Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

                                                   From a "Penny" Post Card

                                                            Merry Christmas
                                                   a Prosperous, Happy New Year
                                                                Dick &  Kitty

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Changes in Lindley



Built 1898

Trivia  --   A FEW CHANGES IN LINDLEY 1790-2004


Land – Farms-- Homes


1790        Wilderness –First  settlers arrive- Build first log cabins, plant small fields of grain

              Oxen are used to plow fields


1855        Fields are larger –small dairy farms grow apples, grain --- Horses are replacing the oxen for preparing fields--  Homes are changing from log to frame ( boards for homes are being sawed in the many sawmills)


1875        178 farms - add tobacco to the crops – Larger frames houses built.


1972     Less than 12 large dairy farms most of which are located on Rt.15 or on River Road       

             Many owners of small farms now work in factories, or the railroad

            Since 1945 – many people use mobile homes for their houses


2004         1 large dairy farm remains.  Other farmers raise hay, corn and beef cattle to sell .




1790        40 members of the Lindsley family and their slaves

1855    704 people    

1875        1481        2x’s as many people in 20 years         Why??? Tannery Industry started after Civil War (1865) and new families arrived

1960     1313

1980     1831         An increase of  500 people in 20 years

2000     1881         Only 400 more people than 125 years ago   



1790        1 male school teacher who taught all grades, all subjects


1855          Several one room schools with only 1 teacher.  Most students do not attend school beyond the 8th grade. Children walk to school.  Woman teachers are not allowed to marry.


1912     1 room school at Presho adds 2 more rooms. High school students ride the train to  Corning, and live with someone there during the week for about $2.50. Return home for the weekend. 


1920’s-1930’s   9 one room schools with grades 1-8  Within walking distance of most families.

                          Women  teachers are now able to get married and teach.   (Gt. Grandparents)


1933-4     First bus takes students to Painted Post, Corning for grades 9-12       (Grandparents)


1957          One room schools close. Some are torn down. Some are used for homes.

Lindley/Presho School opens with 210 students  (K-6th grade ) and 

            9 teachers.  Few students walk. Grades 7-12 are bussed to Painted Post and
             Corning.                                                                                                                   (Parents)


2004    L/P   176 students (grades K-5th )   6th –12 go to Painted Post , Corning  

            ? teachers   9/10 buses transport most students to L/P           



1790        Ministers travel town to town to preach. Colonel Lindsley holds services at Meeting  House Hill –near Lindsley Burying Ground (Cemetery) located on Route 15.


1800’s  Presho Methodist , Lindley Community  and other churches are built.


2004    3 Churches   Presho Methodist, Lindley Community, East Lindley


Roads and Railroads


1790        Tioga River is used as means of travel.   Native American trails used as roads


 1792    Colonel Williamson hires people from Germany to build a road from NY State

 Route 15 follows some of this old road. Horse and wagons, buggies are used for travel.


1839      First railroad is built from Corning to Pennsylvania      There were 4 depots (Railroad Stations) Arks, rafts carry lumber, grain to markets in Chesapeake Bay, Md


1900        Automobiles are replacing horses and wagons.


1922        Dirt road from Lindley to Presho  is paved.(Concrete)   People use the train to travel.


1940’S-1980’s    Trains no longer carry passengers. All the Railroad Stations are gone. One was  used to build a house. Trains have 50 to 100 cars that carry coal, grain, etc.

  4 lane highway to Presho from Painted Post

2004          Usually only 1 train a week –(no coal)- Carries supplies for business in Penna.




1840’S-1850’s     Farming, sawmills, logging,  blacksmiths, wagon ,barrel makers .Tanneries make leather for shoes, boots, harnesses ,and trunks .Flour mill.  Tenant farmers.


1870’s        Early tractors are used on farms. These will replace horses. Hired men or girls.

                   2 post offices-one in Presho, one in “Lindleytown” (near Lindley bridge)


1930’S        3 or 4 grocery stores supply needs of Lindley people.1 or 2 tourist homes for  travelers. Some Lindley residents now drive to Corning or Painted Post to work   in factories, hospital , on the railroad.   Cheesefactories /Condenseries serve the dairy industry.

 Electric and telephones become popular.


1950’s    Television is introduced to Lindley residents.  New homes are smaller with fewer occupants.


1970’s –1980’s   Computers are new.  Some high school students drive to school.                 


2004               Brownies Mini Mart, Lawrenceville , Corning, Mall  serve shoppers

                      Lindley Woodworks, Smith’s Trailer Sales, Chilson’s Roofing, Demings

                      Garage. Most residents now commute (drive to work in Painted  Post,      Corning )

                      1 post office  -   Cable Television   -       (Video games ,VCR’s DVD’)
The above was compiled in 2004 for a Lindley-Presho  4th grade class that  asked about changes in Lindley.

             Since 2004, a "new" bridge over the Tioga River opened, County Rt.73 was extended to U.S. Rt.15, the Lindley-Presho School closed , all students are bused to Erwin Valley, Painted Post or City of Corning, a gravel pit opened, State Line Camping moved, several homes, businesses and farms were lost or affected by the construction of Interstate I 99, a new bridge spans the Cowanesque River, U.S. Rt. 15 became Steuben County Rt. 115, the Railroad became more active with Pennsylvania gas well business and cell phone towers appeared on the hillsides..

Although not in the Town of Lindley, Walmart came to near-by Gang Mills and a large shopping complex developed that serves Lindley residents.

But the  population of Lindley remains about the same .

 And hopefully, many lives are being saved with the opening of Interstate -99.
            What other changes have occurred in the past 10 years???

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Follow-up of German Builders of the Williamson Road (1792)

 The question has been asked--- What happened to the German families who participated in building the Williamson Road-in 1792?

Although not directly connected to Lindley history , it is to Steuben County history. As Commentator - Paul Harvey-used to say "The rest of the story"  

  This information was discovered when someone in Markham  researched the family history .

You never know what interesting stories you will find as you tract down ancestors.  

             A Little  History of The Town of Markham, Ontario, Canada 

William Moll Berczy, Founder of Markham
William Moll Berczy, Founder of Markham
The modern history of the Town of Markham began in 1791 when John Graves Simcoe (British Revolutionary General) was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. During his term as Lieutenant Governor, Simcoe's actions impacted directly on Markham. His concern for improving the military security of the new territory led to the clearing of Yonge Street and a system of free land grants, both of which greatly influenced the establishment and growth of what became the Township of Markham. Simcoe was also responsible for giving the Township its name, after his friend, William Markham, the Archbishop of York at the time.

The first European settlement in Markham occurred when William Moll Berczy, a German artist and developer led a group of approximately sixty-four German families to North America. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1792, they had originally intended to settle on land in the Genessee area of New York State. ( ** As has been mentioned These families were recruited through Berczy by Colonel Williamson to build the Williamson Road from Northumberland, Penna. to Bath, N.Y. and to Geneseo, N.Y.  Sections  of U.S. Rt.15 through Penna. and NYS followed the former Williamson Road that these families struggled to build.) 
On their arrival on their in New York, however, disputes arose over finances and land tenure and the Berczy Settlers were forced to look elsewhere. In May of 1794, Berczy negotiated with Simcoe for 64,000 acres in Markham Township, soon to be known as the German Company Lands.The Berczy settlers, joined by several Pennsylvania German families, set out for Upper Canada.Sixty-four families arrived that year and their first few years proved difficult, as a result of harsh winters and crop failures.A number of original settlers moved back to Niagara, but those who stayed managed to prosper eventually.
Union Mills on the Rouge River, built 1841, burned 1930s
Union Mills on the Rouge River, built 1841, burned 1930s
Other groups soon arrived, including French Revolutionary Émigrés, United Empire Loyalists, Pennsylvania Germans and migrants from the British Isles, all looking for a better way of life.
Markham's early years (1794-1830) were characterised by the rigors of homesteading and the development of agricultural industries. The township's many rivers and streams soon supported water-powered saw, grist and woollen mills. Small hamlets such as German Mills, Almira, Buttonville, Cedar Grove and Unionville began to spring up at the mill sites.
The people of Markham were always politically active, and with the heated tensions between reformers and the family compact, leading up to the MacKenzie Rebellion of 1837, Markham found itself bitterly divided. Markham, as part of the riding of York, elected the rebel leader William Lyon MacKenzie as their member of the Legislative Assembly on five occasions between 1828 and 1836. He did not sit for long, however, as each time he entered the house, he was expelled for his republican views.
As a result of this and other issues, some Markham farmers risked arrest by openly supporting the rebellion of 1837 while others under Captain John Button raised armed troops of militia to quash the violence.
With improved transportation routes such as Yonge Street and the growing population, urbanisation increase. By 1857, most of the township had been cleared of timber and the land was under cultivation. Villages like Thornhill, Unionville and Markham greatly expanded and new, specialised industries such as wagon works, tanneries, farm implement manufacturers and furniture factories sprang up.
Buttonville General Store, photographed c.1900
Buttonville General Store, photographed c.1900

Unionville Main Street, c.1960
Unionville Main Street, c.1960
Borrowed from History of Markham  on the Internet with my notes in red.  Kitty

Monday, December 1, 2014

Susquehanna Trail (From Ancestry .com)

One of the most remarkable pieces of road construction ever attempted in this country and that, too, at a time when facilities for doing this kind of work were of the crudest character and most of it had to be done by hand, was the building of what was known as the "Williamson Road."
In the year 1778 a large body of land was granted by the state of Massachusetts to certain individuals on the Genesee river in western New York state. Among these grantees was Robert Morris of Philadelphia and he subsequently sold 1,200,000 acres of this land to Charles Williamson, who was in reality acting for Sir William Poultney of Bath, England.
At that time the limits of Northumberland county, of which Lycoming county was a part, extended to the line of New York state and adjoined the Morris and Williamson purchase. Williamson had located at Northumberland where he awaited the arrival of 500 colonists whom, he was advised, were being sent to America by Sir William Poultney.
At the time there was no road by which these colonists could reach the tract of land in New York state so Williamson set about to devise some way by which a road could be built through the wilderness. He applied to the legislature and it granted him the paltry sum of $500 but with this as a starting point, he set about the work of construction. The colonists had arrived from England and he took them to the Loyalsock Creek to which point a road had already been built.
He used the men of the party to do the actual work of building, while the women and children followed on behind and encamped in rude shelters which were erected from time to time as the work progressed. The women did the washing, cooking and baking. In this way the road was constructed through Williamsport, up to Trout Run, over Laurel Hill and on to what is now Painted Post in New York state. Two brothers, Robert and Benjamin Patterson, who had rendered distinguished service in the Revolutionary war, and who were familiar with the country, acted as guides.
Operations were begun in May or June, 1792. An advance detail was sent ahead to erect log houses as depots for supplies and also as a shelter for the women and children. These depots were of a substantial character and were afterwards used as dwellings, notably the one at what is now Liberty, in Tioga County, which became known as the "Blockhouse" so called because when the building was torn down and rebuilt, the logs were sawed into blocks about the size of ordinary building stone. This "Blockhouse" subsequently became a famous hostelry.
The journey and work were of a very arduous character. The section through which the road ran was an unbroken wilderness, much of which had never been trodden by the foot of white men. Great trees had to be felled, bridges built and the road graded. It was a stupendous task for that day and would be no small job even at the present day.
The road was finally completed through to what is now the city of Bath, in the summer of 1796, and was a lasting monument to the genius and determination of Charles Williamson. Unlike so many enterprises of this character, funds were not lacking to facilitate the work. Williamson had back of him a very wealthy man and he furnished the means with which to complete the undertaking.
Williamson founded the city of Bath and became a very prominent man in his day. He instituted a number of attractive sport events at Bath, among them being a series of horse races, which attracted blooded stock from as far away as Kentucky, all of which were driven over the "Williamson Road". Williamson took the oath of allegiance and became an American citizen. After he had completed the work, he transferred the property to Sir William Poultney and sailed for the West Indies but was lost at sea.
The "Williamson Road" became one of the most important highways in the state, a great thoroughfare, and played an important part in the settlement of western New York. Stage coaches operated over it for a long time and today it is part of the wonderful scenic highway, the "Susquehanna Trail" which runs from Washington, D. C., to Buffalo, that portion of it in Lycoming County through a section that for the beauty and grandeur is unsurpassed by any other in the United States.
There is no section of the United States in which the scenery is more imposing and diversified than that of Lycoming county. High mountain ranges, lofty peaks, narrow gorges and overhanging rocks are interspersed with lovely valleys and long stretches of fertile farming land. It was the home and hunting grounds of the Andastes Indians, who were among the most enlightened of all the eastern tribes.
Through the heart of this section runs the famous Susquehanna Trail, universally conceded to be the most picturesque scenic highway in the eastern United States. Taking its name from the beautiful valley through which it passes, the trail is an unbroken ribbon of concrete four hundred and fifty miles long, connecting two of the most important places in America, the National capitol and Niagara Falls, the natural wonder of the western hemisphere.
From Washington the tourist may take one of two routes, either through York to Harrisburg or by way of Gettysburg, next to Valley Forge, the most sacred spot on the American continent. By either route the trail passes through some of the most beautiful scenery of a quiet character to be found in the state until it reaches the state capital at Harrisburg. North of here the character of the scenery changes entirely.
For fifteen miles the highway clings to the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River along the base of Kittatinny Mountains until it reaches the magnificant new concrete bridge at Clark's Ferry from whence an enchanting glimpse may be had into the Juniata Valley, famous in poetry and song. Here the road swings to the western bank of the river which is follows to Sunbury, passing through a country where pioneer history was made and fringed by beautiful hills all the way. At Sunbury the highway crosses again to the eastern side of the river which it follows to Williamsport.
At Sunbury may be seen the great bluff, known as Blue Hill, three hundred feet high which dominates the entire valley and is an imposing spectable from any point of view. Crossing the river at Northumberland, the former home of Joseph Priestly, the discoverer of oxygen, the trail enters the gateway to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River Valley.
From here it proceeds through a country full of historic lore, the habitation of the best examples of the red men who ever lived in the eastern part of the United States, the home of Shilellimy, the over-lord of the five nations, and the celebrated Logan, who was a man of the highest intelligence and character.
Passing through Montandon, opposite Lewisburg, the seat of Bucknell University, and Milton, near which is the site of the old frontier fort, Freeland, the road reaches Muncy at the base of the Bald Eagle range of mountains. Just above here is the spot where the heroic Captain John Brady, the famous Indian fighter, was killed and a little farther on is the site of Fort Muncy, marked by a beautiful bronze tablet erected by the Lycoming Historical Society and Mr. and Mrs. Henry G. Brock.
Stretching a little further on, the trail reaches the borough of Montoursville, named for the son of Madame Montour, a celebrated half breed who had her village, Otstuagy, on the river just south of the present town and then on to Williamsport.
Here the trail bends to the north following the beautiful Lycoming Creek to Trout Run at the base of the mountains, with towering peaks rearing their majestic heads to heaven. Up over the mountains the ribbon of concrete winds its way, passing through a section of extreme wilderness and surpassing in beauty any scenery of like character in the United States. This strip of fourteen miles is the delight of tourists and all who have ever drive over it are loud in praise of its marvelous sublimity.
Emerging from the mountain fastness at Steam Valley the trail follows the old Williamson Road, built through an unbroken wilderness in 1798, until it reaches Liberty, the site of the famous block house station used by the builders of the Williamson Road and which is also marked with a tablet erected by the Wellsboro chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The trail then passes through valleys nourished by the beautiful Tioga river, runs on north through Blossburg, Mansfield and Tioga until it reaches the New York state line where the valleys are wider and the country more rolling. Thence on to the finger lakes, shimmering in the sun. Painted Post is on the line, a place celebrated in the early history of the section through which the highway passes. Here in 1791 a conference was held with the representativs of the Five Nations and Colonel Pickering, growing out of the treaty of Fort Stanwix, entered into in 1784. And here Red Jacket made one of his famous addresses. The remains of the Indian village may still be seen at the "Post."
From here the trail swings to the northwest through a bolder section until Williamsville is reached where the road branches, one trail leading to Buffalo and the other to Niagara Falls.
The trail is especially beautiful in the fall when the mountains and hills through which it runs are clothed in their garb of russett, crimson and gold foliage, presenting a picture unrivaled for either bold or quiet beauty.
Volume 1, pp. 526-530.
Dennis Abbey Photo
Not sure of the source of this history on -but it does describe why the section of  U.S Rt.15 in Lindley was sometimes referred to  as " The Susquehanna Trail ".
The rest of the  Williamson Road story
There is little known local fact about the Williamson Road and the Germans who were involved in building it . Some of their descendants live in Markham, Ontario- Canada.( north of Toronto ).
 In researching their family genealogies, they discovered that following a dispute with Col. Williamson, members of the German families moved to Ft. Niagara, Canada.  There the British General Simcoe aided them by granting them a tract of land north of Toronto . This became Markham. Some of the descendants visited this area a few years ago and presented a program on the history of their community.
Thanks ,Dennis for another great photo of I99 and the hamlet of Lindley, N.Y.