Saturday, June 28, 2014

Comstock's History Page Seven

CAYUGA COUNTY NEW YORK  by Austin B. Comstock

I will be posting each page of this history separately. The index, posted on June 24, 2014 in 4 parts, provides the page numbers; you can also search the blog for a particular name appearing anywhere within it. I hope you find something new!

 Page Seven
Lapham also built a wagon shop south of his house which was purchased in 1853 and turned into a dwelling house by Alonzo Comstock, who died there in October 1874, his wife having died the April before him.
In the spring of 1837, Henry Fisher sold the balance of the Partello property to Slocum Howland. At that time the only habitations on the northeast corner were the old tavern, the house just built by Lapham, and an old house later owned and rebuilt by Herman Phillips, now (1938) occupied by LaMar Lane, principal of Emily Howland High School, and owned by Rev. Harry Stubbs of McGraw.
In the summer of 1837, Slocum Howland built the “cobblestone” store, took down part of the old tavern and moved away another part, and made the house owned for years by Conrad Koon and now owned by Effie K. Battey. (1958, Russell Brown’s).
The same summer a blacksmith named James Davis built a house where Isabel Howland’s house stands. The same summer S. B. Mastin built the house known as the Mastin house, and now occupied by Arthur Bowness (southeast corner – later occupied by Ruth Stedman and in 1958 by Wesley Winters).
The tavern has a very romantic history. About 1800, a story became current that this building was haunted. Strange sounds and unearthly noises were said to have been heard, and a headless man was said by many to have been seen in the night. The excitement spread for more than 100 miles. At that time the superstition was believed and passed from parent to child. Committees were appointed to visit this celebrated place and report. The floor was torn up and the ceiling taken off, but nothing could be found, although there is a tradition that the bones of a murdered traveler were found, some say under the floor and some say in the well.
The first store was erected on the southeast corner of the Village of Sherwood by Melvin Brown, who afterwards took Joseph Barnes as partner. It was this same Melvin Brown who was the original character of that name in the once popular romance entitled The Mountain Mourner. Brown and Barnes in 1803 did a flourishing business, and also boiled
potash in kettles brought from Albany on wagons; they also drew their potash to Albany

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