Lot’s happening in Palmyra during the month of November, beginning with Nov. 2, 1918, when the first Palmyra woman, Margaret Stevens, cast her suffragette vote.
On Nov. 4, 1825, DeWitt Clinton arrived in New York City from Buffalo on the Erie Canal. On Nov. 6, 1820, the canal around Palmyra to the Genesee River was under contract. Just over a year later on Nov. 15, 1821, the first canal boat, Myron Holley, was launched in Rogers Basin at the end of Market and Canal streets. Nov. 9, 1848, saw the Union School officially completed for $11,000. That school was replaced by two more, and the third school stands on the same property.
On Nov. 10, 1881, St. Anne’s Cemetery was purchased by the Catholic church for $500. What a coincidence that the Palmyra Village Cemetery was purchased 40 years prior, also costing $500. On Nov. 12, 1901, ground was broken for the Newark-Marion Railroad. We recently honored our veterans with Veterans Day. Who are our veterans around our communities? Check the Village Hall in Palmyra for the Palmyra 400 boards that honor those who joined the fight in World War II. The original boards were in the Village Main Street Park, and each day or week the names of those that joined up would be added to them.
Palmyra honors their veterans with these publicly displayed boards that were redone with new paint and lettering about 1994 by Kerry Elvin Johnson when she was deputy clerk of the village. The American Legion and VFW commissioned that these boards be redone exactly as the originals had been. Stars were placed beside the names of those that did not come home.
When you ponder these boards, you will see brothers that joined together as well as the women that served the effort. A few of these incredible woman come to mind — Charlotte Foster, Coleen McPike and Mary (Kris Lester’s mother) they joined the medical corps, Navy and Army. I am sure there were many more, but these are represented by their uniforms located in the two military rooms at the Historical Museum at 132 Market St.
The Village Hall wall holds two marble plaques from the Civil War with the names of the lost listed from a number of regiments and companies. The mothers and wives of these fallen honored their memory by placing these plaques in this very public place for all to see and share. In front of the Village Hall is the stone monument honoring soldiers of all wars, and by the Palmyra Marina stands a Vietnam memorial to those who fought from all branches of the armed forces. In the spring until fall, the flags of each branch of military are flown proudly. There is also a large monument dedicated to these men and women. At our village of Palmyra Cemetery stands the large memorial to all soldiers, sailors, marines, air corps and those that served our country. On Memorial Day of each year, the parade in Palmyra ends at this location with prayers and words to honor all that fought.
If you walk through the cemetery, you will notice the names of those from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and our current wars including Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. Stop by the American Legion on Cuyler Street or the VFW on state Route 31 heading to Newark and say thank you to our vets. Each vet gave so much more than can be imagined by the sure horrors of war.
Thank you to all the veterans everywhere that dot the hills in France, Normandy and the European theater, whether home or abroad thank you for your service.
Historic Palmyra has three military rooms honoring our military in every fight. Stop by the five museums of Historic Palmyra on Market Street and William Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays-Thursdays. Take a tour and ponder the past. Salute our military and honor them with the reverence and thankfulness that they deserve. Call (315) 597-6981 for information.