November is almost at an end and Thanksgiving 2012 will head into the annals of history. Many things occurred in Palmyra before and after the Thanksgiving holiday throughout our history. Let’s look back to some of those events. On Nov. 12, 1901 the ground was broken for the Newark –Marion Railroad; Nov. 13, 1858 Ruth Durfee Wilcox, daughter of one of the first settlers, Gideon Durfee, died in 1858; Nov. 14, 1876 the Underwood Market and a number of downtown business burned in the famed Jarvis Block fire.
On Nov. 15, 1931 after having a run of almost 25 years the Rochester-Syracuse Trolley was sold. The trolley continued running until 1934. These tracks were finally pulled up in Palmyra during our Route 31 renovation and reconstruction in early 2000. One of the topics recently on many minds is the Village Park Bandstand. This building is hoping for a restoration and was noted as being built by Pliny T. Sexton in 1897 on the Joseph Lovett estate. The bandstand has stood proudly for 115 years in its current location.
On Nov. 17, 1838 the Palmyra Courier was established and housed in its original location on E. Main Street in what was called Exchange Row before moving to its 1901 building at what is now the Alling Coverlet Museum. This paper was preceded by the Wayne Sentinel and did not become the Palmyra Courier Journal until 1911. Nov. 18, 1865 post Civil War Palmyra had a population of 2,334. Nov. 19, 1861 the Palmyra Gas and Light Company burned. The 20th of November, 1791 notes the E. Slatterby bought 8,000 acres around Palmyra from General John Swift’s surveyor, John Jenkins. Shortly after this John Jenkins left town. A red letter day occurred on Nov. 21, 1879 when Vice President Colfax who ran in the election with General U. S. Grant spoke at the Village Hall on President Abraham Lincoln. Grant and Colfax was the original presidential team honored by a 150-foot wooden Republican Pole at the corner of Fayette and E. Main Street built in 1868. This wooden poll stood for 20 years until our current metal pole was erected.
What was the weather like around Palmyra and have we had any bad storms? The answer is yes and on Nov. 22, 1891 a cyclone tips over the Fair buildings. On Nov. 24, 1835 the famed Eagle Hotel was damaged by fire while 70 years later on Nov. 25, a terrible train crash happened in Palmyra with a R. R. construction crew. Train crashes and accidents were far too common and in 1883 and a blast killed five in Macedon at the West Shore R.R.
Historic Palmyra hopes that all of you have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. We are now on our winter hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, but will be having a special 12/12/12 promotion on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from noon to 6 p.m. with a 12 percent discount on our woven goods and framed art work at the Alling Coverlet Gift Shop. This is a promotion from Wayne County Tourism. Also, we’d like to take this time to thank all of our helpers, supporters, and donors to the Historic Palmyra Bazaar. Remember we offer 98 percent made in the U.S.A. items. Call for information and tours at 597-6981.