Girl Scouts Carry On Belva’s Legacy

At a recent meeting of the Belvadear troop in Middleport, I enjoyed sharing with the scouts a little history on our own Belva Bennett McNall Lockwood.   Born in the Town of Royalton in 1830, she championed the rights of women for equal pay, a good education and the right to vote when women were given little encouragement to do any of these. With the theme of “Women of the Year” coming up in 1975, Mrs. Trudy Sworts and Mrs. Doris March, active leaders in local Girl Scouting, came up with the idea of erecting a plaque at the site of Belva’s birthplace on Griswold Street. A committee planned the observance with the help of scout troops 164, 107, 33 and 34 and many scout leaders. More Info »

Read more

What’s New at Middleport Pottery?

In 2014, many of you know I made contact with the head of the Prince’s Restoration Trust, which was refurbishing and reopening the famous Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent, England. They even generously presented us with 2 pitchers and bowls made at the newly reopened facility, hoping we would use them to entertain visitors with chicken wings and beer. I had to persuade them that the new tea set they wanted to send would not prove as popular as it would in their area. I have faithfully continues to follow the web site in England and enjoy reading all about the fabulous activities they offer. They also have great video of the whole restoration process and the history of the pottery making industry in More Info »

Read more

A History of Middleport

All history lovers, especially those who love learning more about our little village, will be pleased to hear that the history written by our previous historian, Anna Wallace, is about to go to press.  During her 30 year tenure as historian, Anna collected stories that go back to the beginning of our community in the early 1800s up to her retirement in 2010. I recently had a visit with her at her residence in Rochester where I shared with her a proof copy of her writings,  now compiled in a book entitled “A Friendly Community, A History of Middleport, New York.” The book will contains lots of interesting facts as well as 130 pictures from old newspapers, post cards and private photos. After a little More Info »

Read more

Happy New Year

The office of the Village Historian is once again open and ready for your visit. I am now located in the board room at the Village Hall on Main Street and I am busy getting things back into order. My hours will continue to be on Tuesday and Thursday from 10-3 or by appointment.  I hope to have a new display cabinet for some artifacts that are part of the Historian’s collection as well as plenty of reading material for you to enjoy. I am always ready to listen and record the memories that you have of Middleport and would like to preserve for future generations. 

Read more

Good eating at the American Hotel

Thanks to Margaret Droman for this memory. The American Hotel on Vernon Street next to the railroad tracks, run by Frank and Fanny Antonucci, was a popular place for locals to enjoy some good home cooking. There was a daily 75 cents special with a salad and vegetable on one side of the plate and meat on the other.  A popular special was 2 hamburgers with onions, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Bologna roast was another favorite as was the lasagna and of course fish on Fridays.  Spaghetti was served with sausage or meatballs. Pie was available for 15 cents extra and since Fanny had never made pies before, a lady was hired to help with the pie making.  Dough for the crust was made every More Info »

Read more

Help solve a mystery

Recently a resident from Middleport brought a picture to this office asking for some help with identification.The picture was found behind another when it was taken apart for framing and has no identifying information such as a date or name of the artist. It looks almost like the head was added to a prepared drawing of a child. The owner wonders if maybe an itinerant artist prepared the main portion of the picture and then added the head when requested by the parents of the child.  Maybe someone has something similar in their possession and might be able to help with information about the artist.  We’d love to hear from anyone who can give us some information.

Read more

Commencement at Union School

A  1901 clipping from the local Middleport paper: The annual commencement exercises of the Mdpt. Union High School will be held at the opera house this eve. at 8:15, June 26, 1901. The class motto is “Climb though the rocks be rugged”. Grads. in the academic course are: Misses Clara Louise Bates, Gertrude Louise Benson, Cornelia Lucy Freeman, Martha Eleanore Pollard, Elizabeth Loretta Bray, Bernice Mary Freeman, Lucy Freeman Graves, Messers Leslie Willard Allen, Charles Floyd Ewing, William Henry Watts.  In the advanced academic are: Messers Elijah Henry Seaman, Frank William Sterritt, Glenn Henry Wakeman.  Music for the occasion was furnished by Hammond’s orchestra.  Mr. W. J. Sterritt presented the diplomas in his usual graceful manner making a few remarks appropriate to the occasion

Read more

Belva stamp anniversary

On June 18, 1986, the United States Postal Service officially released the Belva Ann Lockwood stamp as part of their Great American Series.  Born on October 24, 1830, this Royalton resident went on to become an admired public figure and a very influential woman of the century.  The Lockwood Bill gave female attorneys the right to pursue their cases in courts.  She also became the first female nominated by a political party to the office of President of the United States, first in 1884 and again in 1888.      

Read more

First woman doctor in Middleport

Dr. Helen M. Robertson was the wife of village entrepreneur H.A. Robertson, and the first female doctor in the village.  She was a graduate of  Chicago’s Hahneman Medical College which she entered at the age of 50 and graduated in 1889 with honors.  Her family home at 33 State Street was the site of her medical practice where she worked for 35 years until shortly before her death.    

Read more