Back to Top

Lansing Bicentennial Minutes

By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial MinuteNearly every winter Cayuga Lake is frozen over at both ends. Before our present method of making ice thousands of tons of it would be shipped to New York and other places each winter. Cutting ice was the big money maker during the winter months. The lake seldom freezes all the way of its length, but in 1963 thousands of ducks were caught in the ice. Students skated on the ice in 1904 and teams were driven across it in 1885. During the 1912 freeze up a total of six people skated the length of the lake from Ithaca to Cayuga - single file and many feet apart so that only one person would be on thin ice at any given time.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial MinuteLake Ithaca was a large lake that filled the basin that holds Cayuga Lake today. Lake Ithaca was 600 feet above the present level of today's lake. It was a cold and muddy lake with ice bergs floating on its surface. I live above the lake on Myers Road. The gravel banks here are the base of the original Salmon Creek before it cut its way back to the falls at Ludlowville. Instead of shale or clay in our soil, we find stream washed stones and pebbles. The falls in Ludlowville form what is called a 'hanging valley'. The valley of Salmon Creek hangs above the falls in Ludlowville and the lower valley has steep gorge walls.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial MinuteThe cloudburst and flash flood of July 1935 came after a five day heat wave. Some scattered showers occurred July 7; July 8 brought thunder storms and slight flooding; by nightfall of July 8 nearly four inches of rain had fallen. Overnight came the cloudburst during which Ithaca measured 9 1/2 inches of rain. Cayuga Lake rose 4 1/2 inches. All the creeks flowing into the lake became raging torrents. At Portland Point water was 10 feet deep. Four people were drowned when the bridge they were standing on in Myers was swept away. The last big flood in this area was in 1972. Because Cayuga Lake is the reservoir of the lakes to the west, it remained at a high flood stage for six weeks. There was a shortage of pumps to pump out basements of the cottages along the lake. When a new shipment of pumps came into the Ithaca Agway store, they were sold right off the truck.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial MinuteThe Asbury Red Church was built in 1811. The area had taken the name of Asbury when Bishop Francis Asbury , the first bishop created by the Methodists in the United States, visited the "red meeting house" in1797. When it burned in January of 1844, the present church was constructed. The last Methodist service was held at Asbury Church in October of 1963. There was a small Methodist church in Myers. It had a enthusiastic group of women who put on church suppers in the large basement to help pay the church expenses. People came from miles around and many were turned away on occasion. There was no running water at the church. Imagine hauling in enough water to cook the food and wash all those dishes! The last record of a service held there is that of June 26, 1946.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial MinuteBarney Moore (1845-1916) was mentally disabled fellow who lived in Ludlowville in the summertime and at the County Home across the lake during the winter. He loved to attend funerals. Sometimes his memory helped the cemetery officials if there was a question about where a person was buried and there was no stone to mark the spot. He had his own coffin made and stored in the attic of the local store. One time some young boys were prowling around in the attic and heard a noise and, looking over in a corner, they saw a person rise up from a coffin. The apparent ghost was Barney. He had gone up to see if the coffin fit and had fallen asleep in it.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial Minute In 1799 Thomas North purchased all of Lot # 71 (600 acres) in the Town of Milton (now Lansing). There he built the log cabin which is now at the entrance to Myers Park. Thomas Jefferson North was born April 5, 1813 in the cabin. He married Jane Elmira Townley of Lansing in 1837. They moved to Ohio where their first son, James E. North was born in 1838. During the winter of 1838-39 Jane returned to Lansing where Frank J. North was born. Later that spring she returned to Ohio where Luther Hedden North, the third son, was born. Frank and Luther were at Fort Kearney on the Platte River in 1860 when the Pony Express rider came through from the west. Both boys tried to get a job as Pony Express riders, but were told that they were not taking anyone under 20 years old.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial Minute In the early nineteenth century in Lansing people made their own house and barn paint. Lead was bought in bars twelve inches long by two inches wide, soaked in vinegar until soft, then dried and powdered. Six to ten pounds of this powder were mixed with linseed oil and poured into an iron cauldron to be worked smooth with a pestle. When of proper consistency, turpentine and powdered color were added. Red oxide (rust) was cheap and easily procured from the iron tools and implements around the farm, and so most barns were painted red. Sometimes blood from slaughtered animals was used as the color.
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial Minute Daniel Thayer of Ludlowville invented the first mowing machine which he called the "Meadow King". He sold all the rights to the Gregg firm in Trumansburg for $10,000. His mower soon came into the possession of the McCormicks who put it on the market under their name and made a fortune from the sales. One reason the McCormicks were so successful in selling the mower is that they lived in an area of large flat fields where the mower worked at its greatest efficiency. In the smaller, hilly fields of this area it was often more efficient to mow by hand. Many hands made light work, with the farmers gathering at each other's farms to make teams of mowers across the field. There is a counting song from that time: "One man, two men came to mow the meadow. Three men, four men came to mow the hay. They mowed the hay and took it away on a beautiful summer's day. Five men, six men came to mow the meadow, seven men, eight men came to mow the hay."etc. When one got to a high enough number, the song reversed the numbers. It was fun to count backwards from 10 men or more. "ten and nine and eight and seven and six and five and four and three and two and one" and take a big breath to finish the song."They mowed the hay and took it away on a beautiful summer's day."
By Louise Bement
0
0
0
s2sdefault
Lansing Bicentennial Minute In Ludlowville torchlight processions were held during presidential years just before the election. The march was introduced by drummer boys wearing fancy home-made paper caps , vigorously beating snare drums, in time or out; it didn't matter. Behind them came two men carrying a billowing banner on which were enlarged pictures of the presidential candidate and his running mate. Then followed a line of old and young men holding signs with slogans of the party and its candidates. They alternately shouted and sang silly, unkind, and usually untrue quips about the opposing representatives. The fascination of it all was not alone in the lights, the noise, and the marching. It was also in the ridiculous incongruity of the presence of those dignified members of the church and community tramping along so pompously and shouting those foolish sayings. Trailing behind them, as close as they dared, were the little boys of the village imitating the swagger before them, and catching and repeating as much as they could of the shouting.

"Tippecanoe and Tyler too!"

Page 4 of 4