Friday, January 20, 2012


Thought I’d explain a little about the material that goes into the timelines I post.

The information comes from such a wide and varied number of sources – everything from old reference books and online sites to current articles in magazines to an article from NY History magazine from 1933, or French’s New York State Gazetteer of the 1860s – it would be impossible to trace all data back to its sources. This would take far more time than putting out new information.

The wonderful thing about the blog format is, as I add new material or make corrections to information already posted, I can go back in and make the changes. The same goes for incorrect information that a blog visitor calls to my attention; it can also be easily corrected. So I welcome any feedback or corrections. If you can cite a source, especially an on-line one, it would be of extra help.

On one other subject – This is your blog, not mine. If you have an article to submit I’d like to get it into the blog. This also applies to any news of upcoming meetings, lectures, etc. applying to Eastern and Central New York. It would be of help to receive such items at least five days before the event is scheduled.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Jan 4

Martin Van Buren has William Thompson nominated as speaker of the State Senate.

Feb 13

A bill enabling Missouri to draft a constitution and prepare for statehood is introduced in the House. New York State's James Tallmadge proposes an amendment to limit slavery in Missouri.

Feb 25

A Quaker Meeting is established in Rochesterville.


Henry Seymour replaces Joseph Ellicott on the New York State Canal Commission.


New York's canal commission gives the go-ahead to continue the Erie Canal west of Seneca Lake, all the way to Lake Erie.

Apr 2

Monroe County's Town of Clarkson is taken off the Orleans County Town of Murray.

Jul 4

Future governor Reuben Eaton Fenton is born to farmer George W. Fenton and Elsie Owen Fenton in Carroll.

Aug 13

Martha Fowler, mother of nine-year-old future phrenologist Orson Fowler, dies in Cohocton.

Aug 5

Farmer, soldier, politician and prohibitionist John Bidwell is born in Sherman to Abram and Clarissa Griggs Bidwell.

Oct 25

The canal boat Commodore Perry arrives in Utica from Salina - with a cargo of salt - on the Erie Canal.

Nov 7

Buffalo businessman Cicero Jabez Hamlin is born in Hillside to the Reverend Jabez Hamilin and Esther Stone Hamlin.


Two Buffalo Harbor improvement committee members, freight forwarder Charles Townsend and lawyer Oliver Forward, convince non-committee member Samuel Wilkeson to participate in posting the $25,000 personal bond for harbor improvements. (see below).

Dec 31

Transplanted Virginia politician John Nicholas dies in Geneva at the age of 55.


Frederick Follett is apprenticed to his brother Oran as a printer on Batavia's Spirit of the Times. ** A brick courthouse is built at Angelica. ** Deeds are issued for property on Geneva’s Pulteney Street, ranging from No. 388 through No. 402. ** James Wadsworth notes that most of the region’s land has been settled. ** Lockport’s Mountain Road (later Main Street) is built, to connect the Lewiston Road at Cold Springs with the Upper Mountain Road in Cambria. ** Jacob Le Roy becomes land agent for the Triangle Tract. ** The River Lock west of Montezuma, built of stone quarried at Union Springs and ferried by flatboat via Cayuga Lake and the Seneca River, is completed. The canal is now open between Utica and the Seneca River. ** John Spicer builds a brick house in the Yates County Town of Barrington. ** Unable to make a success of it in Sandusky, Ohio, Benjamin Rathbun and his family make their way back to Batavia. He soon moves to Buffalo. ** Emma Willard addresses the state legislature on the topic of women's education. ** The state legislature hires Stephen van Rensselaer as president of the Central Board of Agriculture. ** The Greek-Revival Balcom House is built on East Pulteney Street in Bath. ** The Tompkins County Town of Covert is restored to Seneca County. ** Engineer Joseph Miller purchases 100 acres in the Town of Arcadia from Jacob Lusk, builds a frame house and lays out four streets. The settlement is called Miller's Basin (later Newark). ** A state loan of $50,000 made to various upstate counties is transferred by the Loan Commissioners to the Common School Fund. ** Quit rents paid to the state are taken out of the general fund and distributed equally to the Literature and School Funds. ** The approximate date a lawyer’s office is built on Monroe Avenue, near Main Street in Pittsford. Eventually it will be moved across the Avenue and, known as the Little House, will in 1965 become the headquarters/museum of Historic Pittsford Inc. ** Governor DeWitt Clinton appoints Nathaniel W. Howell First Judge of Ontario County. ** Niagara County state senator Archibald S. Clarke is sent to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy left by Peter B. Porter’s resignation. Clarke serves until next year’s national election in March. ** Sanford Hunt settles along the Genesee River, at what will become known a Hunt’s Hollow, in the Town of Portage. ** The Seneca and Susquehanna Lock Navigation Company is formed, by the directors of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company, to build a canal from Seneca Lake to the Chemung River. It’s never built. ** The Cayuga and Seneca Canal Company, running low on funds, asks the state legislature for relief. The state complies, permitting the company to issue more stock, with a projected completion date of 1821. ** The Cayuga Steamboat Company is formed, to build vessels for use on Cayuga Lake. ** Silas Newell receives a state charter for Wyoming County’s Middlebury Academy.


A theological seminary is established by the Presbyterian Synod of Genesee. ** Bela Coe sells his interest in the former Bostwick's Tavern to his brother Chauncey, returns to Canandaigua and repossesses the failing Stage House hotel, which has lost the stage line franchise. ** The north wing of Auburn prison is converted to single cells.


Lawyer Albert H. Tracy is elected to the first of three terms as a representative in Congress. ** Nine citizens of form the Buffalo Harbor Company, the first local businessmen's association. They are granted a state loan of $12,000 but must put up a bond, personally endorsed by the committee members, of $25,000. Improvement projects this year and next make the mouth of the Buffalo River navigable. ** 96 vessels use the port at Buffalo.


Dana Phillips arrives from Vermont. He will later move on to Michigan. Bela B. Post also settles here, later moves on to Iowa. John Farlee and his wife arrive from Genesee County, as does Samuel Farlee. Daniel Whitin also moves in to the settlement. Rufus Wyllys and his family arrive to settle after a 500-mile ox-sled journey from Massachusetts lasting twenty-three days. A blacksmith named Bradner settles here, as well as Chauncy Butler, from Mt. Morris. Russell Pennock arrives, puts up a log house. Peter Blanchard arrives from Vermont, after having lived in Cayuga County a while.


The population reaches 1,509. ** The city hires its first policeman. ** Moses Dyer opens a chandlery. ** Spring floods again damage the business district. ** The log bridge across the Genesee River's lower falls at Carthage (the future Ridge Road), claimed to be the world's highest wooden single-arch bridge, is completed. ** The route for the Erie Canal through the village is surveyed. ** The village skips its municipal election. ** Irish workers on the Erie canal begin encampments in the future South Avenue area. ** The first wooden sidewalks are installed. ** 500,000 wooden barrel staves are loaded onto wagons on the west side of the Genesee near the future Erie Canal feeder dam this year, then portaged to Hanford's Landing at the lower falls and shipped to Montréal.

Steuben County

Erastus Shepard begins publishing the Western Republican. ** The Steuben County Agricultural Society is founded at the urging of Albany merchant Elkanah Watson.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, January 8, 2012


"Agriculture Fairs"

"INNOCENT RECREATION - the Development of the Agricultural Fair"
A lecture by Lynn Belluscio, Curator of Le Roy's Jello Museum

Tuesday - Jan 10 7pm – 8:30 pm
Greece Town Hall, 1 Vince Tofany Blvd, 14612
Reservations are NOT necessary .

In 1812, Elkanah Watson exhibited three Merino sheep under the elm trees on the square in Pittsfield Massachusetts. The success of this humble agricultural exhibition encouraged Watson to develop the Berkshire System for Agricultural Society Fairs which became the basis for all county and state fairs. In New York, Otsego County and Jefferson County were some of the first counties to hold agricultural society fairs. Watson developed a variety of activities that showcased the agricultural community - everything from parades to pastoral balls. He was often criticized for his diversions, but he rationalized that it was necessary to offer activities for the entire family in order to attract the entire community to the fair. Whether Watson would have accepted demolition derbies and rock band concerts is a matter of conjecture, never the less, his "innocent recreations" are a legacy that today's fair has inherited. Lynne Belluscio
will share this program, "Innocent Recreation - the Development of the Agricultural Fair, based on Elkanah Watson's Berkshire System".

Mrs. Belluscio originally presented this program in Washington, D.C at the
Smithsonian Institution. Reservations are NOT necessary .

Mrs. Belluscio taught in the Rochester school system for five years. She
was lead interpreter at Genesee country museum and special events coordinator until 1988, has been active in the Leroy historical society since 1988. She is also past chairman of the western New York Association of Historical Agencies and president of the Association of Living History, Farms & Agricultural Museums. For the past three years she has served on the New York State Council of Arts review panel.