Monday, April 7, 2014

Franklin County Soldiers Serve in the Civil War-- 2 New Books!!

Northern Arms-- Volume 1 & 2 Compiled by Maren E. Dodge Miles for the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society. These volumes tell the tales of the Civil War and lives of Franklin County, New York, soldiers and their families, as told by the soldiers, their families, friends, newspapers, and local histories. The Regimental histories, officer’s reports, letters, diaries, memoirs, stories, photos and newspaper articles found in this book, show what life in the Grand Army of the Republic was like for our Franklin County soldiers, and what their lives were like during and after the War. The book includes a little history of the war, the soldiers’ own stories, and tales of court martial and valor. Artists and photographers documented all aspects of army life and took thousands of individual photographs for the soldiers to send home to loved ones. Each story is unique and told in the words of the soldiers and their families. The book is illustrated with photographs of the soldiers loaned by their families and period photos from the Library of Congress. Volumes 1 and 2 are now available in the House of History Country Store. Price $40.00, plus tax.. Special price of $70.00 if you purchase both Volumes!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Biography of Vice President William A. Wheeler

Herb Hallas, former President of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society, has completed his book, William Almon Wheeler: Political Star of the North Country, which is scheduled to be released December, 2013, by SUNY Press This book is the first and only complete biography of Wheeler, a man referred to as "the New York Lincoln," who helped to found the Republican Party and build it into a formidable political force during the Gilded Age. Wheeler's life is an American success story about how a poor boy from Malone, NY, achieved fame and fortune as a lawyer, banker, railroad president, state legislator, five-time congressman, and vice president of the United States. The book is available for sale in our Country Store. Price $25.00 plus tax.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book about Fort Covington

Jack Boyle’s book, Sunset on the Tracks: A memoir of family, friends, and special times in 1950’s Fort Covington will be an enjoyable read for any current or former residents of the area. We have the book in our Country Store and the cost is $30.00 plus tax.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Franklin County Fair

To acknowledge that it is fair week for Franklin County, our photo specialist Susan Tobias has pulled several photos of the Franklin County fair from our collection.  Here is a photograph taken in front of the Floral Hall building at the Franklin County fair grounds.  This building was built in 1896.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The Franklin County Historical Society recently acquired some good 'ol heavy iron.  Nelson Fadden, of Malone, donated equipment used by his grandfathers in their respective professions. 

Part of the collection contains these shoe lasts and standard, which were used by Ezra Barkley of St. Regis Falls (the donor's maternal grandfather) who was at least a part-time cordwainer

Canadian Museum of Civilization's shoemaker's house exhibit
Colonial Williamsburg's shoemaker

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Using a Watch as a Compass

From an old, yellowed newspaper clipping discovered recently:

"Vacationists in the Finger Lake region of Central New York, once the home of the famous Six Nations of Iroquois Indians, have devised a scheme by which a person lost in the woods or along some unfamiliar stream, may get the right direction, if they have a watch, as certainly as if they carried a compass.  The plan is now being followed by many fishermen and hunters in the Adirondacks.  The method of watch direction is described as follows:
     'By pointing the hour hand of your watch to the sun, the south may be found exactly halfway between the hour and the numeral 12 on the dial.  For example suppose that it is 4 o'clock.  Point the hand indicating 4 to the sun and 2 on the dial is directly south.  If it is 8 o'clock point the hand indicating 8 to the sun and the numeral 10 on the watch points to the south.'"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Arsenal Green in Malone

Arsenal Green, the swath of park between Main and Elm Streets in the center of the village of Malone, dates from the earliest years of Malone's settled history.  Set aside for the construction of an arsenal to help protect the area from a  British invasion during the War of 1812, it is now a public park with a Lions' Club gazebo and not currently dedicated to any military use. 

According to Seaver, the land for the arsenal and parade ground were deeded to New York State by Cone Andrus, one of Malone's first settlers. 
"An arsenal was built upon the arsenal lot as early as 1812.  It was a two story stone structure, and cost $5,000.  In February 1814, when General Wilkinson's evacuation of Malone occurred, after the retreat here in October 1813 from French Mills, (Fort Covington), following the American defeat at Chrystler's Field or Farm, Colonel Scott occupied the town for a part of two days with a British force of about a thousand men additional to a smaller number of militia and a body of Indian allies. These latter, with some of the more turbulent of the militia and regulars, were bent upon destroying the arsenal and actually set fire to it.  Representations to Colonel Scott by a number of the more prominent residents of Malone to the effect that destruction of the arsenal would he wanton and not within the practices sanctioned in civilized warfare, induced the British commandant to interfere, and the building was saved. When it was finally razed more than forty years later, a part of its timbers and stone were purchased by S.W. Gillett and were used in the erection of the dwelling house afterward owned and occupied by Mrs S.A. Beman. While the arsenal stood, it was used for housing cannon (mainly howitzers) and the accoutrements and equipment of the local State militia."  (Seaver: Historical Sketches of Franklin County, NY (1918)
In 1917, Arsenal Green was given by the state to the Village of Malone.