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Wayne Post
  • Historically Speaking — A peek at Palmyra’s past

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  • Sorry folk’s. Last week a computer glitch kept the article from being sent, but not today — our glitch was repaired on Monday; and we are back in business with the recapping of Historic Palmyra’s Famous cemetery walk. It was the most successful we have ever had, even with the weather. The evening was perfect on Friday night and all were in their places. The first historic character was James Murray as Major Wm. Howe Cuyler, in his white plumed hat standing at attention as the fife of Michael Dunn played hauntingly in the background. The Major died at Black Rock during the War of 1812 and was an adjunct to General Hall. The cannon ball was shot from Fort Erie and the Major just seemed to be the target or in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    Next General Thomas Rogers, father of Carlton H. Rogers who let us know he did many things. He was a land owner, businessman, and incredibly respected throughout Palmyra. His home was what we call today the Garlock House. He and his family lived there for several decades. He is also the man that sold the land to Pirate Whitley for his tenant house on Market Street. The General was played by Becke Tomkiewicz a member and Chairperson of the Historic Palmyra Board.
    Onward with the haunting fife, a fitting chorus for our as he shouted, “men double quick, charge” Lt. Col. Joseph Walker Corning (above) played by Elder Howell was leader of the 33rd NY Co. B. Lt. Col. Corning was joined by his son Capt. John Corning (Mike Hays) and his comrade in arms, Capt. Henry Draime, (Greg Hays) the Spitfire Frenchman. Both were also from the 33rd. A welcome reunion for them all.
    We have been talking about the 33rd for the past few months; their battle, hardship, and heroism. We had just finished Antietam and the 33rd was still heading east to regroup and head out once again.
    E. B. Grandin is always a favorite stop; this year played by Elder Lopshire. E. B. told the story of printing the largest job ever in America next to the bible, right here in Palmyra, NY. For a minute, we thought E. B. was lost but he was just looking for his apron. We pointed out that he was wearing it the entire time. E. B. laughed and said he had being doing that a lot, lately. He died at 39 years old.
    Sibyl Phelps was our guide and particularly excited to tell of her 118th birthday and party. This is it for the first part of the cemetery tour. In the next article we will continue on and complete the second part of the tour. For those of you that could not attend, we hope you feel like you were there and this entices you to think about next year. Please watch for additional events and happening at Historic Palmyra and our five amazing museums. Call 597-6981.

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