Sunday, May 1, 2022

Remembering Stagecoach Days

 Oxford Review-Times

April 24, 1925

(Except from article “When I Was A Boy”)

   When I was a boy the plank road from Oxford to Norwich was in prime order and considered a great achievement. The four-horse stagecoaches and packet boat on the canal wee the only public means of getting in and out of town unless one patronized one of the two livery stables. 

   The stagecoaches rattled down the plank road at a marvelous speed for those days, an horsemen boasted that their old names could do “2 40 on the plank.” The stage line from Utica to Chenango Forks with a change of horses at Oxford, the stage barn being part of Church’s lumber storehouse  on Taylor street. The drivers were expert reins men and the skill with which they guided their “prancing steered” turned many a boy’s idea of being a pirate to that of being a stage diver when he grew up. The packet boats on the canal ran from Binghamton to Norwich.


Old Tavern Restored Near Sherburne

 Columbus Public House Back In Business In Chenango County

              By Fox New 40, Binghamton, N.Y., July 21, 2020




           The Columbus Public House at 4301 State Route 80 outside of Sherburne.


  Closed and empty for nearly two decades, a 227-year-old inn is back in business. The Columbus Hotel, now named The Columbus Public House, along Route 80, the old Hamilton-Skaneateles Turnpike just outside Sherburne in the small community of Columbus, population 975. The restaurant officially opened for business in October of last year. 




  Old 19th century photo of the Columbus House.

  “I had someone stop the other day who said you can walk into any new restaurant and it’s just a restaurant, but he said it was cool sitting in a building that was 200 years old and just to think about what was going on in here over the last 200 years," says owner Edsall Hodges. 

The back half of the building was added on sometime around the Civil War. The addition included a dance hall on the second floor. 

  Upstairs, blue paint and stencils still remain, though parts of the walls and ceiling are crumbling. An eagle is painted high on one wall, carrying a banner in its beak with the words "Union For Ever" scrolled across it.

According to local lore, the room on the second floor was meeting space for the Union militia as well as outlaws. 

  “It’s reported the Loomis gang used to frequent it," says Hodges. The Loomis gang, of course, was known around Chenango and Madison Counties for their massive horse theft operation. That upstairs room is closed to the public right now, but there are plans to try and restore it to be used in the future.

  Hodges, a veteran of the local food service industry, bought the building about nine years ago. His plan was to use the kitchen for catering. However, he says the more he discovered about the building, it became "just too cool" to keep it closed to the public. 

  “It kind of just turned into opening a restaurant," remembers his daughter, Emma Hodges, who manages the kitchen and dining room. Emma said her dad also worked as a builder, so his two careers collided with this project. Wanting everything done the right way, he did it himself with help from friends and family. 

  After years of working on it, the finished product holds many pieces of the Hodges' family. Emma made light fixtures out of her grandmother's canning jars, her brother made candle sticks for the front windows, and the whole family poured hours of work into laying floorboards, fixing ceilings, and painting. 

  Emma said the reality of the restaurant opening the business didn't really set in until the delivery trucks showed up. “Since he owned it for so long, I was like I don’t know if it will happen.. But once we started getting food trucks in here, I was like wow this is real," Emma said Emma. 

  A "Union For Ever" painting still remains on the wall of a Civil War-era dance hall inside the inn. According to local lore, the room on the second floor was meeting space for the Union militia and outlaws. “It’s reported the Loomis gang used to frequent it," Hodges said. The Loomis gang, of course, was known around Chenango and Madison Counties for their massive horse theft operation. 

  The second floor upstairs room is currently closed to the public, but there are plans to try and restore it to be used in the future. Hodges, a veteran of the local food service industry, bought the building about nine years ago. His plan was to use the kitchen for catering. However, he says the more he discovered about the building, it became "just too cool" to keep it closed to the public. 

  “It kind of just turned into opening a restaurant," remembers his daughter, Emma Hodges, who manages the kitchen and dining room. Emma said her dad also worked as a builder, so his two careers collided with this project. Wanting everything done the right way, he did it himself with help from friends and family. 

After years of working on it, the finished product holds many pieces of the Hodges' family. Emma made light fixtures out of her grandmother's canning jars, her brother made candle sticks for the front windows, and the whole family poured hours of work into laying floorboards, fixing ceilings, and painting. 

 


                                      Old stencil on ceiling upstairs.




 Rustic dining area


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Stagecoach Line Between Geneva and Newburgh

 Cortland Republican, June 7, 1816

    A Mail Stage has commenced  running once a week between Geneva and Newburgh, performing the route in four days; and twice a week between Ovid and Geneva. It arrives from Newburgh, via Ovid, every Friday evening, and departs Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

'Western Stage' on the Cherry Valley Turnpike

 Cazenovia Pilot, October 12, 1814

Western Stage

                  ___

By Cherry Valley, Cazenovia,

    Manlius, Cooperstown &

                   Oxford

   Leaves Albany for Cherry Valley, every day (Sunday excepted) at 5 A.M. Leaves Cherry Valley Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 4 P.M. Lodged at Richfield; leaves Richfield Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5 A.M. Dinner at Manlius, Lodges at Onondaga. The Stage leaves Onondaga for the west every day.

   Leaves Cherry Valley Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, at 4 P.M. for Cooperstown; Leaves Cooperstown on Friday for Oxford.

                         RETURNING

    Leaves Manlius Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arrives at Albany the same day, Leave Oxford every Saturday at 2 P.M. and arrive at Cooperstown on Sunday.

   The Proprietors of the Cherry Valley line have formed a connection with the Utica and Canandaigua Company, at Manlius, and should that line be full, there is an Extra at Manlius for the express purpose of conveyance to any part of the line.

   Usual allowance of Baggage, 125 lbs. equal to a passenger; all surplus baggage to be paid for, and at the risk of the owner.

    BOOKS kept art Cande’s Connecticut Coffee-House, Court  Street, Albany.

 MARTIN & BRANCH,

J. CAMBELL,

BEACH & CANDE,

U. BEACH,

Z. PATCH,

W. CHAMBERLIN.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Stagecoach Service Out of Oswego in 1838

 Oswego County Whig

May 23, 1838 


SUMMER ARRANGEMENT. - Speed increased, fare reduced, and no detention on the route.The mail stage leaves Oswego for Utica (76 miles) every morning, at 4 o’clock, and arrives in time for the railroad cars for Albany. Fare, $2.50.

   Leaves for Rochester (75 miles) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, at 4 o’clock. Fare, $2.50. Making this the cheapest and most expeditious route to Rochester, Niagara Falls and Upper Canada.

   Leaves for Auburn, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 8 o’clock, and arrives at Weedsport in time for the western packets, and at Auburn in time for the stages to Seneca Falls, Geneva, Canandaigua, &c., also in time for the stage to Ithaca, &c.

   Extras furnished on the arrival of the afternoon boats for Utica in time for the morning cars for Albany; also for Rochester, Auburn or elsewhere.

   All baggage at the risk of the owners, unless by special contract.

                                                                       JOHN F. STORRS, Proprietor

H. Wager, Agent, at the Welland House, or at the Oswego Hotel.

Oswego, May 7, 1838. -19tf.