Welcome to the History Corner!
Port Byron, New York is an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz, located along the pathway of the original Clinton's Ditch. My mission is to promote the rich history and heritage of our community with emphasis on our pioneer families, their contributions as well as any other tidbits that readers may enjoy. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


7 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

Catherine Cummings Theatre
16 Lincklaen Street
Cazenovia NY 13035

Lincoln Bill for Adults         $5
Lincoln Penny 5- 12 years    $.01

Info and reservations:
(315) 280 - 8828

Excelsior Cornet Band Concert for Lincoln

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum will open its Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator event with A Concert for Lincoln presented by the Excelsior Cornet Band at 7 p.m. Friday, October 23, 2015 at the Catherine Cummings Theatre, 16 Lincklaen Street in Cazenovia NY. Reenactor Jack Baylis, as President Lincoln, will welcome theatre goers to an evening of music connected with Lincoln.  Jeff Stockham the director of the Excelsior Cornet Band will explain the musical selections and also share his performance experience in the movie Lincoln. This program is made possible, in part, by the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

The Excelsior Cornet Band is New York State’s only authentic Civil War Brass Band. Founded in 2001, the band consists of a group of Syracuse-area musicians dedicated to the performance of original Civil War era music on actual instruments of the period. Leading the band is one of Central New York’s premier brass players, Jeff Stockham. The band utilizes instruments from Stockham’s large collection of antique brass instruments. After consulting with several of the leading experts in the field of Civil War music and brass bands, Stockham formed the Excelsior Cornet Band so that the music of that pivotal period in American history could be once again heard and enjoyed by area audiences. The musicians of Excelsior Cornet Band are professional performers with many years of experience in a wide variety of musical genres. They perform with a polished enthusiasm that brings the music of the Civil War brass band era to life. The Excelsior Cornet Band presents an authentic Civil War appearance during its performances, wearing accurate reproductions of 1860s New York militia uniforms. The brass instruments used by the Excelsior Cornet Band are period originals which date from as early as 1825 to approximately 1872. Several of them were undoubtedly used by regimental bands during the Civil War. They were carefully returned to playing condition by several of the nation’s leading restorers of antique brass instruments. The mellow sound they produce is singularly appropriate for the music of the Civil War era. All of the music performed by the Excelsior Cornet Band has been arranged for the band from original Civil War era scores. The band’s repertoire includes many of the most popular melodies of the 1850-1870 period, including patriotic airs, operatic medleys, and popular songs by many of the most renowned composers and bandmasters of the Civil War era, as well as many lesser-known but equally exciting compositions. During their years of performing, the Excelsior Cornet Band has presented concerts, parades, educational programs, and living history portrayals for a wide variety of organizations and performing arts in several states. The Excelsior Cornet Band recreates the glorious sounds and appearance of this fascinating and important era, and is available for concerts, reenactments, educational presentations, and other functions.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ladies Auxiliary: Thurston-Schramm-Reynolds Post 8137 VFW

Early photo of the Ladies Auxiliary of Thurston-Schramm-Reynolds Post 8137 of Montezuma, NY with the first charter members and officers of the auxiliary,  Photo courtesy of Dona Roe who extends a thank you to Aaron and Lila Wilson for donating this photo to her.

Seated (left to right):  Elizabeth Wilson, Helen Aubin Hutchings, Jeannette Armstrong Giovanni, Flora Hayes, Nancy Smith Decker, Agnes Moroney Lapp and Betty Leubner Dixon.

Standing (left to right): Mary Carner Stoneburg, Ruth Garner Laraway, Micky Doran Wilson, Lila Stoneburg Wilson, Hellen Ward Davies and Vanita Wilson Roe.

If anyone can identify these woman, please contact me so that the list can be updated.

A newspaper article in 1972 says that the Ladies Auxiliary Post was formed 5 years previously and had 19 members at that time.  This dates the auxiliary as being formed in 1967.

1967 Officers:
President: Flora Hayes
Senior Vice President: Nancy Decker
Junior Vice President: Agnes Lapp
Treasurer: Ruth Laraway
Chaplain: Elizabeth Wilson
Conductress: Vanita Roe
Guard: Dorothy Garner
Secretary: Jeannette Giovanni
Patriotic Instructress: Micky Wilson
Historian: Iva Reynolds
1st Color Bearer, Helen Hutchings
2nd Color Bearer: Nellie Boas
3rd Color Bearer: Delores Townsend
4th Color Bearer: Jessie Dingman

Additional Charter Members:
Hellen Davies
Elizabeth Dixon
Bonnie Jenner
Mary Stoneburg
Lila Wilson

Wayuga Community Newspaper Inc., May 25, 1967
 Here's the 1972 article that provided insight into when the auxiliary was formed:

The Citizen Advertiser Auburn, NY - March 15,1972

Thursday, May 28, 2015

23rd Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend

Sat  June 13 , 2015 10am-5pm
Sun June 14, 2015 10am-4pm

$8 Adults    $3 6-12 yrs    Free Under 6
(315) 280-8828

New York State Museum Authors Sign Exhibit Book
An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War
Robert Weible, NYS Historian and Chief Curator NYS Museum
Jennifer A. Lemak, Sr. Historian and Curator NYS Museum
Aaron Noble, Assoc. Museum Exhibition Planner NYS Museum
Saturday, June 13, 2015 10 am ~ 2 pm 

Audacious: Historical Novel by Janet Ashworth
Sat  June 13  10 am - 5pm    Author Exhibit and signing 
Sun June 14  10 am - 4pm    Author Exhibit and signing     3 pm Program

Freedom Journey: Black Soldiers and The Hills Community, Westchester County, New York

Author: Edythe Ann Quinn 
PhD, Professor of History at Hartwick College, Oneonta NY
Sat June 13 10am - 5pm Author Exhibit and signing  3pm Program
Sun June 14 10am - 4pm Author Exgibit and signing  11am Program

Veterans in a new Field: A Civil War Mystery of the Irish Brigade
Author: William H. Payne
Sat June 13 10am - 5pm  Author Exhibit and signing
Sun June 14  1pm - 4 pm  Author Exhibit and signing