Vol. XXV January 2008         Published by the Ontario County Historian *******************************************************************************

            The winter months are here!  Despite the flight of some of our human “snow birds,” and some of our finest volunteers, there are some wonderful historical experiences awaiting those who venture out.  Try warming up to history at one of these events.





Nov 17-Feb 24, 2008:  Miniature and dollhouse exhibit.  Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, NYS Rt. 54, Hammondsport.  Normal museum hours.  Phone (607)569-2160.


Jan 15:  Gorham Historical Soc. Meeting at the museum in the public library in Gorham.  7:00 PM.  Election of officers.


Jan 16:  Ontario County Historical Soc. presentation of "R-Stuff."  Old photographic images of the People, Places and Events from Ontario County's Past.  Presented by photographic expert Michael Hagar of Museum Photographics.  Bring your historic photos to share.  7:00 PM.  At the museum, 55 N. Main St, Canandaigua.

Feb 6:  Ontario County Genealogical Soc.

meeting at the Ontario County Historical Soc.  55 N. Main St.  Canandaigua.  7:00 PM.  All welcome.  Program by County Historian, Preston Pierce, "Histories of the Three Male Patriotic Societies Who’s Membership is Based Upon Service in the Revolution."


Feb 17:  Gorham Historical Soc. Meeting.  “A Sleigh Ride Through History” with Roger Allen.  2:00 PM at Reed’s Corners Federated Church on Rt. 247.  Program focuses on development of American sleigh.  All welcome.


Feb 18-22:  Presidents' Week Day Camp at the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum An opportunity for youngsters ages 7 - 11 to experience life and history as it was from 1816 to 1930 when the Granger family lived in Canandaigua. Program events include:

Campers will explore the mansion and learn the historic significance of the Canandaigua area to our country. The hidden spaces including the attic, kitchen, servants' quarters, and even the basement where the original kitchen was will be revealed.


Workshops include: Baking historic treats, period crafts, making homemade soap and several other projects.


Attend a formal tea party, dressed in period clothing including photos of the campers enjoying this living history experience.


Campers will enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride with one of the Homestead's horses, drivers and restored sleighs complete with warm lap blankets, sleigh bells and hot chocolate following their adventure (Parents and siblings are included in this end of the week event).


Time: 9:00 AM-12)) Noon.  For ages: 7 – 11.

At the homestead.  295 North Main St., Canandaigua.  Cost: $70 Members; $80 Non-Members.  $5.00 Discount for second child/same family


Feb 19:  Clifton Springs Historical Soc. meeting at the Public Library.  Program on "History of Tinsmithing" by Jim Nicoll, a tinsmith at Genesee Country Village.  Free and public invited.  7:30 PM.


Feb 20:  Ontario County Historical Soc. presentation of "R-Stuff."  Southwest "Indian" Baskets from the collection of Mary Clark Thompson of Sonnenberg Gardens.  7:00 PM.  At the museum. 55 N. Main St, Canandaigua.


Mar 5:  Ontario County Genealogical Soc. Meeting at the OCHS Museum.  55 N. Main St. Canandaigua.  7:00 PM.  All welcome.  Members presentation, “Genealogy 101—Getting Started; Just the Basics.”





Sarah Mitchell (<shmitchell@radix.net>) is looking for information on the Baggerly family and the Sheriff and Lazenby families from Montgomery Co, MD.  Henry Baggerly is a special interest.  Everett Baggerly wrote a family history that she would like to obtain.


Sharon Pearce (<sharpearce@yahoo.com>) would like information on Willis Edward Pierce, reported as a farm hand in the 1860 census of Yates County (Benton, Jerusalem, Milo).  The last name may be Sprague in whose household they lived.  Is there an error in the census?


Marian Bennett (<mabee01@sunset.net>) is looking for information on James Burnet, born in Ontario Co. Jan. 5, 1805 and believed to be in Phelps.  He was in the Burnet family that moved to Phelps from New Windsor in the 1790s.  Who were his parents?




            Here are a couple of suggestions for winter reading:

A timely book is Gary Scott Smith’s recent look at Faith and the Presidency:  From George Washington to George W. Bush.  (NY:  Oxford Univ. Press. 2006).  665 pps.  $35.00 cloth cover.  Smith describes and analyzes how religion shaped the lives and leadership of eleven presidents including Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Kennedy, Carter, Eisenhower, Jefferson, Wilson, Reagan and George W. Bush.


SUNY Press has just published Teachers United:  The Rise of New York State United Teachers, by Dennis Gaffney.  The book looks at the grassroots organizing that transformed teachers from a divided and marginalized group to a position of political influence.  273 pps.  $25.00 cloth cover.


SUNY Press has also published another timely book, The War that Wasn’t:  Religious Conflict and Compromise in the Common Schools of New York State, 1865-1900.  Written by Benjamin Justice, this book puts an important historical perspective on the religious debates that sometimes rock our schools today.  285 pps.  $55.00 in cloth cover.


Iroquoia:  The Development of a Native World, by William Engelbrecht, has recently been released by Syracuse Univ. Press.  A look at contemporary Iroquois world view, it makes use of descriptions of culture, history and the archaeological record of the Iroquois.  $24.95 in paperback.




            Bill Coffin (328 Deepsprings Dr., Chittenango, NY 13037; <wmscoffin@twcny.rr.com>) is part of a group working to document the 1908 New York to Paris auto race that passed through Ontario County in February of that year.  Does any historical society, or private collector, have any photos of the race passing through?  Mr. Coffin and the County Historian would love to find some.  Feb 12 is the 100th anniversary of the race.  The cars reached Geneva on Feb. 15 and traveled to Canandaigua, then to Victor and on to Rochester on Feb. 16.


The Library of Congress has a detailed and straightforward web site dedicated to "Preparing, Protecting, Preserving Family Treasures."  The site has sections on Preparing Your Family Treasures, Protecting Your Family Treasures Every Day, and Preserving Treasures After the Disaster.  Much of the advice can be applied to small archives as well.  The site is at:



Peter Hirtle, an attorney at Cornell University specializing in library and archive law, has created a chart providing simple answers to questions about copyright terms.  Its update adds sections on sound recordings and architectural works.  The chart, "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States," is available at: <http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/>.  Individuals and local historical societies increasingly publish material and post it to websites.  There is growing concern about copyright issues related to archival and hitherto unpublished material.  This should help.


The 7th Annual Underground Railroad History Conference, sponsored by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, will take place at the College of St. Rose in Albany, Feb. 22-24.  The theme this year is “How it worked:  Two Centuries of Resistance, Escape, and the Underground Railroad in New York and Across the Continent.”  Guest speaker will be Spencer Crew, Director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center who will present “The Challenges of Presenting the Underground Railroad in a Public Setting.”  Visit <www.ugrworkshop.com>, or call (518) 432-4432 for information and registration details.

“A group of mostly men and boys, in winter clothing, stand along one side of a Protos automobile. Snow covers the road and part of the car. Four men sit on or in the vehicle. Two men, perhaps the drivers, are heavily dressed and tired looking. The columns of the entrance to the Powers Hotel are in the background.”  From the Rochester Images collection on the website of the Rochester-Monroe County Public Library.




                            Phone (585) 396-4034

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                      CANANDAIGU­A, NY  14424

















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                            CANANDAIGUA, N.Y.