Saturday, February 23, 2013


The annual all-day CSNYS Winter Symposium will be held March 2nd, at Monroe Community College in Rochester.

With a special focus this year on the Great Lakes and their interconnections with New York’s canals the event will feature speakers such as Michigan history professor Matthew Daley (The Keweenaw Waterway and Copper Mining), former Rochester City Historian Ruth Naparsteck Kron, and Canadian Great Lakes historian Walter Lewis on “Steamboats and the St. Lawrence Canals”. Other speakers will include keynote speaker and director of the NYS Canal Corporation Brian Stratton, and Fairport Canalside Development head Kal Wysokowski, as well as a preview of the upcoming 2013 field trip to the Delaware and Hudson Canal and the upcoming Worlds Canal Conference in Toulouse, France.

Advance registration is appreciated to permit accurate lunch number totals. Additional information, including registration forms and the meeting schedule is available online at:
Payment may be made at the door.



The debate over the form Buffalo's new 1829 high school should take had been intense. In 1943 Buffalo reporter Walter McCausland would write, "Men of affairs delivered weighty opinions on the question. Preachers treated it firstly, secondly, thirdly, and even fourthly and fifthly. Editorial writers took quill pens in hand, and clearly proved the truth of each opposing view." McCausland will be our primary source for what follows.

In the end it was the proponents of military-style school that won out. They were headed by community leaders like state senator Samuel Wilkeson, who had been instrumental in building the city's harbor and bringing the Erie Canal to the city - who we last met in 1825, pouring Atlantic Ocean water into Lake Erie. There was former bookstore manager Roswell Willson Haskins, a Massachusetts transplant, now editor of the Buffalo Journal, Wilkeson's fellow promoter of Buffalo's waterfront and canal terminus. State assemblyman David Burt was on board as well. While seeking an administrator with a military background, they soon encountered Captain Alden Partridge, poster boy for military training in the schools - we can count him one of the godfathers of the ROTC.

Partridge, a military engineer, had been superintendent of West Point during the War of 1812, where he had written papers such as "Observations Relative to the Calculation of the Altitude of Mountains, etc, by the Use of the Barometer" and "Method of Determining the Initial Velocity of Projectiles". Having concluded that a practical education should contain military drill and discipline, down into the secondary and even the elementary level, he left the Point to preach the gospel. Despite the fact that he was almost universally praised (note the 'almost') for his theories all throughout his long life, he must have had an enemy or two. According to historian John Niven, writing in 1973, "He was fired as superintendent of West Point, for overbearing, and at the same time sloppy, administration and running the school as a "sort of aid society for hungry Partridges and impecunious friends."

If this is so, once away from the Point, he seems to have redeemed himself. Ten years ago, in 1819, he had settled in Norwich, Vermont, where he founded the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy (in 1834 it became Norwich University and a hundred and forty years after that would be the first military academy to admit women). Not only were standard scientific and liberal arts courses taught but Partridge added modern languages and agricultural studies. On the military side, Partridge would borrow muskets and artillery from the federal and Vermont governments and lead his 'troops' in field exercises. The youth (male, of course) of the 
U. S. would not be caught unprepared for war another time.

Now, in July 1829, the high school that Alden Partridge had masterminded is opening and nine-year-old Joshua Lovejoy and his 54 classmates march up Buffalo's Main Street to the new school, where dedication ceremonies will take place under the proud and watchful eyes of Alden Partridge and the school's new principal, Captain James McKay, Partridge's son-in-law. At least the latter wasn't quite a hungry Partridge.

© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte

Friday, February 15, 2013




Historic Pittsford will offer a free presentation by 
former Democrat and Chronicle columnist Bob Marcotte 
on Thursday, 2/21 at 7:30PM at the United Church of 
Pittsford, 123 South Main Street (corner of Sunset 
Boulevard). “Rochester Soldiers at Gettysburg” will
discuss the role of Rochester area soldiers and 
regiments, which were involved in every key part of 
the famous battle.

The event is free and open to the public.  Attendees 
are asked to consider bringing a donation (canned 
goods, etc.) for the Pittsford Food Cupboard which
will be gratefully accepted at the door.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013



Jan 28                 
The Cayuga & Susquehanna Rail Road, formerly the Ithaca and Owego, is chartered, the second railroad charter in the state - capitalized at $150,000.

Feb 7                 
Civil War officer Ely Samuel Parker, a Seneca sachem of the Wolf Clan, author of the  terms of surrender at Appomattox, is born on the Tonawanda Reservation, in Indian Falls, New York to Senecas William and Elizabeth Parker.

Mar 16
Ezra R. Andrews, founder of Rochesterville's Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company, is born.

Mar 25                 
The Sullivan County town of Cohocton is formed from the Town of Bethel.    ** Construction is authorized by the state for a branch from the Cayuga & Seneca Canal , following the Seneca River looping north to Cayuga Lake, after receiving numerous petitions by residents of Cayuga, and Tompkins counties looking to solve the problems of low water and sand bars.

James Samuel Wadsworth reads law under U. S. Senator Daniel Webster, in Boston.

Apr 1                 
The Erie Canal opens for the season.

Apr 2                 
The packet boat Niagara is the first boat of the season to pass Syracuse, heading west on the Erie Canal.

Apr 12                 
The Canandaigua Railway & Transportation Company is founded, to connect Canandaigua and Watson to the Chemug Rail Road to Elmira. It’s capitalized at $50,000.

Apr 17                 
The Great Ausable Rail Road is organized, capitalized at $150,000, to connect Port Kent to the Ausable Forks. It’s never built.

Apr 21
The Genesee County Town of Gerryville changes its name to Alabama.    **    The Auburn and Owasco Canal Company is chartered, with a capitalization of $100,000, to connect the village and Owasco Lake.    **    Elmira village, the former Newtown, is organized with Stephen Tuttle as president; Theodore North, Charles Orwan, Lyman Covell, William Maxwell as trustees, and  Hiram Gray as clerk. The local Masonic temple closes, a victim of the national William Morgan scandal. It will reopen fifteen years later.    **    The Catskill & Ithaca Rail Road is organized, capitalized at $1,500,000, to connect the two villages. It’s never built.    **    The Geneva and Canandaigua Rail Road is organized – capitalized at $100,000 -  to connect the two locations. It’s never built.

May 16                 
Buffalo-born politician Peter Buell Porter is naed Secretary of State, replacing James Barbour who will be named Ambassador to the United Kingdom on the 26th.  

Jul 16                 
Scottish traveler James Stuart boards the packet William Thomson for a three-year expedition to North America - first port of call, New York City.

Aug 27
Buffalo architect Cyrus K. Porter is born in Cicero, New York, to Welcome and Rachel Kinne Porter.     

Sep 1                 
The Stuarts are late getting their seats in the carriage when the female servant fails to wake them on time. They reach Auburn just before sundown.

Sep 2                 
Stuart is given a tour of Auburn Prison, for a 25-cent fee.

Sep 4                 
Stuart’s party travels as far as the wooden bridge across the north end of Cayuga Lake, travel down the east shore to Aurora, put up at an inn (not the later Aurora Inn) for the night.

Sep 5                 
Stuart’s coach passes through Ithaca, then proceeds up the west side of Cayuga Lake, passing Taughannock Falls, through Ovid and on to Geneva.

Sep 11                 
Brockport lawyer Daniel Holmes, Jr. is born in West Bloomfield to  Massachusetts native Daniel Holmes, Sr. and his wife Susan Hale-Stuart Holmes.   

Nov 15                 
The Cayuga and Seneca Canal linking Seneca and Cayuga lakes to the Erie Canal is  completed. An additional appropriation of $16,000 had been needed, bringing the total to $214,000.31.

Nov 24                 
Optician, businessman Henry Lomb is born in Burghaun, Germany, to Johnnes and Caroline Issbruecker Lomb.

New York’s Oswego Canal is completed, connecting the Erie Canal at Syracuse with Lake Ontario. Total cost is $525,115.

Future philanthropist Ezra Cornell moves from the Bronx to Ithaca.    **    The first printing press in Wyoming County.   **    The Rogers brothers launch their first schooner, the Jeanette, on the lower Genesee River.   **    James D. Bemis sells the Western Repository and Genesee Advertiser to Morse and Harocy.   **    Hamilton College tutor William Kirkland marries writer Caroline Stansbury and they move to Geneva to found the Domestic School.   **    Great Lakes steamboat operator Josephus Bradner Stuart dies.    **    1000 gallons of whiskey is purchased at 20¢ a gallon for resale in Le Roy.    **    Nathaniel Pitcher, Jr. is elected governor.    **    A brick Steuben County court house is built at Bath.    **    The legislature calls for a registry of canal boats.    **    David S. Wilberforce replaces John T. Wills as captain of the Chautauqua.    **    Elmira village is organized with Stephen Tuttle as president; Theodore North, Charles Orwan, Lyman Covell, William Maxwell as trustees, and  Hiram Gray as clerk.    **     Having outgrown its first structure, Binghamton's Broome County courthouse moves across the street into a new brick building.    **    "Sally", probably Sarah Sullivan, "the belle of Boston", comes to Geneseo for a visit with young James Wadsworth and his family.    **    47,000 more acres of Seneca Indian reservation land are put on the market.    **    The Oswego Canal opens north from Syracuse as far as Phoenix.    **    A parcel of land northwest of Keuka Lake - the Beddoe Tract - goes on the market for farm land. George Stafford of Geneva marries Charlotte Beddoe of Branchport, daughter of landowner John Beddoe. Charlotte's brother dies of epilepsy this year.    **    Jonas Baldwin and John McHarrie begin construction on a gristmill on the Seneca River.    **    1,160,888 bushels of salt are processed at Salina.    **     Combined revenue from the Erie and Champlain canals totals $883,000.    **    Robert Hyde Walworth becomes the last Chancellor of the State of New York..    **     Alva Palmer builds an inn at the Genesee Valley gorge which will later become the Glen Iris Inn of Letchworth State Park.    **    Auburn Prison now has its prisoners working in seven shops – blacksmith, copper, shoe, tailor, tool, turning  and weaving.    **    Lawyer Simeon B. Jewett builds a Federal-style house on Lake Road in Clarkson.    **    Future Volunteers officer Calvin Nicholas Otis moves from Spafford to Auburn after the death of his father, to learn carpentry.    **    Mendon's Daniel Barnard fails in his re-election bid to Congress.    **    Assemblyman Timothy Childs is elected to his first term in Congress.    **    Albion  is incorporated as a village.    **    A Connecticut man settles in Brockport, notes it has eight or so stores and reminds him of a slightly smaller version of New Hartford.

Lawyer Millard Fillmore is elected to the state legislature.    **    Beals, Mayhew and Company establish the village’s first foundry and machine shop, at Indiana and Ohio Streets.    **    The Great Lakes schooner Guerriere delivers 2500 bushels of wheat from the west. Not finding a ready market here, they carry it down to Dunkirk.    **    Benjamin Rathbun is elected a village trustee for a second one-year term. He will afterwards retire from politics.    **    Use of the harbor increases 30% over last year.    **    The Old Mail Line, renamed the Buffalo and Albany Coach Line, faces competition from the Pioneer Line, a rival that doesn't travel on Sundays.  The new line sets up offices in the Steamboat Hotel with proprietor David E. Merrill as agent. The Buffalo and Albany establishes the Telegraph Line, offering higher cost, speedier service.    **    The Bank of Niagara fails.

Merchant Charles J. Hill takes Lewis L. Peet on as a partner; the new firm becomes Hill & Peet.    **    Loud and Peck's Western Almanack carries its first patent medicine advertisement.    **    Abelard Reynolds builds an arcade on East Main Street.    **    The first temperance meeting here is held in the Monroe County Court House.    **    The Board of Trustees is given complete control of the maintenance of city streets.    **    Elisha Johnson is elected president of the community for a second consecutive one-year term.    **    Massachusetts transplant (1817) Ezra Parsons is appointed Monroe County Clerk.

A new weighlock building is completed, replacing the 1824 Erie Canal water level chamber used previously for weighing boats and their cargo.

Former British citizen Thomas Barnett buids a museum in Kingston, Ontario. In a year or so it will move to Niagara Falls.

© 2013     David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Annual Meeting
Prior to the Feb 12th program there will be a brief annual meeting of the Greece Historical Society at which time we will have an election of trustees, a review our budget and a volunteer of the year presentation.

Annie and Al on the Erie Canal Performed by Fran Carlisi-Paxson and Allen Hopkins
Tuesday, February 12, 2013Greece Community & Senior Center, 7:00 p.m.
Annie Buchanan, as she’ll tell you, is the best cook on the Erie Canal, and Al, as he’ll show you with his music, is the canal-wandering minstrel, as they combine their talents to bring you tall tales, songs, and history from the early days of Clinton’s Ditch.
Fran Carlisi-Paxson is a performance artists who performs her stories at festivals, cultural centers and anywhere folks gathers. Everything she does instills her fast-paced presentations with energy, humor and lively interaction with audiences of all ages.  Allen Hopkins has been a folk musician for 40 plus years.  He plays guitar, banjo, mandolins, autoharp harmonica dulcimer and other odd instruments.  CHANGE OF LOCATION  Please note that our February program will be held at the Greece Community & Senior Center, next door to the Town Hall.  Public welcome, reservations are not necessary. Greece Historical Society members free. A $2.00 donations (or more!) is appreciated from others.

Sunday Programs This Winter
We are hosting several special events on Sunday afternoons at the museum. Museum hours are 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Most programs start at 2:00 p.m. There is no charge, but donations to support the mission of the Greece Historical Society & the operation of your museum are appreciated. Watch for the possibility of more special Sunday programs.

Sunday, February 17th, 2:00 p.m.  Baseball History by Joe Terito of the Rochester Baseball  Historical Society This interactive presentation will include a display of authentic baseball artifacts which will help demonstrate the role equipment played in baseball’s evolution.

Sunday, March 10th, 2:00 p.m. Refugee Tales of a Burmese Family Now Living in Greece Meet a refugee family making a new life in Greece after many trials and frightening experiences in leaving their home land of Burma. Their heartwarming story is a lesson in overcoming and starting anew with hope.

History of Northgate at Museum Gift Shop The recently published Brief History of Northgate Plaza booklet by Marie Poinan is still available for only $5.00 in our Museum Shop.  If you cannot get to our museum, you can order by mail for $5.00 plus $1.00 for S/H.   Mail your $6.00 check to Greece Historical Society, P.O. Box 16249, Greece, NY, 14616.  Please specify that you are ordering the Northgate booklet.

Susan B. Anthony House & Neighborhood Tour
Wednesday, May 22nd 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tour will include: Bus Transportation, Hot Lunch, Tours of Susan B. Anthony House, and the private home of Dawn Noto, and the Madison St. neighborhood gardens. (NOTE: This tour is NOT handicapped accessible.) $55.00 Members, $60.00 Non-members. Reserve NOW ! - Space is limited, call  Sue Hodge at 585-225-3833.

Upcoming Programs & Events

Saturday, March 9, 2013, 2:00 p.m. Greece Public Library
Blanche Stuart Scott - Memories of an Adventurous Woman
Performed by Maureen Whalen

Tuesday, March 12th, 7:00 p.m. Greece Community & Senior Center
Women’s Role in the Civil War by Rebecca Budinger

Tuesday, April 9th, 7:00 p.m. Greece Town Hall
WWI and the Flu Pandemic of 1918 by Robert Brown, PhD

Saturday, May 4th, Noon & 2:30 p.m. Greece Museum
Flora Tea

Tuesday, May 14th, 7:00 p.m., Greece Town Hall
Channel 13 Over the Years by Patrice Walch

Keep up with last minute announcements and/or changes in our schedule by “liking” our Facebook page at

Monday, February 4, 2013


Current Exhibit:
Art Roc NY 2013 Showcase

Preview Party*: 1/31/13
Closing Party*: 2/28/13
*ticketed admissions only

12 Western NY artists:
Barry, Beck, 
Chait, Corea,
Gutierrez, Muscarella,
Peters, Simone-Lee, 
Singer, Tolbert, Wolfe