Friday, February 24, 2012


Feb 23                       
Monroe County (on  second attempt by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester) and Livingston County are formed from parts of Ontario and Genesee counties. Colonel Rochester becomes county clerk. Geneseo becomes the seat of Livingston County, Rochester the seat of Monroe. Mendon becomes part of Monroe County. Avon lawyer George Hosmer is named as Livingston's district attorney. The Orleans County Town of Clarenden is formed from the Monroe County Town of Sweden. The Monroe County Town of Inverness (quickly renamed Wheatland) is created out of the Livingston County Town of Caledonia. Monroe County’s population is about 23,000.    **    The first brick home in Rochester is completed.

Mar 16
The Cayuga County town of Conquest is formed out of Cato Township. ** The Erie County towns of Collins and Sardinia are established.

Mar 23                       
Erie County’s Town of Evans is established.

Mar 29                       
Cattaraugus County’s Town of Farmersville is formed from the Town of Ischua (later Franklinville).

Mar 31                       
The state legislature incorporates the Ontario Canal Company, capitalized at $100,000, to connect Canandaigua Lake to the Erie Canal. Nothing is ever done.  

Apr 2
Erie County is created out of Niagara County.

Apr 24                       
Benjamin Barber Conable is born prematurely to Rufus and Sophia Conable in Gainsville, due to the jostling of the cart bringing them from western Massachusetts to their new home there.

Contracts are let for the Deep Cut portion of the Erie Canal at Lockport.

May 8                       
The Rochester Board of Supervisors meets for the first time.    **    The first Monroe County Court is held in the loft of Rochester’s Eagle Tavern.

May 9                       
The Monroe County Medical Society is organized.

May 21                       
The contract to build the five-step Erie Canal locks at Lockport is awarded to Claudius Boughton, Joseph Comstock, Oliver Culver, and John Maynard.

May 23                       
Ontario Canal Company commissioners N. Gorham, Z. Seymour, Asa Stanley, P. P. Bates, and William H. Adams open the books for subscriptions, at Coe’s Hotel in Canandaigua.

May 30                       
The Monroe County Bible Society is founded.

Jun 12                       
Ontario Canal Company subscriptions reach $20,000.

Jul 1                       
The first dance in the village of Connewango is held at the home of Russel Pennock.

Contractor William Britton, aided by 30 convicts from Auburn Prison, begins construction of Rochesterville’s Erie Canal Aqueduct over the Genesee River.

Oct 26                       
Joseph Ellicott, Resident-Agent for Batavia’s Holland Land Office, resigns due to ill health and increasing criticism of his performance.

Nov 1                       
The Lake Erie Steamboat Company’s Great Lakes steamer Walk-in-the-Water runs aground in Lake Erie off Buffalo. There are no injuries. Judge Samuel Wilkeson makes a deal with a representative from the steamboat company. He will see the boat is freed by May first of the following year or forfeit $150 for each day the deadline is missed. The company will build a new boat in Buffalo if the deadline is met.

Dec 4                       
Archibald S. Clarke, native Marylander and New York State lawyer and congressman, dies in Clarence, in his early thirties.

The towns of Almond and Independence are split off from Alfred.    **    The improved canal between Cayuga & Seneca lakes is completed, encompassing 1.72 miles of canal and 8 stone locks.    **    Monroe and Livingston counties are carved out of Genesee County. Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, who led the drive for a new county on the Genesee after a 1817 drive failed,  is named clerk of Monroe County; Matthew Brown is named chairman of the Board of Town Supervisors. Mr. Rochester is also named the county's first representative in the State Assembly.    **    Nathan Burt of Mt. Morris settles in Connewango.    **    In Cayuga County Conquest, Ira, and Victory are taken off the town of Cato.    **    The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is formed. Brockport merchant James Seymour is appointed as the first sheriff.    **    The approximate date James Percival buys out The Moscow Advertiser and Genesee Farmer, moves it from Moscow, New York, to Geneseo and renames it The Livingston Register.    **    Andrew Allen, Isaac Eggleston, Amos and David Orton, James Strong, and Hiram Wood settle along Five Mile Creek at Allegany     **    Presbyterian minister the Reverend Robert Hunter conducts the first religious service in the Allegany County town of Allen.    **    Residents name their village Lockport.    **    William Allen arrives in Geneseo from Adams. He will become a land agent for the Wadsworths for the next 45 years.    **    William A. Hart drills the first gas well in the U. S., in Fredonia.    **    Samuel Fowler is born to Horace and Mary Taylor Fowler in Cohocton.    **    Canandaigua entrepreneur Bela Coe repurchases the stage mail franchise for his hotel from the heirs of Sylvanus Marvin. He will lease the tavern for a time, then sell it and return to Buffalo.    **    Canastota pioneer Reuben Perkins sells the remaining 228 acres of his 328-acre patent.    **    The Bank of Geneva opens on the south side of Pulteney Park, which becomes known as Bank Alley.    **    The state has 202,510 eligible voters.    **    The recent formation of new counties has eliminated “double districts” in New York, some dating back to 1810.    **    Former Benton, Ontario County (later Yates County), town supervisor Elijah Spencer serves in the 17th U.S. congress for a two-year term.    **    Williams College graduate Moses Hayden opens a law office in York.    **    Connecticut Law School graduate Frederick Whittlesley is admitted to the bar in Utica, begins practicing in Cooperstown. briefly before moving on to Rochester.    **    Millers Andrew Lincoln and Samuel Rich build a dam across Monroe County’s Irondequoit Creek, just south of where the future Linden Avenue bridge will cross, creating a 50-acre mill pond later named Spring Lake.    **    Millers Andrew Lincoln, Rich and Lathrop build a dam across Irondequoit Creek, just south of where the future Linden Avenue bridge will cross, creating a 50-acre grist mill pond later named Spring Lake.

The Auburn Theological Seminary opens.    **    Auburn Prison experiments with solitary confinement without labor. The method is not a success.    **    Master-builder and carpenter John I. Hagaman opens a school of architectural design.

The city's first theater opens across Main Street from the Eagle Tavern. It does not do well.

The wife of early settler John Farlee dies in the fall - the first death of an adult in town. She’s buried in her garden, in the midst of a raging snow-storm. No minister is present; a friend offers a prayer.    **    Nathan Burt of Mount Morris and Daniel Newcomb of Goshen settle in town, as does John Darling of Vermont. Darling  becomes trapped overnight by wolves in his sugar house later in the year.    **    Benjamin Darling and his wife and five children arrive from Vermont, having traveled for four weeks by ox-team and sled.    **    Peter Pennock arrives from Genesee County; Luman Beach arrives from Caledonia.

Erie Canal
Construction at Rochesterville is completed. The stretch between Utica and High Falls is also completed.   **    The state signs construction contracts for the Niagara County portion of the canal.    **    The Seneca Lock Navigation Company opens a channel south to Seneca Lake.

The shipbuilding firm of Townsend, Bronson & Co. is dissolved.    **    A lighthouse is built on Lake Ontario.

Dr. John  Ray dies at the age of 78.    **    Young cabinet maker and future student of telegraphy Charles Came moves into the village.

The first jail in the settlement is built on North Fitzhugh Street, a log cabin with cells along a central corridor.    **    The first court house is built.    **    The Reverend Charles Buck's The Young Christian's Guide is published by printer Everard Peck.    **    Peck publishes Lindley Murray's adaptation from the 28th English edition of English Grammar.    **    Myron Holley and John Gilbert begin construction of a stone warehouse at the future junction of the Erie Canal and one of its feeders.    **    Massachusetts native Daniel Dewey Barnard opens a law office here.    **    Thurlow Weed moves here from Weedsport, goes to work for the Rochester Telegraph as an assistant editor.

Hathaway Richmond, father of fifteen-year-old future Batavia railroad tycoon Dean Richmond, dies in St. Louis at about 48 years of age.

U. S. Government
Former general Peter Buell Porter enters the Fourteenth Congress, his third,
non-consecutive term. He is joined by Micah Brooks, both men representing New York’s District 21, a divided double district until later in the year when new counties are formed.

The government discards records of the East India Company and the West India Company dating prior to 1700.

© 2012  David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Strong Doll Museum Query

 I recall as a young girl, and extreme love, nearly an obsession with doll houses and dolls.  I recall that on several occasions we visited the Margaret Woodbury Strong Doll Museum in the home at 700 Allens Creek Road.  I must have been quite young, 5 in 1962, perhaps even prior to that.  I recall a fascination with the doll houses at the Strong Estate on Allens Creek Road and the dolls as well.  Seems I recall visiting with family visiting Rochester. 

Do you recall the fact that the Strong Estate at 700 Allens Creek Road was open to the public for visitation as a doll museum?  Any idea what years?  The article in CLR does not mention that this was a public museum at one time.  I wanted to verify the information for myself, since I can't seem to find it online.

I'm very interested in local history, especially the Erie Canal, local historical women of note, and the Finger Lakes. 

Thanks so much.

Mrs. Sue (Vetter) Wemett, Greece, NY

Friday, February 17, 2012

Official 2012 Cayuga County Visitors' Guide

The Cayuga County Office of Tourism has published the 2012 Official Visitors' Guide to Cayuga County. The 64-page guide was designed by local design firm, Coburn Design, based in Auburn, NY, with cover photography by Aurora photographer Jacqueline Conderacci. The new guide contains information on attractions, entertainment, recreation , shopping, wineries and a variety of places to stay from cozy B&Bs to full-service hotels. New features this year include 'the inside scoop' with tips from local residents on where to view public art, the best place to walk your dog and even the best place to get an ice cream cone. Also, new in 2012 is a special section devoted to the 'Flavor of the Finger Lakes' with information on farmers markets, places to buy and eat local and a 'Field to Fork' itinerary to help visitors experience our rich agricultural bounty. To receive a FREE Visitors' Guide to Cayuga County call 800-499-9615 or visit

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Loss of One of Our Own

Received the following information from Martha Treichler:

“John Rezelman died a couple days ago at 94 years of age. His memorial service is this Saturday at 11 am at the Bath Centenary Methodist Church. I think most of the members of the Society of the Genesee who knew him are no longer attending, but I wanted everyone to know. He was a charter member of our group.”

John wrote several dozen articles for the Crooked Lake Review back in the 1980s and 1990s and can be located by his name in the blog search box partway down the left column of this page.

His online obituary in the Corning Leader can be found at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Jan 24
Future U.S. Representative and New York Times founder and publisher Henry Jarvis Raymond is born near Lima.
Feb 4
Buffalo attorney Dennis Bowen is born in Aurora to Jonathan and Vashti Wheeler Bowen.
Mar 1
Buffalo mayor and Civil War general William Findlay Rogers is born near Easton, Pennsylvania, to Irish-born newspaper publisher and Civil War general Thomas Jones Rogers and his wife.
Mar 14
The Genesee County town of Elba is taken off of the town of Batavia.
Mar 24
The Genesee County town of Stafford is formed from parts of Batavia and Le Roy.
Apr 13                       
The Erie Canal passenger boat Montezuma, built by C. Tyler is launched at the Seneca River. She is expected to begin service in another ten days.
Apr 21
The Lion of the West leaves Rochesterville, the first canal boat from there to Utica, on the Erie Canal.
The section of the Erie Canal between Utica and the Seneca River at Montezuma is opened for public use. Among the new ports created is Port Byron, with its aqueduct over the canal.
May 22
The Genesee River bridge at Carthage collapses.
May 23
Former New England congressman Daniel Webster addresses a crowd in Rochester's Reynolds Arcade.
Jul 1
The first toll is collected on the Erie Canal.
Jul 9
Dryden, New York, teacher Edward Rulloff (Edward H. Rulloffson) is born in St. John’s, New Brunswick.
Aug 20
A meeting is held at Canandaigua’s Mill’s Hotel to discuss the building of a canal linking Canandaigua Lake with the Erie Canal. John C. Spencer, James D. Bemis, Asa Stanley, Dudley Marvin, and William H. Adams are appointed to study a route. ** A waterspout appears in Lake Ontario off the shore of Oswego.
Sep 7
During a Lake Erie storm, two lake vessels are forced to tie up at the new pier being built by Samuel Wilkeson at Buffalo Creek (later the Buffalo River). The pier holds.
Sep 20
Rochesterville’s Methodist Episcopal Church opens. Abelard Reynolds is named first trustee.
Franklin Cowdery begins publishing the Angelica Republican.
Oct 2
Nathan Reed is the first child born in the town of Allegany.
Nov 20
The corvette Madison, built in 40 days, is launched from Henry Eckford’s shipyard in Sackets Harbor.
Fifteen men, mostly Quakers, knowing the Erie Canal will come through the area, have bought up the site of the future Lockport.
Dec 21
The Canandaigua Lake canal committee recommends a 19 1/2-mile route that would require 23 locks and cost $68,000. The Ontario Canal Company is formed.
De Witt Clinton wins the governorship, but with a Bucktail (Republican) legislature. ** A Lake Erie lighthouse is erected on Dunkirk's Point Gratiot. Another is built on Galloo Island in Lake Ontario’s Sackets Harbor. ** Joseph Cox begins operating a ferry on the Genesee River near Rush. ** Onondaga County area white population is over fifty people per square mile. Orleans County has a population of 7,116. ** The approximate date Geneva’s Ludlow House is built, at 388 Pulteney Street. Federal row houses are also built at 394, 398, 400 and 402 Pulteney this year. ** Carthage landing on the Genesee ships 67,468 bushels of flour, 5,310 barrels of pearl and pot ash, 26,743 barrels of beef and pork, and 709 barrels of whiskey, along with other goods, on 316 vessels. ** Three dry seasons reduce the clearance over the Genesee River sandbar from twelve to six feet. ** Connewango pioneer James Blanchard and his wife Eunice open a tavern on the old Chautauqua road. Carpenter David Davidson builds the first frame building in town. Stephen Nichols, David Cooper, Culver Crumb and Vermont farmer Ezra Amadon settle in town. Windsor, Vermont, Native Thomas Darling arrives from York, New York. Restless, he will soon move on to Ohio. Brothers Leonard and Aaron Barton arrive form Massachusetts but soon grow discouraged and return there.. Elias Wilcox arrives from Livingston County. ** Auburn’s Theological Seminary is incorporated. ** The approximate date a barn is built in Ontario County that will one day be part of the Genesee Country Museum. ** Ebenezer Reed of Connecticut settles near the mouth of Cattaraugus County’s Five Mile Creek, the future site of the town of Allegany. ** 14-year-old Palmyra farm boy Joseph Smith reports seeing God and Christ while praying in a maple grove. ** The Commissioners of the land office are authorized to survey and sell lots on the Onondaga salt spring reservation, as with other un-appropriated lands in the state, the proceeds to go to the Commissioners of the Canal Fund. $20,000, from the first sales is to be applied to the improvement of navigation on the Oswego River. ** The approximate date (or 1821) when Josiah Chadwick builds a tavern on the Geneseo Road just south of Avon. ** A brick courthouse-jail is built at Pulaski Village and a wood courthouse at Oswego City. ** Vermont-born physician Andrew Oliver opens a practice in Penn Yan. ** Methodist Episcopalian minister Austin Cowles holds the first religious services in the Allegany County Town of Bolivar. ** Esek Brown opens a tavern on the future site of Lockport. ** Ira Chubb's farm in the Yates County Town of Barrington is completed. The road by the farm will be named the Chubb Hollow Road. ** Cohocton's first frame schoolhouse is built, in front of Maple View Cemetery. ** The approximate date Ezra Jones builds a farmhouse in Ontario County. ** Stonington, Connecticut, native George Brown dies in his mid-forties in Branchport. The land there that he planned to build a tavern on reverts to landowner John Beddoe. ** The approximate date a law office is built in East Avon. It will later house a boot and shoemaker's shop. ** Artist/naturalist John James Audubon visits Niagara Falls. ** Rufus Conable travels from western Massachusetts to build a cabin for his family in Gainesville, New York. ** 122,553 men are currently enrolled in the state militia. ** Jonathan Gerry builds a house on East Main Street in Avon (it will later become a health spa, then the Avon Inn). ** Victor’s Springdale Farm homestead is established at Valentown Road and Mott’s Corners. It will one day become a Bed & Breakfast. ** The Cayuga Lake excursion steamboat Enterprise is built for Timothy Dwight Wilcox’s Cayuga Steamboat Company. ** The village of St. Helena begin planning its future form and structures. ** Monroe County has a population of 12,835; compared to 6,945 in 1814., broken down by town - Brighton (1972; 675), Mendon (2,012; 1,353), Penfield (3,224; 1,874), Perinton (1664; 821) and Pittsford (3763; 2,222).
It's loan protected by personal bonds, the state provides $12,000 for harbor improvements. ** The area now has 32 blacks. ** The steamboat Walk-in-the-Water leaves for Mackinac with $100,000 in trade goods for John Jacob Astor. ** Joseph Clary arrives from Oneida County to read law.
Improvements are completed along 1.72 miles of the Cayuga-Seneca Waterway. Locks are 64 feet long, and can handle boats up to 20 tons. Towpaths are no longer needed on the slack water portions.
The village has a population of 1,582. ** Samuel Hildreth builds a home at 44 North Main Street.
Azel Ensworth’s tavern becomes the Eagle Hotel, with the addition of a high attic to serve as ballroom and public hall. ** Court Street is extended. ** The population reaches 1,502, up from 331 in 1816. ** Miller Charles J. Hill is named a trustee of the village. ** Matthew Brown completes a sawmill and millrace at the High Falls. The race powers five mills and a distillery. ** Several private wells are dug near the springs on Spring Street. ** Everard Peck begins publishing the Farmer's Calendar, or Ontario and Genesee Almanac. Peck also publishes The Life and Adventures of James R. Durand for the author, probably the first book printed here. ** The first St. Luke's Episcopal Church, a wooden structure, is built. ** The settlement becomes the nation’s largest boat-building town, remaining so for approximately the next 75 years. ** The nearby small village of Allyns Creek has a larger population than Rochesterville. ** James K. Livingston acquires the Allens Creek property of Gideon Cobb. Cobb moves into town and starts a brickyard on Monroe Avenue (future site of the Monroe YMCA). ** The approximate date a carding mill is built on Irondequoit Creek near the Perinton line, William Fellows and J. Keys build a tannery nearby, Isaac Mott opens a cooper shop, Abner Cole builds a forge and an ironworks, Andrew Lincoln, John Lathrop and Samuel Rich build a saw mill, and Nathaniel Norton operates a shingle mill.
© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Greece Town Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Sons of Old Monroe: The 140th N.Y. Volunteer Infantry
by Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett, author of three books relating to the 140th N.Y., will
discuss and share images associated with the service of this local Civil
War unit. Recruited in 1862 and composed of men from across Monroe County, including Greece, its story is at the same time typical and unique among Northern regiments. By war's end, the 140th had a well-earned reputation as an elite unit, due in large part to the key role it played at the battle of Gettysburg.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Received form Peggy Butler. You can send any replies to me at
and I'll pass them along.
Hi. We moved to Mendon Ponds Park roughly five years
ago. Our house backs up on three of four sides. I've
tried and have somewhat succeeded in finding as much
information as possible on the park. I've hit the
libraries and received basic stuff. However, when I
discovered your articles (Crooked Lakes) especially
the ones by John G. Sherry - it was such a great day
for me. The articles are extremely rich and provide
scores of information on Mendon Ponds Park. Can you
recommend any books and/or articles on the subject?
Any library better than another on Mendon Ponds Park?
Any museums better than another? Finally besides John
Sheret's articles, any other author(s) would you
recommend from Crooked Lake whose focus is Mendon
Ponds Park?
 Peggy Butler

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Canal Society of New York State Winter Meeting

Below is the announcement for the Canal Society’s Winter


Further information, including pre-registration procedures

may be found at the Society’s web page

pre-registration forms are due by February 22nd


announces its

Winter Symposium & Meeting

Saturday, March 3, 2012

All events located in:

Warshof Conference Center, Room Monroe A & B

(Enter through lobby at northeast corner of Building 3)

Brighton Campus, Monroe Community College

1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14623

Parking: Lot M, Center Road


8:00 A.M - 8:40 A.M. Registration Coffee, Continental Breakfast

8:45 A.M. - 9:30 A.M. The Canal Corridor: Today’s Canal Structures Survey and Interpreting Yesterday’s History
Duncan Hay, PhD, National Park Service and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission Historian
Boston, MA

9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Panama Canal Exploration Preview

Thomas X. Grasso, President, Canal Society of NY

Pittsford, NY

David Wahl, Member, Board of Directors, CSNYS

East Aurora, NY

10:15 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. Coffee Break

10:30 A.M.– 11:15 A.M. A Video Oral History of the Erie Canal

Daniel Franklin Ward, PhD, Curator, The Erie Canal Museum

Syracuse, NY

11:15 A.M. – 11:45 Stormy Weather: Miracle on the Mohawk

Brian Stratton, Director, NYS Canal Corporation

Schenectady, NY

11:45 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Lunch Soup, Pasta, Sandwiches,
Coffee, Soft Drinks, and Brownies

12:30 P.M. – 1:15 P.M. Canalway Trail Update

John DiMura, NYS Canal Corporation Trails


Albany, NY

1:15 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. Highlights From the Madden Canal Photographic Collection

[Can You Name That Canal Location?]

William Schollenberger, Civil Engineer,
NYS Canal Corporation, Retired

Albany, NY

2:00 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. The Canals and Inland Waterways of Belgium
CSNYS/IWI Tour—October 3 to 15, 2012

Thomas X. Grasso, President, CSNYS

Pittsford, NY

2:45 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. CSNYS Annual Meeting and Reports,
Announcements & Discussion