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Upton Monument

November 11, 2022 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Bethany, batavia, Upton Monument, VA Hospital, news.


Genesee County veterans gathered today at the locations and landmarks associated with the local men and women who served the nation in times of war and peace.

The ceremonies started at 9 a.m. at Genesee County Park, where former Assemblyman Dan Burling was the keynote speaker and he celebrated the freedom that the men and women who served helped secure.

"We just had an election yesterday," Burling said. "And though it may not appear to be everything that we want it to be, it was a free election. It was a free election that was guaranteed by the men and women who have served this country over the years, over many, many, many years and still served today."

Other ceremonies were held at the VA Hospital, the NY State Vets Home, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Upton Monument), Trigon Park, the War Memorial at Jerome Center, and GCC.

"We're all brothers and sisters," Burling told the veterans in Bethany. "We all served together and anyone who puts the uniform on, who puts their hand on the Bible and swears that they will defend this nation is a friend of mine and a friend of everyone, so I want to thank you all, all my friends."

Photos from Genesee County Park, the VA Hospital, and the Upton Monument.  Photos by Howard Owens.


Dan Burling, middle.










Frank Panepento, a teacher at Batavia Middle School, Nathan Korzelius, middle school principal, and Danielle Bergman, assistant medical director of the VA Center.  Middle school students made wood blocks with a patriotic etching as a gift for veterans at the VA Center.


May 30, 2022 - 3:08pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Memorial Day, batavia, Upton Monument, news.


U.S. Air Force airmen stand guard as a Memorial Day vigil at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, or the Upton Monument, this morning at Ellicott Street and Main in Batavia.

December 7, 2021 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emory Upton, Upton Monument, batavia, news.

Emory Upton's Colt Single Action Army Revolver recently sold at auction for $345,000.

Don Burkel said the results of the auction show that the Batavia-native is an important historical figure.

"He really was a very important person in American military history and apparently is still highly regarded," Burkel said.

Of course, the Holland Land Office Museum would have loved to have acquired Upton's revolver but the price was out of the museum's range, Burkel said.

The video above indicates the revolver is the same one Upton used to take his own life on March 14, 1881, at the Presidio in San Francisco after suffering for months with debilitating headaches.


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November 11, 2021 - 2:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Veterans Day, veterans, Upton Monument, batavia, news.
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A view of Veterans Day at the VA Hospital and the Upton Monument.

And below, a replay of our documentary on the Upton Monument.

November 25, 2020 - 9:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Monument, news, video, music, arts, entertainment.
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Two days ago, I happened across Dan Sprague jamming on a little death metal on his way to band practice. Sprague said he's a member of three bands, including the folk-rock band he was practicing with that day.

September 4, 2020 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, Old Courthouse, batavia, news, COVID-19.


Press release:

Representatives of Lighting Design Innovations and Cedar Street Sales and Rentals are pleased to announce the completion of the third phase of the feature lighting at the Old Genesee County Courthouse site in Batavia.

The firms sponsored the donation of lighting design activities and lighting system luminaires, components, and advanced control system to accentuate the building façade and its location in the cityscape by lighting the courthouse corners with RGBW color changing LED luminaires.

The advanced lighting control system allows the County to program coordinated colored light displays for the new courthouse corner lights and the cupola, which received its color-changing light as the first phase of the project. Initial system programming and controller training was sponsored by Vertex Lighting Solutions. 

The illuminated façade of the Old Genesee County Courthouse is the backdrop for the new white LED lighting that was provided for the Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Marines’ Monument as the second phase of this project. The monument lighting was unveiled Memorial Day 2019 in time for the monument’s centennial, celebrated in August of 2019.

Although the final phase implementation was temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, County personnel worked with the consultants to complete the work in time to be shared with the community for Labor Day 2020.   

Photos and video by Howard Owens.

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May 30, 2020 - 7:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, protest, batavia, Upton Monument, notify, video.
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A Batavia resident spent most of the afternoon carrying a protest sign in front of the Upton Monument at Ellicott and Main in Batavia that read "George Floyd is Every man!"

George Floyd, 46, died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 while a police officer, based on a video made by a teenage witness, kept a knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, while the officer had his knee on his neck.

During the incident, Floyd told officers multiple times he couldn't breathe. At one point, he cried out, "Mama!" according to news reports. Floyd reportedly said, "My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts," and requested water. The police do not audibly respond to Floyd who begged, "Don't kill me."

The police officer who kept his knee pressed against Floyd's neck is reported to be Derek Chauvin. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin along with fellow officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, were fired immediately after the incident.

Chauvin reportedly had 19 prior complaints against him for alleged misconduct.

Floyd was originally from Houston, Texas, and had a prior felony arrest but moved to Minnesota to start a new life and had no criminal record in Minnesota. He and Chauvin had worked together as security guards at a nightclub prior to closure of the establishment due to coronavirus.

At the time of the deadly incident, Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

The incident has touched off protests and riots nationwide.


May 25, 2020 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, Memorial Day, news.


Photos from the Memorial Day service today at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (The Upton Monument) in Batavia.

We'll have video report posted tonight or tomorrow of the Memorial Day Service at the War Memorial at St. Jerome's.








December 3, 2019 - 1:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, batavia, Upton Monument, Old Courthouse, news, weather.


It was a beautiful morning in Genesee County, with temperatures in the teens so trees stayed flocked even though the sun was out and the sky was blue.

Top photo, from Court Street, looking toward the Old Courthouse.


The snow-covered eagle atop the Upton Monument taken through the window on the third floor of the Old Courthouse.


The Rowell Mansion.


Centennial Park (in black and white).


Centennial Park (in black and white).


The Barber Conable Post Office Building in Batavia.


The flag pole outside the Old Courthouse.

September 12, 2019 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, video, history.
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Back in May, I decided to make a documentary about the Upton Monument to coincide with its centennial. The initial deadline for finishing it was the rededication ceremony in August. Obviously, I missed that deadline, so then I tried for the end of August. Still, wasn't done.

Finally, it's done.

Thank you to Ryan Duffy, Michael Eula, Larry Barnes, Jim Neider, and Bill Kauffman for their help and interviews, and Dan Fischer for his narration, and to Billie Owens for reading the poem by Bessie Chandler.

I imagine more than 100 hours of work went into making this. I hope you like it. I thought it important to create something documenting and celebrating the history of our community's most significant landmark.  

Chances are, everybody who watches this will learn something new about either the history of the monument, the life of Emory Upton, and the context of the times in which it was built.

August 4, 2019 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, veterans, video.
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One hundred years ago, in August 1919, the folks of Genesee County dedicated the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, better known as the Upton Monument. To commemorate the centennial of the monument, the Veterans Council and the American Legion conducted a rededication ceremony on Saturday.

July 6, 2019 - 11:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, batavia, news.


I stopped by the Upton Monument earlier this evening to get a picture of the 100-year-old landmark lit by the new LED system.

May 9, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Soldiers and Sailors Monument, notify, Upton Monument, batavia, news.


Terry Ross, from the Genesee County maintenance department, works on a new lighting system at the base of the Upton Monument.

The LED system was donated by Batavia-based Lighting Design Innovations, which two years ago donated a new color-changing light system for the Old Courthouse cupola.

The new lights are on a 14-volt system and draw only 20 watts. They are replacing four 400-watt lights.  

Ross said lights are being installed to light the plaques of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and another light, which is what he's working on in the picture, will illuminate the statue of Gen. Emory Upton. Ross said the DOT has given permission for the county to install an LED light at the top of the stoplight poll next to the monument that will illuminate the eagle at the top, but first the county must figure out how to run the power up to the light on the outside of the pole.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is 100 years old this year. It was dedicated in August 1919.


April 26, 2019 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, Old Courthouse, Upton Monument, batavia, news.


This is the prettiest time of year around the Old Courthouse and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Also, the daffodils in front of City Hall are blooming.






February 6, 2019 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia, Upton Monument.


Icy covered trees throughout the region today, including behind the Upton Monument at Main and Ellicott in Batavia.

There's a weather advisory for tonight. Expect more ice through the morning.

July 3, 2018 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Upton Monument, soldiers monument, batavia, history, news, notify.


It's not exactly a facelift Gen. Emery Upton will get on the Soldier's Monument at the corner of Ellicott and Main streets in the City of Batavia, but when his bronze sculpture turns 100 next year, you should be able to see it better at night.

Lighting Design Innovations, a Batavia-based company, is planning to install new lighting on the monument next month thanks to $1,500 in donations the company has received for the project.

The county's Ways and Means Committee is recommending the Legislature accept the donation.

Assistant County Manager Matt Landers said company officials describe the current lighting as "flood lights" and their designers will come up with a plan to appropriately light the monument with more modern fixtures to make it more attractive when viewed at night.

LDI, which donated the rotating color lighting for the cupola of the Old Courthouse last year, is also trying to secure $6,500 in donations to pay for colored lighting on two of the pillars of the Old Courthouse.

"They are obviously very passionate about lighting," Landers said.

The offer was well received by the members of the Legislature.

"I think it’s very generous of them," said Marianne Clattenburg, who is chair of Ways and Means.

The Soldier's Monument was first conceived by local citizens in 1882 as a way to pay tribute to those from the area who died in the Civil War. A committee was formed to champion the idea but fundraising, apparently, didn't start until 1903. The first donation came from Albert Knapp.

By the end of the year, the fund reached $1,713.66.

In 1904, voters approved a $10,000 expenditure for the monument. The city agreed to pay another $15,000.

In 1907, there was a move to put Lincoln's bust atop the monument.

The next year, there was an effort to locate the monument in what is now Centennial Park (then called State Park) instead of its present -- and originally proposed -- location.

In 1911, the Genesee County Soldier's Monument Association was formed.

In 1917, the Board of Supervisors viewed a wooden model of the proposed monument and appropriated $10,000 for the project.

The city, at that point, was willing to chip in $5,000.

The granite structure was constructed in Barre, Vt., in 1918. C.A. Worden, a New Yorker, was the designer.

The base was placed in August 1918.

By October 1918, crews were ready to affix the eagle at the top, with a 3-foot, 10-inch tail, and an eight-foot wingspan. The bronze figure of Gen. Emory Upton was paid for by his sister, Sarah Edwards. Another sister, Sara Upton Evans, also made a contribution.

Supervisors accepted monument in January 1919.

As of February 1919, the City had not yet paid for its share of the monument. The county threatened to sue the city and after the county paid the $5,000 due from its contingency fund, the City Council approved paying its $5,000 share In April 1919.

The monument was dedicated Aug. 6, 1919. 

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.

November 11, 2015 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Upton Monument, batavia.


Veterans were a baffled by this setup when they arrived at the Upton Monument this morning. They aren't sure if this was meant as some sort of message or it's just somebody's litter. The boxes were all empty.

Submitted photo.

March 5, 2014 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Monument.

This protest sign appeared for a time today in front of the Upton Monument at Main and Ellicott streets.

It's gone now.

The City Manager's office has the sign. If the person who placed it at the intersection wants it back and can prove ownership, it will be returned, County Manager Jay Gsell said.

"There's so many things that are not appropriate about that sign," Gsell said.

Such as: It was placed without permission; permission would need to be granted by the city, state and county; the veterans consider the location hallowed ground; nobody knows who placed the sign.

(The person in the picture is just a pedestrian who happened to be in the area at the time the picture was taken.)

March 26, 2012 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, Upton Monument.

Temperatures could drop as low as 25 degrees tonight and that is going to be bad news for flowering trees, budding plants and other shrubs with newly sprung sensitive leaves.

"Twenty eight degrees is the critical temperature," said Jan Beglinger, agriculture outreach educator and master gardener coordinator for the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

If it drops below 28 degrees -- especially if there is no breeze and cloud cover -- a lot of plants could be damaged.

Beglinger recommends covering plants with blankets, burlap or newspaper (but not plastic, which doesn't provide any insulation), where and when possible.

Blooms and budding for plants have come unseasonable early, but Western New York is not officially out of winter yet.

"I knew when we had beautiful weather for 10 straight days, we were going to pay for it," Beglinger said.

Photos of the cherry blossom of the trees between the Upton Monument and the Old Courthouse. I figured today might be my last day this year to get any shots of the blossoms.

June 17, 2011 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Upton Monument.

Trevor Wanberg, of Rochester, was in the little park behind the Upton Monument this afternoon waiting for a friend to get off work so they could jam. Wanberg said he and his friend are looking to get a band together, but don't get many chances to practice together. Wanberg is generally only able to make the trip to Batavia on his days off, when his girlfriend, who has a job in Batavia, is able to give him a ride. While I snapped a few pictures, he picked out a crisp version of Neil Young's "Needle and the Damage Done."

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