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A Look Back: Maplewood Cemetery

By Jolene Hawkins   Did you know that before cemeteries were established, family was buried in a small family plot, or near the house? With so many causes of death from drowning in the creek, or a mill pond, to having a tree or limbs falling on them to lighting striking the person, cattle or horses injuring them, and of ... Read More »

A Look Back: The Undertaker Business in Springville


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to the occupations of the undertaker, and in one in particular for our area was A L Pingrey, who ran a furniture and undertaking business starting in 1892. Now you may ask, why furniture?  Well, think about it.  The undertaker usually made the casket.  To make the casket, they would use six boards, and one ... Read More »

A Look Back: Guy K Protector, the Famous Race Horse


By Jolene Hawkins Who remembers Guy K Protector? Well, he was a famous race horse owned by the Dewey Dygert family from Springville. He got his name from a comprised combination of his owners names of Dr. Guy Kane and the colt’s sire, Protector. Guy K Protector traveled the country and into Canada, breaking racing records and making headlines. When ... Read More »

The History of the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home


By Jolene Hawkins Every town as it was formed had certain trades that would be established. A church or two,  schools, a general store for your dry food, canned goods, sewing items, clothes and more, maybe a newspaper office and a furniture/funeral store. Why did the same person usually run the furniture and funeral business? Because building caskets used the ... Read More »

Concord Mercantile Brings Together Springville History


By Jolene Hawkins Do you ever wonder about where some of the buildings and businesses were located in Springville? Well, I am going to give you a history of the Concord Mercantile property, located on Franklin Street. Originally, Rufus Eaton purchased it in 1810 and a map from 1818 shows a distillery located there. What else has been there? Well, ... Read More »

A Look Back: Simon Brothers Clothing Dressed the People of Springville


By Jolene Hawkins Looking back to one of the great stores that we had in Springville,  many will remember the Simon Brothers Clothing store. Who shopped there for back to school clothes and shoes? Or for a wedding?  A special event? Well, let’s learn how it all started with a dream of two young boys, barely into their teens, who ... Read More »

A Look Back: Pan Am Expo in Buffalo Showcased World’s Technology and Culture


For the past few weeks, the focus of this column has been on fairs. One of the largest fairs — which I am going to write about this week — was the Pan American Exposition that took place from May 1 through Nov. 2, 1901 on 350 acres in Buffalo. This fair highlighted many cultures and new achievements of the ... Read More »

New York State Fair Traces Roots to 1841

By Jolene Hawkins As I continue to research the history of fairs, next on my list was the Great New York State Fair. I was amazed to discover the first State Fair was held Sept. 29 and 30, 1841 in Syracuse. One reason the village of Syracuse was selected was because it was the center of farming interests in New ... Read More »

Continuing to Look Back at the Erie County Fair


By Jolene Hawkins By 1874, the Erie County Fair had the need for a permanent place. The Society appointed a five-member committee and, by 1875, the Society had agreed on a contract with the Hamburg Driving Association to lease its grounds. Where before they had met without charge, now the annual fee was $50 a year, as long as the ... Read More »

A Look Back: The Erie County Fair in Springville


There’s something special about a good old-fashioned county fair. Farmers, crafters, and families come together to celebrate regional agriculture and much more.  Did you realize that there are over 50 County Fair and 4-H fairs, starting in July and running through the fall? Every weekend, somewhere in the state of New York is a fair— sometimes they overlap each other ... Read More »

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