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Godfrey's Pond

Charles Mike Hammon named new president of Godfrey's Pond

By Press Release

Press Release:

Newly elected as the Godfrey Pond Association’s President is Charles Mike Hammon, who brings with him over 13 year’s experience in various roles in and around the Pond. 

Mike chose to retire from the Fire Service and was originally hired as the Pond’s caretaker in 2011 and served in that role for over 10 years. He became the Grounds Chairman in 2016 and served on the Board until his election this January. 

Mike jokes that it took three tries to finally retire from the Pond’s caretaker position. He now serves as the caretaker for the Hammon-Mabie Family cottage located at 7889 Bigelow Drive on the Pond.

The Pond is a unique piece of God’s green earth that we have been chosen to protect and maintain. Why Godfrey’s Pond, you ask. Where else would you want your kids and grandkids to go?

We encourage you to visit our grounds and all that we have to offer you and your family by attending any of our Open House events scheduled for Sunday, May 26 and Sunday, June 16. We also have our Hunting & Fishing Days on the weekend of Sept. 21 and 22, 2024.

Growing Up At Godfrey's Pond in the 1950s and 60s, Part II

By David Reilly
godfreys pond aeral

Author's note: I am aware that there was discrimination against people of Italian and Polish descent (and possibly others ) in the 1950s and '60s that prevented them from enjoying what I did. I apologize ( I found out about it in high school) and understand if there is leftover bitterness. It seems that things have changed for the better today, and there are no longer any restrictions.

When I was a kid in the 1950s and 60s, I was fortunate to be in a family who had a membership at Godfrey's Pond ( See Part 1 History The Batavian Aug. 9, 2023) operated by the Genesee County Fish and Game Protective Association in Stafford. We enjoyed swimming, picnicking, fishing and boating. My mom's family, the Newhouses, who lived on North Lyon Street, were members (my Uncle Bob Newhouse, age 93, is a lifetime one), so when my parents got married, apparently, my dad got a Reilly membership for us. Being only a short driveable distance away, we spent a lot of time there in the summer months. Others in the Genesee County area have summer memories of Nu-Lake, Silver Lake in Wyoming County, Horseshoe Lake (which was mostly private), Boulder Park at Indian Falls or other places. I did visit a couple of those places, but my remembrances are primarily of Godfrey's Pond.

reilly godfrey's pond

Peck At The Pond, Rap On The Rump
My first memory of the Pond comes only from photos. There I am on the shore in a playpen, maybe about age 3, so it would be circa 1950. The little girl caged in there with me was the daughter of some family friends. Now, I have written many times about how shy I was as a child and teenager. Well, apparently, on this day, I somehow got my nerve up and there for all to see was my first kiss. The look on the girl's face tells the whole story in one word -- “Whoa!”

reilly kiss godfrey pond

I don't remember the kiss, but I do recall the swat on my behind. When I was probably seven or eight, my mom got out the photo and was teasing me a little with it. I got embarrassed, grabbed the photo, and tore it in half. Mom was not happy. I still have the torn and taped-together picture somewhere, but luckily an unripped version survived. Recently, I saw that the “ little girl's” mom passed away at the age of 99. I was able to contact her, and after expressing my condolences, I sent her the photo. I hope she was amused.

Swimming Stories
When I was small, we spent a lot of time playing on the beach at the “shallow end,” as everyone called it. As a fair-skin freckled redhead, this has probably come back to haunt me in my later years with frequent trips to the dermatologist. I'm pretty sure that there were no SPF sunblock lotions available back then, so I have become very familiar with liquid nitrogen treatments even though I avoided the sun like the plague as an adult.

I learned to swim at Godfrey's Pond (I remember as a real little kid being at the YMCA and going in the pool naked with a bunch of other little boys- what was that all about?) but like almost everything I did back then it was a battle for my mother. The day lessons were supposed to begin, I chickened out and hid in a closet outside the door of our upstairs apartment on Ellicott Avenue. She eventually found me, and after a lot of screaming and pulling, Mom finally got me out of there by threatening to call the priest from St. Mary's to come over. Of course, once I got there and got to know the other kids and the teacher, I was fine and really enjoyed it. Except for diving underwater – I had and still have bad sinuses.

I think the teacher's name was Mrs. Williams, and there were several steps to pass -- beginner, intermediate, and advanced. In order to pass the lessons ( I think it took me 2 years), you had to swim out to the overhead “wire” (I think an electrical line stretched across a section of the pond) and back with Mrs. Williams rowing beside you in a boat. It was maybe 100 yards. If you made it (I did), you received your swimmer's badge. Some really good swimmers got to apply for their lifesaving badge. You had to be able to surface dive down to save someone, and I couldn't do it. Blasted sinuses again.

One funny story I recall about swimming at Godfrey's: we took a friend one time, and we were going to swim out to the floating raft that was positioned probably 25 yards away. He swam halfway out, exclaimed, “ I can't make it!” and swam back. I'll let you do the math, but he got teased for a while about that one.

There were three diving boards at the deep end - low, medium and high. I was okay with the low and the medium, but I always had to hold my nose or wear nose clips because when my face hit the water, it felt like someone shoved a knife up my sinuses. The high board was a different story, though. Heights are not my favorite, and there was no way I was diving face-first from up there anyway. I don't think I ever dove head-first off the high board, but I would jump off occasionally just to prove that I wasn't a total chicken.

Godfreys pond

Fishing Forays
Just behind the “deep end ” swimming area was a line of trees, and then the terrain descended into an area we called “The Hollow.” At the back of the hollow flowed Bigelow Creek after the Pond water flowed over the dam. When I was 8, 9, 10 years old, I used to prowl along the edge of that small stream, fascinated by the fish I could see in there. I didn't have a fishing pole, but I got some fishing line and tied a hook on the end (probably not an improved clinch knot) and added a little sinker. I would spend hours, it seemed, tossing that line in the creek, trying to get something to bite. Mostly the fish were just Suckers, but one day I finally managed to get a little Perch to bite. I was so proud that I ran with it all the way to wherever my mom was to show off my probably six-inch fish. It wasn't much to brag about, but it was my first catch.

At some point, probably about age 10, I got a fishing pole and reel of my own. Nothing fancy, of course, just a little push-button spin-cast reel. I must have taught myself to cast because, without a doubt, my dad was the worst fisherman I ever saw. There is a famous legend about the “Gordian Knot,” which was supposedly tied by Gordius, the King of Phrygia, which was only able to be untied by the future ruler of Asia. Well, my dad came up with snarls in his line that would put old Gordius to shame. These occurrences resulted in an outpouring of “Judas Priests!” (my dad's faux cussing ) and “This goldarned stupid reel” that would send us kids scurrying for the hills.

Later in life, I had a small fishing boat and got up the nerve to take my elderly dad fishing in Lake Ontario one time. I was in the front of the boat, and the “Judas Priests” began in the back. I went to help, and somehow he had cast his line backward behind him. As I took the pole and reel to assist him I realized there was a fish on the line that had bitten on his worm. I handed him the pole, and he reeled in a decent smallmouth bass that he had caught completely by accident. Better to be lucky than good sometimes, I guess.

Once I got my own pole and reel, I graduated from the hand line in the creek to fishing in the actual pond. My go-to spot to try was on the bridge where the dam was, and I would cast my worm into the hole on the side where the water had carved out a deep pool before going over the falls. Since I was only 10 or 11 years old, I didn't have a lot of patience, so after the sunfish stole all my worms or I actually hooked a couple, I'd give up and go swimming or something instead.

Godfreys pond

But, one day, I could see a decent-sized largemouth cruising around in my favorite fishin' hole. I REALLY wanted to catch that bass. I might have cast 20 times, and it just wasn't interested, and I was getting frustrated. I almost wanted to say, "Judas Priest bass!” But I tried one last cast and could actually see the worm drifting right in front of the bass's mouth. “C'mon, bite,” I thought and BOOM! It did. I set the hook, and hand trembling, I reeled the bass up out of the water and swung it onto the bridge. As you can see from the photo, it really wasn't that big, but of course, I was thrilled and put it on a stringer to show my parents. Once I was older, I almost always practiced catch and release (I do not care for the taste of fish, and it's better to let them live and grow), but there was no way I wasn't gonna show that one off. I must have gone swimming afterward, though -- notice the nose clips around my neck.

I never really caught a big fish in Godfrey's Pond, but they're in there. Once in the fall, when the water got cold, we watched a guy fight a huge Northern Pike right in the usual summer swimming area. It put up a long fight, and when he finally got it in, it was definitely 3 to 4 feet long.

Godfreys pond

My last memory of fishing in The Pond was soon after I was married in 1972. My wife and I took my younger brother Jim in one of the rowboats across the pond to the south side where the railroad is. A bunch of trees on the embankment provided shade, and it must have been spawning time because we caught so many Sunfish and Bluegills that our arms got tired. This time we let them all go, though.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Godfrey's had a bunch of small rowboats which you could rent for a nominal fee. That's how I learned to row, and we used to cruise around the pond just getting exercise and horsing around. Sometimes fishing too. Eventually, we discovered that in the southwest corner of the pond, there was a cement culvert that went under the railroad tracks. It was put in to allow Bigelow Creek to flow through from the swampy wetlands between Horseshoe Lake and Godfrey's.

Godfreys pond

The Pond rowboats would fit through the passage, but you had to get down really low and fight your way through the spider webs. There might have been a bat or two in there as well. I guess all that made it more exciting. A couple of times, when we got to the other side, we told ourselves that we were going to row all the way to Horseshoe Lake, but the murky water between the reeds and cattails got shallow, and we never made it very far. I'm not even sure it's possible in a boat.

My younger (by 11 years) brother Jim tells a story that when he was a teenager, he took our Uncle George the plumber, not exactly the outdoor type, out in a boat and through that underpass and surprisingly, he really enjoyed it. When you think about it, I imagine a plumber would be used to dark watery places with spiders.

Picnics and “The Stand”
The Pond had plenty of fireplaces, picnic tables, and even a couple of covered shelters for larger family gatherings. My Gramma Newhouse and my mom, Anna Newhouse Reilly, were both good cooks, so we had plenty of picnics on nice summer days. Weekdays were the best because it could get really crowded on weekends. My dad was a notorious mosquito hater, and they loved the taste of him for some reason, so if it was a little damp and not windy, he'd be swatting like a madman. We still tell stories of how at home, if he heard one buzzing near his ear in the night, he'd keep us all up whacking the walls with a rolled-up newspaper until he got the offending bloodsucker.

After swimming (back then, everyone believed that if you ate before swimming, you'd get murderous cramps and drown), we'd always ask Mom for some change and go to the little refreshment store where the changing lockers were (I don't think I ever changed in there once -- we'd just wear our bathing suit under our clothes). We always just called it “The Stand”. We'd get a popsicle (grape was my fave), creamsicle, fudgsicle, candy or a little bag of chips. I think most things only cost a nickel or dime back then. “Ah, the good old days,” as everyone from back then says now.

Godfreys pond

The Worst Thirst
My mom was pretty strict and wouldn't let me get a two-wheeled bicycle until I turned 10 years old, which I did in January 1957. So sometime that spring ( we were living on Ellicott Avenue just before we moved to North Spruce Street), we went to J. Frank Dicks Bike Shop on the corner of Thomas Avenue by Corrigan's mom-and-pop store, and I got a bike. It was a three-speed, and it was referred to as an “English “ bike.

Once I learned to ride, I became obsessed with riding to Godfrey's Pond. I nagged Mom for a long time, and finally, she gave in – with one provision: She would not allow me to ride on Clinton Street Road (Route 33), which was the way we took in the car because of the busy traffic, especially big trucks. So we had to devise an alternate route.

After taking a test ride in the car, it was determined that I would pedal out the Bank Street Road, turn right onto Batavia Stafford Townline Road (no, I didn't remember most of this 66 years later, I had to look it up on my iPhone GPS), then left onto Fotch Road, left to Batavia Byron Road ( a lot of this route is going back south making it longer but safer in Mom's eyes, small country roads with little traffic), and finally onto Griswold Road which takes you to Godfrey's Pond Road.

I started out in the morning, and as I recall, the ride there wasn't actually too bad for a 10-year-old. It was about 8 miles, so I got a good workout for a kid. I felt pretty good about myself, too -- look what I did all by myself. Once there, I really don't remember what I did. It was a weekday, so I don't think any lifeguards were on duty in the morning, and I know I didn't bring a fishing pole on my bike. I guess I just hung out for a while before I started back.

I do remember one thing, though, and it was prophetic of my return trip. Somewhere by the dam and “The Hollow” was a natural spring pipe that people used to drink from. I thought, “I'll get a cool drink before I leave.” Why didn't I bring a canteen with water that I could have filled? This became a very important mistake on my trip home.

It was getting into the afternoon as I left, the sky was clear, and the sun was beating down. I think it turned out to be a pretty hot day. As I retraced my route, it was also more uphill --  a harder ride than the way there earlier. By the time I got to Bank Street Road, I was VERY thirsty. That's when the “Why didn't I bring a canteen ?” thought hit my brain.

You've all seen the movies and the cartoons where the parched travelers are dying of thirst, and the heat waves look like an oasis of water to them as they crawl through the desert sand dunes. Well, I wasn't in the desert or crawling (and definitely not dying), but that's how I felt. And then I made a second crucial mistake. Instead of turning onto Bank Street, somehow, I thought going straight on the Batavia-Elba Townline Road and then taking State Street home would be faster and easier. Wrong.

As I rode along, my lips felt like sandpaper. I had no saliva to swallow, and I was running out of energy. At one point, I peddled, very slowly at that point, past a herd of cows, and there was a tiny little stream of water there. I honestly considered stopping and at least rinsing my mouth. Thankfully I did not make that mistake. Can you imagine how sick I could have gotten from that?

Stock photo for illustration purposes -- not the actual machine that saved Dave's life.
Stock photo for illustration purposes -- not the actual machine that saved Dave's life.

Finally, I made it to State Street ( I must have forgotten to bring my cell phone to call home for Mom to come pick me up, too), and local residents know that is where the Batavia Airport is located. Somehow through sheer willpower (and walking my bike up hills), I made it there, and I was thinking, “They have got to have a pop (that's what we called soda) machine. Please!” And they did.

In my pocket, I had 2 dimes. The machine said 10 cents per bottle .” Yes! I'm saved, I'm not going to die of thirst”. I put in the first dime and pulled on the bottle. And – it wouldn't release. “No! This can't be happening!” One more chance. I put in the second dime, tugged on a bottle in a different row and out it came. I don't even remember the flavor or brand, but I downed that probably 8-ounce bottle like it was the last liquid on earth. Man, that tasted good! And cold.

So I was temporarily saved. But I still had a couple miles to go to Ellicott Avenue, and now I had a raging stomach ache from drinking the pop too fast. But off I went. As I got across the Thruway bridge and closer to the residential area, I came to the Little League Stadium on the corner of Bank and State Streets. I thought, “They have restrooms there! Please let them be unlocked.” And finally, I caught a break -- they were open. I went in and, using my hands as a cup, I drank from the sink faucet (I know-gross) until I thought I would burst. Again-dumb move as I barely made it home without vomiting.

When I got home, I put my bike in the garage and practically crawled up the stairs to our second-floor apartment. Mom was anxiously awaiting me and said, “Oh, I'm so glad you're home safe, Dave. How was your ride?” I was in no mood to tell the whole story right then, so I said, “It was fine. I'll tell you about it later. I'm a little tired right now.” I went right to my bed, and I think I was asleep in about 30 seconds. I don't know if I ever told her the whole story, but I do know that was the thirstiest I have ever been in my life before or since.

Return Visit
I did not go to Godfrey's Pond for many years. In 2016 I reunited with Jim Heatherman, an old elementary, high school, and college friend in Batavia, for lunch. I hadn't seen him in almost 50 years. Over lunch at T. F. Brown's (formerly Mancuso's Restaurant), we got to talking about The Pond. When he left, I drove there just for nostalgia's sake. I didn't stay long. I walked down by the swimming area (now closed due to pollution, a pool has replaced it), saw the old “Stand” and walked the short distance to the dam. I swear everything looked exactly the same. Even the old beat-up rowboats at the docks by the swimming area. The only new thing I noticed was there were two young girl lifeguards on duty, and they were wearing bikinis. That most definitely wasn't the case when I was a kid.

Godfrey's Pond certainly holds a lot of good memories for me and many others. I just wish all could have enjoyed it.

Godfrey's Pond - History And Memories

By David Reilly
Godfreys pond
Aerial view of Godfrey's Pond.

Author's Note: For more than 100 years, Godfrey's Pond, located in northeast Genesee County, has been a recreation spot for some local residents. Swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and gun sports have been enjoyed there and still bring lasting happy memories to those who were able to enjoy them. I will be writing a two-part article on “The Pond, “ with Part 1 detailing its history and Part 2  describing my childhood memories of the adventures I had there when I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s.

Pond Origins
Between Route 5 and Route 33 to the east of Batavia is an area known as Seven Springs. Underground springs there bubble to the surface and form what is known as Bigelow Creek. The terrain is downhill to the northeast, and so that is the direction the creek flows. Over the last couple hundred years, entrepreneurs took advantage of the flowing water by constructing dams at several different locations on the creek to use the water power for the milling of various products.

Chapin Pond
Chapin Pond

The first dam is directly at Seven Springs and formed what is now known as Chapin Pond. At one time used for milling flour, the pond is now part of a Zen community area called  Chapin Mill Retreat Center. Coincidentally, when I was born in January 1947, my parents were renting the old mill building, which had been converted into living quarters. My mom frequently and nostalgically recalled her early married days after my dad came home from World War II  at the quiet and peaceful “Mill.”

horseshoe lake

Horseshoe Lake
From Seven Springs, Bigelow Creek flows in an easterly direction still north of Route 33. In the late 1800s, a man named Robert Fisher dammed the creek to build a mill. But in 1897, the property was sold to Charles Hodges, who constructed a much higher dam resulting in what he named Horseshoe Lake. Various entrepreneurs attempted in the early 1900s to make the lake into a summer resort. A baseball diamond was laid out, boats were purchased,  a merry-go-round and roller coaster were installed, and a bath house was built, but due to lack of transportation to such a rural area, it only prospered for a short time. By the 1950s, Horseshoe became a quiet residential lake, which pretty much it remains to this day.

Godfrey's Beginnings
Bigelow Creek outflows from Horseshoe Lake and heads northeast passing beneath Route 33.  It forms a boggy wetland area several miles north, and previous to 1832, Elijah Godfrey purchased the area and built a small dam for the purpose of sawing lumber and grinding feed, and the resulting pond got its name from him, which it still bears today. 

In 1851 Norris Haywood bought the land and pond, and during his ownership, the New York Central made a deal for a right of way and put through their tracks, which separated the property into two sections. The current mainline of the CSX Railroad still goes by the pond.  A cement culvert was built below the railroad tracks to allow the water to pass through from the south end of the property to the north, where the pond is located.

In 1874 Thomas Dobney took control of the property and began using the water mill for grinding plaster brought from Byron which was used for fertilizer.  In 1890, Joseph Bork, a real estate man from Buffalo, purchased the property to start a resort. He planned to construct a dance hall and have tennis courts and a baseball field. He also brought in row boats. However, like Horseshoe Lake, the plan failed due to lack of transportation to the site.

The property was sold to the New York Central Railroad in 1900, and they raised and rebuilt the dam, which added 14 million gallons of more water. However, in 1902 a flood destroyed the dam and completely emptied the pond. The railroad built a new dam of concrete, and the pond was refilled. However, the New York Central did not take water directly from the pond but rather ran a sluice to South Byron, where the trains took on the water. The mill continued to be leased to various businessmen to grind feed.

Godfreys pond

Recreation Area Finally Becomes A Reality
In 1909 a group called the Genesee County Fish and Game Protective Association leased the Godfrey's Pond property from the New York Central, which was no longer using it. Their intention was to have a club with dues-paying members who would use the area for recreational (fishing, hunting, etc.) purposes. The organization made some improvements to the rented area, including planting thousands of trees, and people began to join and enjoy the rural pond locale. 

Twenty-two years later, in 1931, the Fish and Game Association purchased the land and pond outright from the Railroad for $4,750. The total property equaled 100 acres, 50 of which were taken up by the pond. The purchase was negotiated by Assemblyman Charles Miller along with Arnold Keller, William Phillips, and Porter Davis, who were officers of the Fish and Game Association.

At the top of a hill overlooking the pond was a house that the Association designated as the residence of the property caretaker and his family. The very first caretaker was Joseph Morith, and another well-known one was Jerry Ruckle.

Godfreys pond

Through the years up until the 1950s and '60s, members and their guests had a lot of opportunities for recreational fun. For swimming, there was a shallow section with a sand beach at the southeast end near the railroad. Families with small children tended to congregate in that area, and the Association hired lifeguards for safety. At the north end was a deeper area, and through the years, a cement deck was installed and low, medium, and high diving boards were placed there. A floating raft was installed each summer about 25 yards out for swimmers to use. Swimming lessons were offered, and of course, lifeguards were on duty there too.

Not far from “the deep end “ was a building that tripled as a bathhouse for changing, a refreshment stand (popsicles, ice cream, chips, candy, etc.), and a recreation room (ping pong and so on). This is where members registered their guests after paying a small fee.

Godfreys pond

Just to the east of the “deep end “ were docks with rowboats available for boating or fishing. No motors were allowed. In the very early days, the Association tried to raise trout, but the water was too warm. So the pond became a fishery for sunfish, perch, largemouth bass, and northern pike.  From time to time, various fishing contests were held. To the west of the swimming area was the dam, and below that, the water flow became faster as it reformed into Bigelow Creek (note: through all these years, I never knew the name of the creek until  I did research for this article), which eventually empties into Black Creek which then flows into the Genesee River at Scottsville and then on to Lake Ontario.

Throughout the property, there were several shelters available to reserve for family outings and many fireplaces and picnic tables. Camping was also permitted in a couple of separate areas.

Near the railroad and to the southeast of the beach area (everyone called it “the shallow end”) was a shooting range where gun enthusiast members could practice their marksmanship.

Major Additions and Changes
Since 1970 the Genesee County Fish and Game Protective Association has been busy adding more attractions for its members to enjoy. Thanks to the inspiration of James Southall, an aviary was constructed below the dam and north of Bigelow Creek.  It features a display of ornamental pheasants, waterfowl, quail, partridge, peacocks and swans. Participating members hatch and raise their own birds and sell some to offset operating expenses. Each fall, pheasants are released in an adjoining property for hunting by members.

Godfreys pond

In 2004 to the north of the aviary, a four-acre trout pond was dug and filled. There is a hatchery, display pool, and raceways for the young fish and breeders, which are then used to stock the pond. The trout are Rainbows and Palominos, which are a mixture of rainbows and goldens. Members are allowed to keep 20 trout per year, but most practice catch and release.

Off to the east, there is a trap shooting range where shotgun enthusiasts can shoot clay birds and past that is an area of archery targets where bow and arrow users can practice their skills. There is also a safe one-way archery trail for practicing which begins near the aviary and ends near what is referred to as the “Back Pond.”

Godfreys pond

For hikers and exercisers, there are seven trails of varying lengths that intersect and which total about five miles in all.

There are two separate camping areas for members to use with RVS and/or tents.

An unfortunate change happened in 2018. Members were complaining about a greenish color to the water, and through testing, it was discovered that the pond was too contaminated for swimming. Trying to chlorinate such a large body of water was not feasible for a number of reasons. A weed harvester was installed, and oxygen bubblers were added to ensure that the fish population was kept healthy and abundant. But, it was a no-go for humans.

Members and their leadership met and decided that some type of swimming availability was a must for the survival of the facility. The club decided to spend around $300,000 to build a pool near where the caretaker's house was. The funds to pay for the swimming area were projected to come from increased camping and group events that the pool would provide.

Godfreys pond

Students from  BOCES worked to remove trees and stumps, and many members who had trade skills volunteered to help out at no charge. The pool opened in 2019 and has been a big success, although many older members sadly reminisce about their days swimming and learning to swim in the actual pond.

Godfrey's Pond now has about 1,600 members and continues to thrive as an active outdoor recreation spot in Genesee County, New York.

Photos courtesy of Godfrey's Pond and Ed Kademon, submitted by David Reilly.

Photos: Flag Day crafts at Godfrey's Pond

By Joanne Beck


Bentley Fielding, left, 5 and from Batavia, watches his little sister, Paisley, 2, painting while her mother, Brittany looks on during the Kids Flag Day Craft Saturday at Godfrey's Pond in Bergen. 


Families work on their patriotic projects this weekend during the Kids Flag Day Craft at Godfrey's Pond in Bergen.

Photos by Nick Serrata.

Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge June 26 at Godfrey's Pond

By Press Release

Press release:

Are you up for the Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge? 

There will be one at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 26 at Godfrey’s Pond, located at 7925 Godfrey's Pond Road.

This is a fun event representing an actual duck hunt over water and a field goose hunt and is open to all sporting dog breeds that hunt waterfowl.

It is open to handlers age 12 and up.

All dogs should be familiar with multiple shots from a 12-gauge shotgun.

NO dogs that currently hold a hunt test or field trial title can enter.

NO professional trainers allowed to handle dogs; professionally trained dogs may participate.

Registration fee is $35 per dog. All fees for the event will be donated to the Godfrey’s Pond’s conservation programs.

Scoring will be done by Jim Beverly.

First-, second- and third-highest scores will receive plaques. All handlers (regardless of score) will be entered into a lottery for prizes.

The focus is on enjoying the experience with the dogs and networking with fellow waterfowl hunters. 

There is no pressure and plenty of help available -- Jim Beverly and Andy Merkel will assist each handler with any training or handling tips for those needing it.

Contact Jim Beverly or Andy Merkel via email to request a registration form and specific information on what the event consists of.



Here's a video posted on The Batavian on May 25, 2019:

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Hunting & Fishing Days at Godfrey's Pond

By Lisa Ace

Hunting & Fishing Days at Godfrey's Pond!
Join us this weekend for our annual Hunting and Fishing Days!
Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm.
Vendors Available - with music both days!

Come and try us out!
Click here to visit us online

Event Date and Time

Law and Order: Woman charged after leaving cat in car on hot day, inside was 116 degrees

By Billie Owens

Elaine Maria Beachy, 44, of Comet Road, Warsaw, is charged with confinement of companion animal in a vehicle in extreme temperature. Beachy was issued an appearance ticket for Oct. 1 in Town of Batavia Court after she allegedly left a cat in a vehicle Sept. 6 in a parking lot on Veterans Memorial Drive. Outside temperatures were estimated to be about 89 degrees while the interior temperature of the vehicle was estimated to be about 116 degrees. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Ann Brade.

Dennis Lee Majors, 62, of Clinton Street Road, Stafford, is charged with second-degree harassment. Majors was arrested Sept. 5 following a report of a domestic altercation wherein he allegedly grabbed and pushed another person. He was arraigned in Town of Stafford Court, released on his own recognizance, and is set to return to Stafford Court on Oct. 8. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff.

Eric Cosimo Pellegrino, 32, of Firestone Street, Lackawanna, is charged with driving while intoxicated, following too closely, and having a controlled substance outside its original container. Pellegrino was arrested at 11:09 p.m. on Aug. 2 on the charges following an investigation into a motor-vehicle accident on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin McCarthy.

Robert T. Hanlin, 40, of Alexander, is charged with operating motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, 1st, and moving from lane unsafely. He was issued uniform traffic tickets returnable to the Town of Bergen Court on Oct. 7. On Sept. 6, Troopers responding to a 9-1-1 call of an erratic operator on State Route 33 in the Town of Bergen, were waived down by a concerned citizen who alerted them that the vehicle had driven on the opposite side of the roadway on several occasions and the operator, later identified as Hanlin was in the Bergen convenience store. Hanlin failed to properly perform field sobriety tests and was transported to SP Batavia where Genesee County Sheriff’s DRE Deputy completed a drug evaluation which indicated Hanlin was impaired by drugs and unable to operate a vehicle safely.

A 16-year-old who lives on Walnut Street in the City of Batavia was arrested Aug. 27 and charged with petit larceny. The teen allegedly stole a backpack, an iPad, and a Sumsung tablet from another person. The teen was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in Batavia City Court on Sept. 15. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Malik I. Ayala, 23, of Lydun Drive, Albion, is charged with petit larceny. On Sept. 5, Ayala was arrested for allegedly stealing a bicycle on Aug. 27 from another person. Ayala was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on Sept. 15. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Todd M. Holly, 50, of Lincoln Avenue, Le Roy, is charged with first-degree criminal contempt. Holly was located on Gilbert Street in Le Roy and arrested for allegedly violating a full stay away order of protection. He was transported by Batavia PD headquarters by Officer Felicia DeGroot and arraigned in City Court and then jailed without bail.

Kathryn M. Yark, 18, of Roosevelt Avenue, Batavia, is charged with third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle. On July 18, she was arrested for using a vehicle without permission. She was located at the GC Jail visiting her boyfriend. She was transported to Batavia police headquarters, then arraigned in City Court before being jailed with bail set at $1,000. She is to be in City Court at a later date. The case was investigated by Officer Marc Lawrence.

A 17 year old from Pavilion was arrested by the Le Roy Police Department on Sept. 6 and charged with: driving while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor; driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more, a Class A misdemeanor; inadequate exhaust; insufficient tail lamps; unsafe tires; and having more than one passenger under the age of 21 while holding a DJ license, all traffic violations. The teen was arrested following numerous traffic infractions by the Le Roy Police Department. After a brief investigation the subject was allegedly found to be intoxicated. The subject was issued appearance tickets for the charges and is to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 28. At this time the name of the defendant is being withheld because of the possibility of a youthful offender status. 

Montel Lee Cunningham, 22, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with failure to obey a child support order. He was arrested on a warrant out of Niagara County Sept. 6 following an investigation into an underage drinking party. He was turned over to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Andrew Charles Webster, 22, no address provided, is charged with petit larceny. On Aug. 30, Webster was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Walmart and he was put in GC Jail in lieu of $500 bail. He is to reappear in Town of Batavia Court on Sept. 28. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker.

Jacob Nicholas Oddo, 18, of Batavia Elba Townline Road, is charged with trespass. On Sept. 5, he was arrested for allegedly being on the premises of Godfrey's Pond after being told that he needed to leave and not return. He was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Town of Stafford Court on Sept. 24. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Deputy James Diehl.

Jordan Lee Miller, 16, of Batavia Elba Townline Road, is charged with trespass. On Sept. 5, he was arrested for allegedly being on the premises of Godfrey's Pond after being told that he needed to leave and not return. He was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Town of Stafford Court on Sept. 24. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Deputy James Diehl.

Jessica M. Pfenninger, 33, of Creek Road, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear on a charge of third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. On Sept. 2, she was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear by State Police in Chili and was taken into custody by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis in Bergen. After being arraigned, she was released on her own recognizance and is to appear in City Court on Sept. 30.

Ryan J. Adkins, 21, of Main Road, East Pembroke, is charged with failure to appear. He was arrested on a warrant from Batavia City Court for failure to appear following a traffic stop on July 23. He was jailed and released after posting $500 bail. He is scheduled to appear in City Court on Sept. 16. The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Godfrey's Pond holds fourth annual Easter Egg Hunt

By Steve Ognibene

More than 70 children with there families attended the fourth annual Easter Egg Hunt at Godfrey's Pond yesterday. The club put out a couple thousand Easter eggs early before the event which started at Noon and continued through 2 o'clock. Cookies, drinks were provided to all who attended. Mike Hammon, caretaker of Godfrey's Pond, said the free public event has grown consistantly over the years.

Other activities included a petting opportunity with six baby chicks.

Two contests were held; one for who collected the most eggs and a coloring contest.

Abby Lampke was the winner of the coloring contest.  

Egg hunt winners were:  

Gold -- Adrian Laird

Silver -- Connor Schrane

Bronze -- Trevor Pahl

Photo above is 7-year-old Eliana Stringham with the Easter Bunny. Craig Gillard submitted the photos from Godfrey's Pond.

3rd Annual Lyle Johnson Memorial Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge

By Lisa Ace

3rd Annual Lyle Johnson Memorial Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge.

1pm  • May 24, 2015 • Godfrey's Pond Open House

Pre-Registration required by contacting Jim Beverly at: or 716-474-4661. There is a $30 registration fee. All fees and donations will go to Ducks Unlimited. Plaques for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd high scores. All handlers will participate in the drawing for a complete set of JIM BEVERLY signature calls.

Event Date and Time

Godfrey's Pond gives people a chance to get hooked on fly-fishing

By Howard B. Owens

Today, Arlene Leach checked an item off her bucket list. She took her first fly-fishing class.

"I love nature," the Rochester resident said. "I love water and I love fish and it just brings me closer to a peace I don't have in my professional life."

Leach was among 30 people who turned out at Godfrey's Pond this morning for a free fly-fishing class with instructors Ron Wickings (with Leach, top photo) and Jim Southall (with Leach, second photo).

While Leach had never held a fly rod before, some of the class members have been fly-fishing for years.

"The thing I try to teach is don't ever think you've arrived," said the 54-year-old Wickings, who started fly-fishing the Oatka Creek when he was 12. "Everybody can learn something. That's the fun part of fly-fishing."

The patience and knowledge of her teachers impressed Leach, who picked up the basics of a roll cast quickly.

Asked if she studied fly-fishing at all before coming out today, Leach (who is friends with the Southall family) said she felt intimidated, so she avoided it.

"But I listened and watched and people's love for it was a bit infectious, and people are encouraging me through the learning curve," she said.

Wickings said he was living his dream today -- teaching fly-fishing. He wishes he could find a job where all he did was teach people how to fly-fish.

"I've always enjoyed teaching the most," Wickings said. "I think it's because you get to see someone discover something for the first time and it almost rubs off on you. You can live a little bit vicariously through them."

Jeff Southall, with his sons Harrison and Dominic, hauls in a trout. Southall, son of Tim, learned to fly-fish at Godfrey's 30 years ago.

Jeff Southall

Ed Burton, from Gates, hooks a trout.

Burton with his catch.

Catch and release.

Harrison and Dominic

Below, the slideshow is all the same photos used in the post, but you can view the photos at full screen. Participants can purchase prints by clicking here.

Photos: Godfrey's prepares for fishing season by stocking pond

By Howard B. Owens

Volunteers with Godfrey's Pond stocked the conservation group's spring-fed pond today with 10- to 14-inch rainbow and golden trout.

Fishing season opens Saturday and members and guests will be able to angle for these beauties throughout the summer.

The pond is stocked twice a year -- in the spring and in the fall -- from fish that are hatched and raised at Godfrey's own facility in a DEC-approved program.

Ron Wickings, above, will help conduct a fly-fishing seminar starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 30, that is open to the public. The course is free.

Godfrey's Pond will hold open houses on May 19 and June 16.

Report of subjects shooting something on railroad bed near Godfrey's Pond

By Alecia Kaus

A security person at Godfrey's Pond is reporting a group of people on the CSX railroad bed shooting something. There is a pickup truck parked near the railroad bed.

The security person is not going to get any closer to the subjects.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Genesee County Sheriff's deputies have spotted the pickup truck on Route 19 at a residence. Asking to speak with them unarmed.

No wells proposed, but Stafford puts a temporary block on hydrofracking in the town

By Howard B. Owens

There are no known plans to open a hydrofracked gas well within the town limits of Stafford, but Jim Southall thought it a good idea to purchase an "insurance policy" so to speak.

At his suggest, the town board has passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking within Stafford.

A committee has been appointed to study the issue, according to Supervisor Robert Clement and that report will help the town determine what, if anything, it might do next related to hydrofracking.

The moritorium is part of a statewide trend over the summer of local officials throughout New York rising up against hydrofracking, even though the state already has a four-year moratorium against new wells in place now.

Fracking involves injecting water, saline and other chemicals into shale to break loose natural gas deposits that can then be extracted from the ground.

It's controversial because opponents believe the chemicals used can be carcinogenic and toxic.

Southall said he's read of cows in West Virginia being born with deformities and a whole town in Wyoming had to be closed because of hydrofracking pollutants ruining the groundwater.

As a representative of the Genesee County Fish and Game Association, owners and operators of Godfrey's Pond in Stafford, Southall thought it important to get out in front of the issue, before hydrofracking came to the area.

"With the kind of chemicals they're using, once the water is polluted, it's gone, and being a conservation club, we want to be sure that doesn't happen," Southall said.

At a public hearing on the topic a month or so ago, Clement said, there were no speakers in favor or against the moratorium.

He's not aware of any fracked wells in Stafford or any requests to open up such a well.

"For most people, I think it's a non-issue," Clement said. "I think the state will step in before anybody else does. But it's a conservation issue and I think most of them (Genesee County Fish and Game) are against it."

Photos: Changing of the season at Godfrey's Pond

By Howard B. Owens

A beautiful fall afternoon, I thought I would stop by Godfrey's Pond and see what picture-making opportunities I might find. Mother Nature still has some work to do with her fall palette, but things are coming along nicely.

6 Hour Defensive Driving Course at Godfrey's Pond

By Lisa Ace

 Attention Godfrey's Pond Members, Family & Friends:

Godfrey's Pond will be hosting a 6 Hour Defensive Driving Course at the Lodge on Aug. 20 - Aug 21, 2012 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm

The course will be instructed by John Deleo and William Sargent, both certified instructors with the National Safety Council.

Fee for the course will be $30.00 for Godfrey's Pond members and $35.00 for non-members. The course is good for points reduction or insurance reduction.

Event Date and Time

Former city fire captain tapped to run Godfrey's Pond

By Howard B. Owens

A former captain in the Batavia Fire Department who has worked the past four years as fire chief in Auburn is retiring and returning to Batavia.

Mike Hammon is returning to run Godfrey's Pond, according to the Post-Standard in Syracuse.

A one-time Auburn firefighter before moving to Batavia to become an officer, the 55-year-old Hammon told the newspaper: “This is the end of my fire career. I’m getting out of the politics (of the chief’s job) and this is good for me.’’ 

When Hammon was named chief in Auburn four years ago, it was a controversial appointment, according to the Post-Standard. He was the first chief in the 113-year history of the department not promoted from within.

The article includes praise from officials in Auburn for Hammon's work.

First day of school usually means fishing for Mom!

By Susan Brownell

The kids went back to school today, and I try to make this a day that I get to start my fall fishing.  So I went to Godfrey's Pond and was not disappointed.

The first hour was spent with me rowing the boat and casting, and casting, and casting.  I finally decided to take a picture because at this point with no bites, I needed to do something productive on my day out.

I took one pictures, as it's quite overcast today.


I decided to do some more casting and retrieving, and it paid off nicely!!!

I landed this 17 inch Largemouth bass.  A fat and healthy looking fish, at that!



And then, on the next cast...   I caught a chunky little Northern Pike.  Can't tell in the picture... but it wasn't starving, by any means.




And finally, I landed another, smaller Bass.



And this was how I spent my kid's first day back at school.   :)

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