Madison County, NY Historian

Madison County, NY Historian Madison County was founded in 1806 after being formed from Chenango County. Madison County is a largely rural county in Upstate, NY. The county is made up of 15 towns and 1 city.

It's history is long and rich featuring many exciting and important events. This page is here to help promote the many heritage events and articles that are happening throughout the towns and city. Please note that the comments expressed on this site do not reflect the opinions and position of the Madison Historian, Madison County, or its employees. Any comments on external social media sites are personal in nature and do no represent the views of the Madison County Historian or Madison County. If you have any questions concerning this social media platform, please contact the Madison County Historian.

Operating as usual

Our photos of the month comes from the aftermath of a blizzard almost fifty years ago on January 27th, 1971.  Blowing wi...
01/15/2021

Our photos of the month comes from the aftermath of a blizzard almost fifty years ago on January 27th, 1971. Blowing winds and cold temperatures closed schools and the thruway. In some of the photos you can see the drifts they were dealing with. Unfortunately they did not label where the photos were taken.

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
01/11/2021

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is looking northwest at the Village of Morrisville. In the foreground you can see SUNY Morrisville, Madison Hall and a number of churches that are no longer there.

Historic Lincklaen House sign knocked over by snowplow
01/07/2021
Historic Lincklaen House sign knocked over by snowplow

Historic Lincklaen House sign knocked over by snowplow

By Kate Hill Staff Writer On Dec. 28, a Town of Cazenovia snowplow accidentally knocked down the historic Lincklaen House sign at the corner of Albany and Lincklaen streets. According to Highway Su…

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
01/04/2021

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is of the Madison Central School - Madison, NY in the Village of Madison. Check out the baseball fields behind the school.

Our January record of the month is the 1950 Madison County NY Government Board of Supervisors Committee appointments.  W...
01/01/2021

Our January record of the month is the 1950 Madison County NY Government Board of Supervisors Committee appointments. While some of the committees exist today many of the committees have changed over the years or been combined. Today's committees include:

Government Operations
Finance Ways & Means
Administration & Oversight
Health & Human Services
Planning, Economic Development, Environmental & Intergovernmental Affairs
Public Utility Service
Criminal Justice, Public Safety & Emergency Communications
Highway, Buildings & Grounds
Solid Waste & Recycling

Fire Damages the Historic Wood House in Eaton
12/29/2020
Fire Damages the Historic Wood House in Eaton

Fire Damages the Historic Wood House in Eaton

The Historic House of Allen Wood, a house once part of the Eaton School, home of Rev.E D Willis- abolitionist and friend of Gerrit Smith, ...

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association  sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The i...
12/28/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is looking at the hamlet of Kenwood. In the foreground you can see the Oneida Community Mansion House, as well as the former Kenwood creamery in the lower left corner. In the background you can see the former Oneida Limited headquarters as well as a number of homes and even the CAC!

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
12/21/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is of the hamlet of Georgetown looking north at Route 26. You can see the back of the The Georgetown Inn and the former Georgetown School (Otselic Valley Central School District) amongst many other buildings!

Our photo of the month is a circa 1940's photos of the Madison County Courthouse.  You can see the roof of the railroad ...
12/15/2020

Our photo of the month is a circa 1940's photos of the Madison County Courthouse. You can see the roof of the railroad station on the left.

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
12/14/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is looking at the Village of Earlville, New York . You can see the First Baptist Church Of Earlville, the NBT Bank on the corners of Main street and the back of the Earlville Opera House, as well as many other buildings!

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
12/08/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is looking at the Village of DeRuyter, NY. In the foreground you can see the United Church of DeRuyter. In the background you can see the grounds of the DeRuyter Firemen's Fair.

12/07/2020
Robert Lasher 8/21/2013 Chittenango

In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we will be telling the story of two Madison County Veterans who were there.

Bob Lasher attended local schools and graduated from Chittenango High School in 1940. He enlisted in the Navy in July of 1940 and following training was assigned to Pearl Harbor. He was on the USS West Virginia during the attack on December 7, 1941 and his family received notice that he was killed in action. Less than a week after receiving the first notice a second was received that said the first was erroneous. In the meantime, the family had prepared a memorial that became a thanksgiving for his being alive. Bob returned home, and married Marian Miller in Chittenango on August 28, 1945. He lived his life in Chittenango before passing away in 2018. Bob talked about his experiences in Pearl Harbor and during the remainder of his time in the Navy during a recorded interview with the Madison County Historian in 2013 including opening a letter in which his mother sent his obituary to him while he was still in the service.

Bob Lasher talks at his home about his experiences on the West Virginia during the attack at Pearl Harbor, as well as his experiences in the Pacific during t...

In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we will be telling the story of two Madison County Veterans who were there.  L...
12/07/2020

In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we will be telling the story of two Madison County Veterans who were there.

LaVerne Austin enlisted in the Navy while a senior at Cazenovia Central School on 7 December 1940. He initially was trained Newport, Rhode Island before transferring to San Diego, California and later Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in August of 1941 where he was assigned to the USS Arizona. He achieved the rank of Second Class Seaman. Austin was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following his death he was posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart and his family received a scroll signed by President Roosevelt honoring his memory. The scroll read:

“In grateful memory of Laverne Alfred Austin who died in the service of his country at Pearl Harbor. T.H. attached U.S.S. Arizona, 7 December 1941. He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives-in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.”

As part of an ongoing DOT project the New York State Museum is performing an archeological dig in Madison County. They h...
12/03/2020

As part of an ongoing DOT project the New York State Museum is performing an archeological dig in Madison County. They have uncovered the foundation and basement floorboards of a building believed to have been built between 1825 & 1850. Upon completion of the excavation a full report will be completed on the project. Weather permitting we will be interviewing some of the archaeology team next week, stay tuned!!! Please note we do not give the locations of active site.

Our December records of the month are advertisements from the 1869-70 Madison County Gazetteer.  The gazetteer was publi...
12/01/2020

Our December records of the month are advertisements from the 1869-70 Madison County Gazetteer. The gazetteer was published by Hamilton Child of Syracuse. The company published many gazetteers and county directories. The Madison County edition featured stories, census information a gazetteer of the county and towns, advice, histories and business directories for all the towns which include the name of the person/business, the post office address and what the business or person did.

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
11/30/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Today's view is looking at the hamlet Clockville, New York. You can see the Clockville United Methodist Church in the image.

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
11/23/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

Our image this week is looking north at the Village of Chittenango along Route 5. In the foreground you can see the former Baptist Church as well as a number of other buildings.

On Monday we spoke with Sean Levinson, General Manager of the Hamilton Movie Theater which will be reopening tomorrow ni...
11/19/2020
Hamilton Movie Theater General Manager Sean Nevison, November 16, 2020

On Monday we spoke with Sean Levinson, General Manager of the Hamilton Movie Theater which will be reopening tomorrow night. Sean spoke about how COVID-19 impacted the movie theater during its 7-month shutdown, the improvements and protocols that the theater undertook to get open, the portable outdoor theater that it set up while the theater was closed and what the movie experience will look like during the pandemic.

We are still working to document how COVID-19 has impacted local businesses, organizations and people. If you know of a business, organization or person that we should talk with please leave a comment below.

Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz speaks to Hamilton Movie Theater General Manager Sean Nevison about how COVID-19 impacted the movie theater during its ...

On November 9th we spoke with Community Wellness Center Managing Governor Sam Fuller about how COVID-19 forced Community...
11/18/2020
Community Wellness Center, Managing Governor Sam Cooper, November 9, 2020

On November 9th we spoke with Community Wellness Center Managing Governor Sam Fuller about how COVID-19 forced Community Wellness Center to shut down for 7 months, the reopening process and partnering with Community Memorial, ensuring safety for it's members and more.

We are still working to document how COVID-19 has impacted different businesses, organizations and people. If you know of a business, organization or person in Madison County that we should talk to please leave a comment below.

Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz speaks with Community Wellness Center Managing Governor Sam Cooper about how COVID-19 forced Community Wellness Center ...

MADISON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY  ONEIDA, NEW YORK
11/18/2020

MADISON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY ONEIDA, NEW YORK

Visit the Madison County Historical Society this December for our Holiday Guided House Tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 am - 2 pm. The period rooms of the Historical Society are adorned with Victorian-themed decorations. Tours of the festively decorated Historical Society require reservations as we are adhering to social distancing guidelines and can only accommodate groups of four at a time. The Madison County Historical Society is taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions so that the tours are safe and an enjoyable experience. Face coverings will be required of everyone when they enter. At entry as part of our screening process, temperatures will be taken, and everyone will be asked a series of COVID-19 related questions. Admission for the tour is $5 for non-members. Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) members and children 12 and under are free. For all partaking in the house tour, we are offering complimentary handknit mini stockings. The beautiful mini stockings were knitted by MCHS member and volunteer, Brenda Burke of Munnsville.

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County."  The im...
11/16/2020

Recently the Onondaga Historical Association sent us a series of large photo negatives labeled "Madison County." The images are aerial photos from the mid-20th century. We have scanned them and are working on identifying all of the locations.

This weeks image is looking north on Peterboro Street in the Village of Canastota, NY. The photo predates the installation of the railroad bridge that crosses the street today as well as a great view of Canal Street.

Our photos of the month are of the of the removal of the Lehigh Valley Railroad overpass over Bingley Road in the Town o...
11/15/2020

Our photos of the month are of the of the removal of the Lehigh Valley Railroad overpass over Bingley Road in the Town of Cazenovia in October of 1969. The overpass was built in 1910 and you can see the date on top of the opening.

On October 29th we spoke with The Tot Spot owner Tanya Peterson about her business prior to COVID-19, how COVID-19 force...
11/12/2020
The Tot Spot, Owner Tanya Peterson, October 29, 2020

On October 29th we spoke with The Tot Spot owner Tanya Peterson about her business prior to COVID-19, how COVID-19 forced the business to temporarily close, reopening, adapting to state protocols adding educational pods and more.

We are still working to document how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted different businesses, organizations and people. If you know of someone we should talk to please leave a comment below.

Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz speaks with The Tot Spot owner Tanya Peterson about her business prior to COVID-19, how COVID-19 forced the business to...

Stan Davis was born in Montgomery, NY in January of 1922.  His family moved to Morrisville where he graduated from high ...
11/11/2020
Stan Davis 5/23/1916 Hamilton Library

Stan Davis was born in Montgomery, NY in January of 1922. His family moved to Morrisville where he graduated from high school. He was working as a truck driver when he was drafted. Rather than wait for his number Stan enlisted in the Army Air Corps, training as a mechanic. When training in Florida, Stan was struck by lightning while hiding under a plane during a morning thunderstorm. He returned to work in the afternoon. He arrived in France 17 days after D-Day.

While in Germany, he served as a scout as well as a mechanic. He was also an amateur photographer whose large collection was donated to the historian’s office. After his service overseas, Davies returned to Morrisville where married his wife Edith and raised their family. Today they live in Clinton. Stan recorded multiple videos about his time in the service that you can see below.

Stan Davis talks about his experiences as a mechanic in the army during World War II including getting struck by lightning.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we will be telling the story of a few Madison County Veterans and thank them for their servic...
11/11/2020

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we will be telling the story of a few Madison County Veterans and thank them for their service.

Rick Warham enlisted in the US Marine Corps in June of 1968. He trained at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune before leaving for Vietnam in January of 1969. He was attached to A Company, 1st Anti-Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. The tank Rick was assigned to was responsible for bridge security. While there, he befriended a dog who loved to ride along in the tank with him before leaving one day and never returning. He spent over 2 years on Vietnam before returning home in March of 1971. He continued to serve in the Marines until his discharge in June of 1972.

Rick was one of the founding members of the War Veterans Memorial Committee. When asked about his time serving on the committee Rick stated, “Over the years I have been proud to have been part of the committee that designed, funded, and constructed the memorial. I worked with some of the most dedicated veterans in the Madison County. I respected each and every member. Their loyalty and dedicated is beyond words. Through the years, we have had wonderful programs at the monument with inspiring speakers and stirring renditions of the National Anthem sung by many local artists.“

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we will be telling the story of a few Madison County Veterans and thank them for their servic...
11/11/2020

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we will be telling the story of a few Madison County Veterans and thank them for their service.

Bennie Roher was born in Pratt’s Hollow to Lynn and Nellie Roher. He grew up locally and enlisted in the US Army in March of 1951, serving two years. Rohrer was assigned to the 1603 Battery A, 41 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion. He was trained in positioning anti-aircraft guns by cranking the wheel. During his time in the army, he trained soldiers how to position the weapons with the crank until radar became more prominent and he was moved to a position handling ammunition. Following his discharge in 1953, he returned home where he operated a dairy farm for 41 years. He is currently a member of the American Legion, serving two separate terms as Commander from 1966-1968 and later from 2009-2017.

In November of 2019 Roher was awarded the 2019 Madison County Veteran of the year by the Madison County War Memorial Committee. He continues to live in Morrisville today.

CazArts looks at the past and future of Carpenter’s Barn
11/10/2020
CazArts looks at the past and future of Carpenter’s Barn

CazArts looks at the past and future of Carpenter’s Barn

By Kate Hill Staff Writer This month, the CazArts monthly newsletter highlighted the past and future of Carpenter’s Barn, the historic stone building located on the southeast corner of Lakela…

The Madison County War Veterans Memorial Committee (WAVEM) was formed in 1986. The main purpose of this committee was to...
11/10/2020

The Madison County War Veterans Memorial Committee (WAVEM) was formed in 1986. The main purpose of this committee was to discuss erecting a county memorial that would honor those veterans who gave their lives in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Their goal was reached in May of 1990 with the dedication of the memorial. To this day, WAVEM maintains the memorial and they host special events annually on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Tomorrow the Veterans Day Ceremony will feature a speech from retired Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Basla of Cazenovia starting at 11 am.

Did you know that WAVEM has a Veteran of the year Program? Since 1989, WAVEM has solicited nominees for veterans who serve their community and hometown following their time serving their country.

Tomorrow, we will tell the story of one of these winners as well as other veterans. If you know of someone who should be nominated or would like more information, please contact Ben Barrett, the chairman of the veteran of the year committee, at 315-824-3704.

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138 North Court St. Building #5
Wampsville, NY
13163

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Comments

A question for the Historian. Has Madison County ever had a Law Library open to the taxpaying public to use? It is my understanding that the first woman lawyer was in Madison County. We should build a Public Law Library Collection for public use in her name.
Thought you might be interested in our new book! Get your copy of A Journey Through Time, available at the Cortland County Historical Society (25 Homer Ave. Cortland, 1-5 pm, Tuesday-Saturday) and by MAILORDER (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IoOmf-qQgxxqOq9c4SamKUqt_o_TlYuJ). The cost is $40.50 plus tax for members, and $45.00 plus tax for non-members. See the order form link for more details. In 1958, Cortland County celebrated it's 150th anniversary with a series of events and the publication of the Cortland County Sesquicentennial Souvenir Yearbook: 1808-1958. With 8,000 copies printed, nearly every family in Cortland County purchased the book. 60 years later, and ten years after the celebration of our county's Bicentennial in 2008, the Cortland County Historical Society has published A Journey Through Time: Cortland County, 1958-2018. Three years in the making, this book picks up where the 1958 book left off and is the Society's largest publication to date continuing our long tradition of publishing Cortland County's history. Lead authors and co-editors, Jean Edwards and Liz Wavle-Brown collected stories, photographs and advertisements from over 200 people. You won't want to miss getting your copy of this collectible book, sure to be enjoyed for generations to come.
Love looking back at the village in the 1800's.
My grandmother, Laura Bartholomew worked for the Madison County Veterans Dept for years .
Hi, I am looking for John Taibe. Either his book a ride through the countryside on the syracuse and chenango valley railroad. Or even knowing where he lives. My 81 year old Mother-in-law has seen the book and loves it.
Apply 2020census.gov/jobs
Thanks for the invite to your page🙂 Beautiful posts !!
Done!!
a new roof for the court house