GRIP'S HISTORICAL SOUVENIR
PAGES 64 - 69
Source: Historical Souvenir Series No. 20
Wolcott, N.Y. and Vicinity
Copyrighted June 1905, "Grip," 109 Corning Ave., Syracuse, N.Y.
C. H. Allen began the manufacture of fruit extracts three years ago and
the purity of his extracts has given them a wide sale, making a
reputation for the village in superior goods. Mr. Allen was for
nineteen years a merchant in Wolcott and he is widely known through the county.
Charles M. Delling, editor and proprietor of the Wolcott Courier which
he founded, issued the first number of that paper March 6, 1901, coming
from Syracuse for that purpose and giving the people of Wolcott and
vicinity what they demanded but could not previously get, a good family,
weekly newspaper for one dollar a year and the opportunity for good job
printing at reasonable prices. The policy of the Courier is to boom
Wolcott village as a matter of duty which it owes to itself and its
constituency. This is the policy pursued by modern journalism today,
whether in city or country, and the Courier is not behind the press in
other fields in that respect. Mr. Delling was born in Minnesota, July
11, 1857, and came to Wolcott in 1883. Three years later he went to
Syracuse and was in business there five years. He has been connected
with newspaper and job work twenty-five years. He is a writer of
fiction and verse and has published books of his writings.
Post Rider in Pioneer Days; The Route of the Mail; Dr. Arne kept the
Mail in His Kitchen:
"Giles Fitchwas the first mail carrier," wrote Hiram Church in his
historic sketches. "He carried the mail on horseback from the
postoffice kept by David Arne at Wolcott to Auburn once a week and back.
The mail route was south on New Hartford street to Spencers Corners via
Eli Wheeler's, now  H. H. Wheeler's now South Butler, via Morris
Crow's, the Pine woods and Mosquito Point. There was then no postoffice
between Wolcott and Seneca river. Later Mr. Fitch carried the mail with
wagon and horses. The mail road was the principal traveled road from
Wolcott to Auburn for several years.
POSTOFFICE IN CUPBOARD.
"Dr. Arne was a practicing physician for several years. He was the
first postmaster in the town. The Doctor being absent from his home
most of his time and Mrs. Arne being always at home she was in fact the
postmistress. The duties of the office at that date were not very
laborious, nor much strife in procuring it. One candidate in the field
would be all that was known, and he not very desirous at that. A small
cupboard in the kitchen department of the house was where the postoffice
was kept. He had it for several years.
Henry A. Graves is one of the oldest of the men engaged in business in
Wolcott at this time. Some forty odd years ago Mr. Graves bought out
the firm of Allen & Beard who were then carrying on a general
merchandise business in a frame building on the present site of the
Graves Opera House Block. Their business was founded some years prior
to the time of Beard & Beard who succeeded A. Cook. He afterwards went
to Seneca Falls in business.
During the long period that Mr. Graves has done business in Wolcott his
trade has been with a wide circle in the farming community, and has
included people residing in the small hamlets about Wolcott; so that few
business men in the northern part of the county are better known than
To him the growth and betterment of this village are of vital interest,
and his time and means are always to be relied upon to assist in
carrying out a public project that admittedly tends to those ends.
It is not overstating the case to say that H. A. Graves' opinion in
matters of that sort carries much weight with the community and he is
one among the first to be consulted.
It was when he was president of the village- and to him belongs the
credit of the initiation of the project- that the present effective fire
department was created. He was made the first fire chief to fully
develop the plan of the department, and with the aid of energetic men he
succeeded in effecting his purpose. The details are fully discussed in
the History of the Fire Department. He was retained as Fire Chief
eleven years and the efficiency of the department is the fruit of his
long and active service. He was president of the village four terms and
has served as school trustee six years. Wolcott village owes much to
his public spirit and personal activity, as it does to others with whom
he has labored for years in making it the most progressive of Wayne
H. A. Graves was born in Tully, Onondaga county, Nov. 10, 1836. George
S. Graves, his father, was a manufacturer of cloth at that place. In
1844 the family moved to South Butler, which was the home of H. A.
Graves until he was nineteen years old. He attended school there and
afterwards was a student in the academies at Onondaga Valley and
McGrawville. Both institutions in those days ranked high as schools for
Mr. Graves' first lessons in practical business came to him through his
clerkship in the Community store at Red Creek, when he was seventeen
years old. At Hall & Quivey's in the same village he also clerked
awhile. Then he went to Ottawa, Ill., and for three years engaged in
business as one of the the firm of Graves & Chapel. The succeeding
three years he was connected with a Philadelphia mapping house, after which with his brother, C. H.
Graves, he engaged in trade at South Butler. From there he came to
Wolcott, as above stated. Up to a year ago Mr. Graves handled evaporated
fruit, beginning with "taking in" dried apples at his store and at last
increasing his operations to a large scale. Mr. Graves did a large
jobbing in evaporated fruit when he owned the warehouse now belonging to
E. H. Reed & Co. In the fire of 1871 his place of business was burned
out while he was in New York buying goods. The loss was considerable,
but without delay he re-stocked another store and finally bought the
building which he now owns and in which he and others are doing
business. The upper part is an opera house, in which entertainments
have been given for years, and which is an important institution for the
village. Mr. Graves married Sarah Viele of the town of Butler, to whom
was born one son, Charles Viele.
Bonnicastle is located on the east shore of Great Sodus Bay six miles
west of Wolcott and three miles south-east of Sodus Point. This resort
is a popular mecca for summer pilgrims, seeking rest and recreation
where they can spend their time on the shore of a fine body of water,
away from the disagreeable features incident to many resorts.
Bonnicastle for fifteen years has been a famous picnic ground where the
churches, Sunday schools, fraternities, and family gatherings have come
year after year. Here they find clean greenswards and groves on high
ground overlooking the lake with the usual out-of-doors amusements,
croquet, swings, boating baseball and driving.
Bonnicastle has become widely known as the annual camping ground of the
Soldiers' and Sailors' Association of Wayne county. This Association,
including the G. A. R. of the county, is chartered and generally turns
out at these reunions thousands of the Old Vets and their friends. Here
they obtain spacious, clean and well shaded camp sites, with plenty of
pure and wholesome water. There being no liquors sold at Bonnicastle
the disorderly element never come here. One of these re-unions numbered
as high as five thousand in attendance and 180 tents were put up. The
camp is always continued an entire week. The association which has been
coming to Bonnicastle for eleven years, experimented by going elsewhere
and suffered financially for making the change. On such occasions
people seek congeniality and rest which the changes did not offer.
Mr. Cole keeps a gasoline launch solely for the use of his family and
guests. It was built to his order and accommodates twenty-five
passengers. Mr. Cole has owned the property and been located here
seventeen years. It comprises fifty-seven acres of lawns, groves,
orchard and a vegetable farm, furnishing cream and vegetables for
guests. There are also pretty cottages and sites for others. Mr. Cole
was born in Seneca county and has been a resident of Wayne county thirty years.
Sodus Bay; Magnificent Scenery; Splendid Summer Resort; The Indians
who Frequented the Bay gave to it the name Assorodus, "silvery water:"-
There is no finer body of water opening into the south side of Lake
Ontario. The bay enters a cove of the lake protected on either hand by
headlands. Across its neck is about a mile. Inland it widens to the
distance of four miles. Its length from north to south is nearly seven miles.
The shore in many places rises to imposing heights, here and there
forming bold headlands which make splendid sites for summer homes and
which in some cases have been occupied for that purpose. The waters of
the bay, well protected from the seas that at times roll up across the lake afford
admirable sailing room. The islands offer camping and fishing grounds.
Along the lake both east and west are fine drives overlooking on one
hand the lake and on the other beautiful land scenery.
The historic associations give added interest to the bay for those who
love to spend idle time dreaming of the past. There are few points
along the beautiful Ontario that are better adapted to summer visitors,
and in the past few years Sodus Bay has grown in popularity.
Mr. Charles Williamson, American agent for the Pultney estate who
opened the country here-abouts to settlements in the latter years of the
eighteenth century, in 1793 wrote of the scenery as follows-at a time
before the country became settled;- "The first view of the place (Sodus
Bay), after passing through a timbered country from Geneva twenty-eight
miles, strikes the eye of the beholder as one of the most magnificent
landscapes human fancy can picture; and the beauty of the scene is not
infrequently heightened by the appearance of large vessels navigating
The erection of hotels and summer cottages, and the construction of
trolley lines have in late years attracted many visitors to the Bay.
The roads leading to many pretty villages in the vicinity have been
greatly improved and those who are fortunate enough to recuperate at
Sodus spend their time to advantage fishing, driving or sailing.
Charles Point, Sand Point, Lake Bluff, Eagle and Newark Island,
Bonnicastle and Resort are famous summer home ports on the Bay which
attract thousand of people annually.
SODUS POINT EARLY HISTORY
LAKE PORT AND CITY ONCE SURVEYED AND PLOTTED; MEN WHO FIRST SETTLED
HERE; EARLIEST INDUSTRIES; OLD LIGHT HOUSES.
Charles Williamson, the American Agent for the Pultenay estate, and at
one time proprietor of all the section washed by Sodus Bay, in 1794
selected the point on the west side of the entrance to the bay- now
occupied by Sodus Point village- for a large town. No other place on the
south shore of the lake offered as large and attractive harbor, and it
was his design to provide conveniences for shipping the products of the
new country he was then opening up to settlement to the seaboard by
water. He cut roads through the woods from Palmyra and Phelps to Sodus
Point, that the produce of the country several miles to the south of
those places might be carted to his proposed lake port.
BIG TOWN SURVEYED.
The survey of the proposed town was at once begun by Joseph Colt, who
laid out a broad street, with a large public square, between the falls
on Salmon Creek and the anchorage on the bay. The lots inside of the
proposed corporation contained a quarter of an acre to a lot and those
outside ten acres. The in-lots, as the first were called, were to be
sold at $100 each and the out-lots at four dollars an acre. The farming
lands in the vicinity were to be offered at $1.50 an acre. Thomas
Little and one named Moffit were appointed the agents for the sale of
BUILT WHARFS AND BOAT.
The same year (1794) Williamson erected a tavern and a wharf and
launched a large boat. During the following year other improvements
were made by him, including the erection of mills on the stream above
the bay, so that in the course of two years he spent about $20,000 at
Sodus Point. A big town with streets running at right angles and
squares was laid out on paper, but very little was materially done to
carry out his project.
TAVERN AND MILLS.
The tavern, which was a cheap affair costing about $500, was opened and
for a while conducted by Moses and Jabez Sill. The grist and saw mills
stood on Salmon creek two miles west of the bay. Both stood until about
1807 when they went down in a large freshet. A saw mill was erected
about 1795 by Timothy Axtell for Judge Nichols.
INDIANS CALLED IT ASSORODUS.
Among the early industries at the Point were those of John Wafer,
blacksmith, David McNutt, shoemaker, and Capt. Wm. Wickham, James Kane,
John McAllister, John Gibson, Thomas Wickham and a Mr. Sage, merchants.
The first postoffice in the town of Sodus was established at the Point
under the name of Sodus, an abreviation of the Indian name
Assorodus- 'Sodus. A few years later the Point was generally called
Troupville after Robert Troup of New York, but that name was never
officially attached to the place.
The first lighthouse was built about 1820 and between 1828 and 1834
piers were erected by Wm. Barckley and E. W. Sentell, government
contractors. Subsequently the lighthouse was rebuilt and a second one
was erected. Since then breakwaters have been constructed and several
appropriations have been expended in deepening and clearing the channel
leading into the Bay.
New Marboro' Settlers.- Those who came to Wolcott from New Marlboro',
Mass., were Lambert Woodruff, Osgood Church, Adonijah Church, Zenas
Wheeler, Jarvis Mudge, John Hyde, James Alexander, Dr. Zenas Hyde, Levi
Wheeler, Roger Sheldon, Obadiah Adams, Deacon Ezra Knapp, Charles
Woodruff and John Woodruff. Jarvis Mudge bought land and speculated in
horses and cattle. He also largely engaged in lumbering. Dr. Zenas
Hyde was a physician of note among the early settlers. Lambert Woodruff
bought a tract of land north of the village, adjoining the Black House farm.
Brick Yard back of the Churches. On the village green- in the rear of
the site of the two Churches- Nelson W. Moore burned brick for the
erection of many buildings that were put up following the fire of 1871.
William Dutton was born in Watertown, Ct., Jan. 14, 1824, the
descendant of an English Family that came to this country early in its
colonial period, and of whom there was a long line of educators and
Congregational clergymen, including a Governor of Connecticut who was
William Dutton's uncle. When the subject of this sketch was fourteen
years old he went to Mecklenburgh, then in Tompkins, now in Schuyler
county, where he engaged in farm work summers and studied and taught winters.
At the age of eighteen years he received an appointment to West Point
Military school through United States Senator Morgan of Cayuga county,
going on foot to Aurora to solicit the honor from the Senator, without
influence to support his claim. In 1846 he was graduated at that
institution. While drilling a company on Staten Island he received a
sunstroke which prevented him accepting a post in the United States
army, located in California. That year he came to Wolcott to visit his
brother, Chester Dutton. Having married about the time he left West
Point he decided to make his home near Wolcott, and in March, 1847, he
located on a farm near West Butler which he had purchased. Mr. Dutton's
bride was Lucy J. Matthews, whose home was in Mecklenburgh. Their
wedding occurred on June 24, 1846.
At the time Colonel - then Captain- Dutton came to Butler he and Mrs.
Dutton united with the Presbyterian Church at Wolcott. Up to the time
he left home for the army he was an active Church and Sunday school
worker, being the superintendent of the Sunday school and elder in the
Church many years and also conducting a Sunday school in the schoolhouse
at Whisky Hill. While residing in Butler he taught school at times in
the village of Wolcott and filled the offices of school commissioner for
the county and justice of the peace.
In 1851 he moved on to what has since been known as the Col. Dutton
farm at Wolcott which he purchased of the Underhill estate the same
year. He was elected member of assembly that year and served a full term.
At the outbreak of the war, 1861-'5, he tendered his services to the
Government and was accepted and appointed Colonel of the 98th regiment, New York
volunteers, which he assisted in recruiting and drilling at Lyons. It
was in April, 1862, that he was commissioned and went into active
service. On July 4, 1863, at the home of an old classmate in New York
he died, having been taken violently ill with typhoid fever at the
battle of Fair Oaks, where he fell out of the saddle and was sent to the
hospital, leaving many personal effects which fell into the enemy's hands.
Mrs. Wm. Dutton at the age of eighty-four still resides on the old
place at Wolcott with her daughter, Mrs. A. J. Hovey and family.
Julius, her son, also resides there. Seymour, another son, resides at
Perth Amboy, N. J. Two sons, John and William, are dead.
The Sodus Co-Operative Creamery Company established the Wolcott branch
in 1902 and placed Mr. Peter Langwell as the local manager. This
creamery produces both butter and cheese and markets cream. The
capacity is 1,500 or 2,000 pounds of butter a day, which is shipped to
the large cities. As many as 180 dairymen supply the creamery with
milk. The cream from two other stations, North Wolcott and Westbury, is
churned here. Last year over $40,000 were paid at this creamery for
milk. Mr. Langwell has been with the company since it was started in
Sodus, over ten years.
Blast Furnace- This, the earliest big manufacturing plant in Wolcott,
was first erected in the gulf, in the present village limits about 1825,
by Obadiah Adams, who thought that he could clear up his indebtedness by
making plow castings from the products of the furnace. A short time
after it was started he was dispossessed and taken to Lyons, "on the
jail limits" by his creditors. He soon obtained his liberty and went to
Rochester. The timber used in this furnace was cut from the adjacent land.
Soon after Adams' furnace shut down, Andrew Chapin came from
Massachusetts and erected a blast furnace a mile north of the village on
the creek, where a considerable bed of ore had been discovered. The ore
proved worthless and Chapin & Parks found a bed six miles east which
supplied good ore for several years. On the death of Andrew Chapin,
Levi Hendrick and Uriah Seymour, who had been employed by the old firm,
carried on the business. Seymour finally sold out and the furnace was
carried on several years by Hendrick & Leavenworth.
Butterfields - Jacob Butterfifeld, coming to Wolcott in 1811 bought
three acres from Osgood Church and erected a tannery where he tanned
leather and made shoes. His sons, Jacob and William, spoken of in the
reminiscences elsewhere, hired or worked land on shares, on different
farms near the village, including (according to Amos Nash) the Lambert
Woodruff and the Ben Underhill farms. Amos Nash plowed the flats along
New Hartford street while working for one of them. They ran the stage
line - or one of them did - in the palmy days of stage coaches; were in
the hotel business and ran a livery.
Justices' Court Cases Prior to 1822 - Jesse Mathews, a farmer out on
New Hartford street who died in 1822 was justice of the peace. His
"docket" is still in possession of his son [see Lawson Mathews'
Reminiscences]. It is interesting as showing men in business and
farming at that early day who "joined issue" in the Justice's court.
There are several pages in Jesse Mathews' own hand writing, not showing
the cause at issue, however. Some have been copied, viz.:
Zenas Wheeler and Lorin Doolittle, surveyor, v. David Arne, jr.
Joseph Spencer v. John Grandy.
Lambert Woodruff v. B. L. Clark.
Asel Foster v. Peter Eastman.
Richard Redfield v. John C. Smith.
Benjamin Grunelin v. John C. Smith.
Jacob Butterfield v. Peter Eastman.
Zina Hull v. James Smith and Abijah Moore.
Obadiah Adams v. Levi Savage.
S. V. Ganet v. Thomas Foster.
C.M. DELLING, Editor and Proprietor Wolcott Courier (Smith, Photo)
C.H. ALLEN'S RESIDENCE (Borrowed Photo)
HENRY A. GRAVES AND CHARLES GRAVES
GRAVES' OPERA HOUSE BLOCK AND STORE (Smith, Photo)
BONNICASTLE, R.H. COLE, PROPRIETOR (Borrowed Cut)
THE BANKING HOUSE OF ROE & ELLIS, ESTABLISHED IN 1875 (Smith, Photo)
SODUS CO-OPERATIVE CREAMERY CO., WOLCOTT BRANCH (Borrwed Photo)
Typed by Dorathy Hardie of Thousand Oaks, CA
Dorathy and Alan Hardie are researching the Coleman, Adams, Smith, Landon & Roe families of Sodus and Newark.
They would love to hear from others researching the same surnames. Read about their local family in the feature
section "Coleman Clippings"!
"We are looking for info on great-grandfather Thomas J. ADAMS, supposedly buried Brick Church Cemetery, Sodus, married 29 Dec. 1869 to Louise E. "Libby" LANDON. They had 10 children (only 4 lived) 1) Joseph Egbert (Bert) Adams 1873-1948; 2) grandmother-Frances Harriet Adams b. 11 Mar 1875 Auburn, Cayuga Co., d. 31 Aug 1916 Newark, Wayne Co., buried ?Sodus?, married 2 Mar 1898 Sidney BELLINGER COLEMAN b. 16 Nov 1842 Coleman Mills, Oneida Co, d. 14 Jan 1912
Sodus Center, Wayne Co., buried Brick Church Cemetery, Sodus Center. Sidney B. Coleman had the Empire Mill in Sodus Center. 3) Nancy (Anna) Nannie Adams married 14 July 1909 Albert Sidney (Bert) Coleman; 4) Thomas Ward Adams. Children of Frances Harriet Adams & Sidney Bellinger Coleman: Howard APPLETON Coleman 1898-1967; William (?Roe or Adams?) Coleman 1900-1923; Mary Coleman 1902-1998; Harriet Irene Coleman 1904-1916; andSeward A. Bellinger Coleman 1905-1916."
For information about individuals, businesses and organizations mentioned on this page, please direct all inquiries to the Office of the County Historian.
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