Saturday, September 28, 2013


Jan 1                       
Total state canal debt reaches $7,706,013, which includes construction costs on the Cayuga, Oswego and Seneca canals.    **    Lodi farmer Philip S. Lott begins keeping an account book; he will make entries for more than fifty years.

Feb 3
Cohocton's Congregational Church, built on land donated by deacon Thomas Crosby, is dedicated.

Feb 13                       
Livingston County judge and congressional delegate Moses Hayden dies in Albany in his mid-forties.

Feb 14                       
Canandaigua lawyer and politician Edwin Hicks is born in Bristol, New York.

Mar 24
The Buffalo Journal and General Advertiser announces that businessman Nathaniel Rathbun will build the local headquarters of the Bank of the United States branch, at Main and South Division streets

Mar 25                       
The Oswego County town of Amboy is formed from the Town of Williamstown.

Mar 26                       
Joseph Smith begins selling The Book of Mormon in Palmyra’s Grandin Building bookstore, where the translation was printed.

Apr 6                       
The Mormon church (Church of Latter Day Saints) is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. in Fayette, near Cayuga Lake. Hyrum Smith, schoolteacher Oliver Cowdery, David and Peter Whitmer, and Samuel H. Smith comprise the founding committee.    **   The electors of Canadice convene for the first time and elect town officers.

Apr 7                       
The Livingston County Bank opens in Geneseo, capitalized at $100,000.

Apr 11                       
Refinery operator Hiram Bond Everest is born in Pike.

Apr 16                       
Lawyer Sherman Skinner Rogers is born in Buffalo to Gustavas Adolphus Rogers and Susan Ann Campbell Rogers.

May 9
The Rochester-built steam-powered canal boat Novelty, recently towed on the Erie Canal to Utica to be fitted out with its engines, passes through to Lake Ontario on the Oswego Canal.

May 16                       
Stock subscriptions for the Bank of Buffalo are opened to the public at the Eagle Tavern. Capitalized at $200,000, within two weeks $1,654,250 is subscribed.

Jul 12                       
Very heavy rain begins falling in western New York, continues through the next morning.

Jul 13                       
The heavy rains cause a break in the Erie Canal in Bushnell's Basin near Pittsford's Grand Embankment . A culvert gives way a mile-and-a-half west of Pittsford and damage is done at Fairport.

Jul 25                       
Rochester optics manufacturer John Jacob Bausch is born in Gross Suessin, Germany.

Aug 24                       
Englsih traveler John Fowler tours Auburn Prison, goes on the visit the village, after having breakfast back at the hotel. He boards the stage and travels on to Cayuga, where they pass over the northern end of Cayuga Lake on the rickety wooden bridge, and continue on to the villages of Seneca Falls, Waterloo and Geneva. After looking around he contnues on to Canandaigua, arriving between eight and nine in the evening. He stays at Blossoms Hotel.

Aug 25                       
Fowler tours the village before breakfast. He goes on by stage, wagon, and on foot through Victor, Minden, Pittsford and Henrietta, arriving in Rochester late in the day.

Aug 26                       
Fowler tours the city, sees the spot where Sam Patch jumped, visits the market, then takes the stage to Geneseo, arriving around five PM. That evening he walks around down on the flats of the Genesee River.

Aug 27                       
After an unusually cold night Fowler awakes to dense fog. He leaves by carriage for Avon, arriving to find all that day’s coaches to the west have left. He spends some time hunting with the landlord’s son. The also visit a recently discovered mineral spring.  

Aug 28
Fowler encounters a dumb-waiter for the first time at his inn. He travels through Caledonia, Le Roy, Stafford, Batavia, Alexander, Pembroke, Alden and Clarence, arriving in Buffalo, and putting up for the night at E. Powell’s Buffalo House.

Aug 29                       
Fowler encounters occasional rain. He explores the Erie Canal within the city.

Aug 30                       
Fowler goes swimming in Lake Erie at five AM, later visits the nearby Seneca village. He takes a stage to Table Rock at the Falls. He takes the trip behind them, is given a certificate by his guide. He then travels to Queenstown, Ontario, crossesd the Niagara River to Lewistown (Lewiston).    **    The play Is He Jealous? is performed in Buffalo.

Aug 31                       
Fowler takes a stage back to Rochester, passing through and commenting on, Lockport.

Oct 24
Attorney Belva Ann Bennett (Lockwood) is born in Royalton.

Ira Carpenter builds a wooden bridge at the Cox Ferry site on the Genesee River near Rush.    **    Batavia editor Frederick Follett merges his Spirit of the Times with Daniel P. Adams' People's Press.    **    The Republican Aegis and Allegany Democrat is published at Angelica.    **    British actor Tyrone Power visits America, tours upstate.    **     A tavern is built at Gainesville, near Warsaw.    **     Hamilton businessman Lathrop S. Bacon moves to Le Roy with his father, soon opens a general merchandise store.    **    Vincent, a hamlet in the town of Bristol, becomes the largest processor of mutton in the country for the next twenty years, gaining the nickname Muttonville.    **     The population of the Ontario County Town of Canadice peaks at 1,386. By 1890 it is down to 730 people. Orleans County's population has risen to 17,632, over twice as many people as in 1820. **    A total of $1,066,922 in tolls is collected on the state's canals.    **    This year state ports clear 280,918 tons of domestic goods and 33,797 tons of foreign goods. **    The town of Mendon's population climbs to 1,922.    *    State courts convictions for the year total 1,058.    **    A state loan of $500,000 from 1786, distributed back then among a dozen counties, is retired.    **    The registration of steam vessels for foreign trade is begun. **    The first church in the Allegany County town of Allen is founded, by the Presbyterians.    **    Seneca chief Sa-go-ye-wath-a (Red Jacket) dies, in his early seventies.    **    The last wolf is killed in Monroe County.    **    The Cohocton school district votes to spend $2.00 to repair the schoolhouse. Firewood is put out to bid at 81¢ a cord.    **    A 35-foot-high, natural gas-powered lighthouse, the first to be so operated, is built On Lake Erie at Barcelona Harbor south of Fredonia.    **    Young Mendon farmer Brigham Young sees a copy of the Book of Mormon for the first time.    **    The approximate date the nearby Methodist Church in the Log Meeting House moves closer to Gorham.    **     The First Methodist Episcopal Church in Wellsville is organized.    **    The approximate date William Bradley opens a blacksmith shop in Elba.    **    The approximate date Orleans area farmer Ezra Jones adds a kitchen to his farmhouse.    **    Jonas Baldwin and John McHarrie complete their Seneca River gristmill.    **     Overland travel time to Chicago is about three weeks.    **    188,610 men are currently enrolled in the state militia.    **    The approximate date Fortunatus Gleason and his son Charles open a pottery and tile factory in Stafford.    **     Beach’s four-story, stone mill is built in Port Byron on the mill race paralleling the Owasco Lake Outlet creek.    **    The approximate date future diarist Mary Thorn’s family moves from the Saratoga region to the town of Chili.    **     Civil War nurse Sarah Graham Palmer (Young) is born in Ithaca.    **    Over the past decade Albany’s population has gained 96%, Buffalo’s 314%, Utica’s 183%, Rochester’s 512% and Syracuse’s  282%.    **    Newfane’s eight school districts teach 370 children – cost $427.10.

A population of 8,653 climbs to 15,661 by year's end.    **    The approximate date Augustus Porter, brother of General Peter B. Porter, builds a house  at the intersection of Amherst and East streets.    **    Lawyer Joseph Clary marries Maria Theresa Rathbun, daughter of New York City businessman Samuel Rathbun. The bride is a first cousin of Buffalo businessmen  Benjamin and Lyman Rathbun.    **        Lyman Rathbun and two other men are taken to court, accused of abducting and assaulting a local grocer.    **    Millard Fillmore returns from his term as state assemblyman to resume his law practice with Clary. He moves to Buffalo.    **    Over the past five years the Federal government has spent $71,000 on harbor improvements, including replacing wood in the works with stone.    **    The approximate date the Pioneer Line, a passenger and mail stage service between Buffalo and Albany not running on Sundays, goes out of business.    **    The Bank of Buffalo is founded. Israel T. Hatch, half-brother of governor Enos Troop, is named commissioner to the bank, along with David E. Evans, Pierre A. Barker, Guy E. Goodrich, and Stephen G. Austin.

The approximate date a house built by Augustus Porter at North Main Street and Scotland Road is moved to 91 Gibson Street.    **    Pomeroy and Bull’s steam-powered flour mill is destroyed by fire.

Erie Canal
Clearances through the Buffalo harbor double over those of 1826.

Population: 1,831, up from 1,582 in 1820.    **    A home is built on the future Monroe Avenue for general store owner Ira Buck.    **    A house is built on the west side of the first block of South Main Street for the Newcomb family, owners of a mortuary.

The population reaches 10,863, making it the 21st largest city in the country. In New England only four cities are larger; five in the southern U.S. are bigger.    **   Businessman Edwin Scrantom and his wife join Brick Presbyterian Church. He writes about a number of travelers who have come to see the aqueduct.   **    John Chattin purchases 55 acres of former Iroquois land south of the city for $660 from a speculator.    **    The evangelist Charles Grandison Finney brings revivalism to the city. Thousands come to hear him; 635 join the city's three Presbyterian churches; 203 join the First Baptist Church; the Methodists build a church with seating capacity of 2,000.    **    William A. Reynolds and Michael Bateham start the city's first seed business at the corner of Sophia and Buffalo Streets.    **    The Tinker family builds a home on their Henrietta farm property.    **    William Alling begins working for Quaker stationer and bookseller Elihu Marshall as an office boy.    **    The city has 188 churches. Well over 50% of the population attend services.    **    Newspaper editor Thurlow Weed move to Albany.

Skaneateles breaks away from Marcellus. Its population reaches 1,000.

© 2013     David Minor / Eagles Byte

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable

September 18 @ 7:30 pm

The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable presents Chad Roberts on 
“Family of Emory Upton – Batavia Born” 

The meeting will take place at LeRoy United Methodist Church, 3rd door on right end of long sidewalk, 10 Trigon Park, LeRoy. Discussion period will follow. New members are welcome!! Chad will be discussing Emory Upton’s life in Batavia and family. This will be a very interesting program.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Press Release




 FINGER LAKES BOATING MUSEUM AUCTION FEATURES ‘project’ boats from museum’s collection

HAMMONDSPORT, NY (Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013) – Looking for a classic wooden boat project? Well, look no farther.

After collecting wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes for more than a decade, the
Finger Lakes Boating Museum has decided to sell some boats from its collection of
more than 100 vessels.

The Auction will take place Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 10 a.m. at the Museum
storage site, 8231 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport.

Ed Wightman, Museum President and Chair of its Collections Committee, said that the
boats in the auction are “project boats,” meaning they are not in excellent restored
condition. “We are offering them because they are either duplicates or boats that we
have not been able to identify their origin,” explained Wightman.

The Museum, which collects only boats made in the Finger Lakes, often receives boats from donors that are in need of restoration. Museum members have restored a number of boats in the Collection.

The collection of boats is now stored in a former Mercury Aircraft warehouse on
Pleasant Valley Road in Hammondsport. The auction will take place in the parking lot
adjacent to the warehouse. The following boats will be auctioned:

 ·      Sailboats –Ten boats, including three K-Boats by Wright, a Comet and a Lightning by Skaneateles, a Ro-Mo-Sail, a Phantom and Sailing Dinghy by Penn Yan, a Laser and a Bauer cat rigged sloop.

·      Rowboats - Two boats, a Rowboat and a Troutboat, builders unknown;

·      Canoes – Three canoes, including an HW by Old Town, an Owasco by Penn Yan and
another built by Bauter;

·      Row-Outboard – Five boats, two Trailboats, two Car Toppers and a Sr. Car Top,
all built by Penn Yan Boats; and

 ·      Outboard Runabout – Two boats, an Angler and one that may be made by Thompson.

    Photographs of the boats to be auctioned will be on the Museum’s website at The website contains information about the Museum’s collection and its mission of education, restoration and preservation.

    The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats
built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material.

    The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes 

Just Received

According to the Genesee Valley Penny Saver (, there’s to be a meeting at 2PM today of the Chili Historical Society.  The public is invited.  The meeting will be held at Streeter’s Inn, 4145 Union Street.  The topic:  the history of Mt. Hope Cemetery, founded in 1838.  The speaker:  Dennis Carr.  The phone number offered for further information is 594-4015.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fanning Mill Fans?

Some time back Rick Owens of Bennett, North Carolina, acquired a barn. Among the relics he found inside was some sort of wooden farm device, seen here:

Photo by Rick Owens

Attempting to identify the object he began an internet search, eventually ending up in the Crooked Lake Review blog at a Winter 2003 article by Dick Palmer entitled “Remember the Old Fanning Mill”.  In the article Palmer wrote, “At least a few years ago, it could be found sitting forlornly in back of the barn, long since forgotten by the present generation”. The article included a drawing of a fanning mill, used to separate grain.

Now Rick writes he would like to : “. . . identify the mill we have. I’ve looked at a whole lot of mills and simply cannot find a duplicate. If it’s really a find, I’d like to donate it to a museum. If it’s not, I’d like to sell it to someone who would appreciate it. It’s just going to sit in our barn and rot otherwise”.

Rick can be reached at:

680 Hicks Lane

Bennett, NC 27208


Saturday, September 7, 2013

History of Greece's Elmtree (Yates Thayer) Farm

History of Elmtree (Yates Thayer) Farm

by Marie Poinan.

September 10, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Greece Town Hall

Yates-Thayer  710 Latta 12-2006

This presentation explores the history of 710-720 Latta Road (the large yellow house next to Fleming Point Senior Living ) as a country estate and a working farm.  Property owners over the past 100 years include an Irish immigrant, the son of a bank president and a coal baron.  Members of the Thayer family will be on hand to contribute memories and answer questions. Vintage photos will show why this property deserves to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   The Companion book, “A Gentleman’s Country Estate”  will be available to purchase for $7.00.

Marie Poinan is a member of the Greece Historical Society, a local historian and author of eight books on Charlotte and Greece.  For 10 years she was the editor of “Discover the Harbor District” magazine. She also worked on creating the signage for the Bill Davis Overlook.
Reservations are not necessary.  Greece Historical Society members FREE.  A $2.00 donation is appreciated from others.

  • Address

    595 Long Pond Rd
    Greece, NY 14612
    (585) 225-7221
  • Hours

    Sundays 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    or by appointment
    Closed Major Holidays
    Historical Society Office
    Mon, Tues, Wed 9:30 a.m. – Noon
    or by appointment
    Town Historian’s Office
    Mondays 9:30 a.m. – noon
    or by appointment

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013


Dear Mr. Minor,

My name is Elizabeth (call me Libby) Herbig and I am a tiresome genealogist. What makes me tiresome with the people I correspond with is my shiny, sunny outlook and my firm conviction that since I have placed my faith in them, why they must be able to help me find what I need. Tiresome, no?

I came across while taking up once again my search for information about my great-grandfather William Martin Sweeney (b. 25 Jun1874, d. 21 Nov 1912). When he died, he was the owner of The Brunswick, a bar and grill on N. Aurora St. in Ithaca, now the site of The Mahogany Grill. From their website, I can tell that the cool wooden bar at the Mahogany is the same one in the picture of my great granddad standing proudly behind his.
But before he bought his own place, he worked as a steward on a boat called the Ezra Cornell. I have a picture of a four-man crew with William standing in a natty uniform that says "Steward" on his cap and collar. There's a pair of officers seated and next to William stands a guy in a middy blouse with sailor collar and silly flat-topped hat. His hat and blouse both say Ezra Cornell. (This is how I know the name of the boat.) He looks like the guy who does all the scut work on a boat, since he doesn't have dressy togs like the others.

Now, knowing who Ezra Cornell (the guy, not the boat) was, and knowing that William lived in Ithaca, I'm making the leap in logic to say that the Ezra Cornell (the boat, not the guy--I told you I was tiresome!) probably plied the waters of Cayuga Lake, or at least one of the Fingers. Makes sense, right? But the Frontenac and the Mohawk, while they were lovely, I'm sure, seem to push all the other boats off the end of the Google search results pier, as it were. I can't find anything about a boat called Ezra Cornell aside from a World War II Liberty Ship, built 30 years after William died.

I wonder if some resources to which you might be privy would have some information about this boat. I'd be very grateful to you if you could help me or point me in the direction of someone who can. If you have any clarifying questions for me, or if I can supply any cool info from here in St. Louis, (like, say... pictures of graves of noted Mississippi River steamboat pilots, like that) please don't hesitate to ask. I love a good research quid pro quo!

Editors NOTE:
Other blogees (or even canal hoggees) who might possibly have further information on Libby's quest (man or boat) can reply to this post