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History | Friday, December 15, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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!"
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History | Friday, December 08, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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."
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History | Friday, December 01, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, November 17, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, November 10, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, November 03, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, October 27, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, October 20, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, October 13, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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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.
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History | Friday, October 06, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial MinuteThere were no Carp in Cayuga Lake before 1893. It seems that James Tupper had a farm along a tributary to the lake. He damned the stream and made a pond which he stocked with 25,000 English and German Carp Fries. In 1983 a heavy rain broke the dam sending the swirling waters and carp down the stream, into the inlet and then to the lake. Within 15 years the carp had so multiplied that fishermen caught about 1500 pounds of them every day! They were shipped to the market in NYC where they were made into gefiltefish, a combination of whitefish, pike, and carp. When Ithaca wanted to clean out "The Rhine" and area of squatters at the inlet, the town fathers outlawed the selling of fish from the lake. Today you can "catch 'em, but you can't sell 'em".
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History | Friday, September 29, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial MinuteFrom 1882 until 1887 Sig Santelle's canal boats carried a circus with tents, animals, and performers from place to place in New York State on the canals and lakes. At times, to give the horses and elephants exercise, they were brought out of the stables and hitched to the canal boats to do their stint in drawing the boats along the canal. On the big lakes like Cayuga the company schooner towed the boat. When the railroads took over the traffic of the canal, the circus switched to the faster and more diversified transportation, allowing them access to towns and areas not possible to reach by boat. People in Ludlowville still remember when the circus came to their small hamlet and the elephants were washed in Salmon Creek.
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History | Friday, September 22, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute Before the Ludlowville Presbyterians and Methodists had church buildings of their own, they each held services in the log schoolhouse. The Presbyterians held their services first and the Methodists gathered for worship after after the former group had finished its services. Church members were not as tolerant of differing beliefs as they are now, and the followers of John Calvin delighted in prolonging their services while the disciples of John Wesley cooled their heels, if not their tempers, outside. There was always competition between these two churches, and I have letters written by a Presbyterian, making fun of the stained glass windows that the Methodists were so very proud of being able to install in their new church.
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History | Friday, September 15, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute The pews in the Asbury church were freshly varnished when Bill Robinson, a hired man at the home of Cecil Tarbell, came to worship on Sunday. He wore an extremely threadbare pair of blue-serge trousers. Plenty of time had elapsed since the pews had been varnished so it was felt they were usable. But Mr. Robinson found it necessary to withdraw from the church, holding his hat over that area once covered with a good deal of material, now stuck to the pew. On the following Sunday parishioners brought newspapers for their protection and later the ladies found it necessary to scrub the pews to remove the newsprint.
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History | Friday, September 08, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute French Missionaries came to the Salmon Creek valley in 1750 and came to the site of Ludlowville. There, where the warriors usually camped, they found a the whole chancery court or archives of the Cayugas, painted or hanging in the trees. Their Cayuga guide gave them a lengthy explanation of it all. "When the Great Warriors go to war against the Catawbas they make a painting of themselves. On their return they add to their deeds in a painting, showing what scalps they have taken and what they bring back with them in the shape of treasures, bracelets, wampum, and the like." The trees all around were full of figures and curious symbols, carved and painted on the bark, telling of battles fought and won, of scalps brought back and prisoners taken.
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History | Friday, September 01, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute In the 1930's the Rock Salt baseball team was the New York Champions. The catcher was 'Jello' Burke. Eddy Hefferon was shortstop. Bob Wickens was third base. Paul Smith was pitcher. Jack Shannon was the manager. 'Tiny' Inman was also a pitcher on the team and he had a chance to go 'Pro' but he stayed with the team he knew. Matt Christopher was about 16 when he started to play with the Rock Salt team. Other players were: Ross Sweet, 'Stosh' Brzostowski (mascot), Carlton and Carlon Tarbell, Matt McKeon, Ted Cobb, 'Mac' McDermott,'Doc' Chamberlain, Eddie Heffron, '"Catcus' Milliman, and 'Deke' DeKay.
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History | Friday, August 25, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute In early times North Lansing was known as Beardsley's Corners; South Lansing was Libertyville; Lansingville was Teeter Town; East Lansing was Benson's Corners; the location of 'The Girls School' was called Sage; Portland Point was Norton's Landing; the Burdick Hill area was Forest City; Lansing Station was Countryman's or Woodworth's Landing. Lake Ridge was Heddens.
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History | Friday, August 18, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute The first steam shovels to work in the quarry above Portland Point came in 1913. They were shovels that had been used to build the Panama Canal. They were what we call today, 'Government Surplus'. Bernard Ruzicka worked the smaller shovel. He and another man would have to carry the rails ahead of the shovel when it was to be moved from one place to another. The rails were sections of 6 foot rails with three ties on them. When the shovels worked in Panama they had regular train tracks to travel on.
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History | Friday, August 11, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute In 1984 the Highway Department started installing wire baskets filled with gabion stone along the south creek bank in Lansing Park in an effort to stop the erosion of the bank. A gravel bar was also removed in the middle of the creek which should lessen the threat of flooding in the spring. The Highway Department also put up new playground equipment purchased by the Family Forum. Included in the project were swings, a merry-g-round, a slide, and a fun house.
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History | Friday, August 04, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute A big project in 1985 was the enlargement of the too small box culvert and the elimination of a dangerous narrow curve on Holden Road. The result was a straightening of 400' of road. The project was paid for with consolidated Highway Improvement Funds (Chips). Also this year 1.3 miles of DeCamp Road was paved with stone produced by the screening plant. Projected projects for the year included rebuilding Buck Road from 34 to Conlin, resurfacing of Buck Road from Conlin to Brickyard Hill, and the resurfacing of Triphammer Terrace and Armstrong Road.
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History | Friday, July 28, 2017 | By Louise Bement Print
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute In 1856 Senator William H. Seward introduced a bill in congress that the United States should take possession of any guano islands outside the jurisdiction of foreign nations. (Guano was a good source of fertilizer needed by our farmers.) America quickly claimed dozens of islands in the Caribbean and Pacific. During World War II several islands, including Johnston and Midway, were important military bases.
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