The Crooked Lake Review

Winter 2005

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About this Issue

Note from the Editors

This is the first web-only issue of the Crooked Lake Review. It is our largest issue yet, with articles from eleven contributors.

Wayne Mahood's detailed account of Morris Brown, Jr's., Civil War experiences begins this issue. In this first half of the story, young Morris Brown, full of bravado, goes off from Penn Yan to the battlefronts seeking fame and glory. Proud of his command, he even captures at great risk a Rebel flag at Gettysburg. Coming in the second half, Brown is overcome by the reality of the horrific casualties and becomes convinced of his own impending death. This is a soldier's account of real war sent home in letters to his parents. First he had the sensation of opportunity, certainty, pride; later with experience, the realization of the costs and the waste; then finally the feeling of despair. Wayne Mahood also wrote "James Wadsworth—Educator" in CLR #129.

Stephen Lewandowski's essay, The Heart of the Matter, reveals the elemental pioneer activities still evidenced in the present-day ritualized hunting and fishing activities that provide instinctual satisfaction to many people completely separated from primitive necessity by their urbanized living. The money spent on paraphernalia, hunting vacations, lodging and food, provide villages like Naples a reliable yearly income and support long-time local businesses like the Sutton Spoon Company store. Stephen Lewandowski contributed, “Welcome to Iroquoia: A Review of the Literature” in CLR #126.

Gerry Muhl writes of Harry Cole, a sensationally successful counterfeiter, who started in Batavia but participated in operations from New York to Chicago. Yes, Harry died in prison, but he played a high-stakes game for many years avoiding apprehension, confounding his pursuers and perhaps even bribing himself out of prison at least on one occassion with the acceptable currency he received for his bogus bills. Gerry says counterfeiting is mostly under control now, although he occasionally receives a bum coin in ordinary transactions. The March 3, 2005, Corning Leader reported on its front page that fake $20 dollar bills were passed at three business in Bath. Gerry's “Counterfeiting: A Rochester Way to Wealth” was published in CLR #123.

John Sheret details the story of the Dibble Seed Company in his Mendon—The Early Years series. Edward F. Dibble founded the company on the family farm in Lima and later had facilities in Honeoye Falls. They sold potatoes, corn, oats, grass and legumes seed. Much was produced on their own acres and area farms. At one time the Dibble Company was said to be the largest farm seed dealer in the world. After Mr. Dibble's death in 1933 Harwood Martin who had been treasurer for years ran the company and then bought it. When he died in 1963 the company was liquidated. John Sheret provided many illustrations for this article. His “The Letters of Mary Bond” was in #132.

Next in this issue, Richard Palmer recounts the specifications and operations of the locomotive Lightning built for and used on the Syracuse and Utica Railroad. It was built in 1849 by the Norris Locomotive Works in Schenectady and was the first engine in America to have one-piece forged wheels. The Lightning's best speed record was made in 1850 when it drew six passenger cars against a strong headwind 53 miles to Syracuse in 54 minutes of actual running time, an average of almost a mile a minute. Dick Palmer wrote of the locomotive "Young Lion of the West" in issue #131. He also wrote of "Augustus Hinckley: Lake Ontario Mariner" in #128 and #129.

David Minor begins his survey of the year 1828 reporting a duel in Scotland between James Stuart and Sir Alexander Boswell, the son of famous biographer James Boswell. Sir Alexander dies of a shoulder wound and Stuart is tried for murder. In the court battle between Whigs and Tories, Stuart is acquitted. He decides that it would be a prudent time to take his wife and visit America for three years. David uses the Stuarts' travels in New York State as the theme for a detailed description of all the many events of the year. Year 1828 will take several upcoming issues to complete. David Minor's “Life of a Salesman" appeared in #111, #112, #115.

"The Erie Canal" and "The University of Rochester" are two more essays in this issue from Thomas D. Cornell's series Genesee Vignettes. Included with the Erie Canal story are photographs of graffiti art in the aqueduct that carried the canal across the Genesee River in downtown Rochester. Tom Cornell wrote the “The Call of Stories” published in issues #123 and #124.

Read about winter parties in Naples, giant snake cactus plants and local events such as ice harvesting and ice fishing in January, February and March, 1905 and 1955, from Beth Flory's Glancing Backwards column that is carried regularly in the Naples Record. Beth wrote about Naples' famed William Marks in CLR #128.

Elizabeth Shanklin's study of The First Maternal Association in Utica beginning in CLR #129 continues with Part VI, Women of the First Maternal Association. The clergy of the First Presbyterian Church in Utica recognized and tried to control the Maternal Association, to insist on infant baptism and male dominance, but they were unable to stop determined women from raising their children with maternal love and feeling for the child's personality. Many of the women had quiet support from their husbands who were even less inclined to be church members than the women.

There is more in this issue from Timothy Meigs Younglove's February 1841 diary. Everyone was busy getting hay to the cattle, bringing in firewood and poles, hauling logs to the sawmill, but they had energy to go miles by horse and buggy to visit relatives and friends. Timothy relates his business deals, staying up with sick family members, local party politics, some scandal, and another algebra lesson! L. Paul Wood, TM's great-great-grandson, provided excerpts from the Younglove family diaries in issues beginning with #73-78, #80-84, and recently in #130 and 131.

This issue carries a review of Rev. Robert F. McNamara's new book, Good Old Doctor Mac: 1856 - 1927. This is a son's thoughtful tribute not only to his father's life and work as a caring community doctor, but also to all his Irish ancestors who came to America and bettered themselves with their own good sense and hard work. They made America better, too.

We hope you enjoy our new format and welcome your comments and suggestions.

Pleasant reading,

Martha and Bill Treichler

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