Archive for May 2009

Pittsford Cemetery Civil War Tour

May 16, 2009
Sergeant John Buckley Bacon, 4th Wisconsin Cavalry

Sergeant John Buckley Bacon, 4th Wisconsin Cavalry

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Civil War Soldiers of Pittsford tour at Pittsford Cemetery this morning! It was an indescribable feeling for me to be able to illuminate the stories of these soldiers, many of which have never been told before.

We began the tour with LaFayette Congdon, then discussed Major Harvey E. Light and his brother-in-law  Theodore Shepard.  After moving down the hill, the Ambrose boys – Robert, Richard, Frederick and Edward – were next, the highlight being Richard’s stint in the Dry Tortugas.  Heading back up the incline, we stopped by the grave of Matthew P. Ewing, founder of the Vacuum Oil Company which many years later morphed into Exxon-Mobil.  James R. Chamberlin, owner of Chamberlin Rubber Company, was our next soldier, followed by John B. Bacon of the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry.  From JB Bacon, we headed east to Nathan and William Cook to discuss their heartbreaking stories.  George B. Wiltsie was mentioned after the Cook boys.  Charles Tillotson and his death at Antietam came next.  From there, we continued heading east, past the grave of Matthias L. Lord, assistant surgeon of the 140th NY, and on to Kingsley Brownell.  Our tour concluded with John H. Thurmon, the Confederate soldier from Missouri.  Sadly, we were not able to visit the graves of Frank D. Tibbitts or Jeffrey N. Birdsall, as planned, due to the rain.

I really appreciate the fact that so many of you stayed out in the rain to hear the stories of these men’s lives.  Your questions and comments made the experience fun for the entire group.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated!  Please feel free to leave a comment or email me directly at vprofitt@rochester.rr.com.

Check back here in the future for information about upcoming cemetery tours and presentations highlighting more of Pittsford’s hometown heroes!

During the tour we briefly discussed Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was sentenced to imprisonment at Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas for his alleged part in the Lincoln conspiracy.  The name of the movie starring Dennis Weaver is The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd, which was a TV movie from 1980.  The DVD is not available through Blockbuster or through the Monroe County library system, but it is listed for sale on Amazon.com.

Chamberlin Rubber Company – Still Going Strong After 144 Years!

May 7, 2009
Captain James R. Chamberlin

Captain James R. Chamberlin, courtesy of Bill Lanigan, owner of Chamberlin Rubber Company

Last week, I was stunned to discover that the Chamberlin Rubber Company, which was founded by one of my Civil War boys – James R. Chamberlin – was still in existence 144 years later!

Today, I had the opportunity to tour Chamberlin Rubber with the current owner, Bill Lanigan.  Mr. Lanigan graciously allowed me access to photographs, stock certificates, newspaper articles and other bits of fascinating memorabilia about Chamberlin Rubber.  There was a receipt dated April 1, 1867.  Stock certificates signed by James R. Chamberlin himself.  But the ultimate item for me was seeing a photo of James Chamberlin in his Civil War uniform.

James R. Chamberlin enlisted in Co. A of the 3rd New York Cavalry on August 31, 1861.  He was wounded several times throughout his service, and finally mustered out in August of 1864 as a Captain.  James is the second highest ranking officer buried at Pittsford Cemetery, after Major Harvey E. Light.  After the war, James started the Chamberlin Rubber Company.  It was in his family until the 1970s when his great-grandson, James B. Little, sold it to the Lanigan family who continues to run it to this day. 

James R. Chamberlin is featured on my upcoming Civil War Soldiers of Pittsford walking tour of Pittsford Cemetery on May 16th. 

I would like to express my gratitude to Bill Lanigan, owner of Chamberlin Rubber Company, for taking the time to discuss his company’s history with me.  His generosity is very much appreciated.  Check out Chamberlin Rubber Company’s official website listed on my Blogroll.


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