Saturday, July 12, 2014

Comstock's History Page Twenty-one

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. 
The index is also being published at and will eventually have a link back to this blog.
I hope you find something new!

Page Twenty-one
a donation of land for meeting house and burial ground. The following year a large and substantial brick building was erected with high backed seats, with a slightly raised platform of about five feet width for the principal speaker or prominent visiting speakers.
This meetinghouse also had the sliding partitions that could be raised by ropes running through three to five fall pulley blocks fastened in the roof. The men occupied the east side and the women the west side of the building and were not allowed to sit together. If an erring brother or sister was to be taken to task for their error, the partition was lowered, and business proceeded.
I am not sure that there may not have been a time that singing was barred, but know that about 1880, hymns were sung. The speakers were whoever felt the spirit awake them to talk, and there might be several to speak or sing as they felt like doing. In the writer’s day, the one who did the most of the preaching was Samuel Simkin, father of Alfred Simkin of Poplar ridge. He was a very forceful speaker, using plain and understandable language, and practicing what he preached.
Everything was fine for many years, but finally a man in whom no one had confidence tried to be the principle speaker and attendance fell off until practically no one attended.
After a few years the Society was disbanded and the building and land not used by the burial ground reverted to the farm of which it was originally a part.
The two original meetinghouses west of Poplar Ridge and Scipioville were, from lack of attendance, sold and moved or torn down.
The Quaker meeting house north of Poplar Ridge was built about 1851 and had a large membership for a long time, but there are seldom many at their meetings and it is apparent that it will in a few years be but a memory.
In a good-sized dwelling located where Ernest Hodge now lives was conducted the first school for higher education in this locality.
In the year 1871, Hepsibeth C. Hussey of Nantucket came here at the request of some of the Quakers of this locality and established what was known at that time and for many years as Sherwood Select School. It was for several years in the building above mentioned. This building had been used as a dwelling and had the distinction of being also the home of the first Masonic Lodge established in the county, but more of that later. Hepsibeth was a Quaker and so had no school on Wednesday as that was mid-week meeting day, and did have school on Saturday. She was a very capable teacher and while severe in her demeanor as against anything

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