I left the Finger Lakes Times at the end of August of 1985 and moved to the Los Angeles area. I was very lucky as I knew only one person in the Southern California area, and she had worked for me at the Times but had no connections in the world of photography.

The first time Managing Editor Don Hadley offered me a job at The Geneva Times, I turned him down. I was graduating from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1975, and the idea of being the Phelps-Clifton Springs bureau reporter and working alone, out of my apart…

With a population just under 25,000, Yates County is the third least populated in New York state. The small populace, and the fact that there are no cities or highways, makes Yates County a somewhat overlooked area of the Finger Lakes. But no other county has twice become a haven for religio…

Due to the coronavirus and stay-at-home order in northern Virginia, I’ve had time to remember my early days as a sports reporter for the Finger Lakes Times, inducing cringes and shudders as memories come flooding back.

I started at age 23, in August of 1978, as a copy editor and editor of the new weekend section, “Good Times.” Copy desk chief Phil Beckley handled all copy editing, handing our team of five copy editors the unedited stories, photos that needed captions written, and blank layout grids. We als…

The 1950s and ’60s in Geneva were a period of change. The 1957 opening of Town & Country Plaza signaled a trend toward being modern. The plaza stores were concrete, steel, and had lots of fluorescent lighting. Aisles were wide and shoppers made their own selections, rather than relying o…

As the Finger Lakes Times looks back on 125 years of reporting the news to the citizens of Geneva, I thought I would let Times readers know about some of the Geneva events covered by the paper.

For a local kid, growing up in Geneva, the arrival of the Finger Lakes Times on your porch every afternoon was a key part of small-town life. From the birth announcements through the Police Beat and onto sports and the obituaries, Geneva, we now more fully appreciate, was blessed with an agg…

When I arrived in Geneva in the summer of 1976, I was not happy to be there. I had spent the previous year working at a magazine in New York City and the two years prior teaching English in Nigeria, West Africa. Big-city journalism was my goal, not a small, provincial newspaper that printed …

The Finger Lakes Times and its predecessors have been very important in keeping area residents informed about happenings in Seneca County. There have been many quite important events in the county over these 125 years — too many to deal with them all in this article.

SENECA FALLS — Walt Gable was a Mynderse Academy social studies teacher in September 1999 when then President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton — who were vacationing on Skaneateles Lake — visited Seneca Falls and Waterloo.

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Photographs are one of the most requested research materials we receive in the archives, usually a street or a person’s house. We’re not able to provide a photo for every request, but we may be able to provide other views such as maps or drawings.

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narrow-gauge rails (the weight was from a 3-foot section) laid on gravel that came from the Glen Edith quarry near Rochester. Thirty-five sidings were located approximately every mile for the expected traffic of one trolley every five minutes that was never realized. Business was such that a…

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Gordon Granger was born in 1821 in the small hamlet of Joy, south of the village of Sodus in Wayne County. Little is known about his early years other than he taught in 1840 during the first year of the Pre-Emption schoolhouse in Sodus. In 1841, Granger attended West Point; he graduated in 1…

GENEVA — Treat Dad to a free tour of Rose Hill Mansion this Father’s Day weekend. From Friday, to Sunday you can get one admission free with the purchase of one adult admission. Explore Robert Swan’s life as a farmer, husband and father at Rose Hill Mansion in the 19th century.

NEWARK — The Wayne County New York Genealogical Society (WCNYGS) is gearing up to help Wayneconians — past and present — celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Wayne County through its genealogy project “Pioneering Families of Wayne County 1783-1899.” It begins in January 2023 an…

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During the War of 1812, the British made a number of raids on towns on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, looking for supplies. Two of those raids were in Wayne County — in Pultneyville and Sodus Point.

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He was traveling through the Finger Lakes in a horse-drawn open carriage down dirt roads, in temperatures in the upper 80s. He was outfitted in a dress jacket over a long-sleeved shirt, as was the proper fashion of the time. Who was this person? When did this happen?

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Mural Mania is a series of murals that stretch mostly along the Erie Canal, from Lockport in the west to Canastota in the east. This is a distance of approximately 165 miles, making Mural Mania the longest mural trail in the world.

Memorial Day is not only the unofficial start of summer in the Finger Lakes, it is also the weekend of the 58th Annual Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake. Geneva calls itself the “Lake Trout Capital of the World” and each year the derby is held on Memorial Day weekend.

The Collins family did their patriotic duty and sent four brothers to fight in the U.S. Army during World War II. Wallace (aka Tommy), Clayton, Everett and Roy Collins all went in harm’s way and suffered injuries, but ultimately made it back home alive.

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In 1788, three men arrived in present-day Yates County to scout out a place for members of an unusual religious sect, the Society of Universal Friends, who wanted to build a community of their own. The three encountered a pair of French-Canadian men living quietly in a cabin along the banks …

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Wayne County was located in what was once known as the “Burned-Over District.” The phrase is a nickname for Western and Central New York, and it comes from a quote by Charles Finney, the father of American revivalism, who explained in the 1870s that the region had seen so many revivals in th…

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Many senior citizens reading this article will fondly remember the Romulus Hotel but won’t recall the other hotel that operated in the hamlet of Romulus for many years: the Hinkley House.

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Samuel Mora, the vice president of sales for Eastman Kodak, wanted to build automobiles. He responded to an advertisement placed by Newark businessmen looking for a company to occupy an empty factory building in the village. After negotiations, Mr. Mora chose Newark to be the location to bui…

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In the mid-20th century, there were many Finger Lakes drum and bugle corps. There were the Geneva Appleknockers, the Watkins Glen Squires, the Shortsville Shamrocks, and the Auburn Purple Lancers. There were many more around New York state and across the Northeast. Many, like the Appleknocke…

Traveling south on Route 54A through the hamlet of Branchport, there stands a house on a small, wooded knoll next to a creek. Somewhat hidden from the road, the house is nearing two centuries old. For many years, it was the home of Dr. Wynans and Julia Bush and their children, a family of ex…

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Clyde Glass Works was established in 1827 and began operation the next year as a maker of window glass. The original owners were William DeZeng and his brother-in-law, James Rees.

LYONS — Mural Mania will be dedicating two murals, the “Poorhouse Lock 56” and “Honoring those who worked on the Erie/Barge Canal” in Lyons, on Saturday, April 23, at 11 a.m., in celebration of the 17th annual Canal Clean Sweep hosted on Earth Day weekend.

Dr. Caleb Bannister was the first Vienna (Phelps) village doctor. His parents — Capt. Lemuel Bannister-I and Elizabeth Brown — and their family arrived in this section of Phelps in 1799. From Bannister’s 1852 self-written pamphlet here is what I learned about life.

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Ed. note: Beginning today and continuing each Thursday for the next 52 weeks, the Times will publish a brief piece about Wayne County history. Some of those will appear on our front page, while many will appear elsewhere in our A section. The impetus behind this idea: Wayne County will celeb…

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On Aug. 18, 1920, Harry Burns, a young representative in the Tennessee House, made history when, on the advice of his mother, he changed his vote from “Nay” to “Aye.” Burns’ vote in turn changed the state of Tennessee’s vote from “Nay” to “Aye” ... and that one vote changed U.S. history.

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Have you ever driven down the road that was once known as Reservation Road? If you have proceeded south from Seneca Falls on Route 414, you have. Actually, there are several Reservation Roads in New York state — just google those words to see them.

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The Schnirel Block at 94 Seneca St. was built in 1899 by Geneva contractor Reinhold A. Schnirel. According to a Geneva Daily Times article, the building was officially opened “to much excitement” on Oct. 17, 1899; the five-story-high structure was fire-resistant and also included the city’s …

The winter of 1846-47 was harsh all over the country. A late hurricane, possibly a Category 5, caused widespread damage from Florida to Maine. A family named Donner and their traveling companions became trapped in 20 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevadas and resorted to the unthinkable. An unch…

Seth Dean, a Revolutionary War soldier, arrived in the Phelps area about July 26, 1789, along with the following pioneers: Nathaniel Sanborn, brother- in-law Mr. Gould, Oliver and Charles Humphrey, Pierce and Elihu Granger, Jonathan Oaks, Philetus Swift and Elias Dickson. John Decker Robison…

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Would you like to ice skate over frozen Cayuga Lake? Several people accomplished that rare feat in late February and March in 1936. Diary accounts of that 1936 freeze of Cayuga Lake are timely as we approach what is, typically, the coldest part of a Finger Lakes winter.

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One of the most beloved classical American novels has a strange connection to Penn Yan, going back in the 19th century and involving well-known Penn Yan personalities, even though the story itself took place thousands of miles away.

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It may come as some surprise that I started out as a biology major in college. In fact, I was taking New and Emerging Diseases at the same time as Early Modern Witchcraft in Europe and New England when I realized I liked the latter much more than the former.

Did you know that the Coe-Genung Funeral Home property in Waterloo used to be the Waterloo Hotel and later the National Yeast Company? I have been learning a great deal about this as I have been working on the application of a Lafayette’s Tour historic marker for placement in Lafayette Park.…

It is the time of year when many of us indulge in memories of Christmases past. As a historian, I wonder how people were celebrating Christmas in our city 100 years ago or more, so I turned to our Geneva newspapers to find out.

ROSE — A Patriot Burials Marker was installed at the Rose Cemetery recently, the first historic marker of its kind to have been awarded and placed within Wayne County.

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As the holidays draw near, many of us will begin shopping for gifts. For the past two decades, as numerous small businesses in rural communities have closed, many shoppers from rural Finger Lakes towns automatically have turned to malls in suburban Rochester or Syracuse, or gone online to fi…