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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Old Batavia Photo: Batavia Archers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history

Tony Mancuso shared with us another picture of old Batavia from his family archive. This shot is of a group known as the Batavia Archers. He doesn't know the year nor can he identify most of the people in the photo. He'd love to hear from anybody who can. His father, Joe Mancuso, is second from the left. The young lad looking like Robin Hood, near the center of the photo with the feather in his cap, is Jim DiSalvo, currently owner of Applied Business Systems and of the home on Fargo Road known for its annual Christmas lights display.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 11:53 am

GRAND OPENING: Bicentennial Exhibit at the Holland Land Office Museum

This Saturday, January 31st at 1:00 pm, the Holland Land Office Museum is celebrating its Bicentennial Year with the opening of a brand new exhibit showcasing out 200 year history.  This event marks the beginning of a year-long series of events and exhibits.  Please visit www.hollandlandoffice.com or our Facebook page to stay up to date on all museum activities! 

Light refreshments will be served.  All are welcome! 

Event Date and Time

January 31, 2015 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Monday, January 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Photo: A bit of local history and gun safety

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history

Tony Mancuso sent in this photo of his father, Joseph Laurence Mancuso, handing out NRA junior diplomas many years ago.

Tony's father did gun safety training and started Batavia Archers.

Tony said he doesn't know the other folks in the photo, but said it would be great to find out who they are. Recognize anybody? Leave a comment, if so.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

Fall Family Festival at the Willow Bend Inn

post by Holland Land Office in dancing, family, food, fun, history, live music

The Holland Land Office Museum and the Willow Bend Inn present a Fall Family Festival at the historic stage coach stop of the 1800s on Sunday, October 19th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Events include children's games and crafts, stagecoach travelers, Civil War and 1812 reenactors, musket firing, raffles, live music by Red Creek, food including wings, chicken fingers, fries, chili, burgers, and a cash bar.  This is a fundraiser for the Holland Land Office Museum.  Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children.  There will be a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for children as well.  

This is open to the public and everyone is welcome to experience this historic building and participate in the activities.  We hope to see you there! 

Event Date and Time

October 19, 2014 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

The p.w. minor story told in new display opening at HLOM

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, history, hlom, p.w. minor

Jane Read and Anne Marie Starowitz were at Holland Land Office Museum on Saturday morning setting up a new exhibition about the history of local shoemaker p.w. minor. 

The grand opening of the display is Oct. 2.

Employees and retirees of p.w. minor are invited to a preview at 3 p.m. The public is invited to a ribbon cutting at 6:30 p.m.

Many of the items in the display were provided on loan from The new p.w. minor.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Inaugural Rt. 98 Museum Crawl

post by Amy Vlack in historical, history, Museum, society, tour

Crawl through local history.  Visit the Holland Land Office Museum, Historical Society of Elba Museum, DAR House in Albion, the Cobblestone Museum in Childs and the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum on Point Breeze (all along scenic Route 98.)

The cost is $5.00 per person or $10 for a family which is admission to all five participating museums.  Passports (tickets) will be available at all of the museums, Chap's Elba Diner and Bindings Bookstore in Albion.  Have your passport stamped at all of the museums and receive a certificate redeemable at one of many participating local establishments. 

Event Date and Time

October 4, 2014 - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Photos: A bit of Oakfield in USAF museum in Ohio

post by Howard B. Owens in history, Oakfield

Master Sgt. Jason Earle (retired), a former Genesee County resident, was visiting the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio when the word "Oakfield" caught his eye.

A bag of beans labeled "George W. Haxton & Son, Inc., Oakfield, N.Y." was in a display showcasing the USAF's efforts during the Berlin Airlift following World War II.

Earle said, "I'm quite sure there was a lot of war effort going on with the numerous factories the county had at the time, but nobody really thinks of what effect our local farmers had as well."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Batavia, Arkansas, is nestled in the Ozarks, at least what's left of it

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, history

This is the last in a series of articles about the other communities, located east of the Rocky Mountains, that are named “Batavia.” This one is about Batavia, Arkansas, an unincorporated collection of houses and other buildings west of Harrison in Batavia Township, Boone County. It is nestled in a beautiful area of the Ozark Mountains.

At one time, Batavia, Ark., was an incorporated community. It had a post office, stores, hotels, a canning factory, a train depot, a stockyard, mills, a blacksmith shop, a school, and churches. Today, the railroad is gone, the post office closed, and only houses, three churches, and a small repair business still exist. A convenience store and the bar and grill into which it had recently been converted, were both out of business in the spring of this year.

The local historians assert that the community was named about 1880 by Rowell Underwood who became the first postmaster and named the town after his hometown of Batavia, N.Y. They also claim that Underwood had worked for four years in Genesee County as a surveyor for the Holland Land Co. The latter claim seems improbable because the Holland Land Co. had ceased its operations in Western New York in the mid-1830s. If the claim were true, it would make Underwood at least 70 years old at the time he became postmaster in Arkansas.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm

'Creaseville' Iowa is now named Batavia, but how that came to be remains a mystery

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, history

This is the sixth in a series of articles about the other communities, located east of the Rocky Mountains, that are named “Batavia.” This one is about Batavia, Iowa, an incorporated city of around 500 people located west of Fairfield in Jefferson County. The city (no, that is not a typo) is governed by a mayor and five councilmen.

According to local records, Batavia, Iowa, was laid out in 1846 by David Switzer, a county surveyor, for William McKee, Henry Crease, and Elijah O’Bannor, proprietors. Besides the proprietors, other early settlers included Henry Punnybecker, Joseph Crease, and Benjamin Abbertson. At that time, the community was named “Creaseville (or Creeseville)."

Seven years later, in 1853, in response to a petition presented to the State by William Hambrick with the unanimous consent of the people in the town, the name of Creaseville was changed to “Batavia.” Who Hambrick was, where he came from, and how he persuaded fellow residents to change the name is lost in history.

In a later Federal census, the same apparent Hambrick shows up in Western Iowa. In this census, he is identified as a German immigrant. This leads to the speculation that William Hambrick may have been a native of Passau, Germany, a city once named “Batavia” after the Batavii, the same Germanic tribe that temporarily gave its name to the Netherlands and, thus, indirectly to Batavia, N.Y. If this is correct, it would explain why Hambrick liked the name, but it still leaves a major mystery. How did Hambrick persuade the residents of Creaseville to change the name of their town, named after two of the first settlers, to the former name of a city in Germany?

Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Batavia, Wisconson -- don't blink or you'll miss it

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, history

This is the fifth in a series of articles about the other communities, located east of the Rocky Mountains, that are named “Batavia.” This one is about Batavia, Wisconsin, an unincorporated collection of houses and other buildings southwest of Sheboygan in Sheboygan County.

Local historians regard 1851 as the year in which Batavia, Wis., was founded, although there appear to have been settlers beginning in 1846. They claim that the name originated from the many early settlers who came from near Batavia, N.Y. However, unlike other communities, the process by which this naming came about is not recorded.

Batavia, Wis., grew into a fair-sized village. By 1900, there were two dry good stores, one furniture store, one hardware store, a carriage and wagon factory, a hotel, a dance hall, two blacksmith shops, a tin shop, a boot and shoe store, two churches, two schools, a sawmill, a grist mill, a cheese factory, an undertaker, a seamstress, a cigar factory, an egg flume (egg-shaped water conduit), an ice house, and a butcher shop.

Over time, this Batavia shrunk to the status of a hamlet. The one remaining school, an elementary school, had recently closed as of 2013. Most of the businesses and other enterprises listed above are gone. Nevertheless, the homes are generally well kept and the residents, who now generally find employment in other communities, appear to be reasonably prosperous.

However, for the most part, Batavia, Wis., is one of those places where, if you blink, you’ll miss it. Although there are two or three side streets, the community mainly consists of a single main street. One descends a grade to a small creek, Batavia Creek, and then ascends another grade while leaving town.

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