Welcome to the History Corner!
Celebrating the rich history of Port Byron, New York, an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz. This site is dedicated to the legacy and heritage of our community as well as a variety of regional historical tidbits. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Eccentric Farmer

The Syracuse Standard, Saturday Morning June 27, 1886

In the Port Byron Column appeared:

"Howland's island is to the front again with a circus all its own.  In addition to the bucking mustangs, which give a variety entertainment every time they are hitched up, the inhabitants have lately discovered that they have an accomplished tumbler or "man serpent" in their midst.  D.B. Harrington, who works farm No. 8, the largest on the island, engaged his wife's brother, Peter Moffitt, to work for him through the summer.  Mr. H. soon noticed that in going between the house and the barn, Moffitt, instead of walking erect, as a man who had done a hard day's work or was expecting to do one is supposed to do, would turn cart wheels and somersaults, single and double, backwards and forwards, the entire distance.  He also astonished his fellow workmen, who were not used to seeing one of their number stop his plow team for a rest and go whirling around the field like a hoop-make, or to see one coolly lean over backward and scratch his ear with his heel.  The young man was in the village Saturday, and by request of a number of the boys, gave an exhibition that would have been a credit to any circus ring.  "Pete" was raised in Auburn, where his father keeps a grocery store.  Barnum never saw him, or they would surely have him."