Thomas Russell Jr., of Albion reeled in an eight-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass from Cayuga Lake, Seneca County. Russell’s bass surpassed the previous record by two ounces, a tie between fish caught on Lake Erie in 1995, and in the St. Lawrence River in 2016. [Read more…] about Smallmouth Bass State Record Broken on Cayuga Lake
Willard State Hospital in Romulus, Seneca County, NY has defined the physical landscape and cultural environment of its rural corner of the Finger Lakes region for nearly 175 years. The hospital complex was the largest of its kind in the 1870s, with dozens of buildings, open space, and working farms.
Once comprising over 1,000 acres, its current size is about 400 acres including a mile of Seneca Lake shoreline and an institutional cemetery containing approximately 6,000 burials. Despite the loss of several architecturally important buildings, about 70 buildings still stand today. [Read more…] about Under Threat: Willard State Hospital at Seneca Lake
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the grand opening of the Central-Finger Lakes segment of the New York State Birding Trail to highlight the state’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities.
The Central-Finger Lakes segment includes 54 locations throughout 15 counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. [Read more…] about Central-Finger Lakes Segment of Statewide Birding Trail Opens
Tjerck Claeszen DeWitt immigrated to New Amsterdam (now New York City) from Grootholt in Zunterlant in 1656. Grootholt means Great Wood and Zunterland was probably located on the southern border of East Friesland, a German territory on the North Sea only ten miles from the most northerly province of the Netherlands.
By 1657, Tjerck DeWitt married Barber (Barbara) Andrieszen (also Andriessen) in the New Amsterdam Dutch Church and moved to Beverwyck (now Albany). While in Beverwyck, he purchased a house. At this time Albany contained 342 houses and about 1,000 residents, about 600 of whom were members of the Dutch Church. [Read more…] about Simeon DeWitt: America’s Surveyor General
The site of the present Sampson State Park in Romulus, Seneca County, NY was formerly the site of the Sampson Navy Base. As the United States found itself at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the U.S. Navy had an immediate need for sailors. Basic training bases, or boot camps, were constructed across the country to meet this emergency requirement. [Read more…] about Sampson State Park’s Remarkable Military, Education & Public Health History
The Veterans Memorial Fountain has stood in Geneva, New York’s Pulteney Park for more than 80 years. It is a gray marble sculpture of a full-size female form, on one knee, thrusting a Hoplite sword into the ground, allegorically symbolizing the cessation of hostilities.
The sculpture, created by Jean MacKay Henrich (1909-2002) and entitled “Our Lady of Peace,” is mounted on a pink marble base and is surrounded by a stepped pool, also of pink marble, from which fountains of water issue upward. The entire Veterans Monument in Pulteney Park was designed by noted architect and professional photographer, Thomas Lyon White of Geneseo, and was partially funded by the Works Project Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression.
The design plan was to symbolically memorialize Veterans of all struggles, rather than any particular person or campaign. The architect and sculptor worked together to develop a simple yet warm tone in the memorial by which Geneva would preserve forever the love of country and sacrifice made by those who did not return home. [Read more…] about Geneva, NY’s Veterans Memorial Fountain: A History
Aerial photos can be helpful research tools for historians. Google Earth, which provides access to a vast collection of aerial photography stretching back 20 years, is just a sampling of the many aerial photos that have been made since French balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as “Nadar,” took a photo over Paris, France in 1858.
Much of New York Sate was photographed with the camera pointing straight down, an oblique presentation that is less useful to some historians. An effort to capture all of New York in an orthophotographic perspective (corrected to a uniform scale) started in 1936 with a contract to C.S. Robinson of Ithaca, NY. These images are particularly valuable resources for historians of all stripes. [Read more…] about Aerial Photos: New York Rural History From Above
The Landmark Society of Western New York has announced its 2014 Five to Revive – a list of historic sites it has determined to be in need of targeted revitalization. The announcement was made at the Landmark Society headquarters on Fitzhugh St. in Rochester.
“The preservation efforts of The Landmark Society of Western New York continue to be focused on community revitalization,” Executive Director Wayne Goodman said in a statement to the press. “This is the second year we are announcing a Five to Revive list to call attention to key properties in western New York that are in need of investment. We can’t stress enough that these are significant historic properties whose rehabilitations can become catalytic projects for the neighborhoods and communities that surround them.”
The 2014 Five to Revive list includes: [Read more…] about Landmark Society Names 2014 Five to Revive
In 1862 twenty-one-year-old Morris Brown Jr. left his studies at Hamilton College to take up the Union cause. He quickly rose in rank from sergeant major to captain and acting regimental commander for the 126th New York Volunteers. Fight All Day, March All Night: A Medal of Honor Recipient’s Story (SUNY Press Excelsior Editions, 2012) is the narrative of a young Civil War officer, as told through his letters from the battlefield and edited by Civil War historian Wayne Mahood.
In letters written to his family in Penn Yan, New York, Brown describes his experiences at war: the unseemly carping between fellow officers, the fear that gripped men facing battle, and the longing to return home. Brown’s letters also reveal an ambitious young man who not only wanted recognition but also wanted to assure himself of a financial future. [Read more…] about Books: Fight All Day, March All NIght
Women’s Rights National Historical Park Superintendent Tammy Duchesne has announced that replacement cushions for the “recycled pews” in the Wesleyan Chapel have been installed. “We are pleased with the new cushions. When we installed the wooden pews in July, we had plans to finish them with cushions so they would resemble the originals,” said Duchesne. [Read more…] about Seneca Falls Wesleyan Chapel Pews Updated