We are indebted to Mr. Wm. Fordon
village for a copy of the GENEVA GAZETTE of date June 18, 1821 -- more
than 75 years ago. Its size is about one-half that of its
successor of today and subscription price just double -- $2 per year.
It was published by Col. James Bogert,
a veteran of the war of
1812-15. Its political columns were devoted to a strong support
of "independent nominees for the pending Constitutional Convention,"
such nominees being Colonel Robert Troup,
Gideon Granger, Darius Comstock, Lemuel Chapman
Wayne and Yates counties were then part of Old
Ontario. Other nominations are referred to as "Bucktail", and
of Micah Brooks, John Price, Joshua Van Fleet, Philetus Swift
Reference is made editorially to
raised against Col. Troup because he represented English interests as
agent of the Pulteney estate. The GAZETTE vouches for his
republicanism. Among other items are these:
"Letters from St. Helena to the 2d April reached London, at which time
Bonaparte was in a very good state of
health, and expressed much satisfaction at his new house, and passed
most of his time in attending to the decoration of it".
Other foreign news refers to a revolt of several provinces against
Turkey and the massing of troops by the Porte to suppress the rebellion.
The marriage announcements in this old paper are Josiah Wendell
Miss Emila C.,
daughter of Gen. Amos Hale
Bloomfield, and Robert Pomeroy
to Jane M.,
of Judge Atwater
The death announcements are John Freleigh
of Seneca, Dr.
of Pittsford, and Rufus King
An item from the Rochester Telegraph refers to the selection of
a site for the court house in Monroe county "at the spot called the
Public Square, originally laid out by Messrs. Rochester, Fitzhugh &
Carroll, a few rods west of the bridge in that village."
The advertising patrons of this old GAZETTE are Ten Eyck and Fondey,
general merchandise; Jabez Colt & Co. of Montreal; Hortsen &
Tappen, druggists; S. Chapman, of Seneca Falls; Gordon & Son,
general merchandise; R. M. Bayley, general merchandise; Ayrault &
Co. dry goods and groceries; Dr. Jas. Carter, drugs and medicines; Wm.
S. DeZeng, announces the intended removal of his store to Glass Factory
Bay; Geneva Academy opened June
11 under the superintendency of Rev. D. McDonald, James Rees,
From Geneva Gazette 30 September 1898
GENEVA IN 1833
Interesting Items Taken From the Geneva Gazette of Wednesday, Oct.
the Exchange street barber,
came across a copy of the GAZETTE of the above date a few days ago, and
brought it to our office.
In looking over its advertising columns we find that Dakin &
of the Seneca Lake Transportation Co. have established a
passenger and freight line to Troy and New York via Erie canal; H.
advertises 100 salt barrels for sale; N. Ayrault
ground plaster for sale; J. Bogert
states that he sells
lucifer matches which will ignite when drawn through sandpaper; Mitchell
announce that they have purchased the boot and shoe
stock of Ames & Headley; Joseph Thayer
arrival of new dry goods, etc., at his store, 38 Seneca street; H.
Hastings pays the
highest prices for wheat and other grains; the
Geneva Stage Coach Line carries passengers via Ithaca to New York in
three days; R. M. Bagley
dealt in lottery tickets at No. 6
Seneca street; Flour sold at $5 per barrel and butter at 12c. per lb.
A correspondent touring in the west says "Chicago is
beautifully situated at the head of Lake Michigan and is destined to
one of the greatest cities of the far west." The writer then goes
on and lays out a stage coach, steamboat and railroad route whereby the
may reach St. Louis in nine days.
The old relic also reports
the steamboat Erie made the passage from New York to Albany in 9 hours,
39 minutes. There are numerous other items of interest in this old-time
newspaper, but the above will suffice.
From Geneva Gazette 9 February 1849
Constitution of the Ontario Trojan Band
Article 1. This association shall be called
Ontario Trojan Band and shall continue its existence until
January 1st, 1850.
Article 2. The object of this Band is to proceed to
California by way of Panama, and personally engage in amassing gold by
mining operations and for the mutual benefit and protection of its
members -- the number of which shall not exceed thirty
. . . . .etc.
From Geneva Gazette 16 February 1849
The Ontario Trojan Band
The perfect equality which the Constitution of this band gives to all
its members is one of its best recommendations. Every member is
bound to toil for the benefit of the whole, and each member is alike
amenable to the authority of the whole band. We invite the
careful attention of all who wish to go to California to this
project. It is emphatically an organization of working men.
No stock-jobbing speculation -- no home member drones to feed upon the
avails of the laborer -- but all alike to engage
with energy, zeal and perseverance in the acquisition of gold for the
benefit of the whole.
The members of the band, and those who have signified their
joining it -- and such as would like to join it, are requested to meet
my office in Geneva, on Saturday, the 10th inst., at 2 P. M.
From Geneva Gazette 9 March 1849
The Ontario Trojan Band
A number of the members of this Band left Canandaigua last Wednesday on
the noon train of cars for Albany
for California. A large concourse of friends
were assembled to witness their departure, and as the cars started
forward, gave the adventurers three hearty cheers. The Treasurer
of the Band left yesterday, and the Chief of the Band leaves Geneva
next Monday, to join his fellow Trojans in New York prior to the
sailing of the Crescent City, on
Thursday the 15th inst., for Chagres.
The following list shows the names and places of residence of the
Ontario Trojan Band for California:
|George R. Parburt, Geneva
M. H. Lincoln, Hopewell
Thomas B. Tyler, Gorham
Robert Walker, Canandaigua
Stephen Parrish 2d, Canandaigua
John Swart, Gorham
Seth T. Walker, Canandaigua
Henry Tidman, Canandaigua
James McGowan, Canandaigua
William Rowlatt, Gorham
Marvin D. Mapes, Gorham
Miles B. Clark, Gorham
William E. Tooker, Gorham
James M. Richardson, Gorham
William E. Williamson, Gorham
F. W. Collins, East Bloomfield
Allan Pierce, East Bloomfield
Robert Quick, East Bloomfield
John T. Dickson, East Bloomfield
Lockwood Proper, Potter, Yates Co.
John Wells, Potter, Yates Co.
Henry Pultney, Potter, Yates Co.
James Scott, Italy Hollow
William S. Kemp, Lockport, Niagara Co.
M. S. Thompson, Springport, Cay. Co.
Chas. H. Westfall, Port Jervis, Orange Co.
Levi Westfall, Port Jervis, Orange Co.
|Chief of the Band
Vice Chief of the Band
Treas. & Sen. mem of B'd of Conciliation
Associate mem. of B'd of Conciliation
Associate mem. of B'd of Conciliation
There are several applications for membership yet under consideration,
and the band may yet be filled up to the number of thirty, which was
number originally intended. The band is chiefly composed of young
farmers, several mechanics and three professional men.
From Geneva Courier 18 June 1851
From the Home Journal
The Village of Geneva
Among the many pleasant and healthy residences in Western New York, the
beautiful village of Geneva stands pre-eminent; and now that it can be
reached, by means of the New York and Erie Railroad, in thirteen hours
from the great metropolis of the State, and from Albany by the Central
Railroad, in seven hours, it cannot fail to be much resorted to, not
only as a delightful summer residence, but as the permanent home and
who have children to educate, of especially those who are restricted to
a moderate income.
Property is low there, and good houses, with spacious gardens and
excellent fruit, may be rented at two hundred dollars a year, or can be
purchased at proportionate rates. Many of the most respectable
families, including the Professors in the College, professional men and
well on salaries and incomes varying from eight hundred to fifteen
dollars a year. The best fire wood can be purchased at from two
and fifty cents to two dollars and seventy-five cents a cord. Fresh
of the best quality, is usually sold at from twelve and half to
cents a pound; eggs at ten cents a dozen, with meats and other eatables
In addition to several Schools for boys and girls, there is a College
with both academic and medical departments, the Professorship in which
are filled by men of great worth and high literary and scientific
attainments, who, of course, exert an influence upon the social circle,
always tending to elevate and refine. In this College, upon the
suggestion of one of its trustees, (in 1825), was first established an
English department under the same Professors with the Classical
department, which has been
continued then to the present time, and has since been copied by some
the other Colleges in this State and in New England -- thus obviating
objection of exclusiveness so long made against the higher seminaries
learning. The term bills at Geneva do not exceed forty-six
a year, including tuition, room rent and all other charges.
in respectable families can be obtained at from two dollars to two
and fifty cents a week, and at the best hotels at from two dollars and
cents to three dollars a week.
The population of Geneva is about five thousand, who may be described
as an intelligent, respectable, church-going people.
There are several large and well-built church edifices of the
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, Methodist, and other
denominations. The Episcopal Church, which is built of stone, is
a beautiful specimen of Gothic architecture, with windows of stained
glass. This may be regarded as the metropolitan church of the
diocese of Western New York, and the Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wm. H.
DeLancey, resides in the village.
Geneva is beautifully situated on the west bank of the Seneca Lake
which is forty miles long, and varying from two to four miles in width.
This lake is entered by three of the State canals, viz.; the
Cayuga and Seneca, the Crooked Lake, and the Chemung. The water
is remarkably pure, and owing to its great depth, never freezes.
The steamboats running between Geneva and Jefferson, at the head
of the lake, make the daily trips with as much punctuality in winter as
in summer, and at least one of these boats, the Ben Loder, may well be
classed, both as to size and speed, with the best now afloat on any of
the waters of this State, with
accommodations inferior to none. This beautiful boat with all its
furniture and equipments, is the work of mechanics residing in the
and furnishes a truthful advertisement of their taste and skill.
engine only was made at the West Point Foundry. The boilers,
are of a peculiar construction, were made at the works of the
intelligent and enterprising proprietor, John R. Johnson, Esq.
These are upright and, of course, occupy much less room, which
alone is an important recommendation; but they possess other advantages
over the ordinary boilers and, although introduced by Mr. Johnson
against the opinion of a number of practical engineers, it is
gratifying to know that his anticipations have been fully realized, and
that these boilers will now, doubtless, pass into general use.
The fuel may be either wood or coal; the Blossburg coal is the kind now
used, and answers every purpose.
Owing to the influence, in winter, of the open lake, the temperature of
which is always above freezing, the climate of Geneva is particularly
favorable for the cultivation of peaches, grapes, quinces, and other
fruits which do not flourish in many places of the same latitude.
The writer of this article has eaten as good peaches, apricots
and grapes which were raised in the open grounds at Geneva, as any that
come to the New York market.
In summer, the nights at Geneva are usually cool and refreshing,
without any mosquitos, which torment us so much in New York and its
vicinity. The village is well supplied with water from the White
Springs farm, the residence of Mrs. Lee, the much-respected widow of
the late Gideon Lee, formerly Mayor of New York.
A number of families, deservedly occupying high social position, have
already been attracted from this city to Geneva, and doubtless many
more will follow. Some of the best farms in the neighborhood are
occupied by gentlemen who have evinced their good sense as well as
their good taste in retiring from the ceaseless round of excitements,
and the fitful changes of business to these peaceful walks of rural
life, "where the rivers run among the hills, and where the valleys
stand thick with corn." How great the change -- from the
conventional arrangements and restraints of artificial life, under the
despotism of fashion -- from an atmosphere always more or less tainted
with physical and moral poison, to the free and balmy air of fields and
gardens, with all the delightful associations of trees, shrubs, plants
and flowers, the silent yet truthful witnesses of an invisible hand,
ever teaching the most impressive lessons that man can learn, and
always pointing us from Nature up to Nature's God.
All who visit Geneva cannot fail to be favorably impressed by the
good taste everywhere displayed in the cultivation of shrubs, plants,
and flowers, and the trees that shade and ornament the streets and
The gardens on the east side of Main street are strikingly
and beautiful, by being terraced to the lake, the descent being nearly
one hundred feet. I have already said that the inhabitants of
Geneva are intelligent and respectable. I will now add that there
probably is no village in the State where the impress of refinement and
cultivation is more distinctly marked.
I might go on to say much more of this delightful spot, this oasis, not
of a desert, but of as rich, fertile, and beautiful tract of country as
any on this continent. But I will reserve this for another
occasion on which I purpose to say something of this garden of the
State of New
York. New York, June 1851
From Geneva Gazette 12 March
To the Trustees of the Village of Geneva:
A Relic of Forty Years Ago
Mr. Conover, our village President, in overhauling
arranging old documents and papers in our village archives, came across
following memorial, which we produce as recalling the names of earlier
so many of whom have passed away, and as indicating their patriotic
reverence for the memory of one of our most illustrious defenders -
Gen. La Fayette. The "filing" alone tells its date -- 1834.
Gentlemen -- Information having come to hand through the
medium of yesterday's papers, announcing the death of Gen'l GILBERT
MOTTIER LA FAYETTE, the friend and companion of Washington and the
adopted son of our country; we, the undersigned, feeling a desire that
the demise of this great and good man should not pass without some
expression on the part of our citizens of the deep and heartfelt regret
which must pervade the heart of every American patriot at this
dispensation of Providence, would respectfully recommend
and request that a meeting of the village corporation be called
for the purpose of taking such order thereon as may be deemed suitable
|W. V. I. Mercer
D. Field jun'r
G. W. Cromwell
J. S. Hogarth
Peter M. Dox
Charles S. Bronson
W. W. Watson
S. H. Bostwick
David S. Skaats
John W. Nevius
C. A. Cook
J. M. Soverhill
J. M. Page
W. E. Sill
R. W. Stoddard
Chas. T. Brouer
H. V. R. Schemerhorn
Robert C. Nicholas
G. P. Stephens
A. H. Barber
L. W. Hamblin
W. S. DeZeng
Theodore Hinman jr.
J. A. Coffin
Oliver S. Phelps
|G. H. Merrill
M. M. Williams
David S. Hall
D. L. Lum
John W. Tillman
R. M. Bayly
J. B. Rumny
D. G. Johnson
H. H. Bogert
Wm. H. Townsend
G. H. Haskill
H. A. Nagly
Geo. A. Condit
Levi A. Stevens
S. L. Wood
John N. Bogert
W. W. Carter
T. B. Tallmadge
Jas. B. Dungan
Joseph I. Scidmore
E. H. Gordon
A. I. Wynkoop
J. F. Jenkins
John C. Merrill
S. B. Grosvenor
A. H. Osborn
U. E. Lewis
John H. Stagg
John D. Locke
Wm. W. Greene
Joseph C. Northup
Abr'm B. Hall
S. H. Rose
J. R. Morrison
Of the one hundred and sixteen signers to this
memorial, only fifteen
are to us known to be now living, viz:
Peter M. Dox
David S. Hall
J. M. Soverhill
John M. Page
Wm. E. Sill
Geo. A. Condit
Dr. J. Smith
Jno. N. Bogert
Wm. S. DeZeng
J. R. Morrison
There may be possibly other survivors of this roll, the original of
which we believe contains the largest number of autographs in existence
of old residents.
From Geneva Gazette 26 March
A Relic of Fifty Years Ago
Mr. Editor - In the Gazette of March 12th you have given a very
interesting column from the heading: "A Relic of Forty Years
Ago." In looking the article over it gave me a good deal of
historic pleasure; most of the names I have heard in my youth, and in
fact I could call to mind the appearance of more than half of that one
hundred and sixteen men. But if I cannot produce a relic with so
formidable an array of names, I can go you one of ten years older, and
one possessing far more local interest to Geneva, I
claim, than your forty year document. It is this:
To the Com'rs of Highways
of the Town of Seneca:
Gentlemen: Having heard that a petition had been presented to you
requesting a road to be laid out commencing at the west end of
street in Geneva, running west through the farm of Josiah Reed, we beg
respectfully and firmly to remonstrate against that measure as unnecessary for
public travel or convenience, and expensive in purchasing the land and
making the road. For these and other reasons we deem it improper
to lay out such road as a public highway.
Dated Seneca, May 10, 1824
In endeavoring to copy above
list it may be that I have got the two names of "Stow" wrong, although
handwriting is good it does not appear to me that I have got them
Also I cannot make out another name part of which I have dashed.
Perhaps the name of "Mitchell M. Combs" is not deciphered
correctly. The paper is backed for filing as follows:
"Petition and Remonstrance for road -- 1824," but the petition
does not accompany the document.
John I. Freleigh
John Sloan Sr.
H. S. White
D. Field Jr.
Mitchell M. Combs
John S. Reed
Artemus Stow (Stone)
Nathan Reed 2d
Isaac L. Latts
From Geneva Gazette 3 September 1886
GLIMPSES OF GENEVA
by NASR ED-DIN
Street Scenes and Buildings
The peculiar beauty of Geneva is proverbial, but I should perhaps
make mention of some of the most prominent mansions, churches and other
structures that give a distinctive character to the scenery. The
writer cannot do better than to mention first Rose Hill, the splendid
estate of Robert J. Swan. It stands on a high ridge of land on
the opposite side of the lake from the village, the grounds and rich
meadows running to the shore.
Crossing over to the town we have on the north the home grounds of
the brothers Maxwell, and of Messrs. W. & T. Smith. Leaving
Castle road and going south on the Pre-emption, one passes the Van
Dusen nurseries with their beautiful hedges of cedar. At the head
of Hamilton street is Maple Hill, the suburban home of a former New
Yorker, and on the opposite corner the residence at one time of the
well-known Captain Tuttle, now
owned by Captain J. S. Lewis, the intimate personal friend of the late
Judge Folger. It was a favorite retreat of the great jurist when
from the cares of state for a short period, and often the Judge with
constant friend would wend his way to this charming spot and spend a
share of the day strolling around the estate and vicinity, leaving for
town at dusk, refreshed and invigorated by the excursion.
It is an interesting fact that on this corner in 1825 a large
of gentlemen awaited the coming of General LaFayette to act as a guard
honor when he visited Geneva during his triumphal progress through the
On the terrace below this road and on Jay street is the villa of
ex-Senator Hammond; on the same ridge the elegant dwellings of Mr.
the late Judge Foot, the latter now the property of William Smith.
Several tasty mansions are on the shore of the lake. One of
the most romantic is the cottage formerly owned by Mr. Otis, adjoining
home of Colonel Miller, another spacious and eligible mansion.
distance nearer the village is the handsome residence of W. J. King, on
the bluff. It is on the site of what was once a flourishing
On Main street, which runs from the sightly residence of Hon. W.
Wright on the North to Mile Point on the South, we have many other
deserving special mention. Among the more prominent is the
Doric structure occupied by President Potter of Hobart; the former
of General Hillhouse, now owned by Professor Nash; and Com. Merriman's
house, built by Col. Prince; and the late residence of Secretary
On Genesee street we have the ornate houses of S. K. Nester and
George Hemiup, and several others. On North street the houses of
McBlain, A. Ansley, John Dove, and Chas. A. Steele, and the Torrey
now owned by Wm. Smith. On Exchange street the parsonage of Rev.
McManus and on Washington street "The Hermitage".
A tourist passing through our business streets is impressed by the
activity and bustle alike visible and audible in all the conditions of
street life. In fact the true key to the character of our
citizens is the daily aspect of our leading streets, and although the
throng is not always continuous, it possesses true metropolitan push
A walk up Seneca and Exchange streets will repay the visitor who
has leisure. He may not find many handsome structures, but he
will have seen the chief business portions of the town, as also the
building devoted to our city government.
Should the belated traveler desire other sights there is the arc
and incandescent electric light stations, and the new mineral spring
is receiving much attention from the juveniles, and older people as
Geneva as a representative town of American wealth and culture
possesses several noble buildings. Of course she has not those
structures to be found in some cities of great size, but for buildings
fitness of design she is not excelled.
Foremost among these are the various college halls, professors'
houses, school buildings, business structures, foundries, hotels and
The ecclesiastical edifices of Geneva are also worthy in a measure
of the town's future greatness, the principal denominations seeming to
have vied with each other in the erection of commodious churches, and
in no direction has Geneva's public spirit shown itself to better
advantage or more effectively.
Among the finest we notice old Trinity on South Main street, a
grand edifice of gray stone with an English tower. A magnificent
memorial stained-glass window, painted to order in Europe, is in the
chancel. There are also several interesting marble tablets in the
St. Peter's church on Genesee park is celebrated for its
chimes which ring out on all important occasions as well as for church
services. On the opposite corner is the North Presbyterian
church, also of gray stone, with a graceful and slender spire.
Rev. Dr. Hogarth has been the popular pastor until within a recent
It would be invidious to mention more instances of our striking
architecture, particularly church edifices, though the temptation
to dilate on
their imposing facades and salient features is very great.
PARKS AND PLEASURE PLACES
The tourist who visits Geneva and is at last obliged to tear
himself away from its charms, always carries with him, according to his
own account, enduring memories of our attractive and picturesque
environs; the whole
town offering advantages that but few places equal and none
But one improvement is lacking, a great public park. The
Superintendent of the State Experimental Station, who is an
enthusiastic advocate of this scheme, intends sometime if possible to
utilize a large natural glen and woods on the Station, and with the
help of a landscape artist turn the same into a "Wild Garden."
Then we should indeed
have a place where all might revel.
At present we have the Pre-Emption race-course where twice a year
all wend their way. The enclosure is also used for the annual
Union Fair, and as the grounds of the Lakeside Gun Club.
There are two beautiful parks in the middle of the town which,
though small, are much admired.
West of the village are many fine pieces of woods including Sylvan
Grove, while to the south are Cromwell's Ravine and Slate Rock.
these glens are quite celebrated.
In the absence of a Park, we have as compensation a beautiful lake
which entire year proves a source of delight.
As may be imagined Geneva has always been a great place for
sport. It began with swimming instituted by the hardy young
then in succession came rafting, sailing, canal boating, and finally
palace steamers of the Steam Navigation Company which cut swiftly their
The first fast sailer was the old "Cygnet", and she was "streaked
lightning". When entered for a regatta anywhere Genevans always
supported her, and
she always won the race. The yacht was finally put up at lottery
won by Geo. M. Horton, who sold her to some gentlemen who moved her to
Lake Ontario where she became a smuggler, and so remained until she
finally went to pieces.
The first "shell" was the eight-oared "Lady-of-the-Lake", brought
here in 1857. It should have had a steam engine to make it
go--but still there was plenty of fun with it. The boat's
greatest defect was
tipping over, pitching its occupants into the water, and coming to the
surface bottom upwards. As from experience the oarsmen were
prepared for such a contingency, these involuntary baths were not
Extending out into the lake is a long State pier. A few
since a liberal-hearted citizen, the President of the village, Matthew
Wilson, built mostly at his own expense two swimming houses for the
boys and young men of the town, and the public are thus able to enjoy
this most exhilarating and healthful sport. It is not an uncommon
sight on warm summer evenings to see a score or more of sturdy, happy
urchins sporting in the water as if it were their native element; while
a little later their strapping elder brothers come, and soon they too
plunge in and manifest their delight by turning back-somersaults and
other antics that "wash" all care away.
The streets of Geneva are very attractive to our citizens on
afternoons owing to good walks and luxuriant shade. No matter in
direction we go there is the same pleasant, attractive scene. The
are mostly taken away, and the private grounds which almost every home
possesses, seem to be a part of public property with their choice
shrubbery and brilliant flower beds. We have no bronze statues of
public men, but they will come in time, and the men themselves we have
One of the pleasant customs incident to outdoor life is that most
of our grand places with their beautiful grounds and drives have their
entrance gates thrown invitingly open, and tourists may feel themselves
at liberty to drive through the same, usually of course without
alighting from their carriage. It is taken more as a compliment
than otherwise, and the kindly though unwritten privilege is very
rarely abused if ever.
There is a project on foot to take the Hobart Esplanade on South
Main street and turn it into an improved park, with an aquarium on the
shore. The plan is quite elaborate but nothing has as yet been
in the way of work. There is also another plan which has thus far
progressed at the same rate. It is the plan of turning a fine
of woods and meadow between Castle and Washington streets west of the
into an archery grounds and shooting range. We would recommend
to the Geneva Improvement Association.
Several valuable improvements have been made in Geneva within a
years in the way of landscape gardening; the laying out of Poultney
Hamilton terrace, and Glenwood cemetery. In this section, as in
parts of the town, there are many fine places, though of course there
no comparison between these and hundreds of houses in surrounding
and boasting of the natural attractions which we possess, let us claim
more than we have but strive to develop the resources which nature has
bountifully showered upon us, and
"Unless fate has faithless grown,
And the voice of prophet vain,
Geneva is destined to be the place
To which the traveler returns again."
From Geneva Gazette 30 May 1890
Seeing your remarks in the last GAZETTE upon the
improvements on North Main st. north of Seneca, recalls to my mind
scenes of early days around the "five points," Main, Milton and Castle
recollection begins back in the twenties. When the Geneva Bank building
was erected, (now Chase's office) Anthony Hemiup
and general variety store at the corner of Main and Seneca sts. where
is now located. An ascent of several
landed you inside. The Stainton family occupied the house north,
and Mr. John Stainton
(father of Levi, Bryan and several other
boys and girls) owned the entire block north to Coursey's alley, and on
Seneca street down to the McKay
property. Next to
residence came Chester Francis
, who moved in from the White
woolen mills and started a steam woolen factory north of Sherman H.
carriage shop -- the latter standing where is now the
Harrow works, and whereon the GAZETTE received its baptism of fire
years ago -- at which fire the writer chanced to be first on the
burst open the doors, and did his best to preserve books, records,
North of the Stainton-Coursey alley stood a small building. In
this house "Bubby" Keeler
taught school. In the yard back
of it stood a small wood-colored house occupied by Tom Harris
also colored, who was a prize fighter and the accomplice of Hubbard in
robbing David S. Skaats
of his tin box containing $1,500.
Adjoining this school-house on the north was a red house occupied
by a Mr. Sutton
. He manufactured churns, and had two sons
-- Walt and Newt. It was in this house I received my first
temperance lecture. Geneva at that time was not under the "Carson
League," although there were three "meetin' houses."
, the groceryman, had emptied about a bushel of
"whiskey cherries" in the middle of Main street, and these boys,
together with many others, ate to their fill of the spirit fruit.
The Sutton boys were taken home and laid out on the bed. Dr.
over but could do nothing for them. I was taken into the room to
see the dead (drunk) boys; there they lay, white as marble. I was
then told of the evil effects of the use of whiskey -- and if they
die then they would go down, down to that other place! That
for me. I made up my mind never to drink any whiskey cherries.
The next morning the boys were all on deck, but with swelled
heads. The next building stood over the creek, Nathan Daskam's
bakery and cooper shop. Next came George Hemiup's
on the corner of Main and Castle streets, his tavern. Between the
tavern and stable was Hemiup's
chair shop. West of this, or on the corner of Main and Milton
stood "Granny" Mills"
house. Her garden ran south to the creek,
having in front of it five beautiful poplar trees. West of this
of sunflowers, hollihocks and artichokes was the "Pound". Next
came the Kimber block. In the building fitted up by the late Dr.
Budd, Wm. Giffing
resided and carried on silver smithing.
I now have spoons of his make. Giffing had charge of the
fireworks at the time of the explosion, July 4th, 1842, the the Rev'd.
and Joseph Fulton
were killed. On the south
side of Milton st., near where the Baptist Church now stands, and next
west of Granny Mills' house, stood the large yellow house Dey house.
Between that and Pulteney street was the old barn where Aaron Young
began the manufacture of lead pipe. The next house was around the
corner on Pulteney street, south of the cemetery, occupied by Lorin
-- now I believe by Platt Demming.
the head of Milton st. and on
the west side of Pulteney street stood the Axtell
on the south by what is now called High street. This road ran
through the colored settlement up to Reed's woods and sugar camp.
South of this road as far as William street was Fellows'
hickory grove, surrounded or enclosed by a rail fence. Not a
house in this grove for some distance up the road. Russell
I believe was the first to break sod in this square, B.
next, and so on.
It was in this grove that I smoked my first cigar. I had seen Sam
"chaw" tobacco in Keeler's school with several boys of his
age with indifferent success, but the difference was decidedly against
them when they tried to induce me to take some of it in my mouth, for I
was not favorably impressed with the color of their faces; and when
they left the party and ran round behind the school house, I decidedly
said "No, no, boys, none for me -- I won't chaw." But the desire
to be a man
still lingered within me. Not many years
this I made up my mind to have a quiet 4th of July all by myself.
purchased two packs of fire crackers, went to Caleb Yeomans'
next door north of Doolittle's
"Elephant" tavern, opposite DeZeng's
Eagle store; there I secured a cigar for one cent ! -- Hemiup charged
three cts. I then made tracks for the grove. Arriving there I at
commenced operations by lighting my first cigar. You know there
be a first. Well, I then broke open the fire crackers, and I did
a jolly good time for awhile. But there are pleasures that have
end and so I found it. After a while the crackers would go off two and
at a time. I would burn first one finger, and then another; then
fence would come up against my head and give me such a rap! And
the tree by which I was sitting fell up and gave me an awful rap; I
did not know what to make of it. What had I done to that tree?
There was something wrong here ! I knew I had not drunk any
yet verdant as I was I could not but think there was some of the Sutton
whiskey cherries in Caleb's cigar. (I was under 16 then.)
And now, really, to tell you the truth, I was not feeling very
well myself, and in that mood I started for home. The last I
remember I was lying by the fence
on Milton street in front of the lead factory. If you wish a
description of my complexion consult Mr. W. H.
Thus ended my 4th of July celebration. Moral -- Don't smoke,
don't chew, don't drink whiskey cherries.
Several years later this grove was the scene of a far more pleasant
4th. Gideon Lee
, ex-Mayor of New York, had purchased and
moved on to the White Springs farm. The 4th of July committee
took it into their heads to call upon this newcomer for a sub--they did
so. On looking at the sub, the committee were astonished when
they read, "Gideon Lee, $100.00." This was a stunner !
Gideon was at once voted President of the day -- hickory grove
the place for a grand blow-out -- Nathan Daskam chosen caterer, and he
did provide a grand dinner. Young America must needs do their
best, so Jack Young, George Northop &
Co. took their little "peacemaker" early in the day, broke the quiet
slumber of father Gideon. Although it was yet early right royally were
they entertained by the President. It was a big day for Geneva.
didn't smoke that 4th.
P. S. This before General Cass was a candidate for President of
the U. S.
From Geneva Gazette 6 June 1890
As related in my first article, the tavern on the
corner of Castle and Main street was kept by George Hemiup,
also manufactured chairs. His sons were Morris W., Norton
all still living. East of this on Castle
lived the Lums,
the boys were Dave, Stute and Will.
Adjoining them came Peter Thomas
-- the boys were named
Jack, Pete and Joe; then we came to Wm. Green.
son was Henry. Below them came Moses Hall,
his only sons
were William, John and Henry. Opposite came Samuel Green.
sons were Samuel and
John. The next lot was Handfield's
, where Elm street now
runs. Next west was the two story dwelling, much as it now is,
at different times lived John, Henry and Robert Daskam,
of Nathan, who were all bakers and coopers. Their thatched shop
back in the garden. The two boys, as I remember, were John and William.
Next west was Jacocks,
a carpenter, and joining that for
a time lived George Bennett.
His sons were John, Charles,
and George. On the corner opposite the tavern stood a small wood
tenement house, variously occupied, a family by the name of Castle
I remember -- afterwards as a cooper shop. Continuing north on Main
street, we've come to the Colt's meadow; and directly opposite Joseph
dwelling (now occupied by Thomas Shanley)
Colt's barn. Continuing north we come to the Marshall
This house stood on the south
of Castle creek, the creek passing partly through the garden. Mr.
sons were George and Daniel, who now reside in Cleveland, O. The
former once occupied the Mayor's chair of that City. These three
covered the entire ground from Castle street to what is now is known as
Colt's meadow mentioned above extended from Main to now Genesee street.
This field was sometimes cultivated, but used mostly
as a meadow or pasture, and parade or training ground. Here I
first saw the sun glass. It was harvest time. There were probably
a dozen German men, women and children, dressed out in their gorgeous
colors of red, yellow and blue. At their noon just east of the
squatted on the ground, they partook of their rustic meal, then lit
huge pipes of tobacco with the sun glass. This was previous to
day of lucifer matches. It was just about upon this same spot
the great fight came off between Tom Harris
(colored) and an
-- I think a connection of the Ask
family. Seeing a
crowd going towards the meadow, I followed. The crowd went over
the fence; there was to be a big fight; the two men stripped to the
-- a large ring was formed. The darkey (sic)
to the fence, thus facing the sun. Some one said "go at it!"
two men advanced toward each other. The Englishman elevated his
pair of fives. After a few moments of this manoevering, Harris
a few steps, eyed the Englishman with meteoric eyes, made a furious
for his opponent with head down, and arms flying much after the manner
of a windmill. The Englishman stood as erect as a statue -- his
at "due gard" and as cool as a cucumber. When Harris got within say
feet of him, The Englishman dropped his arms, closed his thumbs
slipped them under Harris's chin and held him out at arm's length.
a blow was struck. The Englishman gently closed his thumbs and
around Harris's breathing apparatus until the crowd said "lay him
which he did, and there on the grass lay Mr. Harris, the bucking
gentleman, about as mum as we now frequently see the canines after some
(?) of theirs has visited the Apothecary's. But the appearance of
face in action! Reader, you have undoubtedly seen the moon in an
eclipse. Well, multiply that by two, and you can imagine the
rest. This was my first and last appearance at a prize ring. Hi.
and Pete Thomas
Continuing our journey north we pass Lewis street. Just on the
side hill is the Robinson
house, and near by it is Genl. Dobbin's
dwelling. Moses R. Hand
lived next, his sons were
Mose and Silas. Between this and the north or Waterloo road there
was a small rough barn sometimes used as a slaughter-house. Near
this, and not far from S. H. Parker's
present dwelling was
Hemiup's brick yard. At that date there were five dwellings and
two barns on the east side of Main north of Castle street. Between the
Carter or Middle road and the Lyons road or Water street, on the north
were but the two dwellings of Dr. Rose
and Thos. D.
little east of the Burrall mansion and near where the R. R. crosses was
situated the Burrall foundry.
Returning to Main street; opposite the brick yard and on the west side
stood the residence of John T. Clemmons.
were named Anson, William and Charles. Over Castle creek stood
slaughter-house, and opposite of Lewis street
near the present residence of John McKay
was the Lewis
property. North of this to the North road were the Doremous,
and a butcher by the name of Spendlove
relation to our departed friend Harry.) At the foot of Main where
Mrs. W. W. Wright
now lives the General Trainings were
sometimes held. In the field between the creek
and the Lewis residence where the German Evangelical Church now stands
were frequently held the muster, or June drills. Next south of
the slaughter-house stood a double dwelling. An English shoemaker
by the name of Castle
occupied one end of this house.
lot next. Then came Miss Diamon's
his sons were James, William and Joe.
lived on the corner where now stands the
Universalist House of Worship -- he had one son, John. There
were two dwellings between Fulton's and Brazee's. From this
going west we first meet the Snyder property; the second from that was
the Dr. Merryweather
residence. The Doctor was a noted
personage. Having been brought up a slave, he was master of
suavity to slush the ways of a steamboat when the sixpence was in
He was porter at the Franklin. We next come to Aaron
His sons were John, Frank and Will -- all still living.
The house has changed very little, and the same may be said
of the Edwin Barnard
house that stood next west. Next
came Reuben Bedell
-- one son, Ambrose. The Allen Pump
factory came next; there were two Allen
boys -- two sons,
and William. Then the Hayes
house. Next east of
the Castle creek stood the brick cottage of Giles Parker.
had seven sons: Ira and John the two oldest, and Henry, the fifth, have
passed to the other side. On the Hill beyond lived Philip C.
a retired New York merchant. His sons were James,
Opposite this place we find the Sam'l Codington
His sons were Charles, John, George, Henry, William and Edward,
and two daughters -- Catharine and Caroline. Here was the
celebrated dam and saw mill. West of this were situated the Gregory
dwelling and tannery. Opposite the tannery was Smith's woods
family, and where Sterling
where T. C. Maxwell
now lives. West of these woods and
where Wm. Smith's
Observatory is situated were cultivated
fields. General trainings were sometimes held here. No dwellings
until we come to King Swayles,
now the State Farm, east of the
Indian burying ground. To this mound the Indians
would often resort, but I never have seen over ten or twelve there at
one time, and never saw them hold any ceremony whatever.
From Geneva Gazette 29 April 1892
There are a few left of Geneva boys born in 1821-22.
Memory is quite vivid with most of them as to men and things in
1832 and onward.
Said John D. Young
in talking over old times recently, "you
recollect that queer old codger Ayres,
who came in from
on the Castle road. Usually had his wife with him. What a
he drove; a 2-wheeled vehicle with a little hay in it. Instead of a
he wielded a large whipstock or cane with which he incessantly punched
old "hoss" to keep him on a lazy trot. In one of my mischievous
I found opportunity to unhitch the traces and fasten the driving lines
the hame rings. You ought to have seen the old man's surprise when he
punched up the horse and the brute pulled out of the thills, almost
over the dashboard. I put in an appearance about that time and
convinced the old man that he
made the mistake in hitching up.
'Mebbe I have -- I'm getting pretty old.'
"And then there was another quaint old fellow -- a regular Johnny Bull
in his swallow-tail coat, knee breeches and buckle shoes. That was Billy
He owned and lived on the farm now constituting
the the State Agricultural Station. He afterwards sold it to Charles
"And then there was Israel Crittenden,
who used to
ride to and fro between his farm and the village on horseback and at a
pretty lively gait for one who carried so much 'ardent' in his skin.
I never knew him to meet with an accident.
the Revolutionary patriot, 'driving his
old horse "Lark,"' was another familiar figure in his long white queue
often seen on the Castle road. The boys always looked upon the
soldier with admiration. Three only of his very large family
"Then there were two positive characters in our immediate neighborhood
-- Adam Wilson,
the English cavalryman who fought under
Wellington at Waterloo. He still retained his huge broadsword,
and when he got pretty full, as was too often the case, he was prone to
imagine that his wife and children were dastard followers of the hated
Napoleon, and he would flourish his weapon too dangerously near their
inoffensive heads. Often they would have to flee to neighbors for
protection during his warlike moods. A boon companion of his was
the little sawed-off, round-shouldered
How often I have seen them 'holding
the fence' along by Pete Earle's
house. And when they
it was invariably with the assurance of the stalwart soldier, 'we're
for life, Daniel -- we're frens fer life!'
And Pliny Jennings.
Will you ever
Pliny Jennings? What an old sardine he was; how he loved to
gossip; knew everybody and everybody's pedigree. And how he loved
to tease poor
old Mary Carey,
another character as quaint as any
make up our community. Homely ! It's no name for it.
Wall-eyed, and face so wrinkled you couldn't put a pin point on a
smooth place. She resided till her death on Catharine street --
now dignified by the name
-- he was another never-to-be-forgotten
character. What fun we had with old Charley. And he enjoyed
the fun too, and would take any amount of boys' nonsense until they
pull at his coat-tails -- then look out for stones
always carried a few for such emergency in his pockets. I wish
you could put in type so as to be understood the queer sound that came
from his throat in emphasizing a retort to our badgerings. He
made a special 'circus' for us at general trainings.
"Poor old 'Granny Mills
'. Do you remember the
occasion when her house burned down over her head? It stood on
the spot where Brundage's carriage shop now stands. It was with
difficulty she was restrained from rushing in and perishing with the
destruction of her humble dwelling. What a search was made by us
boys for the gold and silver treasure supposed to be buried in the
ruins. The 'finds' however
did not make any of us rich.
"Well, this will do for one chapter. Let us get together again
and talk over 'old times.' " (Agreed.)
From Geneva Gazette 3 June 1892
As Seen Through Swiss Eyes
Some two or three months ago Mr. D. F. Attwood, President
village, received a request for documents and information relating to
The applicant was a newspaper editor or correspondent in Geneva,
who thought that his fellow citizens would be interested in some brief
of all the American GENEVAS. His request being complied with, he now
sends to President Attwood and others the net results of his study of
character and our history. We give below a somewhat free
of this article, (it appeared originally in French), believing that our
will be glad to avail themselves of the "giftie" so earnestly coveted
the poet Burns -- "to see oursel's as others see us."
The women tax-payers will be sorry to learn that our Swiss friend is in
error in his statement that les femmes recalcitrantes cannot
be forced like the men to pay their taxes. To be sure, the
charter provides that no body execution shall issue against
women, but this is their only exemption from the processes of the
collector. As the provision for a "body execution" is never put
in force against the men, women and men are practically on the same
footing in this respect.
Geneva, N. Y. -- THE ELDEST OF THE AMERICAN GENEVAS.
Mr. Editor, I have presented to your readers eighteen American Genevas.
I would like today to talk with them about the GENEVA of New
York, eldest of the Genevas of the United States. Let a map of
of New York be consulted; upon the same degree of longitude as
Washington and nearly upon the 43rd degree of north latitude is found a
village called Geneva, situated at the north of a lake. In order
to point out its
position precisely we will add that Geneva, N. Y. is 105 miles east of
Erie, 25 miles south of lake Ontario, 220 miles north-east of New York,
almost upon the same degree of latitude as Toulon. Five little
about half as large as lake Leman flow from south to north, parallel to
another, and upon an average about 12 miles apart. Their northern
is about twenty-five miles south of Lake Erie which is almost as
as Switzerland. Going from east to west these lakes are Skaneateles,
Cayuga, Seneca and Canandaigua.
Geneva, N. Y., situated at the north of lake Seneca, is ten days by
post from the Swiss Geneva.
Mr. D. F. Attwood, president of the Board of Trustees of this Geneva,
sends me some documents of recent date relating to its settlement.
Ex-president George S. Conover is its historiographer. It is
through his kindness that I am able to offer you the following
The first official document concerning Geneva, N. Y., is a letter from
Dr. Cabb Benton to William Walker, surveyor and land agent dated Oct.
1788. Nine other official documents bearing the name of Geneva
a date following one another up to Sept. 20th, 1791, which is the date
a description by Elkanah Watson in his newspaper. It was nine
then, before the presidency of Washington, and eight years after Major
the Swiss Genevan, had been shot by Washington as a spy and buried as a
by England in Westminister Abbey, that the Geneva of New York was
While surveyors were laying out the boundaries of Geneva, N. Y.,
is what was happening in the Swiss Geneva: (It is the historian
who writes:) "The wealthy people of Geneva were generous; in
1788, the city of Sion, capital of Valais, was laid waste by a fire
consumed a hundred and twenty-six houses and caused a loss of more than
million; the contributions of Geneva amounted to more than forty-three
And now a few words about the pre-historic American Geneva which called
itself Kanadesaga. The army of Gen. Sullivan made the tour of the
now called Seneca September 17th, 1779. At the north of it they
a prosperous Indian village, chief place of the Kanadesaga tribe.
There they saw a beautiful apple-orchard surrounding a fortress
known later as
Indian Castle. Mr. Conover gives us a detailed account of the
renowned chiefs of the Kanadesagas in 1788. On the 4th of June of
year, Oliver Phelps arrived at this Indian village; was struck by its
and by its favorable situation from a commercial point of view.
there wrote a letter in which one reads these memorable words: "We
mean to found a city here." The chronicler reports to us the
dramatic history of the debates between the Indian chiefs and the
Americans Phelps and Gorham over the cession of the territory of the
new Geneva. He gives
us the speech of Red Jacket against the American offers, and the reply
Farmer's Brother in favor of acceptance. All this took place in
presence of the tribes assembled in a clearing of the virgin forest.
was then in the autumn of 1788 that Kanadesaga took the name of Geneva,
became the isolated outpost of what was called the Geneva country.
it became the rendezvous of traders going to the great lakes.
cottages, surveyors, speculators, explorers, the Leasee company and its
(some educated men and gentlemen), a crowd of vagrants -- the foam on
crest of the westward-moving wave, -- all seized by the fever of hope
Phelps and Gorham, the first owners, sold what remained of their tract
to Robert Morris in 1790. He, in turn, sold his title through his
London agent to Sir William Pulteney, John Harnbey and Patrick
Colqumann, but these gentlemen not being Americans and being by this
fact disqualified to acquire real estate in America, sent over their
agent, Mr. Charles Williamson, who became naturalized and thus bought
land in the new Geneva in his name for the English financiers.
This deed was signed April 11th, 1792.
The appearance of the new Geneva was less attractive than that of
Kanadesaga, its predecessor; in fact, Elkanah Watson who visited it in
1791 wrote the following lines on the 21st of September: "Geneva
is an unhealthy little village consisting of about fifteen houses, all
of wood except three, and perhaps twenty families. We were well enough
received at the Patterson tavern, situated upon the shore of the lake,
but our sleep was disturbed nearly all night by gamblers and fleas,
those two social plagues." In 1793, Captain Williamson
had a new survey of the village made. The charts and the original
have not been preserved. Historian Conover despairs of finding
Lakes Cayuga and Seneca have been explored with the greatest care by
Professors E. Fuertes and Crandall and Mr. J. P. Church. Students
of engineering worked in 1878 and 1883 to take soundings and to make
surveys. Exact charts of the bottoms of these lakes have been prepared.
Seneca Lake is thirty-four miles in length; its greatest width is
3.12 miles, and its greatest depth is 618 English feet. In other
words, Seneca Lake measured upon Lake Leman would stretch from Geneva
to Ouehy in length, and from Nyon to Nernier in its greatest width.
The town government of Geneva is excellent. Public and private
gambling houses are prohibited, also, horse-racing. Unreasonably fast
driving is forbidden, and the public is warned not to play at hoop or
ball, or to engage in any game through which persons passing by might
On the third Tuesday in May, at ten in the morning, all tax-payers are
gathered in a general assembly to approve or reject the annual budget
is submitted to them by the Trustees of the Village Board. And, a
unknown in Europe ! Women who are tax-payers "refuse to pay their
cannot, like the men, be forced to pay."
Any person who does not observe the proprieties of language, or is not
decently clothed, is liable to a fine. Bathing in the lake, or in the
water-courses traversing the village limits, except at night, is
It appears that the supervision of public morals is as severe as it was
in our Geneva in the days of Calvin.
Locomotives and steamboats are not allowed to whistle within the
village limits except in case of impending danger. The code from which
I borrow these laws consists of a hundred and fifty pages, and appears
to me to be a model of clearness and judicious foresight.
The authorities of the Geneva New York have been touched by the
sympathetic comparison which I have endeavored to establish between the
Geneva of Julius Caesar and the first Geneva of the New World.
May these reciprocal sentiments
bear fruit in the future ! It is my dearest wish.
From Geneva Gazette 9 April 1897
AN OLD RELIC
Geneva Glass Factory
Mr. H. L. DeZeng
recently came into possession, through the
kindness of Mr. J. B. Church,
of a relic of one of Geneva's
earliest industries -- the Geneva Glass Factory. It is a
transcript of the law passed in May, 1810, incorporating the company,
supplied by the then Secretary of State, and bearing the faded but
still distinct seal of the State. The incorporators included Abraham
Dox, Joseph Fellows, John Greig, Samuel Colt, Nathaniel Gorham, James
and others. The total number of shares authorized was 2500
at $50 each -- total $125,000. Mr. Wm. S. DeZeng
into the project seven years later, or in 1817, from which time it
he wielded the laboring oar in this important enterprise. The act of
was approved and signed by Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins, certified by Daniel
Hale, Secretary of State. The memoranda accompanying shows a
in "boxes of window glass of 3/4 box per share." What its value
dollars and cents we are unable at this day to figure out. Mr.
proposes to place these relics of a by-gone age in local history in the
Library. The documents are 80 and 87 years old respectively, and
the most ancient to be found in our local archives.
From Geneva Gazette 13 August 1897
The Old Glass Factory -
Mr. H. L. DeZeng, whose father, W. S.
DeZeng, was principal manager of the industry, has sketched from memory
of the plant all the buildings and residences constituting the Glass
Factory plant located at the bay on Seneca Lake which still bears the
name "Glass Factory Bay." The date at which Mr. DeZeng fixes in
memory the old plant is
1841. The operating buildings were near the lake shore and
consisted of a "blowing" factory, cutting and flattening buildings,
office, store, barns,
and along the west side of the highway a row of five houses, then a
house, and further up on the hill under the shade of a large willow
the more commodious home of John Fowler, the foreman of the works.
It was about the only factory of importance in this whole region
at that time. Its products were sent to out-of-town markets by
lake and canal -- we
had no railroad entering Geneva at that time. We well remember
visiting the factory in '41 or '42 and witnessing with boyish wonder
the interesting process of "blowing glass". The workmen before
the ovens had about as
warm a time of it as do operatives in a rolling mill or iron casting
foundry. The glass-blowers were paid good wages and earned them.
Not a vestige of the old factory remains; the Fall Brook railroad
tracks traverse its site. Maxwell's extensive fruit orchard
occupies the land west of
and adjacent to the factory hamlet, and on lands then cultivated to
grain and grass.
From Geneva Daily Times 19 March 1928
Mrs. A. B. Johnson,
formerly of this city and now town historian of
Caledonia, New York, in a communication to The Times, states that the
two-story barn at 188 Castle street, recently destroyed by fire, is the
site of a barn built by her father and later added to by his
son-in-law, the late Alfred B. Levet.
In some further historical reminiscences she makes references to her
family home on Castle street, one of the first houses built here,
called a mud-built house because of its construction. It was later
Mrs. Johnson has also unearthed some material concerning Horatio Jones,
soldier on Sullivan's expedition, who was captured by the Indians. He
was adopted into an Indian family, learned the language, and after his
release settled in Geneva. His first wife was Sarah Whittemore,
their son, William, was born in the village of Geneva in December 1786.
This boy is supposed to have been the first white child born west of
Utica in this state.
From Geneva Courier 3 September 1879
THE REED & RYCKMAN LINE
From measurements made by W. G. Powers, surveyor, according to the
distances laid out on the old authentic maps, it is ascertained that
this line commencing at the lake and running due west, magnetically
1789, passed, on the east side of Exchange street, a point about 3 1/2
feet south of the McCurdy alley, and crossing the street at about the
center of Kent's clothing store and so on to Linden street where it
passes through the Courier printing house, at a point about 4 inches
south of the third window sill from the north end of the
building. The line continues then due west, passing the north end of
the Pulteney St. burial ground, and through the centre of High street
to the old pre-emption line.
This line is the basis of all the early surveys and from which the
village was originally surveyed and plotted, and is today the
foundation of all the present allotments. The measurements of Mr.
Powers were not made with any pretension of positive accuracy, using
only a tape line for this purpose, but is approximately correct, and
sufficient for present purposes.
Peter Ryckman's house stood just one chain south of the line and
doubtless occupied the position of the north part of the house in which
Fisher's meat market is on the east side of Exchange street. In 1788
the Lessee Company had a framed tavern and trading establishment
covered with bark, on the lake shore, which was occupied by Dr. Benton.
This was about at the foot of Washington street on what is now south
In 1791 Elkanah Watson visited Geneva and wrote that it was a small
unhealthy village of about 15 houses, all log except three, and about
20 families. He had decent accommodations at Patterson's tavern on the
margins of the lake, but his repose was troubled most of the night by
gamblers and fleas. Ezra Patterson owned the lot on which the Dove
block, corner of Castle and Exchange streets now is, in 1793, and
(illegible) doubtless the location of his (illegible)
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