The Crooked Lake Review

Winter 2006

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Note from the Editors 

This issue begins with Stephen Lewandowski's two-part essay about highway geology. The first part traces Boughton Hill Road's nearly straight-line route atop a limestone ridge from Seneca Falls to Honeoye Falls; then Steve tells of his mailbox that suffered several spills when he lived along the road in a yellow-painted house with a large old spruce tree in front.

Next John Sheret recounts stories of the busy stagecoach hotels and their horse barns in the hamlet of Mendon. Not only did the travelers desire meals and overnight lodging but also the teams that pulled the stages required accommodations. The hotels were busy community centers for dining, dancing and weddings.

Richard Palmer has provided several accounts from old papers describing winter-time travel by sleighs and coaches, including the reminiscences of a long-time stage driver, and concluding with precautionary advice about the importance of keeping your feet warm for comfort and general health.

For more travel stories, David Minor's 1828 New York Timeline continues with four of his broadcast scripts for WXXI relating not only the excursions of Scotsman James Stuart and his wife on Lake Champlain and Lake George, stopping at Saratoga and Ballston Spa, but also the politics going on that year in the state.

Gleaning from the accounts published 100 years and 50 years ago in the Naples Record of happenings in Naples and the country around, Beth Flory gathers her "Glancing Backward" column that appears monthly in The Record and quarterly here with the months of January, February and March 1906 and 1956 in this issue.

Thomas Cornell presents four more essays from his series "Genesee Vignettes: Personal Reflections on the Genesee River". The essays in this issue tell about the written accounts, the geologic explanations, and his own travels, experiences, and observations on becoming familiar with the landscape around the upper tributaries to the Genesee River.

Grace Fox's autobiography, A Tilted Saucer of Delight, continues with stories and descriptions of family life on a farm near Avoca in Steuben County. She writes of her parents, husband, children, and neighbors and friends—daily chores, seasonal work, family relations, and happy times.

Donovan Shilling tells the story of two Rochester entrepreneurs, Hiram Bond Everest and Matthew Ewing, and their success in developing a vacuum process for separating grades of oil from petroleum. They sold their first oil products for conditioning harness leather; later Everest sold engine lubricating oil and gained a fortune.

P. J. Erbley unscrambles the retold, embellished and garbled legends of railroad collisions, and the mixups of photographs showing a locomotive perched atop another. Piggy-back wrecks occurred near Batavia, New York, and near Marlboro Junction, Mass. A smashup near Ionia, N. Y., also got confused with the different stories and pictures.

An 1855 news account of what life for an engineer and fireman riding in a locomotive cab through winter weather especially at night was really like, and a 1901 news story about the foaming result of milk mistakenly run into a locomotive boiler are presented by Richard Palmer.

Timothy Younglove's diary for the first three months of 1842 appears in this issue. Timothy is always busy tending his sheep flock, surveying, staying up with the sick, nursing a toothache, attending events, and drawing logs, hewing timbers, erecting a frame, shingling, and installing a floor for a new stable. March 5 was his twenty-eighth birthday.

David Holly of Tecumseh, Michigan, formerly from Schuyler County, New York, saw Timothy Younglove's account of his 1841 trip to Michigan, in our Fall issue. His newswriter friend, Deb Weuthrich, featured Rev. Holly along with excerpts from T. M. Younglove's trip, and stop in Tecumseh, in a story published in The Tecumseh Herald, which we reprint here.

An 1869 trip to Michigan by Mendon farmer Timothy Howland is the subject of another story from John Sheret's Mendon — The Early Years series. Timothy saw a lot of good farmland in Michigan but decided to stay in New York. John cites neighbors and friends who helped his research and lent him Timothy's trip record.

This issue concludes with a report on the first meeting this year of the New Society of the Genesee on Saturday, March 11, at the Canal House restaurant in Piffard. Members finalized the selections and dates of places to visit this season. Don Shilling read aloud a chapter from his book in preparation: A Towpath Tale — Adventures on the old Erie Canal. It is the fictionalized story of many actual adventures of a relative, Joseph Ford, who worked as a boy driving horses and mules pulling barges along the canal. Don passed out descriptive sheets with the Forward and Cast of Characters and five handsome sample illustrations of the many that will illustrate the tale. When the book is published, an announcement will appear here.

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