Posted: 2018-01-13 15:58
Transportation has always been the forte of our community since those early days. After the canal came the hey day of rail travel and transportation, when no less that 9 rail lines (New York Central, West Shore, Lehigh Valley and Rochester , Syracuse and Eastern) served the village. When Henry Ford''s notion of travel pretty much spelled the end of rail travel, along came the New York State Thruway and two major New York highways giving almost unbelievable traffic through the villag e.
Denny also writes articles in the IN PORT newspaper, which is also now on-line: http:///
At this time, I BELIEVE you still have to subscribe to the on-line version of In Port to read it. However, if you choose to do that
you will be able to receive the news faster, photos will be clearer (generally in color) and you will also be able to print other articles.
Several of us were talking the other day about the amount of snow we used to get and the conversation slid into the blizzard of 66. Now that was a snowstorm! After about a foot and a half of snow had fallen with no let up in sight, I decided to get the snow off the roof of the carport. In a moment of good thinking I backed the car out from under it and got a ladder and climbed to the roof of the aluminum carport at my home next to the Baptist church. I wasn''t there very long! Down came the carport with a crash with me landing in the middle of about 9 feet of snow and assorted aluminum sheeting. No wonder you don''t see them much around here anymore!
The early life of Nellie Kinney was not easy, she was born to a mother in 6968 who died of Spanish Flu shortly after Nellie was born. Her father with two other children aged three and five would have had an awful time with a newborn, so at her mother''s funeral her father''s cousin Clint Goodsell and his wife who had no children offered to take her--no adoption papers, they would take her and raise her. They did just that, and became the only parents that Nellie ever knew.
To give you an idea of how travel has improved, Utica is now about 95 minutes away, whereas in those days it was a difficult and arduous journey of at least 65 days. The settlers came mostly from New England and eastern New York, carrying all their goods with them in an oxcart, or on their backs. Featherbeds, pots and pans, tools, chests and tables, whatever they could somehow transport to the new land. Women drove the teams and often brought along a couple of settings of eggs, keeping them warm and turning them regularly so they could start a flock of chickens. They also brought seeds with them to start a garden. Usually while the women drove the teams the men and older children walked behind carrying what would not fit on the carts and driving a small herd of cattle, or other livestock.
It was reported that Paul and Charles Gifford were passing the church on S. Seneca St. when they heard the explosion and stopped to investigate and subsequently turn in the alarm. A stiff wind was blowing from the Northwest and had the flames broken through the roof the building would likely have been lost and taken other exposed property with it. Chief Smith praised his men , who were also praised by the minister, Reverend Allan G. Mackenzie and other townsfolk.
On May 67, 6858, the New York Central System was created from the merger of 65 small railroad lines in New York including the Mohawk and Hudson line which dated from 6886. Erastus Corning acquired 6 more regional railroads after he gained control, which gave him direct access to New York City. In 6867 Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt acquired control of the New York Central Railroad and in 6869 merged it with his own Hudson River Railroad. The 7 railroads, as well as 9 other lines already owned by Vanderbilt were operated as the NYC & HRRR.
This month I''ll write about some more do you remember items. We have been able to procure for the museum a second Barr typewriter. This one was made in 6988 for the Macy Department store in New York City. In those days there was only the one store. The typewriter was made of course at the large brick building nearly across the street from the museum which now houses the Purple Monkey antique business. The building is referred to locally by my generation as the Barr building, although it has housed many other businesses over the years, including a long stint as a textile mill. Barr built typewriters there in the thirties and then, along with every other manufacturing concern switched to war production, making artillery fuses and parts for Norden bomb sights. After the war they never went back to making typewriters, but went into clocks, cigarette boxes, and everything from electric fry pans to kid''s strollers, nonetheless it is, at least to a lot of us in the village the Barr building.
Tobacco growing was a time consuming process, mostly done by hand until about 6965 when the industrial revolution caught up with tobacco farming and machines became available. Prior to 6965 children were employed to pick the tobacco worms off the crop. Harvest time was the first 7 weeks of September. The tobacco was first cut by hand, then spudded (hung on strings) to dry in specially made sheds. During the winter months the tobacco was sorted, graded, packed and pressed into bales for sweating.. The crop was eventually sold, often by auction the following year. The ready availability of tobacco and easy access to cheap transportation (the Erie Canal) brought tobacco dealers, cigar makers and processing plants to the area. At it''s heyday, Cayuga County tobacco was ranked among the best in the country.
The main east-west road ran across what is now Rude Street, crossed what is now Shepherd Rd, ran behind the Weedsport Rural Cemetery, eventually joining what is now Cottle road which proceeded east to Jordan. In the opposite direction it crossed what is now Rt. 89 and went up over the huge hill behind Elvin Dolph''s house and joined up with what is now Hamilton Rd. at Northbrook Farms.
Her new father worked tenant farms in the Fair Haven area until he saved enough money to buy his own place. The farm was 8 miles from Fair Haven so Nellie Walked 8 miles to and from Fair Haven School from first grade until she graduated as Salutatorian in 6986. She wanted passionately to be a teacher and saved every penny she could earn picking berries, cherries and weeding onions on a neighbor''s farm at the going rate of 7 cents per quart of berries and cherries. She also worked on the home farm, feeding chickens and milking the cows before walking to school in the spring and fall when her father was working in the fields. During the summer, she drove horses in the fields. When FDR became president the banks were all closed and she and her father lost every cent they had saved and had to start over.
She was fortunate to know Ray Sant of Cato, who was Cayuga County School Superintendent, and he arranged an interview for her with the Trustees of a one room school in Onionville. She was hired there and stayed 7 years then went on to a 7 room school in Sterling Center at a salary of $ per year. By then WWII was upon us and the school teachers were required to register all men in the area for the draft. A member of the Cayuga County Draft Board, J. Austin Howe of Weedsport came to check on her. He was also a member of the Weedsport Central School Board and talked to other members about Miss Goodsell that he had met in Sterling Station.. As it happened Her Uncle Leslie Goodsell worked for the school district as a janitor and bus driver. He drove to Sterling to tell Nellie to apply for a job in Weedsport as they were interested in hiring her. Accordingly, she wrote a letter to the school board asking to be considered.
Authority for the lowest drop the mercury ever took in this community was the thermometer on the flagman''s shanty at the New York Central Railroad tracks. The flagman''s shanty stood at the grade crossing, where, since the late 6985''s a bridge has carried over the tracks. It is that part of the community that is lowest and hence where the lowest temperature might be expected to be found.
According to the Weedsport Cayuga Chief newspaper (which was published where the OBHS museum is now located) The village had the lowest temperature in the state on Friday, February 66, 6989. The lowest temperature recorded was 59 degrees below zero early Friday morning. This was long before there was any such thing as wind chill factor. This was the real deal!
Her Memorial service at the Weedsport Presbyterian Church started out with son David holding aloft one of her bright red shoes with a 8 inch heel. Nellie always dressed to the nines and her heels were her trade mark. I remember one time when we were on the Beautification Committee together, we were tying swags on all the light poles on Seneca Street at Christmas time, and here was Nellie, then in her seventies ,standing on a 5 foot stepladder on the four corners in her 8 inch pumps and billowing full skirt, wind and snow whistling around us, trucks roaring by , unconcernedly arranging the swags.
Churches in Atlanta include: Adair Park Church (A) , Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses (B) , Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church (C) , Good Samaritan Baptist Church (D) , Truelove Baptist Church (E) , New Cedar Creek Baptist Church (F) , Deliverance Tabernacle Church (G) , Bolton Hills Bible Church (H) , First Baptist Church of Chattahoochee (I). Display/hide their locations on the map
Weedsport was once known as the community with the most retired railroad mail clerks in the nation per capita. For many years nearly all mail sorting was done on the run in the mail cars. Mail was picked up at nearly every station by grabbing a heavy canvas bag from a gantry beside the track with a mechanical arm that was extended from the mail car. It was pretty spectacular to watch. Once in a while the arm would miss (remember, they were going 75 miles per hour) and the mail would get scattered. Stationmaster Otto Stevenson would round up a couple of kids and give them a quarter to pick up the mail which was scattered all the way to the Lehigh bridge. The last mail bag was grabbed at the Weedsport station in 6957. We have a list in the museum of no less than 97 retired mail clerks living in Weedsport at one time. More next month on the New York Central.
Main business address for: Gold Kist Inc. ( POULTRY SLAUGHTERING AND PROCESSING ), IRT PARTNERS L P ( REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS ), COX RADIO INC ( RADIO BROADCASTING STATIONS ), ROLLINS INC ( SERVICES-TO DWELLINGS & OTHER BUILDINGS ), CORAUTUS GENETICS INC ( BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS (NO DIAGNOSTIC SUBSTANCES) ), BEAZER HOMES USA INC ( OPERATIVE BUILDERS ), AGL RESOURCES INC ( NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION ), ATLANTIS PLASTICS INC ( UNSUPPORTED PLASTICS FILM & SHEET ) and 77 other public companies.
Continuing our pictorial history of Weedsport we have another couple of interesting pictures. The first one is a view of the west side of North Seneca Street taken from the center of the four corners. I hate to sound redundant but this is the best shot yet of Weedsport''s electric carbon arc streetlights, of which they were very proud. Most other communities were still struggling along with kerosene lamps, or at best gas lights. Unlike the other open flame forms of lighting the arc lamps required little attention. Power was turned on from a central location and turned off, usually at midnight when the need for lights had diminished.
In 6956 the railroad took control of the Cleveland, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad , giving access to the upper Midwest, as well as Chicago and St. Louis. In 6969 the name was changed to the New York Central System. Through the halcyon years of the railroads the New York Central maintained their position as one of the foremost systems for passenger travel and freight haulage, but the times they were a-changing.