Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Place Called Home just a One Stop Light Village


It is not a big city- but I knew everyone in town by there first name before I was 14.
There really was only one stop light and it was not as old as me when I lived there.

The very first recorded information about "my town" was from a Jesuit Missionary 1667 when he visited the Mohawk Iroquois Indian nations main castle which was at a place called Tion nonto gen. it was a palisaded enclosure of about 30 houses accommodating some 300-400 native Americans. He was allowed to build the first white man chapel St Mary at the site.

30 Aug 1675 , Major Edmund Andros, Govenueror of English Provence of New York treatied with the Mohawks here in the village; an alliance that held the relationship with the English and red men united against the French. In the summer of 1689 the English helped the Mohawks move there Castle west to Wagners Hallow, and the site was vacated except for the St Mary Chapel.
1712 brought the Palatines, who had settled in Hudson River area
and then moved to Schoharie Valley only to find they did not have good title, so the next stop was the Mohawk Valley. Dominie Ehle was one of the very early missionaries, he built a solid Sand stone building in 1727,the small left hand part in photo, to which he
added a large addition 1752. When I was 11 years old, this was my play ground, no one lived in the house but I used to go into both the first and second floors, had no idea of what a valuable piece of history it was. The wood paneling was still on the stairway and a big fireplace inside where the buildings joined.

A very few other families were scattered along the North side of the Mohawk river from Ehles home to the Wormuth place at Nellis creek
[ the site of Tion nontogen] area that would be called Stump City, Muel Town and eventually Nelliston.

A highway was built along the north side of the Mohawk and eventually called the Kings Highway. In 1760 this road was used by Amherst and his troops of 10,000 men to march to Oswego,N.Y. By 1776 the Continental Congress decided to fortify the area-so using the Mohawk River as a barrier against the French from Canada, the fort was built on south side of the river.

On Washington's tour of New York, on 3 july 1783 he stayed at the Wormuth house on Nellis creek. This was the place to ford the Mohawk, Just west of were Nellis creek came into the river,silting of the creek made it easy to get across.

In 1829 there was a small cluster of homes just east of the creek and to make travel easier the first bridge between the area they called stone Arabia and Fort plain was built, this was replaced several times,

In the year 1836 there was 4 house on Nellis's property and by now the Utica-Syracuse Rail Road was completed with the tracks being along the north side of the Mohawk parallel to Kings Highway.

Now the crossroads began to grow, first there were the muel barns along the street we now call Railroad. For many years the area was called muel town.

1866 with the Civil War Veterans returning, the little cross roads started to flourish, a broom factory, drug store, a marble works, 2 grocery stores, so by 1878 the village was incorporated and called "Nellistown" we were on the move. The returning Civil War Veterans settled in the village, in fact 5 of them or there wives were still living on my street in the 1930's.
The Federal Government recognized the village 3 jun 1889 we opened a post office with Abraham Nellis the postmaster.
Our first hero in Nelliston,N.Y. was "bad bill Dahlen"after he started playing ball he spent most of his time in Brooklyn, N.Y. but the folks back home had a hero. 30 years later everyone still knew who he was.

My grt grand parents John Lasher, came home from Civil War and came in of the farm, began to buy some property he opened a shoemaker shop in front of his house on school st. then built a brick 3 story block, followed by a rather niece brick two story home. Within a couple of years My Grandfather Edwin Booth Lord married Anna Lasher and bought a house on berthood st, where my father Edwin Booth Lord, was born.

In 1911 Aug 14 about 7 pm, my dad Edwin Lord was 8 years old, playing with some other boys saw a big drop out of the sky, they of course went to see--a guy by the name of Harry N. Atwood, was crawling out of his contraption. As the boys approached he ask them where he was there reply " yur in Ed Nelusus cow pasture an he aint gonna lik it " Not much valid information for Atwood who was on a 1,256 mile
flight from St Louis Missouri, to New York City, and had just came
from Syracuse. This is the first encounter by the residence of
Nelliston to aircraft.

In the 1920's my other grandfather Berlin Olyer moved into Nelliston on West Main St. So my Genealogy got its foot hold
in this place I call Home

By the time I came along 1925 Nelliston N.Y. had grown to 281 houses about 622 residence. Almost as big as it was in the 1600's, I was born in my grandmother home on west main, but really lived at Berthood st. The area of land from village of Nelliston to Palatine Bridge to the east, about 3 miles and from Route 5 to the Mohawk river averageing about mile and half was my play ground. No one seemed to worry about the fears we have today. From the time I was about 8 or 9, was allowed to go anywhere in the village, we had 5 civil war veterans on my street so we felt safe, no side walks, Oiled dirt streets-recall they were digging up the main road putting in sewer line and water that must have been about 1932-33. In the summer the ice man delivered big cakes of ice and always he had to chip of a piece for each of us kids. The winter brought a real treat, the milk eventually came in glass bottles, the cream would freeze and squeeze up out the top about a inch or so-My grandmother would take this off [everyone else got to have 2% milk] and she would place it in cup with a little vanilla and sugar Waloo ice cream. I recall the newspaper printed a special day dillenger was shot and the day Limburgh baby was found--they actually had a boy running along the street yelling the head lines. Wouldn't be such big thing in the big cities but it sure got our attention in Hickstown, could fill a book on my home town. The Milk man would get back to the farm change wagons and become the garbage collector horse drawn of course. The Grocery Store owned by "Micky" Boslet operated for 65 years, most of his business was done on charge slips, during the depression he carried almost everyone in town. He never let anyone go without, did not matter how big your bill was he made sure you had food, He was not a rich man and I have no doubt that some people took advantage, but he was appreciated by everyone.When I was in service he would occasionally send me a box of penny "bolster" bars,he knew I always bought them when I came into the store. Hard to find people like that today.People seemed to look out for each other in the place we called home.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Bob,

People really did look out for each other.. and thats why "home" feels so special to us. A very interesting story that brought back many memories of growing up.

Janice