Albion Catholics Celebrate Mass at Hughes’ Alley

Revisiting Old Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 3

It has been over 175 years since the first Irish celebrated Mass in the home of John Walsh in the Village of Albion. With an influx of Irish Catholics during the 1820s and 1830s as well as the flock of German Catholics who arrived several decades after, it was deemed necessary to construct a permanent house of worship for the immigrant community.

It was Rev. Patrick Costello of Lockport who first visited in Albion around 1840 to celebrate Mass. Throughout the following decade, the Catholic community of Albion would meet their sacramental requirements thanks to a visiting priest from Lockport or Rochester who would visit on a monthly basis. In cases of baptism, matrimony, or illness, a priest would be called upon to administer the appropriate sacrament as time allowed.… More

Holley veterinarian treated ‘all diseases of animals’

Old-Time Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 14

This image shows the horse barn owned by Dr. George C. Kesler of Holley. The photographer directed his camera to the southeast while standing on the north side of East Albion Street.

The house in the background belonged to Dr. Kesler and was situated along the bend of White Street. The barn itself was located on the corner of East Albion and White Streets.

George Kesler, a native of Kendall, graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College on March 25, 1892. After his return to Orleans County, he started his practice in Holley on Main Street at a location west of the hotel. He married Agnes O’Neil and the couple made their home at this site in 1893. Kesler outlived his three wives, Agnes, Ana Wilson, and Ada before his own death in 1937.

Advertising as a Veterinary Surgeon and Dentist, his ads regularly featured the line, “All diseases of animals scientifically treated – open day and night.” The gentleman kneeling in front of the fence seems to have coaxed the horses to pop their heads through the windows for this photo.… More

126 Years Ago – Dye Hose Prepares for 4th of July Parade

Revisiting Old Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Formed amidst the vast wilderness that was Upstate New York, Albion was built within dense old-growth forests that covered the region. The untouched and uncultivated land proved to be both dangerous and threatening for early settlers. Wooded regions were filled with deadly animals that have gone unseen in this area for decades, but the most deadly threat to early settlement was fire.

Dating back to 1829, Albion’s earliest protection against the threat of fire was prevention. Fire Wardens sought to eliminate dangerous scenarios that often led to devastating disasters, yet for those occasions where the inevitable fire broke out, the bucket brigade became the last defense against these deadly occurrences. Between 1831 and 1880, Albion witnessed the development and transformation of the area’s fire fighting force from the establishment of a rudimentary group of young men to the creation of a well-developed and complex system of multiple fire companies.… More

New York Sun editor spent childhood in Gaines

Old-Time Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 13

The annals of local history are filled with the names of influential citizens who were either born here or lived here before moving beyond the political boundaries of our area to establish themselves on a much larger scale. One such man was Charles Anderson Dana, a name that few would recognize today.

This daguerreotype from the 1850s taken by Matthew Brady shows the staff of the New York Tribune. Seated left to right are George M. Snow, Bayard Taylor, Horace Greeley (once owner of the Ward House in Childs), and George Ripley. Standing left to right are William Henry Fry, Charles Anderson Dana, and Henry J. Raymond.

The son of Anderson Dana and Anna Denison, Charles A. Dana was born on Aug. 8, 1819 at Hinsdale, New Hampshire. At a young age, Charles was brought to Orleans County with his siblings where his father accepted a position as the overseer of a canal warehouse at Gaines Basin.… More

Early Albion Catholics Practiced at North Main Street Site

Old-Time Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 12

Irish Catholic immigrants flocked to Orleans County as early as the 1820s and 1830s, well in advance of the Great Famine of 1845-1852. The Irish in Albion and Medina quickly found work within the newly established sandstone quarries located throughout the region, yet no house of worship existed to meet their weekly sacramental requirements.

Around 1840 Rev. Patrick Costello of Lockport visited Albion to celebrate Mass in the home of John Walsh, an early Irish settler in the village. The earliest Irish population was small, consisting of the families of Samuel McCaffrey, Denis Sullivan, Patrick McMahon, Bernard Flaherty, Thomas Crean, and Felix McCann, the latter a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo. The community rented space in the Burrows Block on Main Street and priests held monthly services from Lockport or Rochester. These priests were also called upon to administer the sacraments of baptism and matrimony.… More

Blacksmith shoes a horse in Shelby a century ago

Old-Time Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 11

This photograph taken in June of 1907 shows the interior of Nelson N. King’s Blacksmith Shop located at Shelby Center. A native of Newfane, King started his blacksmithing career in Orleans County working with Maxim “Peter” Pilon at Carlton Station.

In July of 1900, Pilon sold his shop and all of the associated tools to King who assumed control of the business shortly after. On June 27, 1903 King married Lillian Ryan at Shelby and started to rent the Bailey Blacksmith Shop at Shelby Center in late October of 1904.

Nelson King is bent over with the horse’s hind leg positioned between his own legs preparing the hoof for shoeing. On the left, Pierson “Syke” Neal is shown working a horseshoe on the anvil while Adra Wormuth, a local farmer, observes.

Blacksmiths wore aprons to cover their clothing, protecting them from sparks created by the pounding of heated metal.… More

Company F Reunites Nearly 90 Years After War’s End

Revisiting Old Orleans, Vol. 1, Issue 1

This photograph depicts the surviving members of Company F, 108th Infantry of the 27th Division who served with the American Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. Taken sometime in the 1920s, the image shows the men from Orleans County standing on the front steps of the Armory in Medina. When Woodrow Wilson announced the United States’ entry into the war on April 6, 1917, Europeans had been engulfed in total warfare for the previous three years and were wedged in a stalemate thanks to the evolution of military technology and tactics. When the men of Company F landed on the shores of France in the late spring of 1918, French and British troops had already started the process of forcing the Germans back across the Franco-German border. With the help of the A.E.F., the war would come to a conclusion roughly six months after the majority of U.S.… More