Charles Yaple's "Jacob's Land" Explores the Settling of New York's Frontier

Recently, author and SUNY Cortland professor Dr. Charles Yaple spoke with WSKG’s Shane Johnson about his new nonfiction book, Jacob’s Land: Revolutionary War Soldiers, Schemers, Scoundrels and the Settling of New York’s Frontier (2017). The book chronicles life on New York’s frontier before, during, and after the American Revolution. It does this by weaving together the stories of three individuals; Native American leader Joseph Brant, George Washington’s Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, and Dr. Yaple’s own ancestor Jacob Yaple. Dr. Yaple is Professor Emeritus of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies at SUNY Cortland, and Director of the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. His first book, Foxey Brown: A story of an Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide as He Might Have Told It, was published in 2011.

Charles Yaple’s “Jacob’s Land” Explores the Settling of New York’s Frontier

Recently, author and SUNY Cortland professor Dr. Charles Yaple spoke with WSKG’s Shane Johnson about his new nonfiction book, Jacob’s Land: Revolutionary War Soldiers, Schemers, Scoundrels and the Settling of New York’s Frontier (2017). The book chronicles life on New York’s frontier before, during, and after the American Revolution. It does this by weaving together the stories of three individuals; Native American leader Joseph Brant, George Washington’s Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, and Dr. Yaple’s own ancestor Jacob Yaple. Dr. Yaple is Professor Emeritus of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies at SUNY Cortland, and Director of the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. His first book, Foxey Brown: A story of an Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide as He Might Have Told It, was published in 2011.

Hanford Mills Celebrates Independence Day

The Hanford Mills Museum celebrates Independence Day with demonstrations, a fishing contest, frog-jumping, and ice cream made by a steam-powered churn using ice from last winter’s Ice Harvest.  Executive Director Liz Callahan talks about the many events and hands-on learning opportunities available at the Independence Day Celebration. http://wskg.org/audio/hanford4th.mp3

The Broome County Historical Society Presents 'The Resorts of Oquaga Lake'

Join WSKG and the Broome County Historical Society Wednesday, May 17th at 6:30PM for a special presentation by filmmaker Brian Frey at the WSKG-TV Studios in Vestal. Frey will share clips from his upcoming project on the history of Oquaga Lake and discuss how the lake evolved into one of the most popular vacation destinations in the region. The event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact the Broome County Historical Society at (607) 778-3572. BACKGROUND

In 1869, James and Elvira Scott purchased a farmhouse and 98 acres of farmland on what was called Sand Pond in upstate New York.

Won’t You be my Neighbor | Chords of Memory

In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Verne Morton, a photographer from Groton, New York. Joanna Patchett sings the theme from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, “Won’t You be my Neighbor”. Photographs courtesy of the History Center in Tompkins County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liAGx7MkyUM

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

New York and the Civil War | Chords of Memory

This episode of Chords of Memory highlights photographs of New York State soldiers who fought during the Civil War. Brian Hyland provides the music and plays “An Mhaighdean Mhara” on his concertina. Photographs courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society, the Delaware County Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. https://youtu.be/L6nVm-26Pxw

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

The Photography of Joseph K. Noyes | Chords of Memory

In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Joseph K. Noyes, an amateur photographer from Binghamton, New York. Robert Perez provides the musical arrangement, playing his song “My Life”. Photographs courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society. https://youtu.be/nf-KxwjouyQ

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

The Photography of Sol Goldberg | Chords of Memory

In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Sol Goldberg, a photographer from Ithaca, New York. Joanna Patchett sings “Mister Sun”. Photographs courtesy of the History Center in Tompkins County. https://youtu.be/oIfsrP0ii94

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

Binghamton Noir | Chords of Memory

The photographs in this episode of Chords of Memory were taken in Binghamton, New York between 1937 and 1947. Phil Westcott provides the musical arrangement on his saxophone. Photographs courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society. https://youtu.be/C_EQh9kgLoc

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

'Around Binghamton' Charts Local History Through Photographs

‘Around Binghamton’ is a new book to be released on Monday, February 13.  Jim Maggiore has grouped his own photographs with photographs of historical interest. “The Greater Binghamton area’s undulating history mirrors that of its terrain. The area has evolved from a transportation center to a hub of manufacturing and technology and, with the expansion of Binghamton University and SUNY Broome Community College, a growing center of erudition. First, canal boats and trains dominated the landscape, then, cigars were produced in abundance, followed by shoes, simulators, and computers. Now, with Binghamton University expanding into downtown, student housing, breweries, and eateries fill Binghamton’s streets.

Small Town Life | Chords of Memory

In our second installment of  Chords of Memory, we highlight photos that illustrate small town life in the early 19th century while Robert Perez plays his song “Summer” on guitar. Photographs courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association. https://youtu.be/E8RfuLNEeCc

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives. Each piece is intimate and performed acoustically, and many of the photographs shown are preserved at historical societies across our region.

Lt. Benjamin Loring | A Civil War Story

Benjamin Loring was born on October 14, 1824, in Duxbury, Massachusetts. During the Civil War, Loring enlisted in the U.S. Navy and participated in a number of important battles, serving with distinction on three different warships. After the war, Loring settled in Owego, New York where he lived out the rest of his days. Today, the Tioga County Historical Society Museum in Owego preserves an item from Benjamin Loring’s military service that was present at one of the defining moments in American History. https://youtu.be/Df5GIyI6yt8

If you enjoy Civil War history or great television drama be sure to tune in for the second season of PBS’s Civil War medical drama Mercy Street, Sundays at 8PM on WSKG TV.

The Photography of Verne Morton | Chords of Memory

In this episode of Chords of Memory we highlight the photography of Verne Morton, a photographer from Groton, New York. Brian Hyland provides the music, playing the traditional Irish tune “The South Wind”. Photographs courtesy of the History Center in Tompkins County. https://youtu.be/2CDSl2dANz0

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives.

Chords of Memory | Coming Soon

Chords of Memory is a web series from WSKG that combines historic photographs with local musical talent. In each episode, a local artist provides the musical backdrop to a showcase of hand-selected images from various photographic archives. Each piece is intimate and performed acoustically, and many of the photographs shown are preserved at historical societies across our region. Look for more videos coming soon! https://youtu.be/aPz-gv-lfjo

Geneva

In Ontario County, the Pulteney Associates began a new settlement in 1786 on the former Seneca village of Kandesaga. Named Geneva, the settlement became the headquarters of the New York Genessee Land Company whose purpose was to bring in new settlers from the Northeastern states. Some of these new residents were slave-owners, and a strong African-American community soon emerged in the region as a result. The village of Geneva was incorporated in 1806 and it became a city in 1897. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_57TVXW0QFo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Downsville

New Englanders began to settler along the banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River in Delaware County at the time of the American Revolution and the river has played an essential role in the development of the region. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rXBnDGIda0

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Groton

In 1797, John Perrin and his wife became the first to settle an area of land northeast of Ithaca. The Perrins built a log cabin and cleared land for others to follow. As the settlement grew, Perrin filled a variety of roles – as the first innkeeper, merchant, brick-maker and distiller in the expanding community. Originally part of the town of Locke, in 1817 a separate town was established and named Groton, a reference to two towns of that name in Connecticut and Massachusetts, from where many of this community’s first settlers came. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtzl9gIhbdE

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Cooperstown

In 1786, William Cooper traveled from his home in New Jersey and founded a settlement at the southern end of Otsego Lake. Cooper had purchased 10,000 acres of land near the lake, and within weeks he had sold all the property to eager farmers and settlers. Initially known as the Village of Otsego, in 1812 it was renamed Cooperstown in honor of its founder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzRo_X9_qsQ

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Walton

In 1785, Dr. Platt Townsend, Robert and Gabriel North, William Furman, Joshua Pine and their families, left their homes in Long Island to settle a wilderness area along the West Branch of the Delaware River. The land was part of a large patent granted fifteen years earlier to New York businessman William Walton by King George III. Led by Dr. Townsend, the five families arrived, built log cabins and became the first settlers of what would later be known as “Walton.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Auburn

The City of Auburn is located at the northern end of Owasco Lake. Originally known as Hardenbergh’s Corners, it was settled in 1793, and named after its founder John Hardenbergh, a veteran of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign. The settlement was renamed Auburn in 1805, and within ten years had grown to be the largest village in Central and Western New York. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4swdb9BEY4

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Newark Valley

In 1790, Elisha Wilson purchased land along the east branch of Owego Creek in New York’s Southern Tier. The following year, Wilson, Abraham Brown and John Carpenter left their homes in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to settle the area. After a month’s journey, they arrived at the site. Log cabins were built, land was cleared, crops were planted – and Wilson, Brown and Carpenter became the first permanent settlers of the area originally known as “Brown’s Settlement” – now known as Newark Valley. https://youtu.be/Tmf2knOOr64

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Trumansburg

In 1792, Abner Treman was awarded 600 acres of land in New York State for his service in the Revolutionary War. Located on the western rim of the Cayuga Valley, Treman’s parcel had been occupied for centuries by the Haudenosaunee. Abundant with timber and fertile farmland, Treman, his brother-in law John McLallan and their families settled in the area, cleared land, planted crops and built a grist mill. A small community developed and quickly grew. Incorporated in 1872 as “Tremain’s Village,” it was later renamed “Trumansburg.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Oneonta

A path on the campus of Hartwick College climbs to a prominent geological formation known as Table Rock. From this spot travelers can see spectacular panoramic view of the town of Oneonta. Historians disagree on the origin of the town name, but it is generally accepted to be derived from the Iroquois word pronounced “o-neny-onda,” meaning “place of open rocks.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Owego

Amos Draper was a successful trader in Upstate New York in the years following the American Revolution, and he was especially fond of an area along the Susquehanna River in present day Tioga County. In 1787, Amos and his wife Lydia built a log cabin on the north bank of the Susquehanna River near the confluence with Owego Creek – establishing themselves as the first settlers in what would become the village of Owego. https://youtu.be/vhwdjxEp7t0

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Corning

Between 1789 and 1792, the first white settlers began to arrive in the Chemung River valley near the present-day city of Corning. They used waterpower to fuel numerous sawmills – cutting lumber that was shipped to cities as far away as Baltimore. In 1833, the Chemung and Feeder Canal helped connect this new community to additional markets, and the arrival of the railroad by the 1850s spurred further development. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjQy7Y2cVek

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Binghamton

In 1787, a wealthy Philadelphia banker named William Bingham saw a vision for a new community at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. However, Bingham died in 1804, before his vision was fully realized. It was left to Bingham’s land agent, Joshua Whitney, to forge ahead with the settlement’s streets, bridges, and courthouse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf2NW5K5vu8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Bovina Center

In 1792, settlers from New England started a new community in the rolling hills of Delaware County, and were later joined by a group of Scots in 1800. In 1820, this community became the town of Bovina. General Erastus Root suggested the name Bovina because the area was good for the raising of cattle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o52Wv4Ty3d8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Big Flats

Located in Chemung County, along the banks of the Chemung River in Chemung County, is the town of Big Flats. First settled in 1787, the town was created from parts of Elmira in 1822, and was named for the large river flats around the river. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AR-8ZfVdl8

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Elmira

After the American Revolution, veterans of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign – who had waged war against the Iroquois during the Revolution – returned to the fertile lands of Upstate New York to start new settlements. One such settlement was the village of Newtown, formed in 1792 along the banks of the Chemung River. In 1808, the village was renamed Elmira. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc3PnewhixM

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Bath

In 1793, Colonel Charles Williamson, a land agent for Sir William Pulteney of Bath, England, saw the valley at the head of the Cohocton River in Upstate New York as an ideal location for a new village. In 1796, the community of Bath was formed, and the village was first incorporated 1816, but was not organized until 1836. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRRvmnyFR4g

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Endicott

Nicknamed the Magic City, the Village of Endicott started as a planned village by the Endicott Land Company in 1900. Within 6 years, the new community was incorporated and included major factories built and operated by the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIAXCl6LzYo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Deposit

Taking its name from that lumbering process, in 1811 the Village of “Deposit” was formed in Delaware County. Years later the village absorbed neighboring Deansville, of Broome County. As a result, Deposit has the rare distinction of being located within two counties. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjssUVWm3sg

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Hancock

The drifting waters of the East and the West Branch of the Delaware River meet in the in heart of the village of Hancock in Delaware County. The community was settled shortly before the American Revolution and was founded on the strength of lumbering and rafting along the river. In the mid-19th century, French and German settlers also joined the early transplanted New Englanders who helped to create the town. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKjM-1011Hk

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Greene

A historical marker stands on the banks of the Chenango River, at the site where Stephen Ketchum built a log cabin in 1792. Having traveled from Saratoga County to the Chenango River valley, Ketchum settled on land purchased by the State from the Oneida and Tuscarora people. A party of French refugees soon joined Ketchum and a settlement was formed. Originally known as “Hornsby,” the town was later renamed “Greene,” in honor of Nathanael Greene, a Continental Army general in the Revolutionary War. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHqMJaVxs3g

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Hammondsport

At the head of Keuka Lake in Steuben County sits the village of Hammondsport. Settled in 1796, it was first surveyed in 1808, by Judge Lazarus Hammond. Hammond saw potential in this new settlement, but growth was slow until the opening of the Crooked Lake Canal in 1833 allowed the community to be connected with the Erie Canal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odSFJY34RWQ

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Delhi

In 1785, Abel Kidder and his brother John traveled from western Massachusetts and settled in an area on the west branch of the Delaware River. Others soon followed, including Gideon Frisbee and Thomas Farrington. Frisbee converted his log house into a tavern to serve the growing settlement as well as travelers through the area. The community continued to grow and in 1798, the Town of Delhi was formed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6ynM-7FB8I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Cortland

In 1791, Joseph Beebe, his wife Rhoda and brother-in-law Amos Todd, paddled up the Tioughnioga River from Windsor, to settle in Lot no. 42 in the Central New York Military Tract. After building a temporary log cabin, the men returned to Windsor for provisions, leaving Rhoda to fend for herself for several months in the isolated wilderness. Soon a village and a new county – both named Cortland, in honor of Pierre Van Cortlandt, the first lieutenant governor of New York State – were established. Incorporated as a city in 1900, Cortland is located in the geographic heart of the state.

Bainbridge

In the late 1780’s pioneers from Vermont settled on rich farmland along the Susquehanna River. The settlement grew, and in 1791 the town of Jerico was formed. In 1814 the town was renamed “Bainbridge,” in honor of William Bainbridge, commander of the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shkBE4jijes

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Windsor

In 1785, John Doolittle arrived in present day Broome County from New England, cleared land and established a farm, becoming the first permanent settler of the area. Doolittle was soon joined by David Hotchkiss, Frederick Goodell and John Garnsey. Within twenty years from John Doolittle’s arrival, the population had grown to 1,000, and in 1807 the town of Windsor was established. https://youtu.be/MLnBqRLqGrw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Whitney Point

General John Patterson arrived in northern Broome County in 1791 to settle what originally called Patterson’s Corner’s, along the Tioughnioga and West Otselic Rivers. In 1802, Thomas and William Whitney settled in the new community, becoming the founders of the village of Whitney Point. The village was incorporated in 1871. https://youtu.be/7TmNt3Gm2dc

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Watkins Glen

In 1794, John W. Watkins and several other partners purchased 350,000 acres of land near the outlet of Seneca Lake in what is now Schuyler County. The group was intent on creating a new village at the location, surrounded by the natural beauty of the area. The village was originally called Jefferson in 1842, but became Watkins in 1852, and finally, in 1926, Watkins Glen. https://youtu.be/WCEDQbN4q9I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Ithaca

In 1794, Simeon DeWitt received 1,400 acres located along the southern banks of Cayuga Lake from his father-in-law. DeWitt divided the land into lots and in 1807 he named the new community Ithaca. Ithaca incorporated as a village and became the county seat in 1817. https://youtu.be/6yVimUgsNlY

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Dryden

In 1787, the first settlers arrived to form a new Tompkins County community named for English poet John Dryden. Dryden, New York was established on land set aside as the Central New York Military Tract, and the land was to be used in place of pay for Revolutionary War veterans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkyCX4osQbI

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Waverly

In the early 1800s, Isaac Shepard and Deacon Ephraim Strong settled on land within Town of Barton in Tioga County. Situated on the east bank of the Chemung River, the community struggled to grow. The first house was completed in 1810, and the Chemung Turnpike – now Chemung Street – was laid out. In 1853, the village was incorporated as Waverly. https://youtu.be/TsdvVUXdjuE

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Norwich

Entering Norwich from the south on Route 12, a roadside historical marker indicates the spot where Avery Power first settled along the Chenango River in 1788. More settlers from Massachusetts and Connecticut quickly followed. They traveled from Albany along the Unadilla River, following marked trees to the Power farm. The area was original known as “Indian Fields”, but five years after Power’s arrival, the town of Norwich was formed – taking its name from Norwich, Connecticut. https://youtu.be/i-ocqGgK19Q

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development.

Fire Trucks

Toy fire engines first became popular with young children in the 1880s. Typically made from cast iron and tinplate, these early toy fire wagons were extremely detailed and included a number of accessories including hoses and ladders. Today, toy fire engines still manage to capture the hearts and minds of young and old alike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGM75CaKjEg

Watch More Timeless Toys Videos.

Oxford

In 1788, Elijah Blackman settled on what would later be known as Cork Island in the Chenango River. Three years later, after a harrowing journey, Blackman’s two oldest sons and 11-year old adopted daughter Polly arrived. The owner of the land, Benjamin Hovey, arrived that same year and named the new settlement Oxford, after his hometown in Massachusetts. https://youtu.be/aXjoZ-c-bTw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Roxbury

In 1789, a party of twenty families traveled from Connecticut to the Catskill Mountains in Delaware County – in search of a new home. Along the east branch of the Delaware River they found the log cabin of Israel Inman, who had settled in the area just one year earlier. With Inman’s assistance, the group located a suitable spot, and started the settlement that would become Roxbury. https://youtu.be/N9v0F4b1aYw

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Seneca Falls

Located between the northern ends of Cayuga and Seneca Lake is an area once known by the Indian name “Sha-so-onse,” or “running waters.” Seneca Falls is noted for its spectacular natural beauty, described by one visitor in 1791 as the “Paradise of America.” More recently, it is believed to have provided inspiration for the fictional village of “Bedford Falls” in the 1946 classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

 

Sidney

In 1770, Rev. William Johnston and an Indian guide set out by canoe from Otsego Lake to explore the Susquehanna River valley, and arrived at the site of an old Indian fort near a confluence with the Unadilla River. Two years later, Johnston returned with his son, cleared land, and with the arrival of additional families, established what would be called “Johnston Settlement.” From Johnston’s Settlement, the Town of Sidney was formed, named in honor of British naval officer and Revolutionary War hero, Sir Sidney Smith. https://youtu.be/RXZx_GQZ-yo

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

 

Cloth Dolls

The history of cloth fabric dolls stretches back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. During the late 1800s, when painted or printed lithograph fabric rag dolls were all the rage, two women from Ithaca, New York would leave their own unique marks on this ancient toy tradition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhPYmMf2yIg

In 1892, Celia Hazlitt Smith patented the “Tabby Cat.” Known also as the Ithaca Kitty, Smith’s doll was sold as a printed pattern on muslin for 10 cents and was extremely popular, selling nearly 200,000 units its first year. Smith’s design stood out from others because it included a piece of cloth depicting the cat’s feet, allowing the toy to stand upright. It was considered so realistic people used the doll to scare away birds and mice.

Moravia

In 1789, John Stoyell travelled from Connecticut to establish a home in New York. He was offered a gift of land at the southern end of Owasco Lake, on the condition that he use his influence to bring new settlers to the area. With its rich farmland and spectacular natural beauty it wasn’t long before others followed. Originally known as Owasco Flats, the village grew and was later named Moravia – a name which, as historians would later recall, “had no particular significance, but sounded well.”

 

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Maine

Farmers such as Benjamin Norton and Alfred and Russell Gates first settled in the area in western Broome County that became the town of Maine in 1790s. In 1848, the town was officially formed from portions of the Town of Union. https://youtu.be/LJrRGYF9AIk

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Montour Falls

Among the many Iroquois villages destroyed during the 1779 Sullivan-Clinton Campaign was She-que-ga, often referred to by travelers as Catharine’s Town. The village, located on the southern bank of Seneca Lake in the heart of present-day Schuyler County, got the nickname from its leader, Queen Catharine Montour. After the war, an influx of white settlers came to the area and in 1802 the first post office opened. Called Havana in 1828, and incorporated in 1836, the village became a prosperous manufacturing town. In 1895, the village changed its name to Montour Falls, in honor of Queen Catharine. https://youtu.be/f048r9fFQqI

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Johnson City

In 1890, the Lester Brothers Boot and Shoe Company purchased farmland in the Town of Union to build the Pioneer Factory in their planned community of Lestershire. In 1892, while the company faced financial ruin, Lestershire became a village. The company was sold to Henry B. Endicott of Massachusetts, who kept on foreman George F. Johnson – making him a partner in renamed Endicott Johnson Shoe Company. In 1916, Lestershire was renamed Johnson City in honor of George F. Johnson. https://youtu.be/aYrobfQ4h8I

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Horseheads

First settled in 1789, Horseheads, New York is located a few miles north of Elmira in Chemung County. Horseheads’ unique name comes from a Revolutionary war era anecdote. https://youtu.be/UsnbDJGqRy4

Funding provided by a grant from Empire State Development. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/pth

Peter Burford's 'Wines of the Finger Lakes' Tells the Story of the Local Wine Industry

Peter Burford’s book ‘Wines of the Finger Lakes’ is a treasure trove of information about this major industry. It tells of the industry’s unlikely beginnings when an Episcopal clergyman took a charge in Hammondsport and was unable to find a source for sacramental wine.  We hear about the meaning of ‘terroir’ and why the terroir of the Finger Lakes is especially welcoming to viticulture, and how the industry survived Prohibition. http://wskg.org/audio/winesmix.mp3

 

 

Photo credit: Finger Lakes Grape Program via Flickr

Elmira Fair Grounds, 1889 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph, taken in 1889, shows the fair grounds in Elmira, New York. From 1842 to 1889, the New York State Fair traveled between 11 different cities before the fair was finally moved to its current location in Syracuse. Between 1855 and 1889, Elmira hosted the State Fair nine different times. One of the more interesting details of the photograph is the banner outside one of the venues that advertises, “The Living Two Headed Boy. Absolutely the Greatest Living Curiosity in the World.”

Female World War II Veteran gets Historic Marker in Owego

Today, a new historic marker was dedicated in Owego honoring the life and service of Corporal Margaret Hastings. Born in 1914, Cpl. Hastings grew up in Owego and joined the Women’s Army Corps, or WACs, in 1944. On May 13, 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close, Cpl. Hastings boarded a transport plane with 23 other service men and women. It was for a sightseeing trip over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea. However, the pleasure cruise ended unexpectedly when the plane crashed violently into the side of a mountain.

Corporal Margaret Hastings | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows Owego, New York, native Corporal Margaret Hastings on her Victory Bond tour at the close of World War II. In Spring, 1945, Owego native Corporal Margaret Hastings boarded a transport plane with 23 other service men and women. It was for a sightseeing trip over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea. But the trip ended when the plane crashed violently into the side of a mountain. Cpl. Hastings was one of only three survivors.

Queen Catharine Montour

In 1779, the American Revolution came to the frontier regions of New York when a Continental expedition led by Major General John Sullivan left a path of destruction in its wake destroying dozens of Native American villages forcing thousands of their inhabitants to flee north to Canada. Among the villages destroyed during the expedition was She-que-ga, often referred to by travelers as Catharine’s Town. The village, located on the southern bank of Seneca Lake, got the nickname from its leader, Queen Catharine Montour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Sb9BIILDtw

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Baldwin Street, Elmira, New York | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows Baldwin Street at the intersection of East Water Street in Elmira, New York, from around the turn of the 20th century. The photo was taken by Charles Van Aken, a photographer from Elmira. Today, a large collection of Van Aken’s original glass plate negatives are preserved by the Chemung County Historical Society at their museum and research library in Elmira. Van Aken took another photo of the same intersection a few years after the first. A comparison of the two photos gives us a glimpse at some of the changes taking place in Elmira at the turn of the 20th century – most notably the addition of the trolly line.

Eugene Zimmerman

Eugene Zimmerman, or Zim as he became known, emigrated from Switzerland to the United States in 1869. For a time, Zim worked as sign painter where he honed his skills by coping the works of other cartoonist. In 1886, Zim married his wife Mabel Beard and two years later the couple moved to Horseheads, NY. The Zimmermans lived in Horseheads for the rest of their lives and became deeply involved in the community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXGEMmc-VFc

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Lewis W. Hine

At the turn of the 20th century, the use of child labor was reaching epidemic proportions in the Untied States. Children often endured horrible working conditions that were hidden form the public view. Lewis W. Hine, a sociologist and photographer, used his camera as an instrument of social change often risking his own life to expose these conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfzPlfXWRQs

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Publicdomainarchive.com

Cameron Argetsinger

Before World War Two, professional street races, contests on circuits laid out on public roads, had grown in popularity in America in places like Bridgehampton Connecticut, and on Long Island. But shortly after Pearl Harbor all motor racing in America was put on hold. After the war, a young Cornell law student began an effort that would bring road racing back to America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wjLr9FBQSc

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
International Motor Racing Research Library
Library of Congress

Jane A. Delano

In 1917, America entered the hellish nightmare of World War I. During the conflict, nearly 20,000 American nurses served in hospitals across Europe tending to the sick and wounded. The rapid training and deployment of these nurses would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of one women – Jane A. Delano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrTXy3UmFr4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress

James "Deacon" White

James White was a teenager living in his hometown of Caton, New York when he first learned to play baseball from a group of Civil War veterans. By all accounts, White was a natural athlete and ball player. By the 1870s there were enough professional teams in the country to start a league. On May 4, 1871 James “Deacon” White made history when he had the hit during the first at-bat, in the first major league all-professional baseball game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcaW7j5j4m4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Clara Cook

In December of 1941, America was thrust into World War II and thousands of young men and women answered the call to enlist. This included star athletes and Major League Baseball players like Bob Feller, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio. In order to keep the sport of professional baseball vibrant and in the public eye during the war, baseball executives formed a new league – The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. One of the leagues first players was a fast pitch left-hander named Clara Cook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OhieuZy87w

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:

Path Through History
Chemung Valley History Museum
National Baseball Hall of Fame

Photos Courtesy of:
Chemung County Historical Society

Deposit, New York | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photo shows Front Street in Deposit, NY, on August 10, 1948. The image was taken by Bob Wyer, a reporter turned professional photographer from Delaware County. The first settler arrived in the area in 1789. Logging was an important early industry for the community, and felled tress were often “deposited” by the riverbank before being floated downstream. In 1811, the settlement was incorporated as the village of Deposit.

Jedediah Strong Smith

Jedediah Strong Smith was born in what is now Bainbridge New York in 1799. As a young boy he learned to hunt and fish in the forests of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. However, Smith’s family found itself constantly on the move – following the steady flow of setters to the west. It was in the untamed west that Smith would become on of the nations greatest explorers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhFzvmwjlkY

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Willis Sharpe Kilmer

In 1890, Willis Sharpe Kilmer arrived in Binghamton, New York where he took over the advertising department of the family patent medicine business. Young Willis devised a new and extremely effective print campaign that turned one of the companies many products, Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure, into a household name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWE4nnhSckM

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Broome County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Broome County Historical Society

John Kennedy

On the night of October 12, 1812 a contingent of New York Militia rowed silently across the treacherous Niagara River near the Canadian village of Queenston. For five months war had been raging between Great Britain and America, and this small group of volunteers was the lead element of an American invasion of Canada. Among the first group of militiamen across the river that night was young ensign from Steuben County named John Kennedy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdN7u0H-GCg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  

Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Steuben County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Steuben County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Glenn H. Curtiss

In 1908, five years after the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk, most Americans had still never seen an airplane in flight. But on July 4th of that year, another bicycle maker, this one from Hammondsport New York, changed all that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH1EOW25CNE

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Steuben County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Steuben County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Holding the Line: The 137th New York Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg

On July 1, 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Robert E. Lee, and the Army of the Potomac, led by George G. Meade, collided outside the sleepy Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg. For three days, over 175,000 men fought across the rocky hills, fields, and orchards that surrounded the town. Over 50,000 would be killed, wounded, or go missing. It was bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, and one local regiment, the 137th NY, played a vital role in securing the pivotal Northern victory. David Cleutz, author of the books Fields of Fame & Glory: Col.

Oscar Barton

On January 1st, 1863, as the Civil War entered another hellish year, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in areas under rebellion and allowing the federal government to recruit African Americans into the Union Army, was enacted. At the time, thirty-year-old Oscar Barton was living in Vestal, New York. A descendent of free-blacks from Rhode Island, Barton’s grandfather had been a soldier during the American Revolution and Oscar would follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P1BxnI0A7M

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History: http://paththroughhistory.iloveny.com/
WSKG’s Path Through History: http://www.wskg.org/PTH
Tioga County Historical Society: http://tiogahistory.org/

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Margaretville, New York | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph captures Main Street in Margaretville, New York, on June 5, 1947. The village of Margaretville is located in Delaware County and is situated inside the town of Middletown and on the border of Catskill Park. Today’s photo was taken by Bob Wyer, a reporter turned professional photographer from Delaware County. Over a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Boy Wyer and his wife Billie helped document the history of Delaware County. Wyer’s extensive collection of over 150,000 negatives is preserved by the Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi, NY.

J. Alden Loring

On March 23, 1909, former President Theodore Roosevelt led an expedition to Africa intent on collecting specimens for a new Natural History Museum. Among the core members of the group outfitted by The Smithsonian Institution was Owego, New York native John Alden Loring. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBkySBcuwNM

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Tioga County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society

David Maydole

In 1845, David Maydole, invented a “adze eye” hammer and began producing them out of his small shop in Norwich. The unique design keep the striking head firmly attached to the handle and kept the two parts from separating. The hammer was an immediate sensation with workers and Maydole began taking orders from across the state. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn5D2wPhbG0

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Chenango County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Chenango County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Rescue from "Shangril-La" | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, residents of Owego, NY welcome back one of their World War II hometown heroes  – Corporal Margaret Hastings. On May 13, 1945, Cpl. Hastings was on a sightseeing flight over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea, nicknamed “Shangril-La”, with twenty-three other service men and women. Her plane crashed violently into the side of a mountain and Hastings was one of only three survivors. Cpl. Hastings and the two other survivors of the crash were finally rescued from the remote jungle valley over a month later on June 28, 1945. The story of Cpl. Hastings’ rescue made her a media sensation and she was given a hero’s welcome upon her return to Owego.

John W. Jones

John W. Jones was born in 1817 on a plantation in Virginia. At the age of 27 he and four others fled their plantation and made a hazard filled 300-mile journey to Elmira. Jones settled in the area where he learned to read and write, and by 1851 he was an active agent on the Underground Railroad helping over 800 slaves escape to Canada. In 1864, Jones was caretaker of Woodlawn Cemetery when he was contracted to bury the confederate dead from Elmira Prison. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAiKHcWNa5Q

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Thomas J. Watson

Thomas J. Watson was born in Painted Post, New York in 1874, the only son of a hard working, but largely unsuccessful, farmer and lumberman. By the time Watson was 20 years old he had already held jobs as a teacher, bookkeeper, butcher, and peddler of pianos. Finally, in 1896 he took a job as a cash register salesman with the National Cash Register Company in Dayton Ohio. When he took the reigns of a fledgling time recording company in 1911, Watson was well prepared to make his mark on the corporate world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_cMBXyKoRQ

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  

Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Broome County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Broome County Historical Society
IBM Archive

Simeon De Witt

At the close of the American Revolution, settlers flooded into the frontier regions of New York looking for a fresh start and new opportunities. The task of mapping and surveying the uncharted wilderness of the new nation fell upon intrepid surveyors like Simeon De Witt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcB8yAuMIwg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
The History Center in Tompkins County

Photos Courtesy of:
The History Center in Tompkins County
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Tornado Aftermath, 1905 | #tbt

On the evening of June 5th, 1905, the residents of Binghamton, New York, were violently awoken by the thunderous sounds of a tornado that ripped through the city’s Southside. Fortunately, while the storm did serious damage to some homes and barns, no one was killed. For throwback Thursday, we’ve put together a slideshow of photographs taken the day after the storm. The photos highlight some of the destruction caused across Binghamton.  

Photographs Courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society.

Benjamin Bennitt

On April 12, 1861, confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and America was thrust into Civil War. Three days later President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion, and individuals from across the Southern Tier answered the call. The first person to enlist from Urbana, New York was Benjamin Bennitt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMJG6X_UF-Y

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Steuben County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Steuben County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Willard and Harlow Bundy

In 1888, while living in Binghamton, New York, Willard Bundy invented and patented a new mechanical time recorder, called The Time Clock. His device allowed workers to record their hours by using a card to punch in and out. Willard’s younger brother Harlow encouraged Willard to mass producer his invention, and in 1889 the two brothers organized the Bundy Manufacturing Company. Their business quickly became one of the largest industries in the Binghamton area, employing around 135 skilled workers, and eventually becoming part of IBM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYWsHz59DNo

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The Grand Army of the Republic | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) members in Delaware County, New York, pose for the camera. The GAR was a fraternal organization that offered support to northern veterans of the Civil War. Benjamin F. Stephenson founded the GAR on April 6, 1866, in Decatur, Illinois. Members were required to be Union veterans who had served between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865, and had received an honorable discharge. By 1890, the organization had over 400,000 members in community Posts across the country.

Jay Gould

During the late 19th century, industrial robber barons dominated the political and economic landscape of America. These wealthy businessmen used shrewd and sometimes exploitive practices to put their competition out of business, create monopolies, and influence politicians all while amassing huge fortunes. Jay Gould, an upstate New York native, would become one of the greatest robber barons of his day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdn4v8tt0LI

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond, and Peter Hinepaw

In 1789, Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond, and Peter Hinepaw and their families left on a perilous two-month journey from Kingston New York to the shores of Cayuga Lake. When they reached Cayuga Lake, the three families went about building log cabins and planting corn. Their small community was completely surrounded and isolated by the wilderness; however in time the settlement thrived and grew to become what is now the city of Ithaca. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh2os3CxsiU

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
The History Center in Tompkins County

Photos Courtesy of:
The History Center in Tompkins County
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Rockbottom Bridge Collapse, 1903 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the aftermath of the 1903 Rockbottom Bridge collapse in Binghamton, New York. On May 20, 1903, as a trolly loaded with eight people made its way across the bridge, the wood and iron structure gave-way and plunged into the Susquehanna River. Luckily, while seven of the passengers sustained injuries, everyone on board survived the ordeal. The photograph was taken by Joseph K. Noyes, an amateur photographer from Binghamton. In the photo, a man dangles from the collapsed structure as he works on the bridge, and a group of spectators look on from the riverbank.

Lt. Col. George J. Haley

During the fast paced aerial dogfights over Europe during World War II, the first all-black fighter group known as the Tuskegee Airmen would make history and ultimately help break the military color barrier. Lt. Col. George Haley, of Bath, NY would be one of the 900 elite fighter pilots in this historic group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXXhhQzpC1g

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Steuben County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Steuben County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Amelita Galli-Curci

In 1916, Amelita Galli-Curci, an Italian born opera singer, arrived in the United States as a virtual unknown. Galli-Curci had made a small name for herself singing and traveling in Europe and now looked to tackle the American stage. Very quickly Galli-Curci met with great acclaim and rose through the ranks performing at renowned theatres around the country. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FruX_F4Z7g

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, Liberty Hyde Bailey, considered the father of agriculture at Cornell University, sits at his desk. Bailey was born outside South Haven, Michigan on March 15, 1858.  In 1882, he graduated from what is now Michigan State University and went on to work with Asa Grey, one of the most prominent botanist of his day, at Harvard.  After teaching horticulture at Michigan State, Bailey took a job as a professor at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Bailey greatly expanded the agricultural programs and in 1903 he established the State College of Agriculture at Cornell. Bailey served as its first Dean until 1913.

Corporal Margaret Hastings

On May 13, 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close, twenty-four American service men and women boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea know as “Shangril-La”. However their pleasure cruise ended unexpectedly in tragedy, crashing violently into the side of a mountain. Corporal Margaret Hastings, an Owego, New York native, was among the three survivors of the crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDeTx8s7ofg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Tioga County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Theodore Burr

Theodore Burr, the cousin of vice president Aaron Burr, arrived in Oxford, New York in 1792. He was an engineer, inventor and the namesake of a bridge design that made covered bridges more stable and capable of supporting heavier loads. Burr’s design combined two different techniques, arch and truss, to create a new and durable type of structure. Sometime around 1804, Burr built the first “sizable bridge” crossing on the Hudson River, at Waterford, New York and is also credited with building the first stringer bridge across the Chenango River at Oxford. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVCzJnvipcQ

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Historian James M. McPherson Talks Civil War History and 'Mercy Street'

Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET.  

Dr. James McPherson is the George Henry Davis ‘86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988). He taught American history at Princeton University for 42 years and served as president of the American Historical Association. McPherson’s work mainly focuses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction and he is the recipient of two separate Lincoln Prizes.

State Street in Ithaca, NY | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph is a shot of State Street in Ithaca, NY taken sometime between 1890 and 1901. The photo looks east along State Street in downtown Ithaca, where the Ithaca Commons is located today. In the 1790s, Simeon DeWitt, the New York State Surveyor General, first surveyed and mapped the area that would become downtown Ithaca. The Commons opened in 1975 as a three-block pedestrian mall and continues to serve as a popular destination for travelers and Ithacans alike. What is most striking about this photograph is the number of different vignettes it captures.

Edwin A. Link

Edwin A. Link was six when his father moved the family to Binghamton to open a player piano and organ factory. By the time he was 16, Ed Link had caught flying fever. However, the tedious nature of early flight training methods discouraged his pursuit. Link began to tinker in the basement of his father’s factory with a contraption that would simulate the feel and movement of an airplane in flight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMcB9LexKto

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Binghamton University's Past 2 Future Project Aims to Perserve Local History

On the second floor of Binghamton University’s Rockefeller Center building, you’ll find a room pilled high with boxes of photographs and film canisters alongside an array of digital equipment. This room is the headquarters of Binghamton University’s Past 2 Future Project. Hands-On Research
The Past 2 Future Project was started by the university as a way to preserve the area’s rich local history and to give its undergraduate students an opportunity for hands-on research. “Several years ago, the university interviewed undergraduates and asked them what would they like more of, or what was missing from their education,” states Dr. Kevin Wright, the director of the Past 2 Future Project. “One of the things that really came to the top of the list was more involvement in research.”

The Past 2 Future Project, or P2F, collects donations of historical materials, including photographs, diaries, and newspapers, from local individuals and organizations.

Freer's Glen, Circa 1863 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph is a stereographic image of Freer’s Glen, now Watkins Glen State Park, circa 1863. Stereograph photography was very popular during the 19th century. When viewed using a stereoscope, the two almost identical images mounted side-by-side created the illusion of depth, or 3D. Freer’s Glen opened to the public in 1863 as a privately run resort. The area was a popular tourist destination from the very beginning.

Andrew Dickson White

Today Cornell University enrolls over 20,000 students in 14 different colleges and schools, but when its door’s first opened in the fall of 1868 the university had just one building and 412 students. One man would do more to help guide the fledging university through its initial years and set it on course to become one of the greatest institutes of higher education in the county. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMn8awTI_1I

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
The History Center in Tompkins County

Photos Courtesy of:
The History Center in Tompkins County
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Peter Webb

In 1805, John J. Speed brought a young 13-year-old slave named Peter from Virginia to the Town of Caroline, New York near Ithaca. After arriving in New York, Peter continued to serve the Speed family, but he also possessed a growing desire to be free. In 1813, Peter made an arrangement with his master that would allow him to purchase his own freedom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLUJc9rUbkg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
The History Center in Tompkins County

Photos Courtesy of:
The History Center in Tompkins County
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

High Wire Act | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows a high wire act being performed for a crowd at the Chemung County Fair, circa 1900. The Chemung County Agricultural Society held the first Chemung County fair in 1843. Annual county fairs were one of the most important social gatherings for many communities, and they continue to bring enjoyment every summer. This year marks the 174th annual Chemung County Fair. Between 1855 and 1889, Elmira also hosted the State Fair nine times before it was moved to its current location in Syracuse.  

Photograph Courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society.

Bob Wyer

The field of photojournalism experienced a revolution in the 1920s thanks to the invention of the 35mm camera. Cameramen, no longer waited down by bulky equipment, were free to capture more candid moments. Bob Wyer of Delaware County, New York epitomized this new movement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzDhTrZeG1s

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Delaware County Historical Association

Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association

Hammon D. Pinney

Prior to the Civil War, the numerous railroads, rivers, and canals that crisscrossed Upstate New York made the area an important corridor on the Underground Railroad. Thousands of runaway slaves followed this clandestine network to freedom in Canada. In Owego, New York many of these fugitive slaves found refuge in the home of Hammon D. Pinney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j3wM80i0MU

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Tioga County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Swamp Root Assembly Line | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the inside of the Dr. Kilmer & Company factory, circa 1903. The factory was located on the corner of Lewis Street and Chenango Street in Binghamton, NY. Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer founded his proprietary medicine company in the late 1870s. He sold a variety of different medicines and “cures.” In 1892, Andral’s nephew Willis Kilmer took over the advertising department of the family business. Willis turned one of his uncle’s patent medicines, Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure, into a household name.

Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild

On April 15, 1912, the largest ship of its day, the Titanic, struck an iceberg and sank in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Among the 700 survivors plucked from the icy waters that fateful night was Elizabeth Rothschild of Watkins Glenn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL0JAabW1no

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

Jedediah Hotchkiss

Jedediah Hotchkiss was a Windsor, New York native and a graduate of Windsor Academy. He was constantly curious about the natural world and developed a keen interest in geography and geology. At the age of 19, Hotchkiss moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and became a teacher. In his spare time Hotchkiss taught himself how to make maps. During the Civil War.

George F. Johnson

George F. Johnson moved to Binghamton New York in 1878 at the age of 23. The son of a career shoemaker, Johnson had learned well every facet of the shoemaking business. In 1899 he entered into a partnership with a wealthy investor from Boston, named Henry B Endicott. Together they formed the Endicott-Johnson shoe company and soon dominated the shoemaking industry in America. At its peak EJ shoes employed over twenty thousand workers and produce hundreds of thousands of shoes a day.

Horseheads, NY | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the corner of West Franklin Street and Grand Central Avenue in Horseheads, NY, circa 1900. The first white settlers began arriving in the area soon after the American Revolution and the town was officially formed in 1835. Horseheads’ unique name came from an interesting Revolutionary War era anecdote. The area still looks very similar today. One of Horseheads most famous residents was Eugene Zimmerman.

James Hope

On September 17, 1862 the Battle of Antietam exploded across the streams and fields of a sleepy Maryland town. It would be America’s bloodiest day of the war. Years later, a former soldier from the battle would immortalize the sweeping events of that day in five paintings that were almost lost to history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMVTbBXLyP4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress
National Parks Service

Women's Basketball Team at Cornell, 1905 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph comes from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University. The image shows members of a women’s basketball team at Cornell University taken in 1905. Before women’s basketball became a varsity sport at Cornell in 1971, women played in inter-class competitions and teams wore different color bloomers to tell each other apart. You can’t deny that uniforms have come a long way since the early 1900s.

Norwich, NY | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph is a shot of South Broad Street in Norwich, New York, circa 1900. Norwich is nestled in the Chenango River valley, and the first settlers arrived in the area during the late 1700s. In 1793, the town of Norwich was formed from parts of Union, in Broome County, and Jericho, now known as Bainbridge. Norwich became a city in 1914. Today, Norwich is home to a number of different attractions including the Northeast Classic Car Museum, the Chenango Arts Council, and the Chenango County Historical Society.

Jane A. Delano | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph is a portrait of Jane Delano, a trailblazer in the field of modern nursing. Delano was born near Montour Falls, New York on March 12, 1862. As a youth, she attended Cook Academy in Montour Falls and eventually enrolled at Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. In 1909, Delano was appointed superintendent of the United States Army Nurse Corps and also helped form the American Red Cross Nursing Service. The thousands of nurses Delano helped recruit and train were instrumental in caring for the wounded from the battlefields of World War I and in combating the deadly influenza outbreak of 1919.

Binghamton Panorama, 1909 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph is a panorama of downtown Binghamton, New York, circa 1909. The photo was taken by the Haines Photo Co. of Conneaut, Ohio and looks east down Court Street. In the background, the 1904 Press Building dominates the skyline, and the Security Mutual Building and the dome of the Binghamton Court House are visible to its right. The bank of the Chenango River and the Court Street Bridge anchor the foreground of the photograph.

Medical Care at Elmira Prison Camp

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new Civil War medical drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, graduate student Gary Emerson discusses the medical care at the Elmira Prison Camp. Medical Care at Elmira Prison Camp
Although medical care improved over the course of the Civil War, prisoners often received inadequate and sometimes negligent medical care in prison camps. When prisoner exchanges broke down in the summer of 1863, both the Union and Confederate armies began placing large numbers of captured men into prison camps. Both sides were unprepared for this turn of events, and what followed proved disastrous. In the summer of 1864, the Union established a prison camp in Elmira, New York to house captured Confederates.

The 1961 Heisman Trophy Winner | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, President Kennedy greets the 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis. The photo was taken at a reception sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. As a young man, Ernie Davis attended Elmira Free Academy in Elmira, New York. Davis excelled at a number of different sports, but had a natural athletic gift for football. In 1958, Davis became a running back for Syracuse University and was selected Most Valuable Player in 1960.

Tompkins County Farmer during the Great Depression | #tbt

Jack Delano took today’s throwback Thursday photograph in September 1940. It shows a farmer cutting a field of buckwheat along Route 79, near Ithaca, New York. This photo is just one of 170,000 photographs that were taken by the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression. Between 1935 and 1945, the Farm Security Administrations and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) sent photographers across the country to document the effects of the depression and to help build support for New Deal relief programs. Photographers included Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein. The program also produced some of the most iconic images of the era.

The Civil War And Challenging the "Cult of True Womanhood"

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, Binghamton alumnus, and WSKG producer, Shane Johnson discusses the 19th century concept of domesticity and how women challenged that notion during the Civil War. The Civil War And Challenging the “Cult of True Womanhood”
When Nurse Mary Phinney arrives at Mansion House in the first episode of Mercy Street, the camera circles around her as she tries to comprehend the overwhelming sights and sounds of a Civil War hospital. She has entered a new world. In many ways, the dramatized story of Nurse Phinney mirrors the stories of thousands of women who left their domestic worlds and enter the public sphere during the Civil War. In the process, these women challenged 19th century gender norms, the “cult of true womanhood,” and their acceptable place in American society at the time.

A NASA First | #tbt

On the night of February 3, 1995, the dark skies around Kennedy Space Center in Florida light up as the space shuttle Discovery lifted off on its 20th mission to outer space. The launch represented an historic moment for NASA and the space program; it was the first Space Shuttle mission piloted by a female astronaut – Eileen Collins. Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows Collins at the pilot’s station during that historic flight. https://youtu.be/4-_rwxr3ygE

Lt. Col. Collins was born in Elmira, New York where she attended Elmira Free Academy. Collins had a very successful career with the Air Force and NASA, logging over 872 hours in space. In 1999, she made another historic flight as the first female commander of a U.S. spacecraft, and retired from NASA in 2006.

The Hundred Percent Club | #tbt

In 1925, IBM president Thomas J. Watson decided to honor the salesmen of his company who exceeded their sales goals by inducting them into what he called “The Hundred Percent Club”. The club’s first convention was held in Atlantic City, N.J and then at New York City’s famous Waldorf Astoria hotel until 1939. In 1940, the group’s size exceeded the hotel’s capacity and Watson decided to move the meeting to the hills above his plants in Endicott, NY. This 1948 photo shows the entrance to what became known as “tent city” where over 400 two-man tents equipped with telephones, electricity and baths were erected to house the honored salesmen.

Charles Hallet of Company K | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph comes from the Library of Congress and shows a young soldier from the 137th New York Infantry Regiment posing for the camera. The Library of Congress officially lists him as “unidentified,” but according to its notes, the young man is most likely Charles Hallett of Company K.

The 137th was organized in Binghamton, NY and mustered into service in 1862. While recruits came primarily from Broome, Tioga and Tompkins Counties there were also enlistees from other parts of Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. The regiment was led by Col. David Ireland and saw action at a number of important battles, most notably Gettysburg and Lookout Mountain.

Join Us For a Special Discussion About 'Harvest'

Join WSKG on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30PM as we host the Broome County Historical Society for a presentation on Harvest, the latest documentary from award winning filmmaker Brian Frey. Frey will present extended clips from the film and discuss the making of his documentary which examines the evolution of farming in the region over the last 200 years. Be a part of this special look at Harvest, January 20th at 6:30PM at WSKG Studios located at 601 Gates Road Vestal, NY.  Admission is free and no reservation is needed.  

This event is sponsored by the Broome County Historical Society.

The Matt H. Shay | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the “Matt H. Shay” locomotive in the Binghamton Rail Yard, circa 1920. The “Matt H. Shay” was an articulated “triplex” locomotive and had three sets of driving wheels. At the time of its construction in 1914 it was considered the most powerful locomotive in the world and was used primarily to help freight trains up steep grades. It was named after an employee of the Erie Railroad. Between 1914 and 1916, the Baldwin Locomotive Works built four “triplex” steam locomotives.

Groton, NY | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph overlooks Groton, New York. This peaceful winter scene was taken by Verne Morton  in 1904. Morton was born in Groton in 1868. He began taking pictures in the late 1890s, and specialized in documenting rural life. Today, the majority of Morton’s original negatives are preserved by the History Center in Tompkins County.

Winter Evening in Binghamton | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows a nighttime winter scene of downtown Binghamton, circa 1940. The photo was taken at the intersection of Court Street and Washington Street, and looks north up Washington Street towards where the Metro Center stands today. While this section of Binghamton looks much different today, a few features from the photo still remain like the Ellis Brothers’ neon sign. Image Credit: Google Maps

 

Photograph Courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society.

One Impressive Snow Fort | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph, most likely taken sometime between the late 1930s and early 1950s, shows a group of children from Delaware County, NY posing with their elaborate snow fort. The impressive snow block structure includes a number of passages and covered rooms, and is topped off with an American flag. While we’re still waiting for the first significant snowfall of the season, we have a feeling that this mammoth snow fort is still melting somewhere in Delaware County.  

Photograph courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association.

Family Chores | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows a group of young children hard at work on their family’s Steuben County farm. From a very young age, children were asked to contribute to the daily chores on the farm. Some of these tasks were essential to keeping the farm productive and in operation. They included milking the cows, checking the chicken coop for eggs, and even mucking out the barn stalls. However, many of these children also enjoyed a great amount of responsibility and freedom in their lives on the farm.

Horse Logging | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows a scene of horse logging in Tompkins County, New York. Groton native, Verne Morton, took the photo in 1910. Morton began taking pictures in the late 1890s, and eventually gave up a career as a teacher to pursue photography full-time. Morton’s specialty was photographing the outdoors, especially images of farm scenes and rural life. Morton lived in Groton for the majority of his life, capturing the history of the surrounding communities in over 12,000 beautifully composed images.

Cooperstown | Town Spotlight | Harvest

Cooperstown, New York sits along the pristine water of Otsego Lake and is surrounded by the rolling and heavily wooded hills of Otsego County. The headwaters of the Susquehanna River begin here, and the river flows southward through New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the village is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but Cooperstown is also home to a number of other museums and historic locations including the  Fenimore Art Museum, the Glimmerglass Opera, and the  Farmers’ Museum. In fact the village is full of historic buildings tied to its early agricultural beginnings. The Revolution
During the American Revolution, the area was still a vast wilderness.

Milk Wagon | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows a dairy wagon owned by George S. McCann Farms in Chemung County, New York, circa the late 1800s. Before the days of large supermarkets, families had milk delivered to their doors daily. Through World War II, milkmen and their horse drawn milk wagons were a common sight in towns across the country. Horse and driver worked together as a team traveling the same routes everyday. Some horses knew the path so well they could be left alone to walk on to the next stop while their drivers disembarked to make a delivery.

Tobacco Barn | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photo shows a tobacco barn in Tioga County, New York. When people usually think about tobacco farming they typically envision places like Virginia or Maryland, but there was a time when our region was home to a number of large tobacco farms.  From the late 1800s to the mid-20th century, tobacco farming helped bring wealth and prestige to a number of local families, including the Pumpelly family of Owego, NY. While the heyday of tobacco farming in the area is long past, a few of the large tobacco barns, used to cure the tobacco leaves, still dot the landscape of the region. Learn more about our region’s agricultural past in Harvest, WSKG’s new original documentary, premiering November 19th at 8PM.  

Photos courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.

Mary H. Owen | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photo shows the Mary H. Owen navigating a lock on the Chenango Canal in Broome County. The canal was nearly 100 miles long and connected the Susquehanna River at Binghamton to the Erie Canal at Utica. When it opened in 1837, the canal drastically reduced shipping times and freight costs. As a part of the Erie Canal system, the Chenango Canal also connected the region’s farmers and manufacturers to the economic markets of New York City and the Great Lakes. However, by the late 1800s the railroad had all but replaced the once great canals of New York and the Chenango Canal ceased operation in 1878.

Delhi, NY | Town Spotlight | Harvest

Nestled among the steep rocky hills of the Catskill Mountain range, Delhi, New York sits at the base of a deep valley along the West Branch of the Delaware River. Situated near the center of Delaware County, the Town of Delhi was formed in 1798 out of land ceded from the towns of Middletown, Kortright, and Walton. Prior to the American Revolution, the Mohawk Indians were the main inhabitants of the region. The Mohawk, who called themselves the Kanienkehaka, were one of the original member tribes of the Iroquois Confederation, or Haudenosaunee. The first European settlers arrived in the area around the 1740s, and after the Revolution a new wave of Scotch-Irish and German immigrants pushed into the region.

Horse Power | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, a Cortland County farm family uses a horse-powered treadmill to saw wood. For centuries, draft horses have been used on farms to plow fields, haul wagons, and for various other forms of hard labor. During the 19th century, farmers also used horses to provide their machinery with a dependable source of power. The horse treadmill utilized a system of gears and belts to harness the power of horses to thresh hay, saw wood, and even churn butter. The amount of force necessary to operate these treadmills was measured in “horse power,” a familiar term that is still used today.

Oxford, NY | Town Spotlight | Harvest

As the Chenango River snakes it way southward through the rolling hills of Upstate New York, it bisects the town of Oxford. Before the American Revolution, the fertile land around the river was home to the Oneida Indians. The land was ceded to the fledging United States Government after the war in the 1788 Treaty of Fort Schuyler (Stanwix). White settlers quickly moved into the region and Oxford was officially incorporated on January 19th, 1793. The town’s central location made it an ideal early trading center in the region.

Going for a Ride | #tbt

In today’s vintage throwback Thursday photograph, a farmer gives his daughter a ride in a wheelbarrow while a group of cows look on. The photo was taken in Chenango County probably around the late 19th or early 20th century and represents an interesting snapshot of farm life during this time period. Tune in for the premiere of “Harvest,” WSKG’s new original documentary chronicling the history of agriculture in our region, on November 19th at 8PM to learn more about family farm life.  

Photograph courtesy of the  Chenango County Historical Society. 

Ross Park Roller Coaster | #tbt

In 1875, a local businessman named Erastus Ross gifted 90 acres of land to the City of Binghamton to create a park that could be enjoyed by the entire community. Amusements like the wooden roller coaster seen in today’s throwback Thursday photo made Ross Park a popular recreation destination and it continues to serve that function to this day. The park includes the fifth oldest zoo in the country and is home to the oldest of Broome County’s six carousels, a gift given to the local community by George F. Johnson in 1919. Photograph courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRP0dSImgL0

Montour Falls, Circa 1863 | #tbt

Today’s vintage throwback Thursday photo shows Main Street in Montour Falls, New York circa 1863. The bridge over the canal that once cut through the center of town is visible in the foreground. The Montour House, built in 1853, is visible on the left side of the photo and the cupola of the Montour Falls Village Hall (formerly the Schuyler County Courthouse) can be seen on the right. In the background, overlooking the entire scene, is the towering 156 foot Shequaga Falls. Today, this area is known as the “Glorious T” and a mix of architectural styles can be seen in this National Historic District.

Binghamton, Circa 1905 | #tbt

Today’s vintage throw-back Thursday photo shows the intersection of Court Street and Chenango Street as they would have appeared around 1905 from the perspective of courthouse square. The Binghamton Press building, built 1904, can be seen in the background and the Broome County Soldiers & Sailors Monument, erected 1888, dominates the foreground. A local firm designed the 49-foot granite monument and renowned architect Isaac Perry was a consultant on the project. In the decades following the Civil War similar types of moments were constructed in towns and cities across the Southern Tier and Northern Pennsylvania. Learn more about the monument here.

A Peaceful Detour in Cooperstown

On a cloudy day this past July I found myself on a film shoot at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. As I made my way back to the car along a tree-lined street only a block from the Hall of Fame, I took a planned detour into a small inconspicuous cemetery. For most of the morning throngs of tourists and a cacophony of noise had surrounded me. However, within the peaceful grounds of Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery, my only companions were a few of Cooperstown’s more important historical figures. The quaint cemetery is the final resting place of both William Cooper and his son James Fenimore Cooper.

The Eight Square Schoolhouse | #tbt

The Eight Square Schoolhouse was built in 1827 and was in use until 1941. It is the oldest school building still standing in Tompkins County, and is still used for living history and educational programs. In addition, the building is the only surviving brick octagonal schoolhouse in New York State. The octagonal shape allowed the teacher to be placed at a central and prominent position and allowed for better lighting and ventilation. Today the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn more here.

EJ Shoe Factory | #tbt

George F. Johnson moved to Binghamton, New York in 1878 at the age of 22. He was the son of a career shoemaker and had learned every facet of the shoemaking business. In 1899, he entered into a partnership with a wealthy investor from Boston, named Henry B. Endicott. Together they formed the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company and began to take over the shoemaking industry in America. At its peak, EJ shoes employed over twenty thousand workers and produced more than 52 million pairs of shoes a year.

Creamery Visit, Circa 1902 | #tbt

Prior to advancements in transportation and cold storage, small local creameries dotted the landscape of Upstate New York. These creameries collected and processed local dairy products and distributed cream, butter, cheese, and milk to residents daily. In this photograph taken in 1902, Inah and Inas wait patiently for their turn at the H.A. Niles Creamery in Maine, NY. Photograph courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society

Cornell ROTC | #tbt

During World War II, colleges and universities across the country expanded their ROTC programs and participated in other military training programs. This was especially true at Cornell University where there were both specialized army and navy training programs. In all, over 20,000 students who trained at Cornell during the war would serve in World War II. Our new local history documentary, “Class of the Century” explores how World War II and the G.I. Bill helped forever change the landscape of higher education in America. https://youtu.be/y21cLFB8rb8?list=PLkEiFS5w2pdmio2Y73g5lrQVfXkcYrLsP

Photo courtesy of The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell.

Greene, NY | #tbt

For Throwback Thursday we’ve got this vintage photo of Genesee St. in downtown Greene NY, taken around 1878 by F. D. Wood. We particularly like the way the gentlemen are posing on the porch roof. Photo courtesy of the Greene Historical Society. Learn more about Greene’s historic business district in our Uniquely New York video:

Bement-Billings Farmstead | #tbt

In 1792, Asa Bement, Jr., a 28-year old blacksmith and Revolutionary War veteran traveled from Massachusetts to claim his new homestead along Owego Creek. This photo of the property was taken in 1894. Today, the house is a living history museum and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more in our Path Through History Video about the museum:

Photo Courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.

Group Plans to Preserve Last Surviving Structure of "Helmira"

A hundred and fifty years ago this summer, the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York closed its doors for the last time. At a recent press conference, the Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp officially kicked off their fundraising efforts to preserve the last known surviving piece of the prison. Between 1864 and 1865, roughly 12,000 Confederate prisoners were held at Elmira Prison. Nicknamed “Helmira” by the inmates, nearly 25% of prisoners detained there would die as a result of unsanitary conditions. Today, the former site of the prison is a residential neighborhood and the only visible reminders of the camp are a few stone markers scattered amongst the houses.

James "Deacon" White

James “Deacon” White was born in Canton, NY in 1847. On May 4, 1871, White had the first hit during the first at bat in the first all professional major league baseball game. He is considered to be one of the greatest catchers during the era when baseball became America’s pastime. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Learn more about White, including how he got the nickname “Deacon,” in this conversation between WSKG’s Sarah Gager and Shane Johnson.

Civil War Reenactment | Delhi, NY

On November 30th, 1864, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed at the Battle of Honey Hill in South Carolina. This July the battle was recreated for a group of onlookers at the Delaware County Historical Association in Dehli, NY. https://youtu.be/DXOMw6NzbDc

This was the second annual Civil War Reenactment held at the DCHA. In addition to the reenactment of Honey Hill, the weekend event included living history exhibits, a Civil War wedding, kids drills, scavenger hunts, and period photography and film demonstrations. One highlight for visitors was meeting the history horses “Big Red” and “Rebel Yell.”

The Battle of Honey hill was chosen because of the important role the 144th NY infantry regiment played in the battle.

Flood Rescue | #tbt

On July 7, 1935, the skies north of the Southern Tier opened up, dumping more than eleven inches of rain in some areas. The event caused widespread flooding and was one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the Southern Tier.

Lily Lake Picnic | #tbt

Some early picnickers enjoy a meal near Lily Lake in what would become Chenango Valley State Park. The state park was created in the 1930’s and many of the park’s trails and amenities were built by workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal program. Today, the park is still a great place to enjoy a picnic. Learn more about Chenango Valley State Park in our Uniquely New York video series:

Owego's Courthouse Square | #tbt

Built between 1871 and 1873, the Tioga County Courthouse is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in New York State and today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about this picturesque location from our Uniquely New York video series:

Photograph courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.

New Exhibit at Binghamton University Highlights True Costs of the Civil War

The lower gallery of the Binghamton University Art Museum is abuzz with activity. A group of graduate students huddle around a tape measure debating the best way to hang a large picture frame on the wall. Around them on the floor, other frames and labels lay in neat rows. The students are setting up for a new exhibition, entitled The Civil War: Images of Ruin. “This is actually the first exhibition I’ve worked on,” explains Kasia Kieca, an art history student at Binghamton University.

Historic Civil War Drum is Given New Life

In 1863, Oscar Barton enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer. For two years, he carried his drum across the South as a member of the 26th United States Colored Troops. Today, the Tioga County Historical Society has given his drum a second lease on life. OSCAR BARTON

In 1863, the Civil War was in its second hellish year, and thirty year old Oscar Barton was living in Vestal, New York. He was a descendant of free-blacks from Rhode Island, and his grandfather had been a soldier during the American Revolution.

The Frisbee House

The 1797 Frisbee House stands as the cornerstone of the Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi, NY. The grounds surrounding the historical association also include the original barns, a one-room schoolhouse, and the Frisbee family cemetery. Built by Gideon Frisbee (1758-1828), the Frisbee House has served as an inn and tavern, a courthouse, and the meeting place for the first Delaware County board of supervisors meeting in 1797. Over its two hundred year existence, the building has bore witness to many important historical events. However, it has also experienced its fair share of heartbreak.

Elmira College

Elmira College was originally founded as a women’s college in 1855. Located in the heart of Elmira, NY, the college initially enrolled nearly 1200 students, and was one of the first institutions in the world to grant baccalaureate degrees to women equal to those of men. The school has been coeducational since 1969, but the student body has remained relatively the same size it was in 1855. The college also had a deep connection with noted American humorist and author Samuel Clemens, and today houses the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Throughout its history, a number of unexplained events have been reported on campus.

Evergreen Cemetery

Established in 1851, Evergreen Cemetery in Owego covers 51 acres of a beautifully landscaped, terraced hillside.  Two stone pillars and a large iron gate mark the entrance, while small streams and stone fences meander across grounds. A wide variety of stone markers and monuments mark the sites were those who worked and lived in Tioga County over the last two centuries as buried. There are also unique sections devoted to veterans of the Civil War and firefighters. One of the most visited gravesites in the cemetery is that of a young Indian maidenknown as Sa-Sa-Na Loft, who died in a tragic train accident after visiting Owego in 1852.  This gravesite is also the epicenter of a number of eerie tales.  

 
Watch More

In this web exclusive clip, Professor Tucker explains the tradition of leaving tokens and coins at Sa-Sa-Na Loft’s grave.

Phelps Mansion

In 1870, Sherman Phelps, a successful businessman and banker, built a three-story brick Victorian mansion on Court Street in Binghamton, NY. Phelps would later serve as mayor of Binghamton. Isaac G. Perry, who later became the chief architect of the State Capital Building in Albany, NY, designed the Phelps mansion. In 1973, the mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic American Buildings. In 2005, the mansion opened to the public as a museum.

Roberson Museum

In 1907 Alonzo Roberson Jr., finished construction on his large Italian renaissance revival styled mansion that had taken him three years to build. The home, built along the prestigious Front Street and Riverside Drive area of Binghamton, included an elevator, central heat, combination gas and electric lighting fixtures, and a dumb waiter. At the time of his death, Alonzo willed his home to the city to be used as an educational facility. In 1954 the mansion became the Roberson Memorial Center. Over the next half-century, The Roberson Museum and Science Center has transformed and expended into a regional educational facility.

Devil's Elbow

West of Owego, old Route 17c rises to crest a large hill. For over two hundred years, this road has served as a vital artery of trade and travel. At the top of this hill, there was once a sharp curve in the road – known to locals as the Devil’s Elbow. The Devil’s Elbow has been the site of a number of paranormal tales. From the time of horse drawn carriages to today, travelers along this highway have reported encounters with a phantom hitchhiker in white who seems to wander this section of road for eternity.

Hyde Hall

Hyde Hall, located near Cooperstown, NY, is considered one of the finest examples of a neoclassic country mansion in the United States. George Clarke (1768-1835), a prominent and wealthy landowner, modeled his home after the great estates of England. Construction began in 1817, and it took almost 17 years to complete the sprawling mansion complex. Hyde Hall was home to five generations of the Clark family, however by the the mid-1900s, the mansion and outbuildings had fallen into disrepair. The Friends of Hyde Hall, now Hyde Hall Inc., formed in 1964 to help restore and preserve the house.

Preserving a Piece of Revolutionary War History in New York

During the summer of 1779, a military expedition ravaged the landscape of upstate New York. Today, on the 235th anniversary of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Public Archeology Facility (PAF) at Binghamton University has received a grant to help preserve a part of this often overlooked aspect of the American Revolution. The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign

In May of 1779, General George Washington ordered Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton to lead a military expedition into the western frontier of New York and Pennsylvania. The expedition was the Continental response to a series of deadly raids conducted from the region by Loyalists  and their Iroquois allies – most notably at Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and Cherry Valley in New York. The battles of Chemung and Newtown were the only major military engagements of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.

The History of Tourism in the Catskills

by Miranda Materazzo

When most people think of tourism in New York, they likely imagine the thousands of people who visit New York City every year. Famous sites like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Central Park all very well may come to mind. But there was a time, not so long ago, when people flocked to visit Upstate New York as well. For decades in the mid 20th century, huge numbers of tourists came to visit the Catskill Mountain area of the state, which generally includes the area between New York City and Albany, the state capital. While people still visit the mountains today, the small towns nestled within them are no longer the economic centers that they were all those years ago.

Liberty Hyde Bailey: The Father of Agriculture at Cornell University

By Miranda Materazzo

Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) was a professor of horticulture and botany at Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University, and later at Cornell University. Explore this map, and follow Bailey’s travels while he makes some of the most important contributions to New York State agriculture. Explore the map fullscreen! Photo credit: Wikipedia

Half A World Away and 70 Years Later, A Soldier's Sacrifice Remembered

In 1943, 2nd Lt. Joseph P. Congelli, a native of Hornell, New York and a member of the “Mighty Eighth” 8th Air Force, was shot down while he returned from a mission over Osnabruck, Germany. Today, a Dutch citizen has adopted Congelli’s name at the Wall of the Missing in Margraten, Netherlands. In an effort to learn more about his adopted soldier, Peter Cootjans reached out to WSKG, and this is what we discovered. THE WALL OF THE MISSING

This past Memorial Day, as the familiar sound of taps played at cemeteries across the United States, in the Netherlands, thousands of Dutch citizens gathered to decorate the graves and memorials of nearly 10,000 U.S. service members in the Netherlands American Cemetery.

Burroughs Memorial Field State Historic Site

John Burroughs walked this path many times over his lifetime. Located on the side of “Old Clump” mountain in the rural Catskills town of Roxbury, the path leads to a large stone landmark. “Boyhood Rock” as he later referred to it, was Burroughs private sanctuary where he could escape from farm chores and sit quietly studying his natural surroundings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08B_J4lf_B4

Burroughs would later write of his observations, and through his essays, poetry and lectures, gained fame as one of America’s leading literary naturalists. He traveled widely throughout his life, but frequently returned to his beloved boyhood home in the Catskills.

Hanford Mills Museum

The old water-powered mill on Kortright Creek in East Meredith has been in operation since 1846. Named after David Josiah Hanford, who purchased the mill in 1860, Hanford Mills quickly expanded into a complex that included a sawmill, gristmill, feed-mill, woodworking shop and hardware store. Eventually, the mill also provided electric power to the surrounding community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGE1UUtWAZw

Shortly after the mill business closed in 1967, the site reopened as a museum, and in 1973 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since then Hanford Mills Museum has provided visitors a rare opportunity to see an authentic mill in operation and learn about the important role mills played in rural New York communities.

The Delaware and Ulster Railroad

The picturesque Delaware and Ulster Railroad tour through the Catskill Region has been called “the most scenic rail line in the east.” Starting at the station in the hamlet of Arkville, the two-hour excursion follows the rails north to the town of Roxbury and back. Built in1872, the Roxbury station includes a museum of local history, and as part of the depot complex, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 24-mile round trip follows the same path that once moved coal and commercial goods throughout the area, and guided vacationers to the grand lodges of the Catskills until the train was replaced by the automobile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJXtEnrecYw

Today, as in the past, passengers might enjoy a gourmet meal in an Art Deco dining car, or ride in one of the open-air or glass-covered observation cars, all the while taking in the incomparable views of the Catskill Mountains and the picturesque East Branch of the Delaware River.

Woodchuck Lodge

In the town of Roxbury, located high on a hill in the Catskills, is a rustic cabin known as Woodchuck Lodge, summer home of John Burroughs, one of America’s leading literary naturalists. Just over the hill stands the farmhouse where Burroughs grew up. Here Burroughs explored and studied his world, and developed his deep appreciation for nature that shaped the rest of his life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woyEuXBMBo0

Burroughs published his first book in 1871, and went on to write 25 volumes of essays, quickly establishing himself as the most popular writer of nature essays of his time. Over his lifetime, Burroughs became close friends with Walt Whitman and John Muir.

Fitches Covered Bridge

In 1870, James Frazier and James Warren built a covered bridge at Kingston Street in Delhi, spanning the West Branch Delaware River. Fifteen years later the bridge was moved three miles upstream to its current location in East Delhi, and “Kingston Bridge” became known as “Fitches Bridge”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtC3damrfqI

With an overall length of 106 feet, the one-lane covered bridge is constructed with a lattice truss design, incorporating diagonally placed planks held together with large wooden pegs, or treenails. Today, it is one of only ten covered bridges in the state utilizing this type of construction. In 1999, the bridge was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and has been extensively restored and rehabilitated twice, most recently in 2001.

Kirkside Park

Beginning in the late 1890’s, and for the next 40 years, Kirkside Park was part of the estate of one of Roxbury’s most famous residents, philanthropist Helen Gould Shepherd. The 11-acre park encompasses both banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River, includes Adirondack style bridges, gazebos, a waterfall and stone terraces. Unfortunately, following Mrs. Shepherd’s death in 1938, the park fell into disrepair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5qg-73zPYs

In 1999, the Town of Roxbury launched a park revitalization project, and today, Kirkside Park, with its rustic bridges, riverside paths, flower gardens and ball fields has been restored to its former grandeur. Once again Kirkside Park stands as a center of activity and natural beauty on New York’s Path Through History.

Delaware County Historical Association

The Delaware County Historical Association collects, preserves and shares the history and traditions of Delaware County and the surrounding region. Buildings located on its historic site in Delhi include a fully restored late 18th century federal-style house, original barns and outbuildings, a gun-shop, one-room schoolhouse, and blacksmith shop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzcmej4hFvc

Within the main building are two exhibit galleries, a research library with a vast collection of genealogical information, and a gift shop. The old Christian Church, also owned by the Historical Association, is located just up the street next to Fitches Covered Bridge. The church also hosts exhibits, concerts and plays.

Wharton Studios

Wharton Inc.

In 1914, Theodore Wharton and his brother Leopold opened Wharton Inc., a silent film studio in Ithaca, NY. Between 1914 and 1919, the studio produced over a 100 different short and feature length movies. The majority of the films were action-adventure and comedy serials, featuring stars such as Pearl White, Oliver Hardy, Irene Castle, and Lionel Barrymore. The Wharton Brothers also utilized Ithaca storefronts and the majestic gorges and waterfalls of Tompkins County as the backdrops to many of their films. Sadly, the studio fell into tough financial straits and had to close its doors in 1919. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UNVwpXAxEU

Today, the Ithaca Motion Picture Project has plans to convert the former Wharton studio building, which still stands in Stewart Park, into a museum.

Robert H. Treman State Park

Robert H. Treman State Park, with its cascading waterfalls, winding trails, and magnificent views contains some of the most magnificent natural wonders found in Ithaca. In 1920, Robert H. Treman, an Ithaca banker and Cornell Trustee, and his wife Laura, donated the land to establish the Enfield Glen Reservation state park. The park was later renamed in memory of Treman in 1938. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc9HrVu-fmw

Today, the park extends over 1,000 acres and includes nine miles of hiking trails, 12 waterfalls, including the spectacular 115-foot Lucifer Falls, a swimming area, cabins, and camping sites. In addition, visitors can find a 170-year-old gristmill within the park grounds, and spot numerous fossils in the shale rock lining the creek bed and gorge walls.

Cornell University

High above Cayuga Lake in Tompkins County sits a university that is consistently ranked as one of the top institutions of higher learning in the United States. Opened in 1868, Cornell University started in one building and with only 412 students. Today, it includes over 700 buildings, 14 colleges and schools, and enrolls over 20,000 students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HZ1-7WzYto

The university was the brainchild of New York Senator Ezra Cornell. Cornell had grown up poor, but had made a substantial fortune in the telegraph business.

Ithaca College

In the 1800s, a young violin teacher in Ithaca named William Egbert had the dream of establishing a local music conservatory in the city. He worked hard by selling $50 shares to interested investors and in 1892, his dream came to fruition when the Ithaca Conservatory of Music opened its doors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VozeUHa3E

Known today as Ithaca College, the conservatory began with only eight students and operated out of rented rooms in a downtown Ithaca house. Today, the private coeducational college has grown to occupy 85 buildings on nearly 700 acres of land. Nearly 6,500 students are enrolled in a wide range of programs such as business, communications, the humanities, sciences, and music.

Museum of the Earth

Overlooking Cayuga Lake, Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, takes visitors on a journey through time that spans over four billion years — from the earth’s origin to the present day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUdDRz5iCMw

Established in 2003 by the Paleontological Research Institute, Museum of the Earth provides a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn about the history of life on earth in fun and exciting ways. In addition to the “Journey Through Time” exhibition, permanent features include a glacier exhibit, reconstructed Mastodon and Right Whale skeletons, a coral reef aquaria, and interactive discovery labs. Temporary exhibits include natural history displays, interactive science features, and art exhibitions. With each visit to Museum of the Earth there is more to be learned, making this not just an essential, but also a frequent stop on New York’s Path Through History.

The History Center of Tompkins County

Located in the renovated Gateway Center in Ithaca, just walking distance from the Commons, the History Center in Tompkins County maintains an extensive collection and provides a variety of unique exhibitions and programs on local history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsH4BQal1JI

The center’s main goal is to give community members access to the tools needed to study the past in order to illuminate the present. To accomplish this mission the museum offers educational programs, workshops, resource programs, and walking tours — each designed to accommodate students and adults of all ages. Research materials include an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, ledgers, maps and photographs. The museum also house genealogy resources including thousands of local family files, cemetery listings, census records and directories.

Johnson Museum of Art

Opened in 1973, the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca is home to one of the finest collections of ancient and modern art in Upstate New York. Designed by noted architect I.M. Pei, the building, a work of art itself, won the prestigious American Institute of Architects Honor award in 1975. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3FqzkN5i1Q

The museum’s collection includes over 35,000 works or art that span nearly six millennia of art history from around the world. A variety of exhibitions are held throughout the year. “Cosmos,” an ongoing computer controlled installation in the ceiling of the Mallin Sculpture Court, is a dazzling display of light imagery visible day and night.

Parkview Restaurant

Built in 1867, the Dugan House served as a popular hotel in Owego for many years. Located just steps from Courthouse Square and overlooking the scenic Susquehanna River, the upper floor of the hotel included a long balcony where residents could relax and enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKeYYFmohXc

Over the years the hotel played an integral part in the growing community of Tioga County. There is a rich history associated with the hotel and many fascinating stories about the dignitaries and outlaws who passed through its doors. Today, known as Parkview Restaurant, the old hotel serves as a restaurant and tavern, where locals and travelers can enjoy good company, good food, and a piece of local history on New York’s Path Through History.

Pumpelly House Estate

On the sloping banks of the Susquehanna River in Owego, stands a magnificent Georgian-style home and carriage house known as the Pumpelly House Estate. Built in 1902, by Gurden Pumpelly and his wife Kia, the house remained in the Pumpelly family for over 70 years and now serves as a bed and breakfast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH2rgnxWjdw
The Pumpelly family originally settled in Owego in the early 1800s. They were significant landowners, and the family prospered through their involvement in the timber and tobacco industries. By the late 1800’s, Gurden Pumpelly had achieved great success as a leaf tobacco farmer and dealer, and at the turn of the 19th century, he decided to retire with his wife to their grand new home in town,.

Evergreen Cemetery

Two stone pillars and a large iron gate mark the entrance to an impressive cemetery that overlooks the Susquehanna River and the town Owego below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLomerLbYZ0

Established in 1851, Evergreen Cemetery covers 51 acres of a beautifully landscaped and terraced hillside. Designed in the “Rural” style, small streams and stone fences meander across the grounds and a variety of stone monuments mark the sites where many of the past residence of Owego now rest in peace. One of the most visited gravesites in the cemetery is that of a young Indian maiden known as Sa-Sa-Na Loft, who died in a tragic train accident after visiting Owego in 1852. Located at one of the highest points in the cemetery, her monument overlooks the Susquehanna River Valley and the historic Village of Owego, offering one of the most picturesque views in New York’s Southern Tier.

Calaboose Grille

Built in 1910, the Tioga County Jail quickly drew criticism from locals. Many believed the prison was too attractive and cozy to be an effective deterrent to crime. A newspaper column from the time claimed that people would deliberately commit crimes in order to live in comfort in the new jail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9JiGxEhaMY

Located on Court Street in Owego, the old county jail housed prisoners for over eighty years, until 1997 when it was purchased by a local developer and renovated. Four years later the repurposed building opened as a restaurant and bar.

Newark Valley Depot

It was 1870, when freight and passenger railroad service began in Newark Valley. The Southern Central Railroad, later the Lehigh Valley Railroad, brought continued service to the area for one hundred years. Today, the original train depot has been restored and now serves as a museum of railroad artifacts and memorabilia. An HO scale replica of the Tioga County segment of the Lehigh Valley Railroad is one of the most popular permanent exhibits of the museum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7rYT1p0v_8

The depot is located in the picturesque rural village of Newark Valley on the East Branch of Owego Creek.

Owego's Courthouse Square

Built between 1871 and 1873, the Tioga County Courthouse is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in New York State. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stands as the centerpiece in Owego’s Courthouse Square. Located along the Susquehanna River at the gateway to the village, Courthouse Square provides a picture-postcard first impression of this historic community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2YTawaPhLk

A Civil War Monument, erected in 1891, stands in front of the courthouse and at the northeast corner of the square sits a replica of the 1883 gazebo. Baker Memorial Fountain is one of the most distinctive and memorable features in Courthouse Square.

Grand Central Station

It was December 1831, when a convention was held in Owego to discuss the creation of a new railroad. Established the following year, the Erie Railroad would stretch nearly 450 miles from the Hudson River, through the Southern Tier, to Lake Erie. In 1849, an excursion train made the first run, travelling 237 miles from New York City to Owego. On its arrival in Owego, the passengers, including several VIP dignitaries, dined at the newly constructed Erie Station. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qSlzNNITHU

Several years later the original station was destroyed by fire and a new brick station was rebuilt on the same spot.

Owego Historical District

Located along the Susquehanna River, Owego is one of the most picturesque small towns in New York State. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Owego Central Historic District encompasses 85 buildings, including the 1828 Owego Academy, Village Firehouse, Courthouse and Post Office. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OBl6JbTW4w

Quaint shops and restaurants make up the Riverow Commercial Complex, a collection of Greek Revival and Italianate buildings lining the river’s edge. Viewed from the highway across the river, the County Courthouse, Riverow Complex, tall church steeples, and Court Street Bridge combine to form a spectacular image of this historic and inviting small town. Recently voted the Coolest Small Town in America, Owego, with its historic district of architectural treasures is definitely one of the Coolest Small Towns on New York’s Path Through History.

Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum

In 1792, Asa Bement, Jr., a 28-year old blacksmith and Revolutionary War veteran traveled from Massachusetts to claim his new homestead along Owego Creek in Newark Valley. As one of the area’s earliest settlers, Bement worked hard to clear the untamed land and build a log home for his family. Over the years the family expanded the farm by enlarging the house, and building a sawmill, gristmill, and blacksmith shop on the property. The farm would become one of the most prosperous in the area, and Asa Bement, his family and their farmstead would play a significant role in the history of Tioga County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MKAjH9oMNU

One hundred years later William Billings gained possession of the property and in 1977 his granddaughter deeded the house and property to the Newark Valley Historical Society.

Tioga County Historical Society Museum

Tioga County is rich in history. From American Indians and early pioneers, to local businesses and industry, to famous residents and family histories, this history can all be discovered and researched at the Tioga County Historical Society Museum, located along the Susquehanna River in historic Owego, New York. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGJBLy2k5Eg

Established in 1914, the Historical Society is committed to preserving and sharing the history of Tioga County, and today, the Historical Society Museum includes galleries for permanent and rotating exhibits. There is also a research library for genealogy and local history research. In addition, educational programs are regularly offered in the museum auditorium.

Market Street Historic District

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes devastated the downtown area of in the city of Corning. Not to be defeated by Mother Nature, the people of Corning came together to repair their city and grow as a community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V9c-j5eTKo

The Market Street Historic District was created in 1974 and is recognized as part of the National Register of Historic Places. Focused on the area’s long industrial history, this district encompasses a variety of architectural styles amidst buildings that have moved from industrial to retail. In 2000, the boundaries of the district were enlarged and it now includes part of the Gaffer District—a term based on the glassblowing history of Corning.

Glenn H. Curtiss Museum

The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, which celebrates the memory of a pioneer of the land and air is located just a few miles south of Hammondsport in Steuben County. Born in Hammondsport in 1878, Glenn Curtiss became the fastest man on earth in 1907, when he reached 136 miles per hour his revolutionary motorcycle. Not content with his success on the ground, the next year Curtiss set his sights on the sky. As a member of the Aerial Experiment Association, Curtiss piloted his first plan in 1908, and spent the next few years developing better avionics technology. Curtiss later pioneered the design of seaplanes and became know as the father of Naval aviation.

Stony Brook State Park

Located near the site of a former Native American settlement, Stony Brook State Park in Steuben County offers visitors a variety of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAD-alqoNuk

At the start of the 19th century, the first pioneers to the area found the rapid waters of Stony Brook Creek ripe for early mill operations. Eventually, local residents developed a private park around the creek and its series of waterfalls. The arrival of the railroad in the 1880s turned the surrounding community into a popular summer destination and the remnants of former train trestles as still visible in the park. However, as tourism declined the park fell into disrepair, and the state purchased it in 1928.

Benjamin Patterson Inn

Located in Corning, the Benjamin Patterson Inn once gave weary travelers on New York’s frontier a comfortable place to rest and relax. Built in 1796 by Benjamin and Sarah Patterson, the inn sat along the old Williamson Road, now US Route 15, and the Chemung River. These two arteries of travel brought countless visitors to the Patterson’s Inn. However, during the 20th century the inn slowly fell into disrepair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl9F5EVnFkE

In 1976, the Corning Painted Post Historical Society rescued the former inn and restored it to its former colonial glory, including full period furniture and belongings.

Corning Museum of Glass

In 1851, Armory Houghton founded the Bay State Glass Co. in Somerville, Massachusetts. Seventeen years later, the company, now under a new name, relocated to Corning, New York. Corning Glass Works, now Corning Incorporated, has continued to produce high quality glass at this location for over 140 years. In 1951, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the company created the Corning Museum of Glass; one of the largest museums dedicated solely to telling the history and heritage of one product — glass.

Steuben County Historical Society

This graceful brick structure on West Morris Street in the town of Bath has a long and storied history. The impressive home was built 1828, by John Magee, a prominent member of the burgeoning community. It remained a private residence for 65 years, until the Davenport Library occupied the space in 1893. In 1999, the building became the headquarters of the Steuben County Historical Society. Today, the historical society continues its mission to collect and preserve the historical artifacts of Steuben County and to make its collections relevant to the community through exhibits, lectures, and special educational events.

Costa Flying Service

From inventors of aviation technology to gliders that soar above the valleys, Steuben County is rich in aviation history. The Costa Flying Service, located at the Corning-Painted Post Airport, has been in operation for 80 years. Founded in the1930s by aviation pioneer, Joseph A. Costa, the Costa Flying Service has provided all ranges of air travel and education for the Corning area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EgKrSq4ihI
As New York’s oldest flying service, Costa continues to take visitors up into the clouds and give them a birds-eye-view of our region’s many natural wonders. Visitors can also choose to grab the controls for themselves and learn to soar with the birds.

Pinnacle State Park

The beautiful vistas of the Canisteo River Valley are on full display at Pinnacle State Park near Addison in Steuben County. Here visitors can enjoy a unique blend tranquil relaxation and sportsmanship as this picturesque upstate destination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCuYAPiTHh8

A member of New York’s robust state park system, Pinnacle offers park goers both breathtaking views and number of recreational activities. Golfers will enjoy a round on the challenging nine-hole golf course, while hikers can tackle the eleven miles of trails that transverse the park. And in the winter the park is open to cross-county skiers.

Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum

In the heart of winemaking country, in the Finger Lakes region, stands a unique museum dedicated to the history and beauty of an ancient enterprise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_G7IRjISzY

In 1966, Walter Taylor opened Bully Hill Vineyards at Hammondsport in Steuben County. A year later, two additional buildings were opened as the “Finger Lakes Wine Museum.” In 1972, Taylor renamed the museum after his father, Greyton H. Taylor. In one building, called the Cooper Shop, visitors can study a large collection of tools used in the barrel and winemaking industries.

International Motor Racing Research Center

Located in a town where American motor racing holds court, The International Motor Racing Research Center, on Decatur Street in the Village of Watkins Glen, houses an impressive collection of automotive history and memorabilia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXCv7b8vQnQ

The center opened its doors to the public in 1999, and today continues its mission to be a world-class leader in the collection and preservation of motor racing heritage. Housed in a two-story brick building, the research center’s collection contains thousands of books, manuscripts, periodicals, and visual works from the history of both amateur and professional motor racing. Whether for the casual visitor or the ardent student of motor sports, the International Motor Racing Research Center offers a wonderful opportunity to learn while having fun along New York’s Path Through History. Photos Courtesy of:
International Motor Racing Research Library

True Love Schooner

In the early days of the twentieth century, the social elite of the world built and sailed magnificent pleasure boats to and from their vacation play-lands. Those days may seem a world away but on Seneca Lake in Schuyler County visitors can travel back to the jazz era when they take an excursion cruise on the “True Love” Schooner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3RdI8JwgCs

Berthed in Watkins Glen, this 1926 John Alden Malabar VII Schooner has been lovingly restored to its former glory. In the 1950s, The True Love sailed the seas of the Caribbean, and die-hard moviegoers will recognize it as the vessel that Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly sailed on in the film High Society. Today, the True Love sails on Seneca Lake, and visitors can once again feel the breeze through their hair and the mist of the waves on their face at this water bound stop on New York’s Path Through History.

Catharine Valley Trail

In the heart of Schuyler County, nestled just south of Seneca Lake, is Catharine Valley Trail. Here both lovers of nature and history can come together to enjoy the serene beauty of the upstate area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4wXhyUdwIE

Visitors can trek the nine-mile long trail, which follows abandoned rail lines and former Chemung Canal towpaths, as they traverse through several wildlife habitats in the beautiful outdoors. The trail accommodates both pedestrians and bicyclers, and in the winter months the path is open to cross-county skiers and snowshoers. In the near future the trail will be extended in length and visitors will be able to walk from Watkins Glen to Horseheads.

Watkins Glen State Park

In the heart of the Finger Lakes region lays a magnificent series of gorges and waterfalls that highlight the beauty and power of nature to the visitors of the Watkins Glen State Park in Schuyler County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N75jau2mQWI

Opened in 1863, the park was first operated as a privately run tourist resort. In 1906, the park was purchased by the State of New York and has evolved into one of the States most popular public attractions. Park visitors can follow a two-mile trail as it snakes its way through a four hundred foot change in elevation, and witness the beauty of nineteen different waterfalls like the Cavern Cascade with its beautiful vistas. The Glen’s camping grounds, Olympic size pool and other amenities help make the stay memorable, but the opportunity to watch thunderous waters as they power their way toward the bottom of the glen cutting through rock and stone make the visit unforgettable.

Watson

In the fall of 1914, Thomas John Watson was a broken man. Fired from a job he loved and convicted of a crime he claimed to be innocent of, his future looked bleak. But Watson would turn it all around by rebuilding his life and creating one of the world’s most influential and successful companies, IBM. Watson, a new documentary film from WSKG’s Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Brian Frey, tells the fascinating story of Watson’s rise from an impoverished childhood to a player on the world’s stage. Watson focuses on the history of IBM’s birth in Endicott, New York, and on how the company grew and evolved along with the lives and dreams of the children of the immigrants who came to the region a half century earlier.

The Flood of ’35

On Sunday evening, July 7, 1935, the skies north of the Southern Tier of New York State opened up, dumping more than 11 inches of rain in some areas, and inundating the rivers, lakes, and streams throughout the valley. The terrible chain of events that followed would devastate small towns and cities alike, destroying hundreds of home and properties, and claim more than 50 lives. It would become the worst natural disaster in the history of the Southern Tier. Winner of two New York State Emmy Awards, The Flood of ’35 utilizes rare film footage, hundreds of photographs and first-person accounts to tell the story of that horrible night and the days that followed, days that changed lives and the Southern Tier forever. Buy the DVD

Southern Tier Memory Store 3

Preserves in word and image an abundance of objects and events. In the third program in the series: “46-Quart Cans and some Passengers” – the milk trains; “The Standard Herbal Remedies” – Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root and other medicinal products; “Hi, Sweety” – Mr. Willoby and Igy; and “Another Side of the Tracks” – Oneonta’s Delaware and Hudson Railroad’s Susquehanna Division. Buy the DVD

Southern Tier Memory Store 2

A series of remembrances of extraordinary events and everyday life in the Southern Tier of New York featuring: Elmira’s Eldridge Park, once called “the playground of the Southern Tier”; Lackawanna Railroad Trains on the Ithaca-Owego line that negotiated the hills via an unusual double switchback; more than 1,000 people paddling home-made rafts 11 miles down the Susquehanna River in the Owego to Nichols raft race; and Rothschild’s department store in Ithaca. Buy the DVD

Southern Tier Memory Store 1

Offering a nostalgic look at the Southern Tier of New York’s landmarks and institutions and how they have changed or simply “are no more.” Included in program #1 are the Triplets baseball team, the Lackawanna Train Station, Ithaca’s Mutt Dog Parade of the 1930s, the Triple Cities-area Pig Stand restaurants and WNBF-TV (the original Channel 12). Buy the DVD