POSTPONED – Dansville Area Historical Society announces March program on DL&W


DL&W by Tom Roffe Mar 27 2014 - postponed - 

            The Dansville Area Historical Society will sponsor a community program Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m. in the North Dansville Town Hall auditorium. The program will be on the history of the DL&W Railroad, which ran along Dansville’s East Hill, where it had a depot.

The DL&W was completed to Dansville in 1882.  The line that ran both freight and passenger trains, ran along picturesque East hill and continued to Mount Morris.

The program will be presented by Leicester town historian Tom Roffe, who himself worked for Amtrak for five years, and then left to work at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. before becoming a town historian. Roffe’s roughly hour-long Power Point program will cover the period from the 1870s to the 1960s. Roffe will discuss the railroad’s influence in York, Leicester, Mt. Morris, Groveland, and Dansville; and will include the railroad’s relation to the “Castle on the Hill” and the Phoebe Snow era.

The program is free and open to the public. Donations will be greatly appreciated.

Click here to see more posts about the DL&W in Dansville.

Bastian’s Historic Desk Gets New Home At Red Cross (1952)

From the Genesee Country Express, Dansville N. Y., November 27, 1952 (Page 5)

FOR 71 YEARS there has been a tie between the Bastian Pharmacy – which will reopen on Friday as the Winship Pharmacy – Clara Barton Chapter No. 1 of the American Red Cross. That tie is embodied in a tradition, and is symbolized by a fine old handmade walnut desk. This desk has just been presented to the chapter by Mrs. Carl E. Bastian.
The tradition is one of interest in, and support of, the American Red Cross, begun in the very year the organization was founded and carried down through nearly three-quarters of a century.
In the summer of 1881, when Dansville folk decided they would like to organize a local Red Cross society, “Dr.” Gottlob Bastian was one of the group of community leaders who conferred with Clara Barton, at that time a resident of Dansville.
Their idea was to honor Miss Barton, and encourage her in her struggle to gain U.S. adherence to the Geneva Convention. A few months earlier she had organized the American Association of the American Red Cross in Washington.
Because it was not easy for “Dr.” Bastian to leave his pharmacy, the organizing group, including Miss- Barton, gathered there. They used the desk which -may now be much more than 71 years old. The Dansville pharmacy with which Bastian associated himself, when he came from Germany in 1852, had been established by Edward Niles in 1834.
“Dr.” Bastian, sole owner of the business from 1870, was succeeded 30 years later by his son, Edward Niles Bastian; who carried on until death claimed him in 1923. In that, year, Carl Edward Bastian, representing the third generation of the family, took charge. From then until his death, last May he was one-of Dansville’s leading businessmen—a pharmacist with a genuinely professional attitude.
Carl Bastian was proud of the store’s association with Red Cross history, and was a generous supporter of Clara Barton Chapter. At the time of the chapter’s 50th Anniversary in 1931, he and his uncle, Dr. Emil Rauth of Brooklyn (who had been a personal friend of Miss Barton) arranged a unique window display. Included was an oil portrait of Gottlob Bastian, painted by Dr. Rauth. This also has been given to Clara Barton Chapter. Another
display relating to the Red Cross was used in the Bastian window during the Town and Village Centennial in 1946.

Business Member Profile: NAPA Auto Parts


NAPA Auto Parts in Dansville became one of Dansville Area Historical Society’s NEW business members in 2013. We would like to thank them for there membership an ask that you support them as well.

A unique feature of the Dansville Napa Auto Parts is the over size NAPA hat that sit on top of the side door.  I helps to keep the snow from piling up in front of he door too!!


NAPA logo
NAPA Auto Parts
11 Ossian St, Dansville
(585) 335-2275

Business Member Profile: Better Homes Furniture

Better Homes Furniture in Dansville is one of Dansville Area Historical Society’s NEW business members for 2013. They have been in the business of selling retail furniture and floor coverings since 1998. We carry LAZBOY, England, Ashley, Lancer. Liberty, Vaughan Bassett, Sleep Logic Chiropractic Bedding, Mohawk and Quick Step Flooring. A bit of history for this location is listed below

Better Homes Furniture 1998 – Present

Fox Furniture: 1988 – 1997

Johnson Furniture: 1944 - 1986+ (Grand Opening Sept. 1945)

Johnson Furniture


In 1945 the Johnson Furniture Company purchased the furniture business of the Wilson-Altmeyer Company. A history of the business operated in this location by the predecessors can be found in another part of the paper. The Johnson Furniture Company, before opening for business, completely remodeled the store.  The manager of the store, which is one of several operated in this area by the parent company, is Kenneth Mead, who has Quickly proven himself to be a public spirited business man. He has entered wholeheartedly into the activities of several local organizations. As a member of the Board of Trade he advocated many progressive moves for the betterment of local retail merchants. In the Lions Club, Fish and Game Club, and the Dansville Lodge, Loyal Order of the Moose, Mr. Mead has taken an active part giving generously of his time and ability.

1959: Richard Stevens, manager, Johnson Furniture

Wilson-Altmeyer Company: 1934 (Ossian Street Store) - 1944

Wilson  Altmeyer094

Wilson-Altmeyer 1934 Grand Opening on Ossian Street-renovated

Contact Information:
Better Homes Furniture
13 Ossian Street
Dansville, New York 14437
(585) 335-8430

Store Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9am-5pm
Thursday And Friday 9am-7pm

We take pride in selling quality home furnishings and floor coverings to our customers and we stand behind our products and our service.

FOR SALE: “Bluff View”, home of John McNair

John McNair House_BLUFF VIEW Brochure 06272013

Historic “Bluff View”, the brick Federal house built by John McNair in 1828, set on 20.8 acres, has just been listed for sale for $169,000.
The property address is 8748 Dansville-Mount Morris Road, West Sparta, NY 14437. The MLS number is R226632. “Bluff View” is eligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John McNair house 2013 1

A 4-page color brochure with photos and details and property history is included above. Please feel free to forward the brochure to anyone you think might be interested in this unique property.

Historic “Bluff View” is set on nearly 21 acres of park-like land with a breathtaking ravine complete with rocky waterfalls, sweeping lawns, hundreds of mature trees, and a secluded hillside pond overlooking the valley, A quaint barn and fenced pastures await horses or other livestock, and there is a charming, cedar-roofed antique hen house.

John McNair house 2013 2

Only a few families have been privileged to call “Bluff View” home during the last 200 years. Each successive owner has done his part to preserve and improve the property, in an unbroken line of careful stewardship which accounts for its remarkable state of preservation. Today “Bluff View” stands empty, awaiting the next owners who have the taste and vision to appreciate living in a historic, one-of-a-kind home—who stand ready to do their part to ensure that “Bluff View” survives intact and continues to tell its intriguing story for the next 200 years.