Photo of the week!The first cement bridge in Willet, build in 1909.From left to right: Ben Church (in the car) Fred HollenbeckBen Loomis (commissioner)Elvin Babcock and his "third man"Albert Church (mason)#cortlandcountyhistory #cortlandny #centralnyhistory #experiencecortland #cortlandcountyhistoricalsociety #history #historicalphotographs #historicalphotos #photography #historicalpictures #historicalarchitecture ... See MoreSee Less
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Streets of Cortland: Weatherwax Street While looking through “Grip’s Historical Souvenir” recently, I noticed a woman named Marion L. Weatherwax who was a clerk for the Cortland Standard. It made me remember that I had seen a Weatherwax Street on the 1888 map of Cortland in the entryway at CCHS. Today the street is called Bement Place, so what’s the scoop? This one is not exactly solved, but I wanted to share the avenues (pun intended) I took to try to find some answers. Our starting point was the 1888 map where the street is labeled and the property in that vicinity was owned by B.F. Weatherwax. The first place I tried to find out more about (presumably) Mr. Weatherwax was our family file folder; however, we do not have one for that name. There was an obituary card for Benjamin F. Weatherwax in our card catalog, and there I found the names of his wife and children as well as his date of death. He was a Methodist clergyman for several years and about a year before his death, “he became the leader of a new sect called ‘The Little Flock,’ according to his obituary. His wife was named Amanda and they lived at 12 Argyle Place. He had gone out to feed his chickens after church but did not return as he should have, so Amanda went and found him lying face down in the chicken yard. He was brought inside where he died not long afterwards. He and Amanda are buried at Cortland Rural Cemetery.I tried using some of the books that we usually can glean tidbits out of, but they were not helpful in this case. In an obituary for his son Harry, I discovered that the family moved here in about 1882. I was unable to find Weatherwax Street listed in city directories at all, and it did not become Bement Place until September of 1961. I did not find Bement Place listed in a directory until 1964. At that time Albert J. Bement was listed as living there. I was unable to find any information about Mr. Bement.Many of the streets that I begin to research end up dead ends (again, pun intended). The newspaper article I’ve been using from about 1910-1915 was put together using the help of Theodore Stevenson (whom we have covered for Stevenson Street) and H.J. Harrington (Harrington Street not covered yet). These gentlemen were going from their own memories and local lore. Sometimes I’m unable to find anything about the namesake(s) which has been credited by Stevenson and Harrington. Our “Streets” folder has some information in it where others at CCHS have tried gathering memories of folks to preserve other street related stories. There are many resources I look to at CCHS to write the “Streets of Cortland” posts, but some street names are going to remain a mystery, I think. ~Tabitha#cortlandny #cortlandcountyny #centralnyhistory #cortlandhistory #cortlandruralcemetery #streetsofcortland #experiencecortland #cortlandcountyhistoricalsociety ... See MoreSee Less
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Photo of the Week!Pavers working on the Cortland Post Office driveway towards YWCA building, c. 1913.#cortlandcountyhistory #cortlandny #centralnyhistory #experiencecortland #cortlandcountyhistoricalsociety #history #historicalphotographs #historicalphotos #photography #historicalpictures #historicalbuildings ... See MoreSee Less
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If you have been enjoying the fun and informative posts from Cortland County Historical Society, please consider taking out a membership to support all the work we do to preserve our local history. Membership is inexpensive (starts at just $25 a year!) and you get some terrific benefits, including free museum tours, free assisted research, and a 10% discount in our gift shop. If you join at the supporting level, you can also take advantage of benefits at hundreds of other museums! As we prepare to reopen, we are looking forward to seeing all our new friends! And who can say no to this precious little face??? Give us a call today at 607-756-6071 to start your membership today! ... See MoreSee Less
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Streets of Cortland: Graham AvenueGraham Avenue is a street that brings back fond memories for me. As a teen, I worked summers at WSUC-FM, the college radio station. I often had a morning shift and rode my bike up there from my great grandmother’s house on Rural Avenue. It was always so peaceful and quiet at 5:00am. It was still usually cool, but heat and humidity were just lurking around the corner. When I was at the radio station, I had no idea who Brockway Hall was named after (George Brockway, I know now), and I never gave a thought as to how the street was named. Julius A. Graham was the namesake for Graham Avenue.Julius A. Graham was born in Newark, NY in 1827, but he came to Cortland in 1849 and worked in a mercantile business for about three years with Edward Webb. He purchased the Cortland House and was the proprietor for several years. In 1864, he married Mary L. Ives, the daughter of Frederick Ives of Schermerhorn and Ives. It appears that Graham changed his vocation a few times, according to his obituary. (There was not much to go on besides his obituary.) He spent 2-3 years in the oil regions in Pennsylvania “looking after his interests” there. Upon his return to Cortland, he clerked for Ives and Schermerhorn, and after the death of his father-in-law, he partnered with Mr. Schermerhorn and the business became Schermerhorn and Graham. He was in the produce business for 16 years and owned “some fine farms in the vicinity of Cortland.” Without more research, I’m not sure how many or where those farms were located.Seven years before Frederick Ives’ death, Julius and Mary moved to the Ives home at the corner of North Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Where Key Bank (formerly the Cortland Savings Bank) stands today, the Ives family home stood for over 100 years before it was moved to make way for the bank. There was only one photo that had a caption on the back that the home was moved to Charles Street, so I’m not sure if this occurred or if the home was demolished. As always, more research is required!Some other incidental information about Mr. Graham--Julius was a member of the first fire company in the village of Cortland and he was very fond of music. He played the double bass viol, played in local orchestras, and sang in the Presbyterian choir. His son Fred was also musically inclined and was a teacher at the Cortland Conservatory of Music. On the 1888 map of Cortland, Julius owned two lots on Graham Avenue and he had his residence at 10 Main Street, right next to the Samson Block. J.A. Graham died July 5, 1902 and is buried at Cortland Rural Cemetery with his wife Mary.Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about the namesake of Graham Avenue. Enjoy your day! ~Tabitha#cortlandny #cortlandcountyny #cortlandhistory #centralnyhistory #streetsofcortland #sunycortland #experiencecortland #cortlandcountyhistoricalsociety ... See MoreSee Less
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