Orris U. Kellogg owned a 700-acre farm on the west bank of the Tioughnioga River where he bred and raised cattle and racehorses. His cattle were some of the most highly prized stock in the United States, and he had a racetrack on his property in order to indulge his love of light harness racing. Kellogg purchased the farm in 1876 and called it Riverside Farm. If you have ever driven down Kellogg Road, headed towards Blodgett Mills, there was a gorgeous barn standing with two houses. This was the O.U. Kellogg Farm. .O.U. Kellogg was born in Taylor on September 19, 1848,Read More →

Hamlin Street was named after the United States Vice President Hannibal Hamlin. Hamlin was the vice president under Abraham Lincoln during his first term. In the 1864 election, Andrew Johnson was chosen to run as vice president. Our story could end there, but the original name of Hamlin Street was Gazlay Avenue. Why? Dr. Henry Champion Gazlay (1818-1900) was a physician in Cortland for many years. He graduated from the Eclectic College in Syracuse and began his practice in Truxton in 1841. He moved to Fabius until 1847, returned to Truxton, and then moved to Homer in 1857. He was a partner with Dr. EzraRead More →

Grace Street is a tiny side street that started off life as Schermerhorn Street. I do not know why the names were changed, except that the news article that tipped me off on how to find out more about Grace Street had incorrect information, so that’s a reminder to always take newspaper information with a grain of salt! The article said Grace Street was named after Grace Walrad “whose father, C.P. Walrad, opened the street.” Right off the bat, I recognized Grace Walrad’s name and knew that C.P. was her husband, not her father because earlier this year I did some research on this family.Read More →

Today we are taking a look at Reynolds Avenue, that crooked little street between Tompkins and Union Streets. Reynolds Avenue takes its name from Judge Joseph B. Reynolds (1775-1864), an early Cortland County settler to Virgil. When I started reading about Judge Reynolds, I couldn’t help but wonder why, if Reynolds started off in Virgil, was a street in Cortland named after him? Joseph B. Reynolds was born in Easton, Washington County, NY, and he came to Cortland County in 1808 at the age of 24. The only resources he had for his big adventure were the two cows he drove here. Once in Virgil,Read More →

Woodruff Street was accepted as a new street on June 8, 1885, and was named after Madison Woodruff. The second portion of Woodruff was opened from Maple Avenue to Madison Street and was accepted on August 1, 1910. Madison Woodruff owned the tract of land there and operated a pottery on Groton Avenue. Madison and his wife, Hannah Russell Woodruff, came to Cortland in 1831. He began work as a journeyman in the pottery of Sylvester Blair, the original stoneware manufacturer in the area. He worked for Blair for several years and in 1849, he began his own pottery business. He constructed a brick buildingRead More →

Myrtie (or Myrtle) Pearl Pennoyer was born on November 22, 1878, and immediately given up for adoption. She was adopted by George and Lydia G. Pennoyer and raised in Cortland. This little girl would live a long and productive life which touched both people who knew her and people who did not. George and Pearl had but one daughter, a little girl named Laura who would sadly die at 18 months. They raised a foster son and took in another child for a time. They opened their home to fresh air children over the years as well. Pearl was a member of the Twentieth CenturyRead More →