From Geneva Gazette 7 August 1846

Mr. Editor:

You have not visited Clifton lately, methinks, or you would have noticed in the columns of your paper, the improvements made at and about this delightful spot.  We hear of Saratoga, Ballston, Sharon, and Lebanon, as celebrated watering places, but, to my eye, none of them are to be compared to Clifton in point of situation. Its beautiful lawn and grove -- its clear, bubbling springs -- the rich country surrounding it, and that strong enticement to the sportsman, the abundance of game in the neighboring woods, render it, at once, to the invalid, and the lover of pleasure, healthful and delightful.  In addition, the medicinal quality of the water is such, as of itself to gather sufferers to this retreat as the unfortunate were gathered at the pool of Bethesda.  The multitude of well authenticated cures that have been effected by these waters -- principally of scrofula and rheumatic affections -- is truly astonishing.  I was somewhat surprised at the notoriety they have already acquired, as I found at them, invalids from almost every part of the country -- Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, &c.  The Hotel under the management -- and good management too -- of our friend Parke, formerly of the Franklin in this village, has been considerably enlarged and refitted since last summer; the grounds have been improved, and improvements are constantly going on.  If you are desirous of retaining your health, or love a little pleasure, I can assure you, you can avail yourself of no greater luxury than the grove at Clifton with the thermometer at 94.  More anon.
Geneva, Aug. 7th, 1846

From Geneva Advertiser 15 January 1901

Oaks Corners Talk Again - Many Old Papers

Away back in the 20's it was necessary to obtain a license from the town board to keep an Inn or Tavern, not a word being said in the license that the permission to sell liquors was granted by the license. Thus before us is the license of Fanny Oaks to keep an Inn or Tavern at Oaks Corners, one being necessary at the place. The license is dated May 2d, 1826, and was signed by William Hildreth, supervisor,  Thomas Smith and Michael Musselman, Justices of the Peace.

Another paper is an itemized bill rendered by Colt & Bayley of Geneva to Thaddeus Oaks, which foots up in pounds, shillings and pence.  It would puzzle people of the present day to figure accounts in this way.

Here is a copy of a note to settle on account:  "For Value received, I promise to pay Elias Cost, ten gallons of whiskey by the first day of February next.  Phelps, June 17, 1818.  Signed Austin Oaks."

Another and more queer document in writing is an inventory of stock down in Maryland. No names are given, so that we do not know who owned the property. There were 54 acres wheat and rye in various fields, sold by the acre, and realized "about" $3074.59.  Then followed prices of the negro slaves sold:

Old. Jas. - $ 25
Old Chas. - $ 5
Fink - $ 339
Hamilton - $188
Louisa - $225
Child - 50 cents
Charity - $ 2.56
Robert - $ 1.33
Caroline - $ 1.68
total $ 787.07

Even the date of this is not given, but from the style of the paper it must have been way back in the early part of the last century, when slaves were cheap.

Elias Cost was the first postmaster of Oaks Corners, was appointed on the 3d February, 1833. Andrew Jackson was President. There are three printed documents bearing on the establishment of the postoffice and the appointment of a postmaster.  The first is a long document, bearing instructions to Mr. Cost who was about to be appointed, dated Feb'y 3d, 1832.  A packet containing mail key, blanks, laws and regulations, table of post offices, etc., was sent him in care of the post master at Phelps. The second document is an announcement as follows:
"The Postmaster General informs the Honorable Mr. Jewett (member of congress) that he has this day established a Post Office at Oaks Corners, County of Ontario and State of New York, and appointed Elias Cost to be Post Master. The key for opening the mail is enclosed in the necessary blanks for the office, which we transmitted to the Post Office at Phelps.
P. O. Dep. 3d Feb. 1832"
This was followed by the commission of Elias Cost, dated Feb. 15, 1832, and duly registered Feb. 29th, in the office of appointments.  It bears the signatures of W. T. Barry, Postmaster General, and A. M. D. Jackson, the Registrar of Appointments.

Mr. Cost was the grandfather of W. A. Oaks, and this is why the old papers came into his hands. If we are not mistaken, A. M. D. Jackson was a nephew of old Hickory, the President.  The autographs alone are well worth preserving.

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