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

            We’re now up to our ankles in “muddy March.”  There is still much to do before the summer and our “high season” opens.  Attend one of these events.  Learn and enjoy!





Thru Mar. 29:  Geneva Historical Soc. 543 S. Main St., Geneva.  "Patterns in Time: The Art and History of the Quilt" exhibit on display. Free.


Mar 15:  National History Day.  Come to the Finger Lakes Regional Competition at Canandaigua Middle School.


Mar 25:  Geneva Historical Soc. program, lecture on "Dutch Vermin: English Perceptions of the Dutch in Colonial New York" by Society Dir. Ken Shefsick.  7:30 PM. At the society, 543 S. Main St., Geneva. All welcome.


Mar 18:  Regular meeting of the Town of Gorham Historical Soc.  At the museum in the Gorham Public Library.  7:00 PM.  All welcome.


Mar 25:  Geneva Historical Soc. program, lecture on "Dutch Vermin: English Perceptions of the Dutch in Colonial New York" by Society Dir. Ken Shefsick.  7:30



PM. At the society, 543 S. Main St., Geneva. All welcome.


Mar 30-May 25:  Finger Lakes Boating Museum exhibit at the Glenn Curtiss Museum, 8419 Rt. 54, Hammondsport.  Information on the Internet at: <www.glennhcurtissmuseum.org>.


Apr 2:  Ontario County Genealogical Soc. meeting.  Bonnie Hayes, Exec. Dir. of Palmyra Historical Soc. will present a program, "Queen of the Canal Towns, Palmyra, NY."  7:00 PM.  At the OCHS Museum, 55 N. Main St., Canandaigua.  All welcome.


Apr 5:  Middlesex Heritage Group Quarterly Meeting. 7:00 PM at Middlesex Town Hall. Program: Slide presentation, scenes of Vine Valley area; also, from the collection of Bob DeVinney, aerial views, and Boy Scout troop activities (help needed identifying Scouts).  All are welcome.



Apr 8:  Ontario County Genealogical Soc. field trip to Palmyra museums.  Members Fee:  $5.00.  10:00 AM.  At 132 Market St., Palmyra.


Apr 15:  Honeoye Area Historical Soc. meeting at the Masonic Temple on W. Lake Rd., Honeoye.  7:30 PM.  Program by art conservator, Fred Jordan, "Caring for Art Work and Things Around the House.


Apr 26:  Regional Preservation Conference sponsored by the Landmark Society of Western NY.  At the 1st Congregational Church and the Ontario Co. Hist. Soc. in Canandaigua.  The facilities are directly opposite each other on N. Main St.  Topics for sessions include Main St. Rivitalization:  Making Upper Floors Work; Training for members of local Preservation Boards and Commissions; How to Write a National Register Nomination;  Local Preservation Planning; and Historic Buildings and Homes:  Their Care and Repair.  8:00 AM-5:00 PM.  Contact Cynthia Howk at <CHowk@landmarksociety.org> for details and registration.





Questions which end with an asterisk (*) have been published a second time.  Readers with information are encouraged to make personal contacts.


Melinda Powell King (3401 Fawn Hill Ct., Evansville, IN 47711

<milindajking@gmail.com>) is

 researching her family and trying to document the birth of her great-great-grandfather, Calvin Powell who was born Jun. 30, 1815 in Livonia, NY.  His parents were Calvin Powell and Clarissa Richardson Powell.  Calvin's grandparents, Calvin Powell and Speedy Davis Powell were buried in Livonia in 1839 and 1828 respectively.  She needs a birth or baptismal record.


Florence Wright (<Fbwri@aol.com>) is looking for information on John and Zenas Bailey (brothers) who were born in Sparta (now Livingston Co.) when it was part of Ontario Co.  John was born in 1805; Zenas about five years later. *


Judy Fulmer (2009 Stirnie Rd., Victor, NY 14564. [Town of East Bloomfield]<fulmercountry@yahoo.com>) is looking for information on the Stirnie family and others who lived in the area of Boughton Park.  Pictures, maps, and information on the locations of houses, etc. are needed. *




            Here are a couple of suggestions for winter reading:


Mary Ellen Lee has just published Danny and Life on Bluff Point: the Conflict.
Volume six of Danny and Life on Bluff Point is now available. Danny and Life on Bluff Point: the Conflict takes place in May of 1895. This year is only thirty years after the American Civil War ended. The conflict is between Mr. Overhouser, a Virginian, and some very Yankee members of the Bluff Point community. Published by iUniverse,
the book can be ordered through any bookstore or call (800) 288-4677.


The imminent demolition of Midtown Plaza (Rochester) prompts some questions few thought to ask 40 years ago.  Some of them can be answered in a new book published by the Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, Mall Maker:  Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream by M. Jeffrey Hardwick.  Architect Gruen was the man who brought Midtown Plaza to Rochester and changed the fact of that, and other cities.  For an interesting synopsis of Gruen's life, and other books about him and his plaza, see the website of the Landmark Society of WNY at: <www.landmarksociety.org>.  $34.95 in hardcover.


Planning for Spring outings?  Read Cycling the Erie Canal.  This cycling guide is good for novice and advanced peddlers along 400 miles of the Erie Canalway Trail..  Information and maps to plan day trips.  Published by Parks and Trails New York.  $19.95 paperback.




            Looking toward the fall, the New York State Canal Conference will take place on Oct. 5-7.    Conference highlights will include presentations by key officials, community leaders, canal program developers and experts in the industry.  There will be a special opening reception at the Tonawandas Gateway Park including a cruise on the "Grand Lady."  Mobile workshops and tours will include Lockport's Flight of Five, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Military Park and Museum and Buffalo harbor.  Visit the website at <www.canalsnys.org>.


            The County Historian's Office, then an independent "department" of county government, embarked on a new adventure in April 2003.  A "Newsletter" published exclusively for Town, Village, and City Historians began with a two-page letter to a few more than two dozen people.  With the encouragement of then-Commissioner of Human Services, Gary Fritz, it quickly grew in size, distribution and coverage.  This issue marks 300 months of printing, sorting and mailing!


            From this point on, the "Historian's Newsletter" will continue as part of the webpage publications of the Ontario County Department of Records, Archives and Information Management Services (RAIMS).  When the "Newsletter" began publication, use of the Internet was in its infancy and few local historical societies had newsletters.  The County Historian serves many constituencies including municipal historians (for whom the "Newsletter" was first published--hence its title), history-minded residents, and the worlds of heritage tourism and historic preservation.  The "Newsletter" was created to fill those needs.  Now, however, every local society has a newsletter and most have a website.  Tourism and preservation are also oriented more and more to the Internet.  The cost of publication and mailing has also changed.  In April 1983 a first class letter could be sent for 20 cents.  Bulk mail was 11 cents.  Today, those rates are more than double what they were.  There are additional requirements that make processing more labor intensive.  From the beginning, most of the "Newsletters" were mailed without charge to schools, museums and public officials. There were never more than a few dozen paid subscriptions.  It simply isn't economical to publish a paper copy of the "Newsletter" any longer.  So--all good things come to an end--and so has this "Historians' Newsletter!"



All good things must come to and end sometime!  In 1979, after a little more than a century, the tracks of the old Northern Central/PRR (Sodus Bay and Southern) line were torn up and a glorious era in railroading and energy supply came to a close.  (The line opened in 1872.)  Today, a foot path follows the route of long coal trains and way freights--even passengers long ago.  Here you see the County Road #4 crossing just west of Seneca Castle.  This issue of the "Historians' Newsletter" also marks a passing; the completion of 25 years of publication in hardcopy and transfer to a new form and format on the RAIMS website.




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