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Lansing Bicentennial Minutes

By Louise Bement
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute The Erie canal opened this area to markets on the east coast. To handle the trade warehouses were built at Collins Point, Nortons, Myers Point, Lansing Station, Lake Ridge, Atwaters, King Ferry, Aurora, and Union Springs.  One can still find the foundations of these large warehouse if they know where to look.
By Louise Bement
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Lansing Bicentennial Minute The mystery of Myers Road is solved. No one knew when the road was improved by the sweeping curve through the sand pit.  This was because the road was built by the county but turned over to the town. "Lansing News", published by the Town of Lansing in 1985 reports that in the fall of 1985 "that portion of road through the old gravel bank is being turned over to the town upon its completion. Relocating the road eliminates the dangerous curve at the bottom of the road. A plus for the town is the income being generated from the sale of the gravel in the old bank."
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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.
By Louise Bement
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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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