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.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Free Academy Graduate Inducted Into PBCS Hall of Fame

June 8, 2019 was a history making evening when the Port Byron Alumni Association inducted the first graduate of the Port Byron Free Academy into the school Hall of Fame.  Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners and new inductees to the Hall of Fame.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bell Family Bible

This summer was a great time to visit the Hoyt-Barnum House in Stamford, CT and spend some time with the staff at the Stamford History Center.  Holding the Bell Family Bible was a memorable moment.  I decided to see if I could date the bible, which was a tremendous challenge because the book is inside a case so only one page is visible along with a page of vital dates inscribed on the adjacent page.

To continue some final thoughts following my article in the Auburn Citizen, I did find an inventory list for Frances Bell and Joshua Hoyt.  I love historical research because each time you view documents, your eyes see something new.  Since I spent considerable time dating the bible and determining what type of bible it was, that influenced my initial opinion regarding the great bible appearing in the inventory list of Jonathan Bell.  There is a bible known as a Great Bible but after additional review I have more insight to offer.

My eyes caught something new, the inventory lists contained the word great to describe other items.  Therefore, that would lead me to conclude that the word great was not referring to the type of bible but was instead referring to its size.  Today we would be more apt to use adjectives such as big or large to describe an object.  Perhaps the listing for the great bible may be referencing a King James Bible, which was produced in a larger size.  It is obvious that faith was very important to the Bell family since they owned multiple bibles, which is not common for this time period.

Above is a flow chart showing the various family member who held the Bell family bible over the years and how they descend within the family.  For anyone interested in the Bell family history, below is the family history written by John V Hecker published in 1897 by the New York Genealogy Society.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Signing "Murder in the Adirondacks"

The Herkimer County Historical Society is pleased to host author Craig Brandon who has recently released his fully revised and expanded edition of "Murder in the Adirondacks" based on the 1906 Chester Gillette-Grace Brown murder case for a Talk and Book Signing on Monday, July 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the old Herkimer County Courthouse, 320 N. Main Street, Herkimer, NY. It will be 110 years since Grace Brown's body was found at the bottom of Big Moose Lake on July 11. 

The book features over 50 new photographs and excerpts from Chester Gillette's prison diary at Auburn Prison, as well as updated information on what happened to some of the key people involved in the case. The cost is $24.95 and can be purchased in the Society's Gift Shop, open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Saturdays during July & August, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. You can also order it by mail, by sending us a check to our address at 400 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY 13350 and add $4.00 for postage (New York State residents please add 8.25% sales tax).

For more information, call us at (315) 866-6413 or email us and we will get right back to you!   
Susan R. Perkins
Executive Director
Herkimer County Historical Society
400 N. Main Street
Herkimer, NY  13350
(315) 866 6413
E-mail: herkimerhistory@yahoo.com
Web Site: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyhchs/