Pages from the Past
Amelia Jenks Bloomer was born to a family of modest means on May 27, 1818 in Homer, Cortland County. She received only about two years of formal grammar school education, but at age 17 began a brief stint as a schoolteacher. She decided to relocate and moved in with her newly married sister …
Schools closing, churches canceling Sunday services, public events canceled, panic buying, concern about the capacity of the health system to handle the number of sick people — we have been here before, but it’s been 102 years.
Women cartoonists have always been an industry minority. Mary Flanigan Gauerke was a successful freelance cartoonist from the 1950s to the 1980s and may have been the only woman to sell cartoons to Hugh Hefner and William F. Buckley Jr. at the same time.
On Aug. 20, 2019 the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Fallen Timbers was commemorated in Maumee, Ohio.
CANANDAIGUA — A diverse community group has created a local podcast to share efforts to support and promote local history and the arts.
Of all the signers of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, only Rhoda Palmer lived to vote. Her story seems an appropriate way to launch Women’s History Month in 2020 — the centennial year of ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing U.S. women the legal right to vote.
First reports of a “circus” coming to Geneva appear in the Geneva Palladium in 1827 when a group of equestrian riders made the journey to the small village. Trick equestrian riding was typically the main attraction for early circuses, whose modern origins were less than 60 years old at this …
Editor’s note: This piece first appeared in the Finger Lakes Times in 2013.
The first postal service came to be in America by a grant from the British King William and Queen Mary in February 1692!
Black History Month, according to the history.com website, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.
HURON — A William G. Pomeroy Foundation Historic Marker Grant was awarded in 2019 to the Town of Huron. Pomeroy Foundation grants fully fund the acquisition of historic markers for municipalities, historical societies and other organizations seeking meaningful ways to commemorate sites of hi…
If only walls could talk. Many times as a historian have I wished that the walls of a building could divulge the events that happened inside.
During the 1790s New York moved to seize the vast lands belonging to the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The situation was only slightly complicated by the fact that at most only four of them fought during the war on the British side; just as it was by the new federal law stating th…
Locally, at least, Palmyra has been known as the only place in the world with four churches on four corners; that is, four churches on each of four adjacent corners at one intersection.
If you want to get to the Waterloo Premium Outlets, you access the stores from Route 318. Known by locals for many years as the Old State Road, it used to be a poorly maintained road that drivers avoided if they could. Route 318 has been transformed in recent years to become — especially at …
“More history? Don’t you have enough already?”
Saturday afternoon, Oct. 2, 1943, was unusually cold and foggy on Italy Hill. A local farmer later said that the fog “was so thick you couldn’t see a cow 10 feet away.”
The Walworth Historical Society owns the two historically significant paintings created by Clara Billings Yeomans (1850-1926) that served as inspiration for the mural now found at the Walworth Post Office.
Have you ever been on a boat when it safely traveled on a “bridge” over another stream of water?
Have you heard of the Nature Museum which used to run out of the junior/senior school on Pulteney Street? Did you visit?
The Universal Friend, the first American woman to found a religious movement, was by the standards of her own time a blasphemer and a charlatan. I haven’t space here for a comprehensive defense, but trust me there is one. Yet the historical society in her hometown in Rhode Island, where her …
It was just a brown box on shelves with other brown boxes at the Wayne County Historian’s Office. “Veeder” and “WWI” were lettered on two sides.
For this Veterans Day weekend, it is appropriate to write about the Matthews brothers of the Canoga area who served in the Civil War.
Did you know?
In a display case in the Oliver House Museum at the Yates County History Center in Penn Yan is a small wooden box with a bottle of Glenora champagne in it. Visitors often ask about it. They are told that the small box is actually a casket and there is quite a story behind it going back to Wo…
On June 4, 1957 the Federal Communications Commission granted an initial decision to allow WACK 1420 AM to broadcast out of Newark, N.Y. and 40 days later approved a construction permit for the brand-new radio station. The station was first located on East Union Street.
The towns of Ovid and Romulus have a long history — a history that precedes the creation of Seneca County (1794 as opposed to 1804). Their history helps us to understand local history “going way back.”
The Geneva Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is part of an international non-profit organization that reaches 64 million people in 120 countries. YMCAs in the United States have a presence in 10,000 neighborhoods, serving innumerable people.
The most frequent question I answered when I was Yates County historian was “What the heck is preemption?”
I am a retired school librarian with lots of experience who volunteered to catalog the reference books into the Museum of Wayne County History’s museum software beginning in 2005.
Many communities throughout the United States have a Franklin Hotel/House and that is true for Seneca County.
Early this summer, two events took up much of my time: watching the women’s World Cup soccer matches and researching the history of William Smith College athletics. By whatever name you choose – games, sports, athletics – physical education has been at the center of women’s colleges like Wil…
The steamboat companies on Lake Keuka (as it was called in the late 19th century) loved moonlit nights in the summer months. They ran special excursions and lined up bands to play on the boats. Often they would stop at one of the lake resorts for people to have dinner and sometimes they woul…
The village of Newark, in the township of Arcadia, county of Wayne, was founded by Joseph A. Miller, Sr. in 1819 — 200 years ago this year!
Many of the early settlers of the town of Fayette were Pennsylvania Germans who settled here early in the 19th century. Not surprisingly, there soon emerged several church congregations worshiping in their faith, and in many instances actually in the German language.
“Ice War at Geneva”
I have written so many articles for this column, but searching through my computer, it looks like I’ve not written one on the beginnings of the county and each of its towns. I’m here to rectify that, since Gene Bavis of Walworth and I are heading up the Wayne County Bicentennial for 2023!
The initial settlement of the town of Italy was the result of a comedy of errors, followed by a not-unnatural appropriation of fertile farmland outside what they thought they were buying; abetted by absentee owners who didn’t know what they owned. Not to mention unresolvable distance from le…
Did you spend part of your Fourth of July breaking ice that had skimmed your water bucket overnight? That is what Seneca County residents did on July 4, 1816 during the “summer that wasn’t.”
The flooding on Lake Ontario and the losses suffered by residents in both New York state and Canada made me think about various stories I have heard about flooding on Seneca Lake. After the flash flood in Lodi last year, I think most of us realize that water is an extremely powerful force an…
Summer is upon us and what better activity than to take a drive and let the warm air flow through the car.
After 20 months of American involvement in the World War in Europe, the people of Yates County were ready to blow off steam.
Gary V. Sackett is probably the most important person regarding the development of Seneca Falls on the south side of the Seneca River. He was a judge in the Court of Common Pleas and instrumental in the settling of much of the village of Seneca Falls south of the Seneca River and canal. He o…
In 1879, Geneva and surrounding towns were gripped with pedestrianism, or competitive walking. Matches were raced by distance or time, and the farther or longer, the better. Indoor matches were held in small halls with 35 or more laps per mile.
GENEVA — Much of the work done at the Geneva Historical Society is dependent on the efforts of volunteers. Without them, the Historical Society would not exist.
As we zip along the Thruway, making it from Exit 42 to Rochester or Syracuse in under an hour, it’s difficult to imagine what travel was like in the beginning of Wayne County. Not only was it perilous, but it was long.
Since Memorial Day (Decoration Day) had its beginnings with the loss of so many in the Civil War, it seems fitting that the local history article for this Memorial Day weekend should be about a family in which six served the Union forces in the Civil War.
In a recent Looking Back article, Karen Osburn wrote of Elizabeth Stryker Ricord and the boarding school she opened for women in the early 19th century. At the time, I was also thinking of writing an article for the Geneva Historical Society’s blog on the same subject but decided to shift my…
“THE PEACE TREATY — The new peace treaty has been presented to the German delegates in Paris and, as was to be expected, it has not been received with the best of grace. It is difficult for the German mind to assume a subdued and conquered attitude. But the work of the German Imperial Counci…
At the intersection of Routes 414 and 318 is the little hamlet of Magee’s Corners (or Magee). It received that name because Dr. Thomas C. Magee was an early doctor there and built the first brick house in northern Seneca County as his residence.