert the old Pardee building along the Erie Canal in Bushnell’s Basin into an inn and public house.

Monroe County
A man with a slashed throat in Parma becomes the county's first official murder victim.    **    The first fair in the county is held.

Penn Yan
The Yates County Medical Society is founded by Dr. Andrew Oliver and others.    **    Surveyor Joseph Jones draws up a gaol liberties map, showing the confines of those under house arrest for debt.

The village celebrates the local opening of the Erie Canal.    **    A 14-foot Genesee River waterfall at the site of Ebenezer “Indian” Allen’s mill of the 1790s is blasted away as part of the aqueduct construction project.  The first pier of the new aqueduct  is carried away by spring floods.    **   Willis Kempshall becomes a partner of Ira West in a dry goods store.    **    The village drops property-owning as a requisite for voting.    **    The First Baptist Church is built.    **    The village on the east bank of the Genesee River is incorporated into the village limits.    **    Backed by Stephen van Rensselaer, geologist Amos Eaton makes a study of the lands flanking the Erie Canal, including Rochester's Genesee River Gorge. The study is concluded next year.    **    Construction is begun on Washington Street for the home of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester.    **    New Englander Nathaniel Hayward settles in the town of Brighton and buys seventy acres.   **    Charles J. Hill is appointed quartermaster of the Twenty-third Division New York militia, responsible for reviewing a brigade annually.    **    A catholic church, the first in western New York, is built by an Irish congregation, at Fank and Platt streets.    **    Everard Peck and Company publishes local physician John G. Vought's "A Treatise on Bowel Complaints" and "The Speeches of Charles Phillips".

©  2012    David Minor / Eagles Byte

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 18th at the American Legion, 453 West Main Street, Le Roy, in the front room.

Guest Speaker Bob Gullo will present
"The Life of Mary Surratt"

Events leading up to Lincoln's assassination.
Was Mary Surratt actually guilty? If she had been tried in a regular court would she have been hung?

New members are always welcome. Discussion period to follow program.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Genesee River Wilds Slide Show

Dear Crooked Lake Review Editors [Readers also],

Since the Crooked Lake Review has a history of some fine articles on the Genesee River, you may be interested in a recent slide show added to the Genesee River Wilds website for discussion during a recent conference on Lake Ontario at SUNY Brockport on March 28.  The slide show has been updated since the conference, but most of the participants at least have seen an older version.  

For the slide show, see the bottom of the homepage on the Genesee River Wilds website at  or go directly to the slide show at .

All the best,

Allen Kerkeslager
Associate Professor
Saint Joseph's University

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 Greece Town Hall 7:00 p.m., One Vince Tofany Blvd, 14612

AMUSEMENTS PARKS by Donovan Shilling

Through a photographic history, viewers can return to the heyday of Rochester’s lakeside resorts and its five amusements parks: Ontario Beach, Manitou Beach, Sea Breeze, Board Walk Park and Glen Haven. It was the golden age of the trolley parks and lasted from the 1880s to the 1920s.

Don Shilling, has been a science teacher and an elementary and middle school principal residing in Penfield, N.Y. for many years. During the past twenty-plus years he served as an instructor at the Rochester Museum and Science Center and has written nine books on local history. He also leads a group of local history fans called the New Society of the Genesee.

Public welcome. Reservations are not necessary, Greece Historical Society members FREE, a “pay as you will” donation is appreciated from others.   This program made possible with the support from our members and Canandaigua National Bank & Trust.

For more information about this program and other activates and programs of the Greece Historical Society call 585-225-7221, visit or “like” the Greece Historical Society on Facebook

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Technology in Western New York

The University at Buffalo Libraries are pleased to announce a new exhibit:

History of Technology in Western New York

2nd Floor, Oscar A. Silverman Library, Capen Hall

University at Buffalo / North Campus

Researched and written by Nancy Schiller, Engineering Librarian, and
produced by Rose Orcutt, Architecture & Planning Librarian, History of Technology in Western New York offers a fascinating and informative glimpse into Western New York’s rich industrial heritage. The exhibit pays homage to Buffalo’s iconic grain elevators, to Pierce-Arrow and its sleek automobiles and even sleeker advertising, to the region’s contributions to early aviation, and to the massive steel mills in Lackawanna, and the men and women who labored in them.

Photographs, text and images featured in the exhibit recall an era
when 50 percent of Buffalo’s population was engaged in industrial
endeavors of one sort or another, and factories, grain elevators,
blast furnaces and steel refineries dotted the local landscape.

Inspiration for the exhibit came from a recent UB Honors Seminar
taught by Professor John Van Benschoten, Department of Civil,
Structural, and Environmental Engineering. The course explored the
role of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Western New York in our nation’s
history, and provided students with an opportunity to consider the
history of Western New York and its future through an understanding of technology, and the benefits and costs that come with it.

The exhibit is open during regular library hours and runs through May 31, 2012.