Dansville Area Historical Society announces New Date for program on DL&W Railroad

Thursday, November 6, 2014

 DL&W by Tom Roffe Nov 6 2014


            The Dansville Area Historical Society will sponsor a community program Thursday, November 6, 2014 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.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (built in 1847) added to National Register of Historic Places

Lutheran Church program 2014

Dansville Area Historical Society and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church


A Community Program Celebrating the Church being placed on the State and National Registry of Historic Places

September 28, 2014

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

21 Clara Barton Street

Dansville, NY   14437

Program 2-3pm                                             Reception 3-4 pm                                 

Speakers – Reverend Virginia Mazzarrela, Gerri Waight (President DAHS), Cynthia Howk (Landmark Society), Barry Haywood (American Red Cross), Ken Mountzouros (St Paul’s), and Valerie O’Hare (Pike Stained Glass Studios, Rochester)


Annual Pasta Dinner Meeting

2014 Annual dinner flyer

The Dansville Area Historical Society

Cordially Invites You to Attend

The Annual Pasta Dinner

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cocktails at 6:00pm and Dinner at 6:30pm

American Legion Home
34 Elizabeth Street
Dansville, NY 14437

Program to Follow:
David Gilbert will MC a History Game

Winner receives a prize

Door Prizes

Cost of Dinner tickets is $8.00

Tickets are available at local banks,  Historical Society Board members and at the Door

To continue presenting programs, donations are greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Food Panty Items are welcomed

On this date: Hurricane Agnes hits Dansville Area

June 20, 1972

When, in June 1972, the remnants of Hurricane Agnes paid a surprise visit to Upstate New York, the results were comparable to the great flood of 1935. Although the Kanakadea Dam protected the city of Hornell, other Southern Tier cities and villages–Corning, Elmira, Wellsville, Canisteo, Alfred, Almond–were subjected to major flooding from rivers choked by the 10 inches of rain that fell in three days. At least one drowning victim was reported in Corning. One can only speculate how the absence of the 20-year-old Mt. Morris Dam would have compounded Livingston County damage. As it was, nervous Army Engineers felt compelled to release some of the pent-up waters, flooding croplands in low-lying areas.
In Dansville, the flooding of Mill Creek forced the evacuation of Quay Street and the Tracy trailer court (where three trailers were swept away). A bridge at Stone’s Falls was washed out, taking a house and trailer with it. At Comminsville the overflow of Canaseraga Creek caused $750,000 in damage at Foster Wheeler, as it ran across Route 36, sent a foot of water across the parking lots, flooded the basement, and deposited 6 inches of silt in the Tube Shop. Cleaning out the shop required the borrowing of several high- pressure hoses from the fire department, and the efforts of some 300 local volunteers. Not so easily fixed was the damage done to crops and nursery stock in the Flats area, damage estimated in the millions.

These first two paragraphs come from a newspaper column series titled ” Dansville Turns 200″ that ran from 1992 till 1996 in the Genesee Country Express by David Gilbert.  David is  the curator of the Dansville Area Historical Society museum.

header GCE June 29 1972

image 1 GCE June 29 1972

Foster Wheeler employees returned to their jobs this week.  Their tools these days are high rubber boots, shovels, brooms and mops.

The parking lot was flooded again Monday morning — with cars instead of water.

The massive job of cleaning up tons of sludge and debris is expected to continue throughout the week. Help there Saturday and Sunday was on voluntary basis by employees. Now full wages are being paid by the firm.

A. J. Timmes, local works manager, said full assessment of damage and loss cannot be made until about a couple of weeks. Investigation into extent of electrical damage was started Monday. One of the most costly projects is inspection of materials covered with mud.  “Every piece of tubing will have to be flushed and treated,” he said.

image 2 GCE June 29 1972

Timmes estimated damage at the cafeteria alone at between $50,000 and 160,000 and stated the entire area will have to be completely redone. He called last week’s flood “the worst in the history of the Dansville plant.”


Learn to Play the Game of Croquet in Livingston County, NY


2014 Croquet Poster - Dansville - June 22 REVISED

Practice matches are scheduled throughout Livingston County. All are welcome to attend. Croquet equipment and direction provided.

05/27/2014 Conesus – Rickey Greene Memorial Park 7pm

06/03/2014 Lakeville/Livonia – Vitale Park 7pm

06/08/2014 Springwater – Springwater Town Park 11am – 1pm

06/10/2014 Groveland – The Fireman’s Field 7pm

06/17/2014 West Sparta -West Sparta Fire Hall 7pm

06/18/2014 Avon -Avon Spring Downs 2pm

06/22/2014 Dansville – Pioneer Park 2pm – 4pm

06/24/2014 Lima – Mark Tubbs Park 7pm

07/08/2014 Ossian (rec program) – Ossian Hill Road 9am

07/13/2014 Ossian – Ossian Hill Community 11:30am


Taken from Dansville 1795 – 1902

Dansville 1789-1902 inside cover

Mrs. Katherine Rochester Shepard, widow of the late Charles Shepard, and granddaughter of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, writes from Seattle, Washington, a letter of interest from which some facts are selected. When Joshua Shepard came to Dansville he established a general store in partnership with Lester Bradner just south of the present Livingston hotel. In 1817 he married Miss Elizabeth Hurlbut of Arkport. About 1820 he purchased a farm in Sparta which is now known as the Galbraith farm.  He lived there three years, and then returned to Dansville to occupy his new home, now known as the Shepard homestead. This was completed in 1824. Elizabeth Shepard held the twenty-four locust trees now encircling the residence while they were being planted. Sometime prior to this Mr. Shepard had bought what was known in the family as “the 38-acre farm,” extending from Main street to the present Lackawanna railroad, bounded on the north by Ferine street, then a mere lane, the southern boundary being just south of the present Shepard block. It was afterward cut into lots and most of it sold. One of the latest sales was the right of way to the Lackawanna railroad. Mrs. Shepard has a copy of the deed of gift by Joshua and Elizabeth Shepard in July, 1829, of the ground occupied by the First Presbyterian church just north of the Shepard block, and burned in the great fire of 1854.  The husband died in 1829 and the wife in 1870. Charles Shepard donated a part of the land for the Dansville Seminary.  “You probably know,” Mrs. Shepard writes, “that the public square upon which several of the churches are built, was given to the village by my grandfather. Col. Nathaniel Rochester. I have a distinct recollection of the first church service I attended in Dansville, shortly after  my marriage in 1846. It was held in the upper school district in the schoolhouse standing upon the square. St. Peter’s parish had been already organized and the church was, I think, in the course of erection at this time. Rev. Mr. Buell was missionary in charge.  On entering the school house we found the men sitting on one side of the building and the women upon the other. It made a great impression upon me as I had never before seen anything so  primitive.” (Mrs. Shepard died at Seattle May 20, 1902,’ and her remains with those of her husband were brought to Dansville and buried in Greenmount cemetery May 27.)

Community Program: Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Dansville Area Historical Society will be sponsoring Erica Joan Wanescki’s Medicine Show. This will cover patent medicines from the around the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.



Cola Hostetter's Bitters - patent medicine

oil-of-gladness Patent-Medicine-Trade-Cards-43 SOOTHING SYRUP

What: Erica Joan Wanescki’s Medicine Show

Location: North Dansville Town Hall, 14 Clara Barton Street, Dansville, NY 14437

Time: 7:00 pm


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.