The week in history that ends March was varied and eventful throughout our Palmyra life. On March 25, 1949, the Rubery Hardware Store and Fassett Jewelry fire caused $300,000 in damage, killed Mr. Fassett and injured 10 others. The building is still there today and is Brick House Antiques owned by Bob and Cindy Surline. This building remained original with one exception, the removal of the third floor, which was divested by the fire.
On March 26, 1830, a project that took years and much hard work was completed, and so the “Book of Mormon” was finally published and bound together in the E. B. Grandin Press. With a young E. B. Grandin, Joseph Smith, Martin Harris, John Gilbert and others, this 600-page book with 5,000 copies was ready for sale. With the transcription of the golden plates finally complete, the arrival of a new printing press which allowed multiple book pages on one sheet of paper and many ladies with needle and thread to sew the bindings, it was done. That was 187 years ago and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are flourishing.
It seems this last week found many references to churches and church happenings. As spring begins, the rebirth or new birth is highlighted. On March 27, 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, the Old Catholic Church is demolished. As it fell, two people are killed. The St. Anne’s Catholic Church remains on Church Street as it has since it was rebuilt behind the Western Presbyterian Church. On March 28, 1871, the dedication of the Palmyra Baptist Church is celebrated. This is the church on the southwest corner of the four church corner. As is so much in history, the churches find themselves changing with the times, and the Baptist Church building has become another church fellowship. The word came through that the Presbyterian Church in East Palmyra will be closing its doors soon this spring.
On March 29, 1827, the village of Palmyra was incorporated. The town of Palmyra had been officially established in 1796, but now the village took on its own identity with the town. Macedon broke off from Palmyra and established itself in 1823, which was 194 years ago. This fact will go down in history because on March 15, the village of Macedon has seen its last day. On March 31, the village of Macedon will enter into the history of our area. The town of Macedon is going strong, and the residents have removed that level of government known as the village. Wayne County was formed in 1823 separating us from Ontario County.
March 31, 1848, saw another religion take its roots. Modern spiritualism began in Hydesville, which is just 1.9 miles away from the town of Palmyra line in the town of Arcadia, now called the Hydesville rappings involving the Fox Sisters. What happened to this religion? Although ups and downs, fake or fact debates, today the National Spiritualist Church celebrates the Hydesville site as the beginning. Near Fredonia, a small community of Lillydale encompasses this belief. Our own Sibyl Phelps was a spiritualist since 1926, and you can see the monument she and fellow spiritualists placed at the Fox property in 1955.
From 7 to 9 p.m. April 20, the Alling Coverlet Museum will feature Christopher DiCesare talking about his experience at SUNY Geneso. A donation of $10 per person is requested. We need volunteers. To help: 315-597-6981.