The Story of Abraham Parrish, Mendon’s First Tavern Keeper (Part III)

Bookmark and Share
1838 - Rochester in 1812 (showing first 'hotel') - Sketches of Rochester

Rochester in 1812 (showing first ‘hotel’). Source: Sketches of Rochester, 1838

Abraham Parrish had front row seats to watch his older brother Jasper become a success. And what a role model Jasper was. As a boy, Jasper had been captured by Indians in the immediate aftermath of the Wyoming Massacre in 1778, sold as a slave among various tribes, beaten mercilessly, nearly killed for a guinea when the British put a bounty on Yankee scalps, until he was finally bought by a Mohawk named “Captain Hill” for $20.29

Captain Hill so admired Jasper and Jasper so admired Captain Hill, that in 1780, the Captain formally adopted Jasper in a traditional Iroquois ceremony. In turn, Jasper came to Continue Reading “The Story of Abraham Parrish, Mendon’s First Tavern Keeper (Part III)”

A Look Back (Part II): A Pre-Civil War (1855) View Of A Village On The Rebound

Bookmark and Share

Last week we took the time machine all the way back to 1841, just three years after the Village of Honeoye Falls was officially incorporated. This week we skip ahead a little more than a decade. In that span, the City of Rochester, viewed as a collaborator in 1841, apparently had proven itself a formidable competitor.

Things didn’t look good for Honeoye Falls… until 1853.

That’s when what ultimately became known as “The Peanut Line” (the Canandaigua & Niagara Falls R.R.) came through. There’s little evidence of that game changing event today, save for a single monument in the shape of the limestone abutment smack dab in Continue Reading “A Look Back (Part II): A Pre-Civil War (1855) View Of A Village On The Rebound”

A Look Back (Part I): An Early (1841) View Of A New Village

Bookmark and Share

Here’s an annoying problem I discovered while researching for the book Hamburger Dreams: there’s a lot of people and places that come up when you search the words “hamburger” or “hamburg” that have nothing to do with the delicious sandwich that spawned a trillion-dollar industry.

This required me to be both creative and patient as I sifted through hundreds of century old newspaper articles. It eventually worked, but it took a lot of time. In the end, it proved worthy.

The same thing is happening now as I complete my research on the Masonic Temple/Wilcox Hotel/Wilcox House/Falls Hotel (yes, that one building has gone by several names during its nearly 200-year existence). It turns out Continue Reading “A Look Back (Part I): An Early (1841) View Of A New Village”

Rotary’s Casino Royale

Bookmark and Share

Rotary Casino 20160226_203741Who doesn’t like James Bond? And, if you like James Bond, you just gotta love a casino! Not since ol’ Doc Smith brought the circus to “right here in Honeoye Falls” so many decades ago have I looked with such anticipation to a Rotary event. (Yes, that includes the year they delighted my son Peter – who polished and shined it back to life – by awarding my ‘83 Camaro a third place price at the Rotary Car Show in 2011.) When we found out about the casino, (which wasn’t hard given the poster was right there on John’s counter at the Mendon Pharmacy), Betsy and I decided we had to go.

OK, OK, I admit I was more excited about the “Casino” part. Betsy, on the other hand, she Continue Reading “Rotary’s Casino Royale”

Size Doesn’t Matter

Bookmark and Share

It may have been my father’s greatest embarrassment, but it was my greatest loss, a loss erased only by 25 years and a chance plumbing mishap.

How my family sees my long lost 1970 trophy.

It all started on a day which lives in “famy” (as opposed to“infamy”). No, I’m not exaggerating. It really was a famous day.

On Saturday, March 7, 1970, I found myself bowling three games at Leisure Lanes in Hamburg, New York, among several dozen participants in the first Bowling Tournament my Cub Scout Pack ever had. The rest of the Northern Hemisphere spent the bulk of that sunny midday experiencing the greatest total eclipse of the sun our corner of the Earth will have until April 8, 2024. (For my own account of that day, see “Solar Eclipse, 1970 – A True Story,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, August 17, 2017.)

I had won the Big Tree Cub Scout Pack 489 Bowling Tournament that day. My father, the Pack’s Cubmaster, bought a nice bowling trophy and a brass plate to etch the name of the winner. He didn’t expect his son to take the trophy home.

That’s what embarrassed him.

So struck by the genuine joy I showed in winning it, he couldn’t bear telling me of his Continue Reading “Size Doesn’t Matter”

An Old-Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls!

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the June 21, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I don’t have many childhood memories of going to the circus. (About the closest thing I can think of concerns the Big Tree Firemen’s Carnival, but that’s another story so forget I even mentioned it!)

It’s not like I never went to a circus or anything. The big circuses I visited, though, had too much bigness for a little kid to really enjoy. For example, from the upper level of Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, one needs binoculars to catch the funny magic tricks clowns like to perform. This cannot represent the kind of up-close-Continue Reading “An Old-Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls!”

More Lasting Than Bronze

Bookmark and Share

Exegi monumentum aere perennius.

Horace begins a sarcastic ode on his own immortality with the above phrase, which translates to “I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze.” 967194_45349181_Roman_Ruins_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300Ironically, in our continuing study of this poem, Horace has, indeed, achieved a form of immortality, one invulnerable to the physical ravages of time.

Last week I wrote a fanciful speech I never intended to deliver (“Et tu, Espagnol?”). This week, however, fate guided me to the School Board meeting where, with no preparation I delivered the following remarks (perhaps slightly embellished for the purposes of this page):

“I am reminded of a time some twenty or so years ago when a different Continue Reading “More Lasting Than Bronze”

Mega-Mall Mania

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the December 7, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Those picture postcards really have it. The small chateau with the roof thickened by a foot of snow. The gentle rolling hills of white. The soft pillar of smoke rising mildly from the brick chimney. The Charlie Brown size snowflakes feathering down from the pleasantly gray sky. The scene conjures all the familial imagery of a country Christmas.

A far cry from the maddening malls of suburban shopping centers. These hubs of hysteria make even the slushy city glisten with tradition. Somehow, when they invented Continue Reading “Mega-Mall Mania”

Legalize Drugs?!

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the October 5, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259In a recent CBS-New York Times survey, 64% of the respondents named drugs as the nation’s top problem. The high degree of attention currently being paid to our country’s drug epidemic may be due to President Bush’s initiatives of just about a month ago. (A similar poll taken last July revealed only 22% of the people claimed drugs to be the nation’s number one plight.)

With all the political news coming from Washington D.C. and the war stories emanating from Columbia, the issue of uncontrolled use of controlled substances has supplanted Continue Reading “Legalize Drugs?!”

Lemonade, Minimum Wage and Daddy’s Tough Decision

Bookmark and Share

[This Commentary originally appeared in the May 4, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Many people in the Mendon, Honeoye Falls and Lima area have been reading in the national news about the minimum wage. Like most of the people in our country, they are sympathetic with increasing the minimum wage, but remain anxious about the impact the boost will have. The threat of an increasing wage-price spiral worries everyday folks the most. Unfortunately, we see Democrats saying one thing and Republicans saying another, with no one trying to take the time to explain what the real effect will be.

Being trained as a scientist, I never took economists seriously. Still, the issue of minimum wage and inflation provided too much confusion to go unanswered. “Sure,” I said to myself, “it seems fair to up the level given the increased cost of living over the past eight years. If it appears so fair, then why do so many people say it will actually Continue Reading “Lemonade, Minimum Wage and Daddy’s Tough Decision”