Summer 1998

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Lincoln Mills

c. 1900


Gary Lehmann

Lincoln Mills stood along Irondequoit Creek near where Linden Avenue crosses the stream now. The mill collapsed in 1910 when flood water burst the dam and washed away the building's foundation.

Robert Lincoln Koehler found an old chest in the crawl space over his kitchen when he was installing new insulation in 1993. The trunk was three-quarters filled with old papers dating back to 1790 and up through the Civil War. The papers had belonged to Mr. Koehler's ancestor Andrew Lincoln, and they recounted his activities as a busy miller over many years. Amongst these papers was one letter that stood out. Evidently, Lincoln Mills was robbed early in the year 1858, and the robber, being a basically honest chap, decided to return the papers he had taken inadvertently with a brief explanation of how he had broken into the mill. The note is reproduced in the center column and transcribed in the right band column.

Gary Lehmann of Webster, New York, sent the note and transcription with permission to reprint it from Mr. Koehler. Gary also supplied the 1900 era picture of the Lincoln Mills.

March, 2, Nd, 1858 Injured Sir
I take the first opportunity wrighting to you & sending you your papers which are of no value to me; Having been at-work on the Canal at Fairport until the 17th inst with poor pay.I determined to Quit, Seeing the Shape of affares in your house I. thot: I Might make a hawl, had Some trouble to get in but when there I had more in getting in the desk: I took out the chink with the help of your chissel for whic h, I thank you for very much, Your Dog made such a noise that I could not examine the contence of the wallet, I took that Coat becaus I theot- it-would be handy in my travels, this Mr Lincoln is what we call honor among thieves, I would advise you to get rid of that dog before I come again, then I will not take any vallueble papers. Ide keep my Mill windows locked thoe if I wes you, No more until nekt Time.
One of the Townsendgang.
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