Posted tagged ‘Pittsford’

Armstrong-Bacon Hall

June 16, 2014
John Buckley Bacon, courtesy of the John Bacon Family

John Buckley Bacon, courtesy of the John Bacon Family

Driving down Main Street in the village of Pittsford, one can feel the history. The four corners are anchored by three historic structures: the Wiltsie & Crump building, which was constructed in 1886; the Phoenix building and the Parker building. Just south of the four corners, the massive structure of the Town Hall, built in 1890, presides over South Main Street.

However, there’s a building at 19 South Main Street that has been a fixture in the village for even longer than the Wiltsie building and the Town Hall. Constructed about 1815 as a tavern operated by Samuel Hildreth, subsequent owners have used it as a meeting place and grocery store. Many remember the building as the home of Burdett’s Food Market. Today, 19 South Main Street houses Breathe yoga and Rocky Greco’s salon.

Charles H. Armstrong operated a grocery store out of the building in the 1870s. In the mid-1880s, Charles sold the store to John Buckley

Armstrong-Bacon Hall, 19 S Main Street, Pittsford, NY

Armstrong-Bacon Hall, 19 S Main Street, Pittsford, NY

Bacon, a Civil War veteran who was new to town and looking for a business opportunity. Buckley, as he was known, went into business with his brother, Conrad Bacon. After a short time, Conrad returned to his home in Connecticut, but Buckley remained in Pittsford and his business at 19 South Main Street flourished.

A diagram of the structure dating to 1885 details the structure plan. The south side of the building had 1, 259 square feet devoted to the store. A stairwell outside the store led to a second floor meeting room, which was used for large gatherings and as a ballroom. A dwelling on the north side of the structure was 36’ 7” wide and sat quite deep on the lot. The ice house and cobblestone smoke house stood behind the dwelling, and a well and a 1,200 square foot barn were behind the store.

Walter Rose delivering groceries for the John B. Bacon store.  Bacon's son, Howard, rides along.  Photo taken c 1893.  Courtesy of the John Bacon Family.

Walter Rose delivering groceries for the John B. Bacon store. Bacon’s son, Howard, rides along. Photo taken c 1893. Courtesy of the John Bacon Family.

On September 29, 1904, the people of Pittsford were startled by an explosion that rocked the area. The smoke house behind 19 South Main Street had been converted to an acetylene gas plant. When E. T. Tracy, the clerk at Bacon’s store, arrived at the building and opened the door, the buildup of gas exploded, blowing the roof completely off and severely burning Mr. Tracy. Another clerk, Charles Hinterleiter, was able to put out the flames by using a chemical extinguisher.

In 1905, John Buckley Bacon sold the store to Phillips and Agate, who continued to utilize the space as a store. By the 1930s, Burdett’s had opened their doors and remained in business for many decades, becoming the longest-running store in the history of the building.

*Note: This article was first published in Historic Pittsford’s Summer 2014 newsletter.

Arcadia Publishing’s Newest Book – “Pittsford”

May 31, 2013
Pittsford cover high resolution

Pittsford by Audrey Maxfield Johnson and Vicki Masters Profitt

I’m pleased to announce the publication of Pittsford, the newest title in Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.  Pittsford Town and Village Historian Audrey Maxfield Johnson and I have worked on this pictorial history of Pittsford, New York, for the last eighteen months and are thrilled with the results. 

Pittsford chronicles the lives of the earliest settlers of the town, who arrived in the late 1780s, to their descendants who reside in Pittsford to this day.  Other families have shorter roots in Pittsford soil, but have made significant contributions to its history through commerce, agriculture and education.

This book is truly a community effort, and we wish to express our appreciation to the people who shared their family photographs and stories with us.  We are grateful for the opportunity to illuminate Pittsford’s history in such a personal way.

UPCOMING AUTHOR SIGNINGS and APPEARANCES:

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. – Barnes & Noble Pittsford Book Signing, 3349 Monroe Avenue.  Open to the public

Sunday, July 14, 2013, time tbd – Historic Pittsford Annual Meeting and Picnic with Book Signing.  Open to members of Historic Pittsford

TO ORDER PITTSFORD:

Pittsford is available through

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/073859900X/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=073859900X&linkCode=as2&tag=illhisshialig-20

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pittsford-new-york-audrey-maxfield-johnson/1114923118?ean=9780738599007

Historic Pittsford’s Little House (www.HistoricPittsford.com) – signed copies available

They Will Be Remembered. It’s the Right Thing To Do.

May 29, 2011

Thanks to the generosity of the American Legion Rayson-Miller Post 899 Auxiliary and Home Depot #1247 in Penfield, New York, all 85 of my Pittsford Civil War soldiers will have a flag by their graves this Memorial Day.

Recently the Rayson-Miller Auxiliary, of which I am a member, donated money toward the purchase of flags for my Civil War soldiers.  After researching the best prices, I decided to purchase the flags from Home Depot.  I arrived at the Home Depot in Penfield, New York, and asked the representative at the service desk if the store would give a bulk discount if I purchased flags for the American Legion Auxiliary.  The service rep spoke by phone with one of the managers, Brad, who said yes, they would deduct 10% from the cost of the flags.

I headed back to the flag endcap and began counting out flags.  Eighty-five flags were required if I was to place one by the grave of each of my Civil War boys.  A few minutes went by before a man, whose Home Depot apron identified him as Brad, came over to speak with me.  Brad asked how many flags I needed.  After hearing that I required 85 flags, Brad replied that Home Depot wanted to contribute $50 toward the cost of the flags.  I was dumbfounded by his generosity.  I thanked him profusely, to which he stated, “It’s the right thing to do”.  His response brought tears to my eyes.

Thanks to Brad and Home Depot, I was able to purchase 144 flags.  My young children assisted me with placing the flags at the graves of my soldier boys at Pittsford Cemetery.  We greeted each soldier by name as we placed their flag.  There were so many extra flags we were able to place them on the graves of soldiers of other wars as well.  These soldiers, who have rested in eternal sleep for so many years, are no longer lost to history.  They had lives and they were loved.  They will be remembered.  It’s the right thing to do.

Pioneer Burying Ground Tour

October 17, 2009
Thomas Wood, 108th New York Volunteer Infantry

Thomas Wood, 108th New York Volunteer Infantry

Thank you to everyone who came out today for the tour of the Pioneer Burying Ground.  Despite the constant rain, we had a nice turnout.

Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson started the tour at the Lusk family plot.  I described how Sarah Hincher Davis Lusk was a pioneer in her own right as she, her six sisters, one brother and parents settled in 1792 the area now known as Charlotte, New York.  After Sarah’s father, William Hincher, died in 1817, her mother Mehitable Moffet Hincher sold 3 1/3 acres of land to the United States Goverment for $400.  In 1822, that land became the site of the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse.  Sarah became a young widow when her first husband, Franklin Davis, died.  However, several years later she met and married widower Stephen Lusk and together they raised a family of 6 children.

Audrey Johnson then discussed the families of Doctor John Ray and Silas Nye.  From there, we headed to the northwest corner of the cemetery to investigate the lives of the Armstrong family.  Caleb Hopkins, the man who gave us the name Pittsford after his hometown of Pittsford VT, followed.  Then we passed by Josiel Farr and his wife Rebecca, whose was the first burial at the Pioneer Burying Ground in 1797.  Ultimately, we concluded with the sad tale of Sarah Wood Osgoodby’s children after discussing her brother, Thomas Wood, who served in the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry.

Unfortunately, the rain cut our tour short and we were unable to discuss the lives of Civil War soldiers Ezra A. Patterson of the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry and George Walters of the 1st Battalion of United States Sharp Shooters.  However, I intend to post Hero Highlights for each of them in Illuminated History in the future.

Audrey and I are already hard at work planning a Spring tour at the Pittsford Cemetery.  Please check my Cemetery Tours & Speaking Engagements page for information about this and other upcoming events.


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