The Crooked Lake Review

Winter 2001

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About the Winter 2001 Issue

Note from the Editors

An account by Robert G. Koch of the lives and friendship of Henry O'Reilly and Orsamus Turner, who conceived the first great histories of western New York, starts this issue. Next is Bob Koch's tale of how some of us misread and mispronounced Turner's given name, and what its etymological roots must be, possibly causing its owner to substitute the initial for his first name in his two books.

O. Turner collected and included the stories of the pioneers in his monumental Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western New York, published in 1848, and his other classic with an equally long title, History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase and Morris' Reserve;, published in 1850. The selections chosen by Bob Koch from Turner's second history for in this issue are the descriptions by Turner and his sister Mrs. Farnum of their pioneer experiences is followed by Turner's account of the Durfee family plus the "Reminiscences of Stephen Durfee."

The sixth chapter from Gary Emerson's Biography of John Magee is contained in this issue.. Titled The Fall Brook Coal Company, it describes the Magees', father and son, ventures in coal prospecting, coal mining and coal hauling on their railroad, and their standoff with the miners at the end of the Civil War.

Richard Palmer's series on the Genesee Valley Canal continues with the second and concluding part of William N. Cobb's October, 1836, diary of his work as a surveyor on the canal .

David Minor's Timeline for New York State and New York City, on pages 24 and 25, relates the busy activity of entrepreneurs in 1809 and 1810. Robert Fulton and John Stevens are plying their steamboats and dividing up territory. Washington Irving's spoof Knickerbocker's History of New York is published. And the Brown brothers are about to make Rochester a thriving mill town.

Donovan Shilling reports on the September 2000 visit by the New Society of the Genesee to the Pultneyville Historical Society. Members admired the handsome 1850s house the society has made into their headquarters and the elegant displays they have created on the history of Pultneyville and its first son, Captain H. N. Throop. More about Captain Throop's life and inventions is in an article he wrote that was found by Richard Palmer.

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