The Kannewischer Family Live Stream

Historian Cynthia Howk presents an illustrated talk about the remarkable local Fetter family, covering 150 years of their life, work, and experiences through an extensive archive of historical photographs and documents previously unseen outside the family. This tribute honors 102-year-old Betty Fetter, custodian of this unique American story.

The Stream Will Go Live at this link here https://www.youtube.com/live/scsHuvT0nz4?si=VPrQMBjQO19kdgjM at 6:45 pm to ensure the video and audio settings are working and then the program will start at 7 pm broadcasted from the Greece Central School District Transportation and Student Services building on Latta Road at Mount Read Blvd.

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The 2024 Strawberry Fest is Coming!!

Save the Date for June 17, 2024

Date And Time:

Monday, June 17, 2024
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location:

Greece Town Hall Pavilion
3 Vince Tofany Blvd, Greece, NY 14612

Admission:

Cost T.B.D.
Free for 5 & Under

FREE PARKING

Other Activities include:

  • Children Activities
  • Grease Paint Alley Clowns
  • Community Displays
  • There will be Door Prizes
  • A Chinese Auction

Sponsors and vendors of this Year’s Strawberry & Dessert Tastings Festival are to be announced at a later date.

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Join Us for M & M Sunday! April 21, 2024

M&M Sunday

On April 21, 2024, from 2 pm to 4 pm, we will be hosting two of our top researchers and presenters Maureen Whalen and Marie Poinan are often the face of Local History in our town and the broader community. They both have given many informative talks at the Greece Museum, the Charlotte Branch Library, and several other sites around town. Their subjects have covered a wide range of topics from “A to Z” (ancestors to zoo!) Each has published and assisted others in numerous books and articles. Their audiences are always eager to hear their well-researched presentations.

M & M Sunday will honor them, along with other leaders of the Greece Historical Society. Come to thank Maureen and Marie along with other “behind the scenes” folks who make our historical society one of the best in New York State.

While there, enjoy M & M Sundaes, prepared by Jane Grant.

Jane Grant

More on this event

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Play Ball Exhibit

On display at the Museum are artifacts from the game’s beginnings in the early 1800s to a jersey from the champion 2023 Greece Post American Legion team. Started on March 10, 2024, and runs till the end of the year.

Town of Greece resident Joe Territo, a co-founder and past President of the Rochester Baseball Historical Society is curating the exhibit. He also serves as the official team photographer for the Rochester Red Wings.

Little is known about baseball playing during the very early days of the sport in the Town of Greece. Accounts of organized games are extremely rare. Most of the town was farmland during the 19th century.
It is likely that the children of hard-working farmers played the game more often than their parents. Back then, the game would not have included gloves because baseball was played barehanded during most of the 1800s. It is also likely that these youngsters played an early form of the game called town ball. Bases could have consisted of various objects including stones or even tall stakes driven into the ground that players had to touch to be counted as safe. Farm tools, such as ax handles, were commonly converted into bats, and balls were handmade from tightly wound twine or yarn wrapped in cloth or leather.

As Greece grew in population with farmlands becoming housing tracts and the town evolving into a vibrant suburb of Rochester, organized baseball became commonplace. Businesses such as the Hotel DeMay and the Dutch Mill sponsored youth teams and men’s softball teams. Visitors will also learn that a semi-pro team called the Town of Greece home and was very popular during the early part of the 20th century.

If you want to learn about some of our local hometown athletes who have gone on to the pro level or just had some records set at local high schools besides Jerome A Combs, then get yourself a copy of our publication written by Marie Villone Poinan the late Tom Sawnor.

Baseball jerseys with significant Town of Greece baseball history

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Celebrating 50 years of WDKX (103.9)

Join Us on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 7 PM, at the Greece Central School District’s Transportation & Support Services Building, 1790 Latta Road, for a program on the History of WDKX the first and only African-American-owned station in Rochester, New York. The station was founded by Andrew Langston. Andre Langston & Andria B. Langston are the current owners of the radio station. The reason they chose the call sign WDKX is an acronym for and keeping with its urban contemporary format used the call letters to honor African-American Heros and one of them was a Rochesterian at the time of their death;

  • W stands for radio stations located east of the Mississippi River
  • D stands for Frederick Douglass
  • K stands for Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • X stands for Malcolm X

WDKX uses an 800-watt transmitter to broadcast its radio station. The station went live on April 6, 1974, at 5:30 AM and has been broadcasting 24/7 ever since. WDKX is one of only two remaining Urban stations in New York State.

The Station received the first-ever Pioneer Award from the Rochester Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Andrew A. Langston, founder, owner, and general manager of 103.9 WDKX FM, was among the inaugural inductees into the New York State Broadcasters Associations Hall of Fame in June 2014.

Andrew A. Langston, Founder, Owner, and General Manager of 103.9 WDKX

Andrew Langston died in 2010 at the age of 82. His son, Andre Langston, continues to operate the station as the current general manager and is our scheduled speaker.

Other Locations WDKX was featured or mentioned in:

  • mentioned on “Super Hoe” Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded 1987
  • VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2005
  • Hart of the City in 2019 (Season 3, Episode 5) which was produced by Kevin Hart and Joey Wells in Episode 5 of Season 3 featured three African-American comedians from Rochester, New York, Joel Jones, Travis Blunt, and Zack Johnson, and was filmed at Photo City Improv & Comedy Club / Photo City Music Hall on the corner of Atlantic Ave and Culver Road.

The station has a wide-ranging playlist, from classic soul to current hip hop/R&B.

You can learn more about WDKX History at https://wdkx.com/about

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The first Warren C. Crandell Memorial Scholarship entry period is now open!

The Greece Historical Society proudly announces a scholarship in honor of Warren C. Crandell, to a highly motivated, graduating high school senior from the Town of Greece who plans to further their education as a History or History Education major or minor at a two- or four-year college or university. The number of scholarships may vary annually.

Warren C Crandell scholarship

Completed applications must be submitted, delivered, or postmarked by the last Monday in March. The committee will review all applications received. Three candidates will be selected as finalists and interviewed by the committee at a date and location to be determined. Announcement of Awards to be made by the last Monday in April.

To learn more about the scholarship click here which will have the link to the application, the requirements for the scholarship, and brief information on the donor of the scholarship.

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BICENTENNIAL SNAPSHOT COLLECTION ON DVD

Bicentennial Snapshot Logo

From March 2022 through March 2023, in celebration of our town’s bicentennial, the Greece Historical Society produced 54 multimedia podcasts called Bicentennial Snapshots. Each snapshot, averaging five to 10 minutes, explored a different aspect of Greece’s history.

Even though all of them are available on our website, the complete series of Bicentennial Snapshots is also available on a set of four DVDs for $15.00. Click on the Buy Now button below to order your DVD set of our Bicentennial Snapshots.

Bicentennial Snapshot DVD Cover
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Bicentennial Snapshot Series Completed

Bicentennial Snapshot # 54: Gone but not Forgotten
Bicentennial Snapshot No. 54: Gone, but Not Forgotten

If you liked our bicentennial snapshot series that was released on YouTube from March 22, 2022 through March 28, 2023, and like this short video podcast style of presenting Greece History, please let us know by sending an email to VideoProgram@GreeceHistoricalSociety.onmicrosoft.com.

If there is sufficient interest in seeing Greece history presented in this way, we will look into expanding the series beyond the snapshots that have already been produced.

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Bicentennial Snapshot No. 54: Gone, but Not Forgotten

Bicentennial Snapshot # 54: Gone but not Forgotten
Monroe County Bookmobile in front of the old town hall, 1955 from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division

Today, as we acknowledge all those who helped us produce these Bicentennial Snapshots, please enjoy photos of places and businesses no longer part of the Greece landscape.

We would like to thank the following individuals with their contributions to the snapshots:

First of all, we are tremendously thankful for all the photos provided by Society President Bill Sauers. He has a vast archive of photographs that he generously shared with us.

Edgewater Hotel from Bill Sauers
Odenbach Shipbuilding, 2012, photo by Bill Sauers

If he didn’t have a photo we needed, he went out and took one, especially for the snapshots.

We greatly appreciate Greece town historian Keith Suhr giving us permission to use photos from Greece Images.

Dutch Mill, 2017, from the Office of the Town Historian
Mount Read Chase-Pitkin

Thank you also to our other photographers or those who provided photos for various episodes: Alan Mueller, Ben Kerr, Bonnie Stemen Fiser, Carolyn Kerheart, Dick Halsey, Deborah Cole Meyers,

Douglas Worboys, who worked at Chase-Pitkin and helped you find the tools and supplies for that home improvement project you had going on in your home,

Maiden Lanes Bowling Alley, photo by Mike Callen

Gene Preston(Retired North Greece Fire Department / Kodak Fire) and owner of Preston Fresh Produce on Long Pond Road, Gina DiBella, Gloria LaTragna, Gretchen Howe, Dr. George Sanders, “Booze, Barns, Boats and Brothers” by H. Dwight Bliss III, John Cranch, Jane Grant, Author of Barns of Greece, Kathy Gray who provided pictures of Frank Siebert that were added to the snapshot on Ridge Road Fire District, Jo Ann Ward Snyder co-author of Pioneer Families of the Town of Greece, Joan Winghart Wilcox Sullivan who wrote about her father, Bernie Winghart, Gordon Massecar,

Joe Vitello, Marie Poinan co-author of Pioneer Families of the Town of Greece as well as the co-author of two books with Maureen Whalen, one book with the late Tom Sawnor, and 5 books on her own, RRFD/Greece Ridge FD Historian and District Photographer Matthew Pillsbury, Battalion Chief Brian Gebo for providing Ridge Road/Greece Ridge Fire Districts 100 Years logo for our use,

Rochester Gas & Electric, Russell Station from GHS
Lincoln First Bank postcard at Dewey and Haviland

Patricia Conklin, Paul Pakusch who let us use the personal home video that he recorded on his way to work at News 10 (WHEC) NBC in 1991 during the ice storm, Mike Parker, Robert Bilsky, Ralph DeStephano, Ed Spelman, Tom DiBello, Travis Beaver, Francis Howard Whelehan, Stanley Hwalek, Mason Winfield the Author of “Haunted Rochester”, William Aeberli, Helen Edson Slocum, Virginia Tomkiewicz, Shirley Cox Husted

We would like to thank the following organizations, news outlets, local colleges and libraries

North Greece Fire Department, Greece Ridge/Ridge Road Fire District, Barnard Fire Department, Barnard Exempts, FDNY(Fire Department of the City of New York), Greece Police, Center for Governmental Research,

Island Cottage Hotel, 1977, from GHS
Streb’s Steak House from GHS

Rochester Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library’s Recording Studio in the Launch Pad Maker Space at the Central Library, The University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Wayne State University, Princeton University, University of Iowa, nebraskastudies.org, SUNY School SOAR

Democrat and Chronicle, 13 Wham TV, WHEC, WROC, Spectrum News, Histrotic Detroit, The Hilton Record, Rochester Times-Union, The American Issue, New York Daily News, Global News a Division of Shaw Media, newspapers.com, Rochester Gas & Electric News Publication, Rochester Daily Advertiser,

Verhulst Brothers Farm Market from GHS
Our Lady of Mercy Rectory designed by James H. Johnson from GHS

Our Mother of Sorrows Church, Greece Baptist Church, Greece United Methodist Church,

Greece Central School District, Archive.org, BoxRec.com, US Treasury National Archives, FBI, National Archives, Department of Defense, U.S.C.G.S. ( United States Coast Guard), Library of Congress, USDA, Wikipedia, IMDB, National Weather Services, NOAA, NASA, Canadian Ice Service, US PTO(Patent and Trademark Office), Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Rochester Baseball Historical Society, Monroe County GIS Map Gallery which contains 11 interactive maps that were used in some of the snapshots as well as the parcels map that was used to verify data on certain properties,

District School #5, 2007, photo by Bill Sauers
999 Long Pond Road from GHS

The Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester Museum and Science Center, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, mcnygenealogy.com, New York State digital archive, Monroe Historical Society, Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Cobblestone Museum, Buffalo Maritime Center, New York State Department of Transportation, Bob Johnson Chevrolet

We relied heavily on past newspaper accounts and are so grateful that the Greece Historical Society secured grants to have the Greece Press, Greater Greece Press, and Greece Post digitized.

Bull at Scarlett’s Island Cottage from GHS
Lake Shore Drive-in Sign from GHS

History writers of the future will have a more difficult time documenting the past with fewer newspapers available.

Cine 1234 Ridge Rd (FB Gina Beebee)

The maps digitized by the Rochester Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Division are a marvelous resource.

St Charles Borromeo school photo by Bill Sauers
Movie Theatre in Stoneridge Plaza from GHS

If these Snapshots brought back memories or taught you something you didn’t know, then we succeeded in our endeavor. They will remain a resource for future students of local history.

We encourage you to get out and photograph what will be tomorrow’s history. Keep a journal documenting your lives and bequeath them to future generations.

Johnny Maier’s Hotel and Restaurant, 4454 Dewey Avenue, from GHS
Friendly’s Restaurant on Dewey Avenue from GHS

Lastly, we invite you to visit the Greece Historical Society and Museum to learn more about the history of the town of Greece.

Greece Volunteer Ambulance (GVA)
Greece Volunteer Ambulance (GVA)

This is Maureen Whalen, on behalf of the Greece Historical Society, Pat Worboys, and myself, saying thank you to our loyal viewers and wishing you the best as Greece begins a new century.

Frear’s Garden Center, 2022, photo by Pat Worboys
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Bicentennial Snapshot No. 53: Buckman’s Dairy

Today we turn our attention to one of the most iconic businesses in Greece. We want to thank Jo Ann Ward Snyder and Bonnie Stemen Fiser for their collaboration on this Snapshot. Jo Ann is preparing a profile of the Buckman family for Volume II of Pioneer Families of the Town of Greece. This is just a small expert from the full profile of the Buckman’s not all photos from the profile are in this post you will have to wait for the book to come out.

Buckman’s Dairy, 1950s, from GHS, courtesy of Ralph DeStefano

Buckman’s Dairy, 1950s, from GHS, courtesy of Ralph DeStefano

Many Grecians have sweet memories (pun intended) of Buckman’s Dairy.

Homer Buckman was born in 1889, …

Homer Buckman, courtesy of Bonnie Stemen Fiser
May, Burl, George, Lucy Griffin, Homer Buckman, courtesy of Bonnie Stemen Fiser

… the eldest child of George Buckman and Lucy Griffin. In this photo, Homer is on the far right.

In 1906 he married Alice Mitchell, daughter of Greece pioneers Thomas and Alice Corby Mitchell. The couple had one daughter Emeroy.

Alice, Emeroy, and Homer Buckman, courtesy of Bonnie Stemen Fiser
1902 Map of Greece from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division

In 1911 Homer Buckman founded his dairy with a dozen cows. It was located on the farm his father purchased from the estate of Erastus and Sarah Walker at the northwest corner of what is today, Ridge and Long Pond Roads. Homer was able to buy the land from his father in 1915.

Homer delivered his milk in a horse-drawn wagon three seasons of the year, and used a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter. In the background of this photo is his home, located on Ridge Road adjacent to the Dairy.

Eventually, deliveries were made by a 1928 Ford Model AA 1-1/2 Ton stake truck and a Reo Truck. Homer constructed a plant to pasteurize the milk and eliminated the competition by buying out the only other dairy in Greece. To meet customer demand Homer began buying raw milk from other local farmers

Homer with his delivery truck, the 1920s, from the office of the Town Historian. The Turck in this picture most likely matches the 1928 Ford Model AA 1-1/2 Ton stake truck from 1928 in the front. The back of the 1928 Ford Model AA looks like the 1929 Ford Model AA 1-1/2 Ton stake truck in the rear. This Truck was probably built in Michigan. Based onupdated information from the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford Museum.
Antique milk churn from eBay

as well as importing it via railroad; he’d pick up the milk churns like this one on the left arriving at the Hojack railroad station in North Greece, transporting it to his pasteurization plant to ready it for delivery. By 1931, the dairy was bottling 300 quarts of milk a day.

Hojack station, North Greece, from the Office of the Town Historian
Aerial view of Buckman’s, 1940, GHS

In the late 1920s, Homer remodeled the old barn and opened a small cash and carry store with milk, cream, and in season, ice cream. In 1931 he sold the business to Robert Peters, although he still owned all the property, lived on-site in his home, and helped out in the store.

In 1950 Ralph P. DeStephano, the owner of Bonnybrook Dairy on Lyell Avenue bought both the business and the property. He consolidated the milk processing operations on Ridge Road.

Bonnybrook Buckman’s Dairy, 2576 West Ridge Road, Photo Bill Sauers
Homer Buckman’s Obituary, on Page 7 in The Greece Post., November 16, 1972

Homer even continued to work in the store for a while. He died in 1972 at the age of 88. He was a Member of Greece Methodist Church on Maiden Lane, and a Member of the Greece Grange.

In 1966, DeStephano described to a reporter the history of the building: “The hayloft at the top of the barn is now three offices, mine and two others. The main floor where the hay was carried in is the main store. The ridge drops about 20 feet and cows came into the barn from a ramp in the back. They used the pasture out there. In the basement where the cattle were fed, is our ice cream room.”

Buckman’s, 1952, from the Office of the Town Historian
Buckman’s, 1952, from the Office of the Town Historian
Old Menu board from Buckman’s, from GHS

Circa 1976, the shop was renovated, and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor was added. The name changed to Buckman’s Ice Cream Village. Donuts had been sold at the shop beginning in the late 1950s, now snack items and soup and sandwiches were on the menu, and of course, ice cream. Twenty-five flavors!

Original Kitchen Sink from Buckman’s, Ralph DeStefano
The Kitchen Sink (Happy Days), courtesy of Jo Ann Ward Snyder

They had fun inventing ice cream delights such as “the “Kitchen Sink” which had 8 scoops of ice cream (2 scoops each of vanilla, banana, chocolate, and strawberry), 4 bananas, 4 toppings, 8 shots of whip cream and 8 cherries. If you ate it all, you would get a free sundae certificate.”

Sign honoring Ralph DeStephano, 1970s, from GHS

DeStephano was also a community activist and was “instrumental in bringing ambulance services, a Rotary Club, a Chamber of Commerce, and Park Ridge Hospital to Greece.” It was Ralph DeStephano and Ray DeMay that started Greece Volunteer Ambulance.  Greece Volunteer Ambulance Corps. (GVAC), which has since been disbanded in the last few years due to the four fire companies changing providers to Monroe Ambulance and the rising cost of Emergency services which the volunteer corp could not afford anymore.

The sign here on the left is from the Holiday Inn a few years before the tragic Holiday Inn Fire of 1978 which took the lives of ten people who were staying at that hotel.

You can learn more about Park Ave to Park Ridge from the May 2021 program that was recorded from Zoom and can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Ralph DeStephano sold the business to his son also named Ralph DeStephano Jr, in 1987.

Ralph DeStephano in his laundry center, 1970, from the Office of the Town Historian
Ralph DeStephano in his laundry center, 1970, from the Office of the Town Historian
Buckman’s Laundry Center, 1970, from the Office of the Town Historian

Buckman Enterprise also included a laundry

and a car wash.

Buckman’s car wash, 2023, photo by Bill Sauers
Buckman’s car wash, 2023, photo by Bill Sauers
From Greece Post, December 2, 1981

Those were the days in 1981—six car washes for $15.00!

During the 1980s through the mid-2000s the dairy, ice cream, and donut businesses were leased to several different operators. It closed in 2006.

Buckman’s ice cream from GHS
Buckman’s ice cream from GHS
Buckman Plaza as of 2-17-23, Photo by Bill Sauers
Buckman Plaza as of 2-17-23, Photo by Bill Sauers

The DeStephano family continues to own the property and today there are a variety of businesses in Buckman’s plaza.

Walgreens took a long-term lease to erect a drugstore on the site of the old dairy and barn, torn down in 2009; the pharmacy closed in 2018. Today the former Homer Buckman dairy is the site of Orville’s Home Appliances.

More on Homer Buckman and his family will be printed in the upcoming release of The Pioneer Families of Greece, New York Volume 2 coming later this year.

Also, you can view the program titled Buckman’s Dairy and Bakery History, that Ralph Destephano put on that was recorded on July 16, 2017

and check out this article that Alan Mueller, wrote for the newsletter in 2014 called Homer J. Buckman – Sold Milk, Cream, and Lollipops!!!

Thank you for joining us today; next week we say our farewells.

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Bicentennial Snapshot # 52 – Greece Performing Arts Society

This week we look at the Greece Performing Arts Society.

Before GPAS formed in 1969

Paddy Hill Players annual banquet at the Rochester Yacht Club, 1943, from the Office of the Town Historian

Between 1930 and 1950, people in the town of Greece had many opportunities to join in performing arts centered activities. Amateur theatrics were popular; not only was there the Paddy Hill Players troupe, but a number of churches, including St. John the Evangelist Church and Bethany Presbyterian Church staged annual plays.

By 1960 whereas students could join drama club or the school chorus or band, the opportunities for adults were fewer.

Hoover Drive School Band, 1959, from the Office of the Town Historian

1969 – the Greece Performing Arts Society was formed

So, in 1969, the Greece Performing Arts Society was formed for just that purpose—as an outlet for adults who didn’t want to give up performing just because they were no longer in school. GPAS became the “umbrella organization to pull together and coordinate all the various community performing organizations.”

Initially there were four groups, the Community Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Society, and a Summer theatre group. That first performance year, 1970-71, 165 people were in the various groups; they performed 20 concerts with an estimated total audience of 5,400 people.

Greece Choral Society, circa 1971, courtesy of Patricia Conklin
Greece Chorus and Orchestra practicing at Carnegie Hall, courtesy of Patricia Conklin

GPAS was born from the adult continuing ed experience of Robert Holtz who founded the community orchestra. Dr. David Felter founded the Symphony Orchestra.

Greece Chorus, with Ralph Zecchino and his wife Sandra, accompanist, standing before the choral society, courtesy of Patricia Conklin

Ralph Zecchino founded the choral society and was its director for 44 years from 1970-2014.

Rehearsing for Nunsense, Greece Post, August 24,1992

Over the years, the theatre group usually presented two musicals a summer with a mystery or comedy play or two until 2013. Now GPAS co-sponsors a student summer production.

In 1992 Greece Performing Arts Society put on Nunsense which was an off-Broadway Production that ran for 35 weeks in 1985 and it is a musical comedy with a book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggin, who is an American writer, composer, and lyricist. The musical Nunsense​ is a hilarious spoof about the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a fundraiser. Sadly, the rest of the sisterhood died from botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia Child of God. It was based on Dan’s early life experiences, including schooling by the Marywood Dominican Sisters. The musical of Nunsense did have six sequels but Greece Performing Arts Society only put on the original Nunsense the musical.

The society had a regular schedule of annual events, such as

2017 Schedule of concerts

Some of Different Concerts GPAS puts on

2009 – The Christmas concert Program

Christmas Concert

Winter Blahs program

Winter Blah Concert

Front of 2018 Spring concert program

The spring concert

Concert at Ontario Beach Park, 1999, courtesy of Patricia Conklin

Concerts at the Shore

Supervisor’s concert, 2000s courtesy of Patricia Conklin

And the Supervisor’s Concert.

Concert at Our Mother of Sorrows Church, circa 1979, courtesy of Patricia Conklin

And they were there for special occasions such as: The 150th anniversary of the founding of Our Mother of Sorrows Church

Front of 9/11 program, 2001

And a solemn ceremony for healing after September 11, 2001.

Front RPO Pops program, 2019

They regularly perform at the Eastman theatre.

Chorus on the steps of cathedral, 1994, courtesy of Patricia Conklin

A highlight in the history of the Choral Society was performing in France for the 50th anniversary of the D-day invasion at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Broadside for D-Day concert, July 1994
Garden tour courtesy of Patricia Conklin

Many Greece residents looked forward every summer between 1997 and 2016 to the GPAS annual garden tour fundraiser.

Today, GPAS is composed of three groups, the community orchestra, choral society, and concert band. As they have for more than 50 years, the Greece Performing Arts Society continues to offer musical enrichment to the Greece community.

Learn More about Greece Performing Arts Society and it history starting with The Prelude written by Bill Coons at www.greeceperformingarts.org/i-the-prelude. If you have any General Questions about GPAS then email them at info@greeceperfomingarts.org. Interested in becoming a member of GPAS then check out their membership page https://www.greeceperformingarts.org/membership. You can subscribe to their monthly newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming concerts, events and more. The Greece Concert Band, Choral Society, and Community Orchestra are pleased to be rehearsing at 75 Stutson Street.

For Upcoming GPAS Events visit

https://www.greeceperformingarts.org/events2

Thank you for joining us today.

Next week we look at one of Greece’s most iconic businesses,

Buckman’s Dairy.

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Bicentennial Snapshot No. 51: Some Notable Women of Greece

This week as the country marks the beginning of National Women’s History Month, we will introduce you to some notable Greece women.

Throughout the year we’ve told you stories about places, events, and people of the town of Greece. Some of the most elusive to pursue are the stories of Greece women who lived and contributed to the town, state, or country. Before the 20th century, most women usually were written off only when they married or died.

First let us salute all the pioneer women, such as Mehitable Hincher, who helped settle the town and raised their children, and helped their spouses. Imagine what it was like for Mehitable to be the first European woman to live in the town with no others for miles around. On the banks of the Genesee river, she raised her eight children and prospered with her husband. As did many other women whose names and stories are lost to history.

Descendants of William and Mehitable Hincher, circa 1890s
Descendants of William and Mehitable Hincher, circa 1890s

Elizabeth Baker

Painting attributed to Robert Peckam, circa 1843
Painting attributed to Robert Peckam, circa 1843

There’s little documentation for Elizabeth Baker. She was born in 1813 in East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut, the daughter of Josiah Jewett Baker and Alice Fox Baker. She was living in Greece circa 1840, but where or with whom is uncertain. Up until this time, there were only custom tailors in Rochester but, she opened a shop on Front Street in Rochester selling ready-to-wear children’s clothes. The boys’ trousers cost 25 cents. She was the very first clothing manufacturer in the city, a city that was on the brink of becoming a center of clothing manufacturing in the country.

Circa 1843, Meyer Greentree came to Rochester. He was one of only five Jewish people residing in Rochester at the time and he has been designated by some as the father of the Rochester Jewish community. He first worked for lace dealer Sigmund Rosenberg also on Front Street. Meyer became acquainted with Elizabeth Baker and they married in 1844. It was quite unusual for the time for a Jewish man and a Gentile woman to marry. After their marriage and the birth of their first child, Meyer took over the Front street business and “converted the place to a pants shop, and thereby began Rochester’s famed men’s clothing industry.”

Artist’s imaging of Mire Greentree, 1984, by Dick Lubey from 4 Score & 4 Rochester Portrait
Artist’s imaging of Mire Greentree, 1984, by Dick Lubey from 4 Score & 4 Rochester Portraits
Ad for Greentree & Wile, in the 1861 Rochester City Directory
Ad for Greentree & Wile, in the 1861 Rochester City Directory

Meyer Greentree is rightly called the Father of Rochester’s clothing industry, and though she is seldom mentioned, one would also have to say that Elizabeth Baker is the mother of Rochester’s clothing industry.

Sarah Cole Truesdale

On November 5, 1872, hoping to generate a legal case to take to the Supreme Court, Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women including her sister Mary voted in the presidential election. However, to stave off the possibility that this case could go all the way to the Supreme Court, the women were charged with misdemeanors, not felonies.

Susan B. Anthony from Rochester Public Library History and Genealogy Division
Susan B. Anthony from Rochester Public Library History and Genealogy Division
2022 Pioneer Families Program, May 10, 2022 Slide 37
Sarah Cole Truesdale’s home on Madison Street, from our Program UP CLOSE WITH TWO GREECE PIONEER FAMILIES recorded May 10, 2022

One of the other women who went with her was Sarah Cole Truesdale. She lived next door to the Anthonys on Madison Street. Sarah Cole was from a pioneer Greece family, growing up in Hoosick, that is South Greece. Her husband George Truesdale was from another long-time Greece family. In the snapshot, you can hear Deborah Cole Meyers, a volunteer at the Greece Historical Society describes when she discover an ancestor was friends with Susan B Anothy.

On May 22, 1873, Order of Indictment was issued for Sarah Cole Truesdale.
On May 22, 1873, Order of Indictment was issued for Sarah Cole Truesdale.

On May 22, 1873, Sarah appeared before Millard P. Fillmore, son of the thirteenth President of the United States who you may recall was from Buffalo. This is a copy of her indictment for the crime of voting for a representative of the United States Congress 29th congressional district “without having a legal right to vote in the said election district, the said Sarah Truesdale being then and there a person of the female sex.”

The court form only accounted for men voting illegally. Notice here that the clerk had to insert an “s” before “he” in this sentence.

Sarah Cole Truesdale's Bail release conditions
Sarah Cole Truesdale’s Bail release conditions

Sarah was released on four hundred dollars bail. This is a copy of her recognizance contract. However, the government decided to try only Susan B. Anthony. The case was widely followed in the press all over the country and helped to focus the women’s rights movement specifically on suffrage. Let’s now consider Greece’s most famous suffragist.

Jean Brooks Greenleaf

Jean Brooks Greenleaf was born on October 1, 1831, in Bernardston, Massachusetts. She married Halbert S. Greenleaf, a lock manufacturer (Yale and Greenleaf and later Sargent and Greenleaf here in Rochester) in 1852. In 1867 they moved to Rochester.”

Halbert S. Greenleaf, from William Farley Peck, Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester, 1884.
Halbert S. Greenleaf, from William Farley Peck, Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester, 1884.

Halbert S. Greenleaf, a Democrat, also served two terms in the House of Representatives, 1883 to 1885 and 1891 to 1893.

The Greenleafs lived at 64 North Goodman Street but also spent the summer months at their home and farm in Greece—what is today all the land around Lakeshore Country Club. At that time the street was called Fleming Road; today it is Greenleaf Road.

Close up of the1902 Plat Map zoomed in on Halbert S Greenleaf Property in Greece, N.Y., by J. M. Lathrop and Roger H. Pidgeom
Close up of the 1902 Plat Map zoomed in on Halbert S Greenleaf Property in Greece, N.Y., by J. M. Lathrop and Roger H. Pidgeom
Picture of Jean Brooks Greenleaf in A Woman of the Century by Frances Willard and ‎Mary Ashton Livermore
Picture of Jean Brooks Greenleaf in A Woman of the Century by Frances Willard and ‎Mary Ashton Livermore published in 1893

From 1887-1890 Jean Brooks Greenleaf was president of the Rochester Political Equality Club. From 1890-1896 she was president of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association. During her administration, New York became the best-organized state in the Union.” For the women of Greece, on September 15, 1892, the Charlotte Political Equality Club was organized at her summer farm and home.

Jean’s talents were dedicated to the cause in the years immediately before and after the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1894. Woman Suffrage was the burning question of that Convention. She chaired The Constitutional Amendment Campaign as President of the New York Woman Suffrage Association. She worked very closely with Susan B. Anthony.

Jean Brooks Greenleaf, Constitutional Amendment Com., calling card, from the Rochester Regional Library Council
Jean Brooks Greenleaf, Constitutional Amendment Com., calling card, from the Rochester Regional Library Council
Jean Brooks Greenleaf with Susan B. Anthony at her summer home in Greece, from the Rochester Regional Library Council
Jean Brooks Greenleaf with Susan B. Anthony at her summer home in Greece, from the Rochester Regional Library Council

Although their campaign to change the New York State constitution was not successful, Jean Brooks Greenleaf did live long enough to see women win the vote in New York State in November 1917, but not long enough to actually exercise that right. She died on March 2, 1918, at the age of 86.

In 2018, the Greece Historical Society secured a grant from the William C. Pomeroy foundation and with the permission of the Lakeshore Country Club erected a historical marker on the site of her former Greece home and farm.

Greenleaf Home Historical Marker Sign (2018), photo by Bill Sauers
Greenleaf Home Historical Marker Sign (2018), photo by Bill Sauers

Emma Pollard Greer

Emma Pollard Greer from H. Dwight Bliss
Emma Pollard Greer from H. Dwight Bliss

Emma Pollard Greer was a charter member of the Charlotte Political Equality Club. Emma lived all of her life in the little white house at the corner of Lake and Pollard Avenues where she was born on December 12, 1855, the seventh and last child, and only daughter, of Henry Pollard and Martha Moxon. The Moxon family was one of the earliest settlers in Greece arriving in 1825. Henry, her father, was born in England and came to Charlotte in 1836. He was the village blacksmith.

In 1882 Emma began her 22-year teaching career, first in the Charlotte grammar school and then, beginning in 1897, as one of 8 faculty members at the high school.

Charlotte High School foreground with the grammar school behind it from the Office of the Town Historian
Charlotte High School foreground with the grammar school behind it from the Office of the Town Historian
Emma Pollard Greer presenting scrapbooks to Charlotte High School courtesy of Marie Poinan
Emma Pollard Greer presenting scrapbooks to Charlotte High School courtesy of Marie Poinan

At the time of her death at 88 in 1944, Emma was the oldest native of Charlotte. She was the village’s historian. She wrote about the town of Greece and Charlotte for both the Democrat & Chronicle and Times-Union newspapers. In 1933 she contributed “Home Builders of Old Charlotte” to Volume 2 of the Centennial History of Rochester published by the Rochester Historical Society. At the age of 75, she completed the manuscript for her History of Charlotte and gave two copies to the Rochester Public Library. It was published in full in 1999. It is due to Emma’s diligent history-keeping that so much is known about the early history of the village and the town of Greece. One woman she wrote about was Julia Roberts.

When they hear the name Julia Roberts, those who are familiar with the history of the Charlotte blast furnace (1868-1927), do not think of the beautiful, talented actress, rather they think pig iron. Julia Pollay Roberts’ husband, Henry C. Roberts, took the reins of the iron manufacturing company in 1879, saving it from collapsing.

Stereopticon view of blast furnace, circa 1888
Stereopticon view of blast furnace, circa 1888
Postcard of blast furnace, circa 1910, from eBay
Postcard of blast furnace, circa 1910, from eBay

Henry’s many business interests required him to take frequent trips and it was Julia who managed the iron works plant in his absence. Charlotte historian Emma Pollard Greer wrote of her: “She must have been one of the earliest women iron masters in the United States.” After Henry’s death in 1885, Julia became head of the company, successfully keeping it “one of the most complete and best-equipped furnaces in the country.” Again quoting Emma Pollard Greer, “Mrs. Roberts had an unusual grasp of business for the women of her period.”

Unfortunately, the financial panic of 1893 and the ensuing depression forced Julia to shut down the operation. It was resurrected and leased to other companies, with Julia retaining some financial rights until 1902. The blast furnace finally went out of business in 1927.

Blast furnace, 1918, from GHS
Blast furnace, 1918, from GHS
4215 Lake Avenue, 2022, photo by Bill Sauers
4215 Lake Avenue, 2022, photo by Bill Sauers

After the property was sold to the city of Rochester in 1929, Julia who had lived at 4752 Lake Avenue near the blast furnace (where the Port of Rochester Marina is today), moved to this house at 4215 Lake Avenue. Julia Roberts died in 1938 at the age of 90 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

You can check out the Program Marie Poinan did on the Charlotte Blast Furnace in our Program Archives

Laura Justine Bonesteel A/K/A Jessie Bonstelle

Rear from Left to Right Ada, Georgia, Ida,
Front left to right Mary Lillian, Jessie Bonstelle

The only photo of Five of the Six Bonsteel sisters, Not in the picture is Annie Laurie Bonesteel, she was the only daughter who did not make it past a year old, and this photo is in the Benedict collection at The Greece Historical Society.

Laura Justine Bonesteel (1871-1932), called Jesse, was born in the town of Greece in 1871, the youngest of eleven children and one of six girls. Her parents were Joseph F. Bonesteel and Helen Norton. She was stagestruck at the age of 2 as a singer and was featured on a national tour by the age of 7. By her teens, she had leading roles in productions from the Schubert Company and pursued a career as an actress. And her paternal grandfather Heinrich “Henry” Bonsteel who ran The Bonesteel Tavern at Frankfort at High Falls at the site where the Flat Iron Cafe is located today at the intersection of Lake Ave, Lyell Ave, Smith St, and State St you can read more about Henry Bonsteel from the blog LOCAL HISTORY ROCS! by ROCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY/LOCAL HISTORY & GENEALOGY DIVISION titled A Genealogy of Place Pt. 3:  From Frankfort Institute to Flat Iron Café. Laura Justine Bonsteel’s siblings are listed below by year of birth, two of her siblings Henry Joseph and Annie Laurie did not make it past one year old, and Frederick Henry did not make it more than 3 years old. Henry, Annie, and Federick might have passed away as a result of any of the following childhood illnesses and diseases at the time which could have been the fourth cholera pandemic, smallpox outbreaks, yellow fever, and/or some other disease from the 1850s. Thanks to Jo Ann Ward Synder who is currently working on the Pioneer Families of Greece Volume II which is in the process of being worked on right now has provided the updates on the genealogy of the Bonsteel family here and below is the complete list of the children of Joseph Frederick Bonsteel and Helen Norton.

  • Sons of Joseph Frederick Bonesteel and Helen Norton in order of year of Birth
    • Henry Joseph Bonsteel (1854–1857) – Cause of death unknown,
    • Joseph Bonsteel
    • Frederick Henry Bonesteel (1864-1865) Died from Dysentery (intestinal infection, diarrhea),
    • Charles Suggett Bonesteel (1866-1929),
    • Harry Francis Bonesteele (1869-1934)
  • Daughters of Joseph F. Bonesteel and Helen Norton in order of year of Birth
    • Georgia F. Bonesteel Raynsford (1856-1937),
    • Mary Lillian Bonesteel Tiffany (1858-1932),
    • Twins Ada Lucelle Luella Bonesteel Benedict (1860-1943) and Ida Estelle Bonesteel Webster (1860-1931),
    • Annie Laurie Bonesteel (1867-1868) passed away from Marasmus- in today’s world Failure to Thrive,
    • Laura Justine Bonesteel (1871-1932).

    A printer’s error changed her professional name to Jesse Bonestelle. She starred in a number of productions, but her acting talent was limited. She found more success as a manager, producer, and acting coach.

    According to the book Images of America series: Rochester: Labor and Leisure, written by Donovan A. Shilling, it was the Frederick Cook Opera House that made the mistake on the theaters’ marquee and in the playbill, she decided to change the last name from Bonsteel to the last name Bonstelle and Bonstelle had a more romantic-sounding name to it. The Cook Opera House in Rochester is no more but you can read more about its history at LOCAL HISTORY ROCS! blog by ROCHESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY LOCAL HISTORY & GENEALOGY DIVISION titled The Play’s The Thing: A History of Cook’s Opera House, Part One and The Play’s The Thing: A Brief History of Cook’s Opera House, Part Two

    Jesse Bonestelle from the Library of Congress
    Cover of Theatre Magazine, October 1928
     Temple Beth-El (1902) — Beth-El's first temple, in central Detroit, southeastern Michigan.
    Temple Beth-El (1902) — Beth-El’s first temple, in central Detroit, southeastern Michigan. – Attribution: Andrew Jameson at English Wikipedia

    After running her own stock companies in Rochester, Syracuse, and Northampton, Massachusetts, she moved to Detroit, where she leased the Garrick Theatre and mounted plays there until 1910; in 1923 she was back in New York City managing the Harlem Opera Theatre.

    In 1924, Eugene Sloman purchased the Temple Beth El for $500,000 (about $6.7 million in 2009, when adjusted for inflation) for Jessie Bonstelle, the former synagogue got a new life as a home for the arts. Bonstelle had conducted a company at the Garrick Theatre for 15 years before finding a permanent home with the former Temple Beth El. Bonstelle was featured in a series of articles in McCall’s in 1929, giving advice to aspiring actresses.

    The Temple Beth El was reconfigured by Architect C. Howard Crane into the Bonstelle Playhouse. In 1930 there was letterhead that was showing it was the Detroit Civic Theatre, the first civic theatre in America.

    “Here she continued to produce plays and encourage young performers. Broadway producers respected her acumen and skill, often asking her to try out new plays for them.”

    Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division
    Katherine Cornell in The Age of Innocence, 1928

    She had a brilliant knack for spotting acting talent and among her clients was Katherine Cornell

    Melvyn Douglas,

    Melvyn Douglas gives Greta Garbo a kiss in Ninotchka, 1939
    Frank Morgan as the wizard in The Wizard of Oz, 1939

    Frank Morgan,

    And William Powell.

    William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man, 1936
    Katherine Cornell as Jo in Little Women, 1919.

    Jesse’s greatest achievement as a producer was persuading the family of Louisa May Alcott to sell her the rights to Little Women and she produced the first stage adaptation of this beloved story, taking it to Broadway and London.

    Laura Justine Bonesteel passed away on October 14, 1932, at the age of 60 from a heart attack in Detriot, Michigan, and was laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetary in Rochester, New York. And in 1936 a memorial Tree was planted in her honor a copy of the photo can be seen in the Wayne College library digital archives. Also to note in a post about the Bonstelle Theatre on HistoricDetroit.org there was an article written in Detriot Discovery magazine in 1974 by Mary McHenry that Jessie Bonstelle’s ghost haunts the theater, ” Her Soul was the theater, now the theater is her soul”. Wayne State University had numerous students that have gone on to star in some good movies like Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters Movies, and Mary Jean Tomlin aka Lily Tomlin who starred on The Merv Griffin Show, and later appeared on the Garry Moore Show. You can read more about the Bonstelle Theatre from Histroic Detroit as well as the Garrick Theatre from Historic Detroit to understand its history. A little update as of August 3, 2023, on the Bonstelle Theatre when I stopped in and explored the tintype studio and started to talk about tintypes and film and I brought up the Bonstelle Theatre in downtown Detriot and one of the two volunteers at Greenfield Village heard that was some talk about salting the ground around the Theatre because of how her spirit or other spirits are haunting the space but when I was going by the facility heading home on August 8, 2023, it looks like they are prepping some work to be done on the building most likely is the building is getting ready for demolition.

    Some Honorable Mentions

    Blanche Stuart Scott

    Blanche Stuart Scott grew up on Mount Read Blvd and became a famous female pilot, an Automobile Adventurer, Actress, and a museum curator. Blanche Stuart Scott, America’s first female pilot, was born in 1885 on her grandparents’ farm in Greece located on the north side of Lexington Ave where GM’s Delphi Plant is now located, the south side was in Gates. Reading from her unpublished autobiography during a recorded interview, she said.

    “My name is Blanche Stuart Scott and I come from a pioneer family, a Rochester pioneer family, who came to Rochester in eighteen hundred and ten. And settled out on what was then the old Scott Road and is now Mt Read Blvd.”

    Blanche Stuart Scott

    Kara Lynn Massey

    Kara Lynn Massey (born February 16, 1985), was a Greece Athena grad that went on to star in some big Broadway productions and is known professionally as Kara Lindsay, is an American stage actress and singer, best known for her roles as Katherine Plumber in Newsies (2012) and Glinda in Wicked (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019).

    Kara Lindsay - IMDb
    Kara Lindsay (Kara Lynn Massey)

    Thank you for joining us today. Next week we look at the Greece Performing Arts Society.

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    Bicentennial Snapshot No. 50: Barnard and Lakeshore Fire Districts

    This week we explore the history of Barnard and Lake Shore Fire Districts.

    Barnard Fire Department

    “Early in 1927, a group of civic-minded citizens of the Barnard District seeing the rapid growth of the section, decided that some form of fire protection was needed. This group set about to organize a fire department, and on April 14, 1927, this was realized by having the incorporation papers approved by the Greece Town Board.”

    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers
    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers
    Aerial view of Dewey Avenue at Clark Park, 1970s, Office of the Town Historian

    The firehouse was built in 1928 on land donated by George H. Clark.

    Leon Cox helped found the Barnard Fire Department, was a town councilman, and was a leading businessman in the area.

    Leon Cox
    Leon Cox

    The district’s approximate boundaries are Mount Read Blvd on the west, Latta Road on the north, and the city of Rochester on the east and south.

    Map of Environs of Rochester and Monroe County, 1931, G. M. Hopkins Company, from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division
    Barnard Fire Truck, the 1930s, from the Office of the Town Historian

    Their first piece of apparatus was a White truck, combination hose, and chemical, purchased from the City of Rochester. The new company fought its first fire on February 4, 1928, at the MacDonald residence on Wendhurst Drive.

    25 to 30 firefighters responded to the fire. It was an all-volunteer company, but today is a combination of career and volunteer members.

    Barnard Fire District Volunteers, 1931, from the Office of the Town Historian
    First police Department, 1940s, from GHS

    When Greece converted from constables to a police department in 1932, their headquarters were a room in the Barnard fire station. The police department moved to the town hall in the 1950s.

    The fire district operates from a single fire station approximately in the geographic center of their service area. In 1950, realizing that their iron lung machine was better off in a hospital setting, the Barnard Fire Department donated it to Strong Memorial Hospital. (Snapshot # 47 Childhood illnesses and diseases)

    Barnard fire station, the 1960s, Office of the Town Historian
    Barnard fire station, 2017, Office of the Town Historian

    The firehouse was expanded in 1999.

    At 3.7 miles, the Barnard Fire District serves the smallest geographic area in Greece, but it has the densest population at 5,536 per mile.

    Barnard fire station, 2006, photo by Bill Sauers
    Squad 227 from barnardfire.org

    At least one of the firefighters on duty each shift is a paramedic and “Barnard is the only fire department in Greece to provide paramedic first-response.” Of their average 3,500 calls for service, 77% are EMS-related.

    Barnard Exempts Board of Trustees, Greece Press, circa 1937

    In 1935, the Barnard Exempt Fireman’s Association was founded to provide relief aid to disabled or indigent members and their families, to promote the volunteer department, and to foster camaraderie among current and former Barnard firefighters. Under New York State law, exempt in this case meant that the volunteer firefighters were exempt from jury duty and although not in the town of Greece from a small portion of their property taxes.

    Officer's Exempt Form
    Officer’s Exempt Form
    Barnard Park from google maps

    In 1937, the Exempts purchased a 16-acre tract on Maiden Lane to build not only a clubhouse for themselves but also with the intention “to turn it into the finest town small park in the state.” They laid out a baseball diamond, set out tables and benches for picnics, and constructed fireplaces for hotdog and marshmallow roasts.” Over the years the park and the party house have hosted thousands of functions.

    And on the grounds of the Barnard Exempts, there is a shed that was used as a camp headquarters for a Boy Scouts troop that was sponsored by Barnard Exempt members

    A staple of the Dewey-Stone area was the annual Barnard Carnival and Parade, a fundraiser for the fire district.

    People gather for the Barnard Parade, 1970s, Office of the Town Historian

    The Carnival was held every year from 1928 to 2016 attracting thousands of people.

    Ad for 1943 Barnard Carnival, from the Office of the Town Historian

    It has been replaced by Bands at Barnard, a series of summer music concerts. You can find more information online for the 2023 schedule for Bands at Barnard by going to their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Bandsatbarnard.

    Lake Shore Fire District

    In 1957 four separate fire companies that served the lake shore communities joined together to form the Greece Lake Shore Fire District. They were the Braddock Heights Fire Department, Grand View Heights Fire Department, Crescent Beach Fire Department, and Lake View Fire Company.

    Current Lake Shore Fire District Coverage Map

    In the early 1930s, Barnard and North Greece fire districts were under contract with the town to provide service to the shore communities; Barnard was responsible for Shoremont west of the city line to Island Cottage to the Buck Pond outlet and the North Greece territory was from Crescent Beach west to Braddock Heights, including Grand View Beach and Grand View Heights.

    Lake Shore Fire Distract shield on side of the Ling Road fire station, 2022, photo by Bill Sauers
    Braddock Heights Fire Department with Gordon Howe, 1940s, Office of the Town Historian
    Braddock Heights Fire Department with Gordon Howe, 1940s, Office of the Town Historian

    But these areas also had their own fire departments. Like Barnard, concerned citizens formed a volunteer fire department at Braddock Heights in 1930. It was located on East Manitou Road at 2nd Ave. Their nickname was The Swamp Rats.

    A new station was constructed circa 1965 at 35 East Manitou Road; today, it is no longer a fire station but a studio home.

    Braddock Heights Fire Station
    Braddock Heights Fire Station, which closed in the Late 1990s, now a Studio Home
    Crescent Beach Fire Dept 1930s Greece Town Historian
    Crescent Beach Fire Dept 1930s, Greece Town Historian

    Crescent Beach Fire Department was founded in 1934 as the Crescent Beach Protective Association but changed its name to Crescent Beach Fire Department when it was incorporated in 1936. It was located on Edgemere Drive. Their symbol was an owl with the motto “We Never Sleep.”

    And Grand View Heights established its fire association in 1925 and incorporated in 1936 and was chartered by New York State as a fire department in 1944. They were located at Lowden Point. In the background of the station is the fire siren that was used to call the volunteers to the station before pagers, beepers, cell phones, and radios in the firefighters’ personal vehicles.

    Clip 21: Former firehouse at Lowden Point, 2014, photo by Bill Sauers
    Former firehouse at Lowden Point, 2014, photo by Bill Sauers
    Ad for Braddock Heights Fire Department Carnival from eBay

    Since they were not under contract with the town, they could not be supported by taxes. Each of these volunteer groups and their women’s auxiliaries held frequent fundraisers such as card parties, sauerkraut dinners, and annual carnivals just like Barnard.

    The funds raised were used to purchase firefighting equipment.

    Fire apparatus of Crescent Beach Fire Department, 1930s, Office of the Town Historian
    Lake Shore fire apparatus, 1984
    Lakeview Fire Department on Ling Road
    Lakeview Fire Department on Ling Road

    In 1957, when they joined together a new firehouse was constructed on Ling Road and called the Lakeview Fire Company

    Two of the Lake Shore Fire Department Stations suffered fires the Crescent Beach fire on February 16, 1983, and the Grand View Beach on March 15, 1983, with both stations unable to operate out of their station bays a new station was required

    Crescent Beach Fire House FIRE (GHS)
    Crescent Beach Fire House FIRE (GHS) was Located at 1391 Edgemere Drive
    Former firehouse at Lowden Point, 2014, photo by Bill Sauers
    Former firehouse at 225 Lowden Point Road, 2014, photo by Bill Sauers

    The Lake Shore Fire District decided to replace both stations with a new building centrally located between both Cresent Beach and Grand View Beach at 1 Long Pond Road. In 1992, the fire station was officially re-dedicated it as the Charles L. Carroll Fire Station honoring the first fire chief of Lake Shore.

    Lakeshore fire house 1 Long Pond Road, 2021, photo by Bill Sauer
    Lakeshore fire house 1 Long Pond Road, 2021, photo by Bill Sauers

    The new site was centrally located in the fire district, and would provide a “more efficient reaction and response in all directions.” It became the first full-time staffed station in the Lake Shore Fire District and was designated the headquarters. It eventually incorporated Braddock Heights in the late 1990s.

    Lakeview Fire Department on Ling Road
    Ling Road fire station, 2022. Photo by Bill Sauers
    Ling Road fire station, 2022. Photo by Bill Sauers

    The Ling Road Fire House was replaced with a new building in 2012 and on June 16, 2012, the fire station was officially dedicated in the name of Robert Brindley, LSFD life member and past fire chief of the Lakeview Fire Company. The Ling Road station covers the east end of the Lake Shore Fire District.

    As of 2018, the department had 11 full-time career firefighters and 41 volunteers.

    Lake Shore Fire District
    Lake Shore Fire District
    Lake Shore Rescue Boat
    Lake Shore Rescue Boat

    Unique to the Lake Shore Fire district, the department has two boats and crews trained in water rescue; the boats are assigned to the Ling Road Station. The fire department averages 1,000 calls for service per year, 67% are EMS-related. In 2018 there were 13 events that required the rescue boat.

    Ling Road station sign, 2022, photo by Bill Sauers

    All the Greece fire departments give mutual aid when required: to the other Greece fire districts, the city of Rochester, and neighboring towns, but sometimes they also provide assistance or will fill in for the fire station, and will deploy elsewhere if needed in the state and country to show support or relief for other fire companies. Most recently Lake Shore District firefighters went to Buffalo to assist them after the Christmas weekend blizzard of 2022. Below is the Map of the Walden Fire District in the Town of Cheektowaga.

    Map of the Walden Fire District that the Lake Shore Fire District assisted

    As a Volunteer for the Greece Historical Society, I, Pat Worboys worked on the Extreme Weather Snapshots with Maureen, which we put together and aired in November, a month before the Christmas Blizzard hit Buffalo.

    It was the second record snowfall in less than a month, from the 78 inches dropped in Orchard Park and then 64.7 at Christmas. It is the most snow in New York State to fall between Buffalo and Tug Hill for the 2022 – 2023 snow season.

    I have pictures and 2 time-lapsed footage of the Christmas Weekend Blizzard of 2022 from my apartment in the City of Buffalo, where I only lost power for 24 hours.

    This is a link to my timelapse and pictures from the blizzard of 2022 and give you a look at what that Friday looked like for me when the blizzard hit https://photos.app.goo.gl/ADLsKhi8LG76hWGm7.

    Some of the issues that the county of Erie and the City of Buffalo had to deal with were the amount of snow that fell in the county and the number of trapped or stranded vehicles. High winds reduced visibility to zero; streets became impassable. Tragically, the City had the highest number of deaths.

    One of the more unique problems was that the power substations that are built in what look like fake buildings ended up becoming frozen. Because of the way the heat systems in those substations operate, some of the stations did not allow the snow to pass through nor had very good snow barriers to prevent snow from building up in them; the accumulation of snow and ice inside them caused the grid to crash in certain parts of the City of Buffalo.

    A National Grid Substation was frozen by snow and required blast heaters to melt the snow to get them back up and running

    Thank you for joining us today. Next week we will talk about some of the notable women in the history of Greece.

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    Bicentennial Snapshot No. 49: Dewey-Stone / Barnard

    Map of the Hamlets and Neighboods – Created by Pat Worboys for the Snapshots

    Today we are talking about the Dewey-Stone neighborhood, first called Barnard’s Crossing or simply Barnard.

    After the annex of Charlotte by the city of Rochester in 1916, Dewey-Stone became the first and is now the oldest neighborhood in the town of Greece. It’s bounded on the south by the railroad tracks at Barnard’s Crossing, on the north by English Road, on the east by Stonewood Avenue, and on the west by Mount Read Boulevard.

    Neighborhood sign photo by Bill Sauers

    Reflecting the times in which they were built, the homes are smaller and closer together than more modern houses, an arrangement that fostered neighborliness. Here you will find mostly Cape Cod-styled homes, but some lovely craftsman bungalows such as the one pictured here on Briarcliff Road. Dewey Stone has the largest concentration of bungalow homes in Monroe County and…

    Craftsman bungalow on Briarcliff Road, built in 1920, photo by Bill Sauers
    on Briarcliff Road
    Briarcliff Road
    Almay Road
    Garage House photo by Bill Sauers

    Unique garage homes. During the Depression, the town allowed people who couldn’t afford to build a home to build a two-story garage and live there until they could build a standard home. But in many cases, the larger house was never constructed. These homes are set far back from the road because the main house was going to be built in front of it.

    There are even a few Sears homes built in the Dewey Stone area, these houses are assembled from a kit ordered through Sears Roebuck & Company. “Sears provided building plans and specifications, along with the lumber and any other materials needed. The shipment included everything from nails, screws, and paint, to prebuilt building parts, such as staircases and dining nooks.” This house located here on Swansea Park was constructed from The Barrington No. 3260 which was printed in the 1930s Sears, Roebuck & Company catalog and built-in 1935. There are a few other Sears houses built in the Dewey Stone area and throughout the Rochester area and other parts of the country, some are even built in the backyard of the Sears Roebuck & Company offices in Illinois. If it is a Sears house kit there will be located on one of the joists or beams in the basement with the Model information on it that’s if it is still there on the wood.

    Sears Barrington Model 3260 on Swansea Park Photo by Bill Sauers

    You can check out the 1930s catalog of the Sears, Roebuck & Company at Archive.org

    1902 Plat Map

    On this 1902 map, you can see that the area is still mostly farmland.

    Ad for Sunrise Park courtesy of Bill Sauers

    But by the 1920s, the land was being sold for residential development.

    Norman Cooper’s Grocery, the 1920s, from GHS

    With the highest concentration of residents in the town, naturally, businesses and other services gravitated to the area. The logical site to establish a hub was the Dewey, Stone, and Maiden Lane crossroads. One of the earliest establishments was Norman Cooper’s grocery on the northeast corner of Dewey Stone. The gas station was Essig’s.

    In 1928, next to Norm Cooper’s businesses, John Reid purchased the corner lot from Dewey Avenue to Almay Road, building a “block of five stores on Stone Road.” It was the first shopping center in Greece.

    Photo by Bill Sauers
    Reid Block 1996, Photo By Bill Sauers and shared by Office of the Town Historian,

    Reid ran the Barnard Market and was succeeded after his death in 1957 by his two sons, Jack and Jim.

    This is what the Reid Block looks like today.

    Photo by Bill Sauers
    Leon Cox

    Leon Cox helped found the Barnard Fire Department, was a town councilman, and was a leading businessman in the area.

    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers
    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers

    In the summer of 1929, he and his wife Bertha opened a simple roadside hotdog stand which eventually morphed into one of the best-known establishments in Greece—the Dutch Mill. They expanded the business into a bar and restaurant after Prohibition ended.

    Dutch Mill, 1935 Office of the Town Historian
    The Dutch Mill, 2017, Office of the Town Historian

    Over the years the building was renovated and enlarged to hold all sorts of gatherings from card tournaments to wedding receptions. The name changed to the New Dutch Mill but reverted to simply The Dutch Mill under its last owners. In April 2022 after 93 years the Dutch Mill closed its doors for good.

    The Dutch Mill – A Community Gathering Place

    One of the first strip malls, The Dewstone Shopping Center opened in 1948,

    Dewstone Shopping Center, 1996, from the Office of the Town Historian
    Ad for opening of Star Market, Greece Press, January 15, 1948

    and featured Star Market.

    The year before Dewstone opened, in a building just to the west, Jack Symonds opened a bakery. In 1960 he purchased property across the street at 614 Stone Road for his Jackson’s Bakery. Today, “It still operates in its original 2,400-square-foot footprint, with a small retail area in front and production room in back.” People from all over the county come to Jackson’s for their kuchen, cakes, and cookies.

    Jackson’s Bakery, 2012, photo by Bill Sauers
    Painting of Dewey-Stone area by Warren Farrell, donated to the Greece Historical Society by, the last owners of the Dutch Mill
    Painting of Dewey-Stone area by Warren Farrell, donated to the Greece Historical Society by, the last owners of the Dutch Mill

    People who lived and grew up in the Dewey Stone neighborhood characterize it as a village. All the shops and services they needed were close by.

    This ad listing the businesses in the neighborhood was prefaced with the text. “The thriving Dewey-Stone Rd. Shopping Section offers residents of this pleasant residential community a concentrated shopping service that is complete in every respect. All types of stores are included and they offer a large variety of merchandise at fair prices. You’re doing business with a friend when you shop at the Dewey-Stone Rd. center. You’ll find it most convenient, too. The professional services of doctors and dentists are also available in the neighborhood as part of this well-organized community.”

    Dewey-Stone businesses ad, Greece Press, May 8,1947
    Dewey-Stone businesses ad, Greece Press, May 8, 1947
    Johnny from Johnny’s Sweet Shop from Beth Ann Becker-Bryce
    Johnny from Johnny’s Sweet Shop from Beth Ann Becker-Bryce

    There were ten grocery stores, a shoe store, a jewelry store, barbers, a tailor, ice cream shops, and a candy store, such as Johnny’s Sweet Shop at the corner of Dewey and Beverly Heights where you’d also learn the latest gossip.

    On the southeast corner of Dewey and Stone for many years was McBride Brothers Grocery which then became McBride’s Tavern and Restaurant.

    McBride’s Restaurant from GHS
    McBride’s Restaurant from GHS
    Sklar Home, 1888, from GHS
    John and Maria Davis Schuyler and the other couple is John’s nephew John Simpson with wife Sarah Veness. 1888, from GHS

    McBride’s stood on the site of the old SCHUYLER family home.

    John and Maria Davis Schuyler and the other couple is John’s nephew John Simpson with wife Sarah Veness.

    Not surprisingly, in addition to the commercial establishments, schools, and churches were centered here as well. Barnard School otherwise known as Common School District # 15 was located at Dewey and Maiden Lane.

    Barnard School
    Barnard School
    Dewey Ave Union Church predecessor of Bethany
    Dewey Ave Union Church predecessor of Bethany

    The predecessor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, the Dewey Avenue Union Church, located at Dewey and Haviland Park, was founded in 1898. Bethany Presbyterian church was founded in 1910. In 1929 it was received into the Presbytery of Rochester and changed its name.

    They moved to their current location, just north of the Reid Block on Dewey in 1952. Look closely at the church in the background of this photo we showed you before from the blizzard of ’66. Notice that there is no steeple.

    Blizzard of ’66 showing Bethany without steeple photo by Bill Sauers
    Blizzard of ’66 showing Bethany without steeple photo by Bill Sauers
    Bethany Presbyterian Church, photo by Bill Sauers
    Bethany Presbyterian Church, photo by Bill Sauers

    The steeple which now dominates the skyline was completed in 1989.

    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church from GHS
    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church

    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Parish was established in 1929 with a church and school building across the street from Barnard School. On land that once was John H. Sheehan’s Property in 1924.

    St. Charles Borromeo School did suffer a fire in 1938 and you can read about that story called A Community that Saved a School it was first published in the Greece Post on February 21, 2008 issue.

    The church was completely remodeled in 1952 with a Spanish mission motif.

    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, 1966, photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, 1966, photo by Bill Sauers

    In 1966 ground was broken for a new church which would be set closer to Dewey Avenue.

    It opened on Easter Sunday 1967.

    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church photo by Bill Sauers

    “Early in 1927, a group of civic-minded citizens of the Barnard District seeing the rapid growth of the section, decided that some form of fire protection was needed. This group set about to organize a fire department, and on April 14, 1927, this was realized by having the incorporation papers approved by the Greece Town Board.” We’ll talk more about the Barnard Fire District in our next snapshot.

    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers
    Barnard Fire Department Plaque photo by Bill Sauers
    Vick Seed Farms from W.H. McIntosh, History of Monroe County, New York, 1877.
    Vick Seed Farms from W.H. McIntosh, History of Monroe County, New York, 1877.

    Property north of stone on the east side of Dewey Avenue, formerly the Vick Seed farm Snapshot 13, was purchased by George H. Clark in the early 1900s and was known as Glendemere Farm.

    George Clarke donated 1.90 acres of that land to Barnard Fire Department in 1928 and sold 36.29 acres of the 55 1/2 acres of his property to the Diocese of Rochester in 1937 for $25,000.00. The Diocese then in turn donated it to the Sisters of St. Joseph who operated as an orphanage called St. Joseph Villa, which later became Villa of Hope.

    The Remaining 20 acres north of the Villa of Hope were split into lots for single-family homes and then land to the south of the St Joseph’s Villa and in the back of Barnard Fire Department went to parking lots for Barnard Fire Department, Rochester Telephone, and Bethany Presbyterian Church.

    In the late 1930s, as foster care was beginning to supplant orphanages, three in the city of Rochester closed their doors, but there were about 70 boys and girls for whom homes could not be found. The Sisters of St. Joseph opened St. Joseph’s Villa. Eventually, their mission transitioned to helping children in crisis.

    Aerial view of St. Joseph’s Villa from GHS
    Aerial view of St. Joseph’s Villa from GHS
    St. Agnes cottage at St. Joseph’s Villa, photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Agnes cottage at St. Joseph’s Villa, photo by Bill Sauers

    The children were housed in “English Cottages.” Thomas Boyde, Jr., Rochester’s first African American architect, had a hand in designing some of the features of these cottages. You can learn more about Thomas Boyde, Jr. and the Boyde Project at the top of the page.

    In 2013, since it was no longer affiliated with the Diocese of Rochester or the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Joseph’s Villa became Villa of Hope.

    St. Joseph’s Villa, photo by Bill Sauers
    St. Joseph’s Villa, photo by Bill Sauers
    Book caravan at Dewey and Haviland, 1920s, from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division
    Book caravan at Dewey and Haviland, 1920s, from the Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division

    The Dewey Stone area had regular library service, but not its own public library. The book caravan stopped at the Dewey Avenue Union Church beginning in 1923 and was succeeded by the Monroe County Bookmobile for decades. The Willis N. Britton school library served as a public library for the community every six weeks the county library truck would drop off 50 books and the school would open up each night for a few hours so that adults could borrow books to read as well as the caravan traveling around the town to other spots so people could borrow books. In Hoover Drive’s Odyssey on page 7, the fourth sentence states “One should note that the Greece Public Library was not organized until the late 1950s, and there was no actual library building until the early 1960s.”

    The Greece Public Library was established in 1958 with its first home in Greece Olympia high school. Between 1959 and 1963 before the Mitchell Road Library opened the library was housed at Greece Olympia High School, Greece Baptist Church, and Ridgecrest Plaza.

    Groundbreaking ceremony for the Greece Public Library, 1962. Holding the shovel are Fred Hoyt and Supervisor Vincent L. Tofany. From left to right are Library Trustees Mrs. Arnold Frear, Mrs. Walker Hunter, and Donald MacDonald. Mrs. Donald Eastman, Assistant Librarian, and Mrs. Helen Smith, Librarian.

    A main library was constructed on Mitchell Road in 1962. Above is the Groundbreaking for the Mitchell Road Branch. The Mitchell Road Branch officially opened in April 1963, and the hours of operation at that time were Monday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.; Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.

    Four additional branches were added, to the Town’s Library system as well as the Monroe County Library system in order of library the year the branches came to exist, starting Paddy Hill in 1968 when the library board and the town entered into a lease with Mother of Sorrows Parish Committee to renovate the old church as a library, then came the North Greece branch which was located in the North Greece Plaza at 610 North Greece Road and that sits behind where Station 1 used to be for North Greece Fire Department and some people may have gone to the library there and then went to Hotel De May for Dinner or Lunch, that was followed by Lowden Point branch which was at 105 Lowden Point Rd, Rochester, NY 14612, not too far from where Milton “Midge” Staud’s Cottage you can learn more about the Staud Brothers in Bicentennial Snapshot No. 44: Prohibition, Rumrunners, and Bootleggers and just up the block was Grand View Heights Frie Company located and finally Dewey-Stone in 1980. This branch was a storefront library located in the Dewstone Shopping Center. The Dewstone was not the only storefront library before the Mitchell Branch opened it was in a storefront at the Ridgecrest Plaza.

    Dewstone Shipping Center on Stone Road, 1996.
    Dewstone Shipping Center on Stone Road, 1996.
    Greece Public Library entrance at the Ridgecrest Plaza location, 1963. This was the temporary location of the library while the Mitchell Road location was being constructed.
    Greece Public Library entrance at the Ridgecrest Plaza location, 1963. This was the temporary location of the library while the Mitchell Road location was being constructed.
    Greece Public Library - Mitchell Road Branch opened in 1963 and closed in 2001 when four of the five Greece Public Library branches were consolidated into the current Main Branch located on Vince Tofany Blvd.
    Greece Public Library – Mitchell Road Branch opened in 1963 and closed in 2001 when four of the five Greece Public Library branches were consolidated into the current Main Branch located on Vince Tofany Blvd.
    Our Mother of Sorrows Church, photo by Bill Sauers
    Our Mother of Sorrows Church, Paddy Hill Library Branch photo by Bill Sauers
    The red arrow is pointing at where the North Greece Library Branch was located in the North Greece Plaza (1973 – 1993), Photo Bill Sauers
    Lowden Point Vietnamese Buddhist Association Formerly Greece Public Library Lowden Point Branch, as well a former Grocery store
    Lowden Point Vietnamese Buddhist Association Formerly Greece Public Library Lowden Point Branch (1977-2001), IGA store prior to 1977, Photo Bill Sauers
    Barnard Crossing Library photo by Bill Sauers
    Barnard Crossing Library photo by Bill Sauers

    The branch was moved to Dewey Avenue at Florence Avenue in 1998 and was the only branch retained after the new main library opened on the town hall campus in 2000.

    Greece Public Library Barnard Crossing Branch located at 2808 Dewey Avenue. Opened in 2014. Office of the Town Historian
    Greece Public Library Barnard Crossing Branch located at 2808 Dewey Avenue. Opened in 2014. Office of the Town Historian

    In 2014 it moved again, a bit to the north on Dewey Avenue between Odessa and Shady Way. It was refashioned into a popular reading library.

    During the Covid pandemic, Barnard Crossing was closed and there are no plans to re-open it.

    Interior of Barnard Crossing Branch, 2017, Office of the Town Historian
    Interior of Barnard Crossing Branch, 2017, Office of the Town Historian

    Over the years some annual traditions developed in the Dewey-Stone neighborhood. For example, every summer Norman Cooper would give a bicycle to a lucky child. In this photo, children are gathered around Mr. Cooper in hopes that their name would be called.

    Norman Cooper with children, in Greece by Shirley Cox Husted
    Norman Cooper with children, in Greece by Shirley Cox Husted
    A typical Twelfth Night bonfire
    A typical Twelfth Night bonfire

    From 1938 to the early 1960s, the holiday season ended and the new year was celebrated with a Twelfth Night bonfire on January 6. Residents would bring their Christmas trees to a site, for many years at St. Joseph’s Villa on the baseball field, and it was a huge controlled bonfire lit by members of the Barnard Fire Department in case the bonfire got out of hand. In 1938 there were more than a thousand trees in pile 20 feet high.

    Barnard Carnival a fundraiser for the Barnard Fire Department

    Every year people would line the streets to watch the parade that kick-offed the annual Barnard Fire Department’s Carnival and Parade. The Carnival was held every year the week after the Fourth of July from 1928 to 2016. Here is a collection of photos that we have in our digital files of the parade and the carnival as well as the Barnard Carnival Rest In Peace T-Shirt.

    The Barnard Carnival and Parade were replaced with Bands at Barnard. You can find more information online for the 2023 schedule for Bands at Barnard by going to their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Bandsatbarnard.

    Some additional related content to the Dewey Stone Area are:

    Thank you for joining us today; next week we look at the Barnard and Lake Shore Fire Districts.

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    Bicentennial Snapshot No. 48: Gordon A. Howe

    Today our topic is Gordon A. Howe, longtime Monroe County and Greece political leader whose career spanned 43 years.

    Gordon A. Howe

    When he died in 1989, Gordon A. Howe was eulogized by US Representative Frank Horton: “He was a great leader and an unusual person in that everyone respected him. He made tremendous contributions to county government and to Greece.”

    Gordon Howe was born January 19, 1904, the son of Frank Howe from Hamilton County, New York, and Agnes Murray, a native of Scotland. He was one of five children. They moved to Greece in 1919, residing on Denise Road (where the Pine Grove apartments are today).

    Gordon A. Howe
    Charlotte High School from the Office of the Town Historian

    Howe was an all-around student at Charlotte High School this was when the high school just getting ready to move across the road to its new location to house more students.

    Charlotte High photo by John Cranch
    Charlotte High photo by John Cranch
    1922-23 City Basketball Champions from the Office of the Town Historian (Howe holding the basketball)

    an outstanding athlete,

    Student Council 1924 from the Witan (Charlotte High School Yearbook) from Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division (Howe center of the third row from the bottom)

    member of the student council, president of his class his senior year,

    Yearbook staff, 1924, from the Witan (Charlotte High School Yearbook) from Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division (Howe center row second from the right)

    and on the yearbook staff.

    He even drew the cover for the 1921 Witan.

    Pen and ink sketch by Gordon Howe, 1921, courtesy of Marie Poinan
    Senior class president 1924, from the Witan (Charlotte High School Yearbook) from Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division

    He graduated in 1924 and although he wanted to go to Columbia University and major in journalism, he had to forgo college and worked several years for Rochester Gas And Electric (RG&E).

    However, it didn’t take him long to find his true calling—a life dedicated to political service. He became involved with Republican politics as soon as he could vote. In 1930 at the age of 26, he was elected to the position of Justice of the Peace—he was the youngest person in the state at the time ever elected to be a JP. He was self-educated in the law.

    Gordon A. Howe after his election in 1930 at the age of 26 from GHS

    In 1933, due to the Depression, he lost his job as an insurance adjuster. He said: “I had to do something” so he decided to run for Greece Town Supervisor in 1934. He won at the age of 29, and continued to win, ultimately serving 13 two-year terms as Supervisor.

    Greece Press, November 5, 1937
    Wedding picture 1937 from GHS

    In 1937 Howe married Lois Speares, a former schoolmate.

    They first lived in the historic Dennis Denise home at 486 Denise Road not far from his parents.

    486 Denise Road photo by Bill Sauers
    Gordon with his children Gordon II, Gretchen, and David circa 1954, GHS

    They had three children, Gordon II, Gretchen, and David.

    In 1941, they purchased the historic Larkin-Beattie home, which was then located at 3177 Latta Road. Today it is the home of the Greece Historical Society on Long Pond Road.

    Howe House in winter
    Aerial view of the Howe property, 1940s, from the office of the Town Historian

    The house came with 25 acres of land, perfect for hosting the annual picnic for the Greece Republican committee or the Barnard Fire Department of which Howe was a former volunteer.

    Howe, along with his good friend and fellow Republican Al Skinner, who was Monroe County Sheriff from 1938 to 1973, dominated Greece politics for years.

    Howe and Skinner from GHS
    Kirk Road Bridge, WPA project 1937, from the Office of the Town Historian

    During the Depression years, Howe secured WPA funds to improve roads, including filling in marshland to extend Edgemere Drive from Island Cottage Road to Manitou Road and Braddock Bay,

    Greece Press, June 21, 1935

    providing employment for 1500 Greece families on welfare. Another project was the installation of sanitary sewers in the Dewey-Stone area.

    During Al Skinner and Gordon’s Political term, they also had to deal with the Second World War 1940-1945. More on World War II and its effects during Gordon’s Term.

    Greece Press, March 28, 1957

    While supervisor, Howe saw the town grow from a population of 12,000 to well on its way to becoming the largest Rochester suburb. The population of Greece rose 402% between 1930 and 1960.

    The frist recorded population for the town of Greece was in 1825 it showed that the town had One Thousand Five Hundred Forty Seven people living in the town. In 1830 Depending on the U.S. Census or Landmarks of Monroe County Published in 1895 reports two different populations either it is 2,574 or 2,571 Depending on which data you are looking at in terms of the population.

    The biggest change in population amount from 1910 to 1930 was when the city of Rochester wanted the Port of Rochester and the Lake Ave corridor this caused the town to lose population from 7,777 in 1910 and in 1920 to a population of 3,350 and a lose of 56.9% of the towns population. But in 1930 after the dust finally settled from the annexations of parts of the town of Greece it rose 261.60% to a population of 12,113, and every year after 1930 the town grew in leaps and bounds and in 2010 the town reached a population of 96,095. In 2019 the town started to see the population dip under 96,100, some of that is because of how New York State is ran, but also people move to where the work is and able to make more income and have better life for their families.

    Historical population Of Greece 1825-2019(Est.)

    YearPopulation
    18251,547*
    18302,574 or 2571*
    18403,669*42.50%
    18504,219*15.00%
    18552,702**
    18604,147*−1.7%
    18614,177
    18704,314*4.00%
    18804,848*12.40%
    18905,145*6.10%
    19005,579*8.40%
    19107,77739.40%
    19203,350 §-56.9%
    193012,113261.60%
    194014,92523.20%
    195025,50870.90%
    196048,67090.80%
    197075,13654.40%
    198081,3678.30%
    199090,10610.70%
    200094,1414.50%
    201096,0952.10&
    2019(Est)95,499-0.6%
    U.S. Decennial Census of Greece, New York

    U.S. Census Report

    * Landmarks of Monroe County – Pub 1895

    ** Census of New York State – Pub 1855

    § City of Rochester annexed Charlotte 1916

    Hilton Record, October 21, 1965

    Under Howe’s leadership, Greece set the standard for housing tracts, requiring developers to meet requirements regarding the installation of asphalt highways, concrete curbing and sidewalks, street lights, and sanitary and storm sewers.

    In 1948 Howe was elected as chairman of the Monroe County Board of Supervisors a position he held until 1960 when the Board appointed him County Manager.

    Gordon Howe with Glen Bedenkapp, 1949, from Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division
    Civic Center proposal graphic from mcnygenealogy.com

    During his twelve-year tenure, Howe was responsible for building the Civic Center Plaza,

    And expanding the airport

    Postcard of Rochester’s airport, from Rochester Public Library Local History and Genealogy Division
    entrance to Ontario Beach Park from mcnygenealogy.com

    He was a pioneer in consolidating county and city services “moving the community toward a more metropolitan government. Parks, health services, and social services were taken over by the county when he was manager.”

    Others have praised him for his “far-sighted” initiative of the Pure Waters Project beginning the process of cleaning up Lake Ontario and the Genesee River by halting the discharge of sewage into them. One editorial said: “Today at a time when other metro areas face disastrous water-contamination problems, the Monroe County Pure Waters System, in the opinion of many, is the finest in the country.”

    Monroe County Water Authority’s Shoremont Treatment Plant and Imperial North Apartment on Dewey Ave with Round Pond in the background from the Office of the Town Historian
    Oil Painting of Gordon Howe with MCC behind him.

    For Gordon Howe, personally, was proudest of establishing Monroe Community College, as seen in this oil painting it was once in the dining room at the Society but has since been transferred and put in archive storage for safekeeping and better preservation of the picture.

    Portrait of Howe in County Office Building, from the Office of the Town Historian

    Howe served as County Manager until 1972. Former long-time Monroe County Sherriff Andy Meloni said about Howe: “He was a quiet man…a good man…a very kind man who could settle disagreements and never provoke animosities.”

    After his death in 1989, the Monroe County Office building was named for him.

    And the Portrait seen on the left is located in the Gordon A Howe Monroe County office building on the first floor.

    And in 1988 the House where he raised Gordon II, Gretchen, and David grew up was moved to the location it is today as it became the home to the Greece Historical Society and Museum.

    Gordon A. Howe Monroe County Office Building from mcnygenealogy.com

    Thank you for joining us today, next week we’ll tour the Dewey Stone neighborhood.

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    Bicentennial Snapshot No. 47: Childhood diseases

    Today we will look back at some of the illnesses and diseases that affected the lives of many children.

    Mother Newell and her eight children, Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, 2021, photo by Joe Vitello
    Mother Newell and her eight children, Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, 2021, photo by Joe Vitello

    When we conduct walking tours of local cemeteries, we get asked about all the small tombstones. Yes, they usually indicate the grave of a child. Here in Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery are the graves of eight Newell children: Anna, Edward, George, another George, Hattie, Henry, Julia, and Willard.

    The child mortality rate in the United States, for children under the age of five, was 462.9 deaths per thousand births in 1800. This means that for every thousand babies born in 1800, over 46 percent did not make it to their fifth birthday. Over the course of the next 220 years, this number has dropped drastically, and the rate has dropped to its lowest point ever in 2020 where it is just seven deaths per thousand births. Although the child mortality rate has decreased greatly over this 220-year period, there were two occasions where it increased; in the 1870s, as a result of the fourth cholera pandemic, smallpox outbreaks, and yellow fever, and in the late 1910s, due to the Spanish Flu pandemic. source: UN DESA; World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition

    Child mortality rate (under five years old) in the United States, from 1800 to 2020
    Child mortality rate (under five years old) in the United States, from 1800 to 2020
    Each five-year increment is from January 1 of the previous 5-year marker to December 31, of the 5-year marker.

    Most of the Newell children lived less than a year, one died at the age of three, and the longest surviving child died at the age of 12. In the United States during the 1850s and ‘60s, 42% of children died before the age of five. There were numerous communicable diseases prevalent in the 19th century. These included smallpox, diphtheria, measles, meningitis, scarlet fever, and whooping cough. Cholera infantum was also common.

    Mother with a sick child
    Mother with a sick child

    One historian wrote: “Up until the 1930s, infant mortality, especially in the cities during the summers, was ferocious. Infant susceptibility to a variety of respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders was exacerbated by poor sanitation, overcrowded tenements, contaminated milk supplies, and lack of refrigeration.” Cholera infantum was a gastrointestinal disease of infants and children. “Various strategies were devised to remove infants from danger during the hottest months.” One strategy was tent hospitals. One was set up in the Town of Greece along Lake Ontario on Beach Ave where Waterview Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and some parts of where Lakeshore Country Club holes 16 and 17 were used as walking paths before the country club was formed in 1932 on the Greenleaf Estate.

    Believing that the pure air and salubrious effects of breezes off Lake Ontario could benefit the health of sickly children, Dr. Edward Mott Moore established the Infants Summer Hospital circa 1885 on land

    Dr. Edward Mott Moore
    Dr. Edward Mott Moore
    Halbert S. Greenleaf from Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester by William Farley Peck
    Halbert S. Greenleaf from Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester by William Farley Peck

    …donated by Halbert S. Greenleaf. Greenleaf and his wife, Jean Brooks Greenleaf, had a summer residence on the property that extended from Latta Road to Beach Avenue. It was also the largest stock farm in Monroe County.

    Plat book of Monroe County, New York. Plate 24 [map].

    The land was situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Ontario just west of the village of Charlotte. The tent hospital was on today’s Beach Avenue. The Greenleaf’s Summer property was 167 acres. His neighbors were the Flemings, the Lings, Mrs. G.C. Latta, J.G. Martie, David Tennison, Orin Hoxey, and the McManus.

    Close-up of Halbert S. Greenleaf Property from the 1902 Plat Map
    Postcard of Infants Summer Hospital from Rochester Public Library’s History and Genealogy Division

    They first erected tents to house sick children. Ample accommodations were provided for mothers who expected to stay with their children. There were no charges for any service or care.

    By 1888, some permanent buildings had been erected.

    Postcard of Infants Summer Hospital from Rochester Public Library’s History and Genealogy Division
    Kitchen and dining hall of Infants Summer Hospital, 1930, from Rochester Public Library’s History and Genealogy Division

    Once milk began to be pasteurized there were fewer cases of cholera infantum and children suffering from cardiac conditions or orthopedic injuries needing a lengthy recuperation were admitted here for care.

    The Map to the right is the 1932 Plate Map of the City of Rochester which shows the Greenleaf Property subdivided at the Clarence S. Lunt Property.

    rpm00588, 11/10/04, 11:39 AM, 8C, 6864×10148 (592+665), 138%, Copy 4 stops w, 1/40 s, R107.3, G86.5, B107.8

    This 1935 Plat Map shows a better close-up of the Infants Summer Hospital listed on the map.

    In 1929 the name was changed to Convalescent Children’s Hospital. It operated at the Beach Avenue address until 1960. Today the building is Waterview Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

    Convalescent Children’s Hospital, 1949, from Rochester Public Library’s History and Genealogy Division
    Convalescent Children’s Hospital, 1949, from Rochester Public Library’s History and Genealogy Division
    Ad for Scott’s emulsion, 1880, from the British Library

    Another challenging disease for doctors was diphtheria,

    What is Diphtheria?

    The definition of diphtheria according to the Oxford Dictionary is an acute, highly contagious bacterial disease, causing inflammation of the mucous membranes, formation of a false membrane in the throat that hinders breathing and swallowing, and can cause potentially fatal heart and nerve damage by a bacterial toxin in the blood.  It is now rare in developed countries because of immunization.

    Since the disease was so contagious people were quarantined for a range of 12 days to several weeks. Emma Pollard Greer writes in her History of Charlotte that an outbreak in the summer of 1881 delayed the opening of school in the fall.

    Quarantine Poster early 20th century, from the National Library of Medicine of the National Institute for Health

    In 1913, a boy in the Brown family of West Greece was stricken; his older brother was a teacher at the Brick School, District School No. 10 on Lake Avenue. That school was shut down in the hopes of stopping the spread of what was also called “the choking disease.” You can learn more about this district school in Bicentennial Snapshot # 43

    A native of a small town in Illinois, Dr. George Sanders settled in Greece after serving in World War I. He would maintain a practice in Greece for almost 50 years, serving as the Town health officer as well from 1920 to 1944, and as the school district’s physician from 1960-1968.

    You can read the digitized copy of his autobiography here on our site

    Dr. George Sanders from the Office of the Town Historian
    Dr. George Sanders from the Office of the Town Historian
    Rowe-Hillman-Sanders House, 2672 Ridge Road West (no longer standing), from GHS

    His home and office were on Ridge Road in a beautiful old house.

    In his reminiscences, Dr. Sanders describes his campaigns to keep children in Greece safe from the communicable diseases that so often took the lives of children at an early age—smallpox, measles, scarlet fever, and diphtheria. Using horses who were immune to it, an anti-toxin was developed to inoculate children against diphtheria.

    Dr. George Sanders inoculating a child against diphtheria, Greece Press, April 24, 1947
    Dr. George Sanders, 1920, from GHS

    Dr. Sanders wrote: “The year before I arrived in Greece the last case of smallpox occurred. Vaccinations had been started and with everyone vaccinated today the disease has disappeared, but diphtheria was a dreaded disease; I got in on the first diphtheria anti-toxin treatments.”

    Headline from Democrat and Chronicle, April 28, 1926

    “The groundbreaking campaigns against diphtheria in the 1920s and ’30s evolved into a universal program of infant vaccination in the United States. A DTP vaccine, created in the 1940s, combined diphtheria and tetanus toxoids with an inactivated version of the bacteria that causes whooping cough (pertussis).”

    Polio Outbreak

    Between 1945 and 1955, those earlier diseases were supplanted by another that struck terror in the hearts of parents—polio. Polio (short for poliomyelitis, once called infantile paralysis), is used to strike thousands of children in the United States each year. According to one historian: “By mid-century, polio had become the nation’s most feared disease. And with good reason. It hit without warning. It killed some victims and marked others for life, leaving behind vivid reminders for all to see: wheelchairs, crutches, leg braces, and deformed limbs. In 1921, it paralyzed 39-year-old Franklin Delano Roosevelt, robust and athletic, with a long pedigree and a cherished family name. If a man like Roosevelt could be stricken, then no one was immune.” Look at this picture of him attending the Mother of Sorrow’s Church centennial celebration on June 8, 1930, we may not know what was to the right of him in the picture but look at how the Governor left hand is gripping the right arm of his secretary Guernsey T. Cross, a certain way, so that FDR could stand up for this picture, in the back of him he may have some sort of device to help him stand up because of the state of paralysis from polio but because this was a photo for the Public we do not have the full picture to the right of the governor in this picture.

    Distinguished guests at the centennial celebration, June 8, 1930, from the Rochester Times Union, June 9, 1930 (from left: Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt; Guernsey T. Cross, governor’s secretary; Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt; State Senator Frederick J. Slater, chairman of centennial committee.)
    March of Dimes poster from the Museum of Health Care
    1957 March of Dimes Poster from the March of Dimes Foundation

    In 1945, there were 12 Grecians suffering from polio. More than half the men, women, and children attacked by polio recovered with no enduring effects 29 percent were left with a slight residual paralysis, 18 percent remained handicapped, and three percent died. It was most fatal to children under the age of 10.

    Polio was one of the costliest diseases known to medicine. Some Insurance Companies set up insurance policies for people with Polio to be able to cover the costs of Polio treatments and medical bills related to pay for care if someone had Polio, yet today the same insurance companies no longer will set up coverage to pay for treatments for Cancer, HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 related health issues or other diseases because they are now at the whims of shareholders and Wall Street over the policyholders.

    Ad from Greece insurance agency in the Greece Press, September 25, 1952
    A child receiving physical therapy for Polio from the CDC

    Treatment of the disease in its acute stage required constant skilled nursing, extensive physical therapies, and frequently expensive equipment. That care and treatment often extended for months afterward.

    “During the epidemics of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, some patients with serious breathing problems were placed in an “iron lung,” a cylindrical chamber that surrounded a patient’s body from the neck down, which used rhythmic alterations in air pressure to force air in and out of the individual’s lungs.” In 1950, realizing that their iron lung machine was better off in a hospital setting, the Barnard Fire Department donated it to Strong Memorial Hospital. We will get to Barnard Fire Department in Snapshot # 50. And in 2020 at least one company at least in the state of Kansas started to make a modern-day version of the Iron Lung to help build them because of the short supply of ventilators in the country because of COVID-19. As of this post currently, there are at least 2 people left living using Iron Lungs in the United States.

    Iron lung/via Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress/Public Domain
    Collection folder to put dimes in from Yale Medicine

    Every January for more than 10 years, the women of Greece participated in the campaign to raise money to find a vaccine to prevent polio. The campaign culminated in the Mothers March, a night when everyone was asked to leave their porch lights on and the mothers went from door to door in their neighborhoods soliciting donations. Every home in the town was canvassed. In 1952 almost 2,000 mothers participated. It was an all-out effort joined by many others in the community to contribute to the campaign to fund research for a vaccine.

    Every year the Men’s Brotherhood of Bethany Presbyterian Church held a dance; two of the organizers were polio survivors. There were collection boxes in all the schools. The Paddy Hill Players put on a benefit show.

    Greece Press January 27, 1949
    Greece Press, May 13, 1954

    And every year they hoped for an effective vaccine. That hope was realized in 1955; The Jonas Salk vaccine was first to be approved that year; it was made from completely inactivated polio viruses and injected into the body. The oral vaccine developed by Albert Sabin was made from weakened polio viruses. It was introduced in 1963. A kindergarten class in a Greece school was a testing site for the Salk vaccine; the children were given two shots over a two-week period in May 1954. They were part of the largest human experiment in history. Although recently in the news, still, because of the polio vaccine, cases in the United States are very rare now.

    Thank you for joining us today, next week we look at Gordan A. Howe

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