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July 7, 2015 - 1:10pm
posted by Holland Land Office in history, Holland Land Office Museum, free.
Event Date and Time: 
July 7, 2015 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm
TONIGHT at the Holland Land Office Museum, former Museum Director Patrick Weissend will be speaking on the Life and Times of Joseph Ellicott. This even is FREE to the public, as are all lectures presented by the Holland Land Office Museum.  Light coffee and refreshments will be available. 
June 18, 2015 - 11:39am
posted by Leslie DeLooze in talks, history, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
July 20, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm
City Historian Larry Barnes will present “Meet the Brisbanes,” a free talk at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 pm. The Brisbane Family was one of the earliest families in Batavia and was a family that was filled with interesting, although eccentric, personalities.  As we “Escape the Ordinary” this summer, find out how these Batavians led extraordinary lives. More information is available in the library, by calling the library at 343-9550 ext. 2, and at www.batavialibrary.org
June 17, 2015 - 2:37pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, history, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County showed a second screening last night of its documentary on Federal-style Architecture to highlight the importance of the historical style.

The event at GO ART! featured the live action documentary and insights from guest speaker Bernard Schmieder, producer of the film and past president of the Landmark Society.

The film takes you back to the early 1800s when the Federal Style was the most popular home design for family farmers and artisans settling in Batavia. The style differed from Colonial-style homes in many ways. Federal homes were typically rectangular structures with symmetrical elements. The style was mainly composed of simple designs and furnishings. Many of the design elements included circles, semi-circles and ellipses. 

Most of the materials used to build the homes could be found on the land. All the wood needed to build the framework was cut down from nearby forests. Locally water powered sawmills made construction easy. Brick was also a common material used in building the structure. The bricks were made from locally dug clay and fired at brick yards.

Windows and doors were all made on sight as well. The large windows were divided into several panes with simple molding. The doors were flat paneled with latches. The main door was usually in the center of the house and the most decorative element of the exterior. The flooring was primarily made out of chestnut wood because it was easy to hand plane. 

The distinguishing interior characteristic of a Federal-style home was the fireplace. There were no iron stoves so homeowners used brick fireplaces as their main source of heat. The largest fireplace was located in the center of the house and had a cooking hearth. Typically next to the cooking hearth was a beehive oven for baking bread. Smaller fireplaces were built in the bedrooms.

Following the screening, Schmieder held a discussion about making the movie and the restoration of the 1815 Federal-style home he and his wife, Jane, own in Bethany.

Schmieder restored the home room by room using the sawmill and blacksmith shop on the property. 

"I enjoy woodworking so I was interested in restoring the home and using all the old hand tools," Schmieder said. 

Although the home is not symmetrical it still has many Federal-style features including six fireplaces, a beehive oven, large windows, flat-paneled doors and chestnut board floors. Schmieder also made furniture by hand to match the Federal Style.

There are only a small amount of these Federal-style homes remaining in Genesee County. The Landmark Society hoped the screening revived the community's interest in historical architecture and the importance of preserving the Federal-style homes that remain.

In November, the Landmark Society will hold another screening for the second part of the architectural series which explores the Greek Revival Style. DVD copies of the series are also for sale.

June 17, 2015 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, history, Announcements.

The June meeting of the Stafford Historical Society will be a road trip. On Wednesday, June 24th, we will be boarding a bus at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, located at the corner of Route 237 and Route 5.

The intention of the Society has been to repair the headstones and to tidy-up the town's abandoned pioneer cemeteries for our Town's 200th birthday. Our road trip will be for members and guests to view their condition.

We have room for 30 to 35 people. Please call 344-7070 or 343-1928 to reserve a space.

June 13, 2015 - 9:55am
Event Date and Time: 
June 19, 2015 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Friday, June 19th, 7:00 pm - $5.00 donation CLASSIC COUNTRY NIGHT: The music of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, & Johnny Cash
June 12, 2015 - 2:56pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, history, Landmark Society of Genesee County.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County will present a live action documentary on the Federal and Adams styles of architecture for a second screening. 

The screening will be held at 7 p.m. June 16 at GO ART! The event is free and open to the public.

Lucine Kauffman, president of the Landmark Society, is showing the film for a second time because the last screening was 15 years ago when Bernard Schmieder, past landmark society president, finished filming the two-part architectural series.

"When we did the premiere screening, people had VHS players and we sold VHS tapes of the documentary," Kauffman said. "Now technology is DVDs, so we are bringing the documentary back to reach a new audience and give people the chance to purchase a DVD copy."

Kauffman hopes the community comes out for the screening because it's a great education tool for students or anyone who is interested in learning about Genesee County's architectural history.

During the early 1800s, the Federal and Adams style of architecture was popular in Genesee County. The architecture was the first formal residential style in the county. As a result of newly published design books, homeowners could choose from various home style designs for architectural elements like windows and doors.

After the screening, Schmieder will give a talk about producing the film and restoring his 1815 Federal Style home in Bethany. He will provide details about how he refinished his house using hand tools from the 1800s and milling his own lumber. 

In October, LSGC will be showing the second film in the series about Greek Revival architecture in Genesee County.

May 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, history, civil war, Memorial Day.

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On a cloud-shrouded Memorial Day afternoon in Indian Falls, the folds in the fabric of history were visible in a short service that honored one of Pembroke's own fallen Civil War soldiers.

A headstone for Conrad Litt, a German immigrant who probably joined the Army so his family could have 100 acres of land after the war, was dedicated in a service conducted by members of Colonel John B. Weber Camp No. 44 and the Weber Guard, Sons of Veterans Reserve.

The spot chosen for the marker is next to those of his parents and other family members in the Old Indian Falls Cemetery. The location is at the rise of the hill in the southwest corner of the graveyard. There's an opening in the tree line that overlooks a lush valley. 

Clifford Anderson, one of the Litt Family ancestors, who now lives in West Seneca, purchased the headstone from the Veteran's Administration. He likes the idea that Conrad Litt's grave overlooks that idyllic valley that will become a national veterans cemetery.

"His spirit will look out over his fellow soldiers here, on this hill," Anderson said.

Conrad Litt enlisted in the 100th New York Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Brigade, Company C., on October 24, 1861 as a private. The 2nd Brigade was known as the “Eagle Brigade,” which was sponsored by the Buffalo Board of Trade.

Litt participated in the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, where more than half of his regiment was killed or wounded.

The Pembroke resident died in action July 18, 1863 during the Union’s night assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, S.C., when he was struck in the breast and died instantly.

The Second Battle for Fort Wagner was dramatized in the movie "Glory," which is about the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first military regiment in the Army comprised entirely of African-Americans, mostly freed slaves. The 54th led the nighttime charge on Fort Wagner, suffering heavy casualties, and though Fort Wagner never fell, the manner in which the men acquitted themselves led to more freed slaves being allowed to enlist. These black regiments were a significant factor, President Lincoln felt, in the Union winning the war.

Buffalo native John B. Weber enlisted in the Army Aug. 1, 1861 as a private and quickly rose through the ranks, attaining colonel before his 21st birthday. His first command, granted September 19, 1863, two months after the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, was the 89th Regiment, designated "18th Infantry, Corps d'Afrique." It was a regiment of freed slaves. Weber turned down a command of 44th Regiment to lead the 89th. He resigned later after his men were reassigned to another outfit and promised replacements, more freed slaves, were not available. He returned to Buffalo and eventually was elected to Congress.

Litt's remains were never recovered for a proper burial, as the fighting at Fort Wagner continued for another month by laying siege to take control of the rebel-held fort and battery, which was the key to entering Charleston Harbor and the Union reclaiming of Ft. Sumter, where the first shot of the War Between the States opened formal hostilities in 1861. 

Anderson learned of Litt and the cemetery where his family was buried while researching his family tree. In the process, he came across a book containing 25 of Litt's letters home. The book, which also contains the Civil War letters of Litt's childhood friend, also of Pembroke and fellow soldier, Sidney Lake, "I Take My Pen in My Hand."

"I came across these letters he wrote and I wept reading them," Anderson said. "I'm a vet myself and I would like to do him an honor, at least put a marker here for him. His body is not here, but I feel like his spirit has come home now."

The dedication ceremony comes 150 years after what some historians consider the first Memorial Day, organized in Charleston, S.C., May 1, 1865, by a group of freed slaves to honor the Union soldiers who helped secure their emancipation. The first nationally recognized Decoration Day was May 30, 1868. The date was supposedly chosen because it would be a time when flowers in all parts of the nation would be in bloom and the graves of fallen soldiers were to be decorated with flowers.

Flowers decorated Litt's marker yesterday.

For Michael Erb, who belongs to three Civil War reenactment groups, including the Weber group, and is himself a military veteran, taking part in services that honor the Civil War dead is important because the Civil War is a critical turning point in the nation's history.

"The Civil War was America's biggest war," Erb said. "It changed our country forever, you know. We were kind of a disunified country, different states going different ways, and all the sudden after the war, we were all one nation. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it was a terrible war, many people and soldiers died in that war, but look at what we got from it. We're a better country afterward. We're a unified country. Today, we're the only Superpower. It's a time in history that our whole country should remember."

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May 22, 2015 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in world war i, war, history.

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All of these local names, Dewey Sackett, Charles Votrie, James Hannah, Lee Kingdon, Willis Peck, Glenn Loomis, Florence Carney, John Arneth and many more. All young lives cut short in the War to End All Wars.

That was nearly 100 years ago. We may see their names on gravestones, or memorial markers or on honor rolls, but we know only the names. We don't know where they lived, where they worked, who they loved, what they dreamed or how they died.

They're war dead. That's what we know. So we honor them.

Former Le Roy resident Terry Krautwurst thought we should know more. We may read the names, but we shouldn't forget the people, so he has given us, residents of Genesee County, a gift -- a gift of remembrance.

For the past six years, Krautwurst has researched the war dead of Genesee County from World War I. He combed through newspaper articles and federal archives in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., in an attempt to identify all of the World War I men and women from Genesee County who died while serving their country.

He's compiled biographies, complete with military service records, detailing those lives, lifted from newspapers and death records, concerning 78 people who died during the war while in uniform.

That's a longer honor roll than probably anybody ever really knew about.

It was discrepancies in honor rolls that prompted Kautwurst's research in the first place.

"In 2009, while researching the World War I career of my grandfather, Stanley Crocker, of Le Roy, I noticed that the number of names on honor roll lists of Genesee County war dead that had been published in area newspapers varied," Krautwurst said. "They varied not just in number, from 52 to 61, but also the names themselves varied."

Untangling the mystery of the lists became a passion for Krautwurst.

"It seemed only right and proper to set the record straight," Krautwurst said. "I decided to research and resolve the discrepancies and produce an updated and maybe more accurate list. I figured it would take me a few weeks."

Krauthwurst donated the research of his six-year-long research project to the Genesee County History Department last week.

"Terry has performed an invaluable service to the county," said Michael Eula, director of the history department. "This is a tremendous resource and I doubt it's going to be seen in many other counties around the country regarding the first World War."

The deeper Krautwurst dug, the more discrepancies he found, including misspelled names, incorrect dates, hometowns and military assignments.

He kept detailed files on each of the war dead and his records, and the stories he tells of each person, fills eight volumes that will be available to the public at the history department in County Building #2.

"This provides a wealth of primary source information to first and foremost family members who still may be still wondering what happened generations ago and researchers looking at the local impact of the first World War, so this is an incredibly rich and valuable addition to the county archives," Eula said.

Krautwurst photocopied more than 1,200 military documents, which in some cases, include eyewitness accounts of a soldier's death and letters from a fallen soldier's parents.

"Sometimes, when I opened a soldier's file, I found his dog tags, which I photographed," Krauthwurst said.

Flipping through the pages and reading Krautwurst's articles, you learn family histories, the schools that soldiers attended, where they worked before getting drafted or enlisting, what they did in their spare time and, importantly, how and where they died.

Some died in the fields of France or the hills of Italy. Some died in combat, others hours and days later after their mangled bodies were borne on a stretcher to some field hospital. Some died from disease and some died in accidents.

"What has caught my eye is the playing out locally of what historians have talked about for a long time regarding the first World War," Eula said. "For example, a number of deaths were not the result in combat. Somebody gets killed in an auto accident when they're training someplace in the country. It shows the complexity of the moment."

The archive, Krautwurst hopes, will help us know better the people behind the names who sacrificed everything in a war often remembered for its brutality and how it reshaped society.

"These people who gave so much were right on the edge of forgotten," Krautwurst said. "I just didn't want that to happen."

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County Historian Michael Eula with the eight volume of World War I war dead compiled by Terry Krautwurst.

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May 20, 2015 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, history, batavia.

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The Holland Land Office Museum has replaced its decade-old banner with two new posters featuring Joseph Ellicott and Gen. Emory Upton.

The posters were created by Vinyl Sticks and sponsored by Ken Barrett Chevrolet and Cadillac.

Speaking of HLOM, June speakers:

Tuesday June 9th, 6 to 8 p.m., Genesee County Historian Michael Eula; Topic: Why do wars happen? Genesee County and the problems of human conflict 1775 – present

Friday June 12th, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Erica Wanecski; Topic: Health Resorts in the 19th Century

For more information call the Holland Land Office Museum, (585) 343-4727​ 

May 14, 2015 - 10:54am
Event Date and Time: 
May 16, 2015 -
11:00am to 2:00pm
This Saturday, May 16th, the Holland Land Office Museum and the Batavia International Peace Garden are celebrating a joint event! The Peace Garden's annual flag raising will take place at 11:00 am with speaker State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and the St. Joseph's Brass Ensemble providing patriotic music. At 1:00 pm, the Holland Land Office Museum will be burying its Bicentennial Time Capsule and keynote speakers include Genesee County historian Michael J. Eula and City of Batavia historian Larry Barnes.
April 19, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in history, Wiard Plow.

Photos from Albert Kurek. He isn't sure where the photos were taken. There's a sign that says "Wiard Plows" and a "Le Roy Plows" sign. The men are NYS Troopers and the photos are from 1921, Kurek said.

April 18, 2015 - 9:39am
Event Date and Time: 
April 25, 2015 -
1:30pm to 4:30pm

Presented by the Batavia Peace Garden
and the Holland Land Office Museum

EUCHRE TOURNAMENT

Saturday, April 25, 2015

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

At the Holland Land Office Museum

$20.00 per person

Prizes for winners, payouts based on number of entrants.

Light refreshments and fun for all ages!

April 9, 2015 - 11:53am
posted by Holland Land Office in history, music, Holland Land Office Museum, civil war, live music.
Event Date and Time: 
April 10, 2015 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

The 2015 Concert Series at the Holland Land Office Museum continues Friday, April 10th, with "A Night of Southern Music". Returning again are Dave Armitage and Dona LaValle, along with newcomer Al Capurso. Tickets are just $8.00 per person and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

 

March 21, 2015 - 10:36pm

The Daughters of the American Civil War sponsored a Civil War Ball on Friday evening at the Clarion Hotel.

The event commemorated:

  • 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812
  • 200th Anniversary of the Holland Land Purchase
  • 150th Anniversary of the End of the Civil War
  • 100th Anniversary of the City of Batavia

March 10, 2015 - 3:10pm
posted by Holland Land Office in history, music, Holland Land Office Museum, irish music.
Event Date and Time: 
March 13, 2015 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

The Holland Land Office Museum kicks of its 2015 concert series with a night of music from the Emerald Isle.  

Local musicians Rich Conroy and Don Bouchard perform as "No Blarney", singing and strumming all of your favorite Irish ballads and drinking songs!

NOTICE: The event will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, 405 East Main Street in Batavia.  

Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Admission is $8.00 per person.  All proceeds go to the Holland Land Office Museum.  

February 14, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Holland Land Office in history, local author, book discussion, book signing.
Event Date and Time: 
February 21, 2015 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm

Saturday, February 21st at 1:00 pm in the Holland Land Office Museum

Join local author and friend of the Holland Land Office Museum, Michael "Max" Szemplenski as he talks about his newly published (and e-published) works! Light refreshments will be provided. 

http://www.amazon.com/D-H-S-PHANTOM-TRACKS-Mission-Falls-ebook/dp/B00RR2...

January 30, 2015 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history, hlom.

The Holland Land Office Museum opens a new exhibit at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, to commemorate 200th anniversary of the building it calls home.

The building was the third location built by Joseph Ellicott for the Holland Land Office, where Ellicott and his agents sold property to Western New York's first settlers.

That's why they call it the "Birthplace of Western New York."

Some of those first deeds, called indentures, will be on display in the new exhibit, along with surveying material as well as other items that made the land office a land office.

The exhibit will cover the entire period of land office history, including the War of 1812 and the impact of the Erie Canel on WNY trade.

Some of the exhibits will be affixed to panels covered with carpet (the better to hold Velcro) donated by Max Pies Furniture.

There's also information on how John Kennedy, the local educator and education reformer, saved the building for Batavia when Henry Ford tried to buy it and move it to his property in Michigan.

The exhibit kicks off a series of bicentennial events, including in May the burying of a time capsule. 

Fifth-graders from throughout Genesee County are being invited to write letters to their future selves to be buried in the time capsule.  

Any local resident can include a letter or other small item in the time capsule. Call the museum at (585) 343-4727 for more information.

The museum was first dedicated Oct. 13, 1894, and it will be rededicated Oct. 13 of this year.

Photo: Jeff Donahue, museum director, Jim Owen, museum board member, Phil Pies and Steve Pies of Max Pies Furniture.

January 27, 2015 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history.

Tony Mancuso shared with us another picture of old Batavia from his family archive. This shot is of a group known as the Batavia Archers. He doesn't know the year nor can he identify most of the people in the photo. He'd love to hear from anybody who can. His father, Joe Mancuso, is second from the left. The young lad looking like Robin Hood, near the center of the photo with the feather in his cap, is Jim DiSalvo, currently owner of Applied Business Systems and of the home on Fargo Road known for its annual Christmas lights display.

January 12, 2015 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history.

Tony Mancuso sent in this photo of his father, Joseph Laurence Mancuso, handing out NRA junior diplomas many years ago.

Tony's father did gun safety training and started Batavia Archers.

Tony said he doesn't know the other folks in the photo, but said it would be great to find out who they are. Recognize anybody? Leave a comment, if so.

October 18, 2014 - 10:33am
posted by Holland Land Office in history, family, food, live music, fun, dancing.
Event Date and Time: 
October 19, 2014 -
1:00pm to 5:00pm

The Holland Land Office Museum and the Willow Bend Inn present a Fall Family Festival at the historic stage coach stop of the 1800s on Sunday, October 19th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Events include children's games and crafts, stagecoach travelers, Civil War and 1812 reenactors, musket firing, raffles, live music by Red Creek, food including wings, chicken fingers, fries, chili, burgers, and a cash bar.  This is a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.  Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children.  There will be a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for children as well.  

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