Tuesday, January 31, 2012
March 28, 1931
Oswego, N.Y., March 27, 1931
Sir - Passing along the highway between Oswego and Mexico I noticed that two of the stone monuments marking the original one and Oswego Plank road had been uprooted and cast aside. I assume this was done during the reconstruction of the state highway, known as Route 3 last summer. Probably whoever did it was unaware of the historic value of these markers. I have spoken of this matter to many persons and find many who were not aware that these monuments were placed along the road. It is true that many of the markers are barely visible because of being hidden by brush and weeds.
Some people, myself included, have noticed these low stone monuments for many years, and we deplore their destruction or impairment. To me it smacks of vandalism. I hope that proper authorities will give this matter their attention and and protect these historical markers.
My information is that the markers were placed about 1847 by Charles Cross, engineer of that time, one of the pioneers of that great profession which has done so much in the matter of road improvement. My history tells me that the Rome and Oswego plank road was a private enterprise and was capitalized at $100,000. J.L. McWhorter of Oswego was president, and Henry Matthews, secretary, treasurer and superintendent. Directors were the two officers named, and Moses Merrick, Oswego; E. Bruce, New Haven; Hiram Towsley, Williamstown; Alvin Lawrence, James S. Chandler, Solomon Matthew and Myron Everts, Mexico.
The markers were placed one mile apart with the initials R and O and the distance marked on. These old mileposts are accurate to the foot. For the purpose of testing this accuracy I have several time measured the distance by the speedometer of my car and have found the posts spaced just a mile apart.
Destruction of ancient landmarks and historic sites has become all too prevalent in this age of material progress. I hope that these mile posts will be saved from such a fate.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
June 17, 1917
Of course none of us remember back to the time when the first stagecoach ran between Catskill and Otsego counties. However, among the older inhabitants there may be some whose memory will take them back to the early '50s when men, nearly all of whom have passed to the great beyond, drove stagecoaches between this village and Delhi or made the longer trip to Ithaca.
The earliest stage routes of which any knowledge is known, ran from Albany to New Jersey in 1803. By an act of the Legislature passed February 26, 1803, seven men were granted the exclusive right of running stages between the above points for a sum of seven years. These men were permitted to charge five cents a mile for each passenger, the latter being allowed to carry fourteen pounds of baggage free. A fine of $500 was decreed as a penalty for interference in any way the stage owners' rights. The line began running October 1, 1803, passing through Catskill in other direction every Tuesday and Friday.
During the winter of 1804 some men residing in Greene, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego counties felt that a stage should be run between Catskill Landing and Unadilla, to take care of the business over the territory which the line would touch.
On March 28, 1805, the monopoly of running the stage line between the two points above named places was granted to David Bostwick, Stephen Benton, Lemuel Hotchkiss and Terrence Donnelly, for seven years. The legislature fixed a penalty of $50 for any infringement of this right. It also specified the two wagons on sleigh with a sufficient number of horses should be kept on the line. This grant was renewed by Terrence Donnelly, June 8, 1812, for an additional term of seven years.
The stages were required to make the round trip as often as once in eight days. The fare for passengers was fixed at five cents per mile. The stage leaving Catskill on Wednesday morning would arrive in Unadilla Friday evening, and leaving that point Sunday morning would arrive in Catskill on Tuesday.
These stages passed through Cairo, Windham, Prattsville, Roxbury, Stamford, Kortwright, Meredith, Frankford, Unadilla, and a few years later through Oxford, Greene and Lisle to Ithaca. As soon as the stage lines began to branch out, the fare was reduced to four cents a mile.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Madison Observer, Morrisville
Oct. 31, 1848
Success of Plank Roads. - The people of this section are now reaping the benefit of the plank roads which have been constructed within the past year. For the past week the weather has been rainy, and traveling on the ordinary roads has become considerably obstructed by the mud, but on the plank roads the passage is as smooth and rapid as in midsummer.
We have now extending from this city four district lines of plank roads - one extending to Boonville, on the north, a distance of 32 miles, one to Bridgewater, about 20 miles to the south, and soon to be extended 20 miles farther, another to Waterville, 20 miles southwest, and to be extended 15 miles more, to Hamilton, and the fourth extending westward to Rome, 16 miles, and forming by junction with others at Rome an uninterrupted plank road communication with the northern parts of Oneida and Lewis counties, and Lake Ontario and Salmon river in Oswego county.
There are also several direct and lateral extensions of this line now in progress and in contemplation, which, when completed, will link the extreme Northern with the extreme Southern counties of the State, and open an easy and rapid communication between suctions which have hitherto enjoyed but little intercourse with the other.
All the plank roads that have been put in operation in this State, are doing a prosperous and profitable business. The roads in tis section are all reaping a rich havest of toll. -Utica Morning Herald.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
June 30, 1819
A line of stage coaches has recently been established between Utica and Sacket's Harbor, by way of Rome, Redfield and Adams. It goes through in one day, leaving Utica every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, and returning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The old line to Sacket's Harbor, by way of Trenton, Martinsburgh and Watertown, leaves this village very Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and returns on Tuesday, and Saturday.
Monday, January 16, 2012
April 29, 1859
New Proprietor: - New Coaches. - S.W. Cox Esq. of the Express Office has purchased the Oswego and Auburn and Sterling and Wolcott line of stages. A coach will leave Oswego at 8 A.M. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving at Auburn in the afternoon of the same day. A coach will leave Auburn on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of each week, at 8 A.M. The line runs through the following places:
South West Oswego, North Sterling, Pelham, Sterling Centre, Fair Haven, Red Creek, Wolcott, Martville, Town Line, Victory, Conquest, Port Byron to Auburn. Mr. Cox has placed nothing but the best and most comfortable coaches on the line, with good teams under the charge of experienced drivers. It also makes a very convenient Express line, and everything entrusted to Mr. Cox for delivery in any of these places will promptly be delivered. Nothing is wanting to make the line a public convenience.