Friday, December 14, 2012

The Old School Building

On December 6 and 7 the Gibby House of the Arcade Historical Society entertained 541 children and 76 adults from the Arcade Elementary School. It was their annual visit to see the holiday decorations, the two Christmas trees decorated by 3rd and 4th graders and the exhibit of toys - this year, toys from 1962.

Even with all of that to look at, the item that brought the most "awwwws" and "wows" was a photo of their school circa 1920. The taller white portion of the buildng was the original "Arcade Academy" opened in 1863. The brick addition to the left was built in 1900. Both buildings were torn down for a new school in 1927. The other item in the photo that impressed them was the cannon (one of two) that sat on the front lawn.
A scale model of the cannon was shown to the children too. The cannon are no longer in front of the school, as they were sold for scrap during the WWII scrap drive. Mr. Gibby made the model cannon and mounted it to a piece of wood that came from the Arcade Academy bell tower so that we would never forget them.
Also in this photo are two people - we know not who - sitting on top of the bell tower! The Congregational Church is barely visible in the background.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why China?

Are you still wondering why Arcade was originally known as “China?” One theory was revealed at the June 3 worship service at the United Church of Christ, Congregational. It was the title of  several hymn tunes from the early 1800s, and one version of “China” was sung at the service. It is a known fact that nearby Sardinia is named for the hymn tunes “Sardinia,” so it is reasonable to assume that is how China, NY came to be as well. Arcade Town and Village Historian Jeff Mason found the music and brought it to the congregation. The Society is making a DVD of the song so you can hear it at the Gibby House.
Here are the words to one version of the hymn tune "China" (there was more than one titled "China."):
Let God the Father and the Son,
And Spirit be adored,
Where there are works to make him known,
Or saints to love the Lord.
Early, my God, without delay,
I haste to seek thy face;
My thirsty spirit faints away,
Without thy cheering grace.
Not life itself, with all its joys,
Can please my soul so well;
Or raise so high my cheerful voice,
As thy forgiving love.
Thus till my last expiring day,
I'll bless my God and King;
Thus will I lift my hands to pray,
And tune my lips to sing. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Was it the First Quad Cane Ever Made?

In August the Society was given a wooden Quad Cane made by Vernon Gibby circa the late 1960s or early 70s. Vernon made it for his wife Marjorie’s sister Mae (Witherel) Ball. Mae’s granddaughter, Carole (Lyons) Mess  brought the cane to the Gibby House to donate to the AHS collection. Carole commented on how useful it was for Mae Ball and we wondered if Vernon’s quad cane was the first one ever made! Googling revealed a patent issued in 1978. Does anyone else know when the first quad cane was produced commercially?


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Join us "Walking With Heroes"

A tour of Arcade Rural Cemetery with veterans, Saturday May 26, 2012.

When Memorial Day had its origins as “Decoration Day” after the Civil War, it was a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who had died during the war. With the passage of time, it has become a day to honor all deceased veterans.
             On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 26, members of Hendershott-Manness Post 374, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hugh Lynch Post 737, American Legion, and the VFW Auxiliary, will take part in a new event we are calling “Walking With Heroes” to honor many of the veterans buried in Arcade Rural Cemetery. The living veterans and Auxiliary members will be standing or seated near the graves of deceased veterans from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. They’ll welcome the opportunity to talk with visitors about the war in which “their” veteran served, and in many cases they’ll be able to discuss the military experiences of the deceased veteran.

In addition to the event in the cemetery, the Arcade Historical Society will have an exhibit at the Gibby House with additional information about all veterans buried in Arcade’s three cemeteries (32 at St. Mary’s in East Arcade, 107 at Sts. Peter and Paul, and 179 at Arcade Rural). The Gibby House at 331 West Main Street, Arcade, NY 14009, will be open 2-4 p.m. on Saturday May 26 as well.

When visiting the cemetery, please park your vehicle at the cemetery entrances on Park Street or Prospect Street. AHS volunteers will be there to assist you with directions. We ask that handicapped and elderly visitors be driven to the top of the hill in the cemetery to discharge their passengers. Remember, this is a picturesque, old, rural cemetery which is hilly and has woodchuck holes, so walk carefully.

The event will go on rain or shine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

50th Anniversary of the Arcade & Attica Railroad this summer

The Arcade Historical Society and Friends of the A&A are working together to put on an exhibit for the A&A's 50th Anniversary. August 4, 1962 was the first public passenger trip for the railroad and within the first 17 days they had 1700 passengers - and that figure doesn't include all the children that rode!

The exhibit will include train photographs, postcards, old newspaper stories, train artifacts, as well as photographs and memorabilia of 1962. It is interesting going through the old photographs and seeing how ""dressed up" everyone is - women and girls in dresses, boys and men in suits. Times have changed a great deal.

We are planning on opening the exhibit July 26 and it will run for the three weekends following that date. The exhibit will be held in the old brick Arcade Fire Hall on Liberty Street. Stay tuned for details to come.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Brazilian Balm Update

Inquiry: an antique bottle circa 1900s with this info: Brazilian Balm - manfactured by B.F. Jackson in Arcade, N.Y.

A quick look in our AHS obit file found one Rev. Benjamin F. Jackson, born in Franklinville, NY in 1834. He attended school in Arcade (his parents had a farm outside of town) and died in Arcade in 1920 - living here the last ten+ years of his life. His last occupation was as a businessman in the proprietary medicine trade.

Previously he spent time in South Carolina after the Civil War working with freed slaves and helping to divide up plantations during the reconstruction. A sermon delivered by Rev. B.F. Jackson was found in the archives at the research library of the Congregational Church in Boston, MA. Rev. Jackson gave the sermon in the Plymouth Congregational Church of Charleston, SC on November 28, 1867; it was a Thanksgiving Sermon, preached to a congregation of freedmen.We also obtained copies of pages from Bleser's "Promised Land", a history of the SC Land Commission, a body set up to purchase lands for subdivision and sale to freedmen and others, and has references to B.F. Jackson as a Surveyor of the Commission.

New information was revealed in an obituary from a 1917 Wyoming County Herald newspaper which led to our discovery of the exact address where B.F. Jackson and his wife lived: it is now numbered 436  West Main Street. He married Myra (Waldo) Hitchcock in 1909; daughter of a well known local pioneer family. Also found in the 1917 newspaper were advertisements for Brazilian Balm, sold at the local (Cottrill's) pharmacy. We are hoping to eventually find out where he produced this "proprietary medicene" in Arcade.