Sharada & Jamael at Farmhouse Brewery

We travel to the village of Owego, New York to profile The Farmhouse Brewery. Owner Marty Mattrazzo details how the brewery came into existence and why they rely on local farmers for many of the ingredients they use in their beverages.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.