Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas day!
Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting on Scipio and central NYS.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Always Remembered Gravesite Maintenance

I heard from my neighbor this week that the new website for Always Remembered Gravesite maintenance is up and running. I've placed a link to it at the bottom of the page. You may recall reading in a November post on this blog that Always Remembered is a business provided by a Scipio family to anyone wanting to ensure that a grave is cared for, here in Cayuga County as well as in our neighboring counties.
Combined with the recent project we partnered in with Cayuga Community College to research and document some of Scipio's oldest burials, it seems to me that Scipio respects and honors her ancestors to a great degree. What a nice gift!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revisiting Lucinda with Nancy Walker

Lucinda the Mountain Mourner - that title seems custom made for a sad song. This blog has shared Lucinda's story; her book is available at our town offices and recently was also listed as available to order in reprint through the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.
Singer Nancy Walker has now given voice to Lucinda's story in her song "The Mountains Are Calling." Nancy contacted me while she was creating her song, when she discovered Lucinda's story on my blog. She was awarded a grant through the Saratoga County Program for Arts Funding (SPAF) which partially funded her final product, a CD named True Colors.
According to Nancy's website at, SPAF is a re-grant program of the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) Decentralization (DEC) Program. The program supports the arts and cultural programming in Saratoga County communities through Project Grants and Artist Grants.
Yesterday, a complimentary copy of True Colors arrived in the mail and I heard Lucinda's story as sung by Nancy for the first time. The acoustic guitar and echoing background of Nancy's retelling of this young woman's tragic life evokes the sad inevitability of Lucinda's shame, her family's unquestioning acceptance of the morals of their times and the potential consequences in earlier and less forgiving times of an unwise choice. My hat is off to Nancy!

Ten Thousand and Counting

I am so pleased to know that this blog has exceeded ten thousand hits! It is encouraging to know that there are so many people interested in central New York and this small town nestled up against Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes.
Thank you for listening, and let me know if there is a topic you'd like me to write about.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ambrose Sperry's Daughter

It has been a real pleasure working with Cayuga Community College students over the past few months on their cemetery project. They have sometimes unearthed new information, and have shown me some great new research ideas.
One young lady researched the Ambrose Sperry family. Born in Connecticut in 1755 and buried in Scipio in 1817, Ambrose served his country in the American Revolution with the 4th Regiment out of Connecticut.
This dedicated student discovered a lovely family history written by Ambrose's granddaughter that attests to the strength and determination of this man. He was present for the Siege of Boston, serving for about 6 years in total, and was present for the taking of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, the same place where his father had met his fate as an Englishman battling for the fort with the French in 1757.
Ambrose developed typhoid fever, but somehow survived and came to Scipio about 1800 and remained until his death in 1817. Patience followed just 3 years later in 1820. Both are buried in the United Baptist Cemetery, which no longer exists. It was located just south of Scipioville across from Goose Lane. It seems a shame that we don't yet have a marker for that location, or know for certain what happened to the gravestones. However, we now have a nice Sperry family file located at Scipio thanks to this student project. Included in this file is a photograph of Ambrose and Patience's daughter Lucetta. If you look at the blog entry titled "Scipio Center NY History" (just 2 entries before this one), you can click on a picture of a census page. That will take you to a series of 7 thumbnail photographs that include one of Lucetta Sperry. Thanks to the collaboration between the Town of Scipio and Cayuga Community College, future Sperry researchers will find this information more easily and that was the whole purpose of the project!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Excitement Builds

As we reach the end of another year, I am excited to draw to your attention the fact that since I began this blog in October of 2007, it has drawn far more attention than I ever thought it would. Today, it is closing in on the 10,000 view mark, just 13 views away. That will be a cause for celebration for this little town in central NY.
So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, let's get clicking and reach that exciting milestone so I can share it in my year end report to Town Supervisor Keith Batman and NYS Historian Robert Wieble.

Scipio Center, NY History