Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #6

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the early schools in Rochester. In the last sentence he mentions the Academy building on S. Fithugh Street. After it stopped being used as a school, it became the office for the Department of Education. It has recently been remodeled into apartments. See their website for many photos and details on the apartments.

The first teacher in Rochester, Huldah Strong, will also be mentioned in next week’s article.


Rochester’s first school was opened in 1813 in Enos Stone’s barn, transformed to a schoolhouse. The first teacher was Miss Huldah Strong, a sister of Mrs. Abelard Reynolds. She was young and beautiful and her pupils all loved her. Dr. Jonah Brown, Rochester’s first physician also loved her and married her in 1816. The school was removed to a room over Jehiel Barnard’s clothing store and tailor shop which was on the site of the present Arcade. There were 15 pupils not counting the cow and the horse, the dog, cat hen and chickens and a couple of rats. The first schoolhouse was built during the autumn of 1813 on South Fitzhugh St. It was about 18×24 feet and one story in height. From that time schools and school teachers rapidly increased. Another building was built on the same site and this was soon enlarged and then replaced by the present brick building of the old “Free Academy” which is the present headquarters of the Department of Education.

Old News – Tinker Homestead

The Tinker homestead was occupied by six generations of the Tinker family. In 1992  John C. and Carol (Tinker) Aldridge sold the property to the Town of Henrietta in 1992. The resulting Tinker Homestead and Farm Museum opened in 1994. It boasts a diverse collection of artifacts spanning several generations.

Also the surrounding property was converted into the Tinker Nature Park. The 68 acre park boasts 2 miles of hiking trails, a labyrinth and the Hansen Nature Center.


Thursday, Nov. 9, 1916

Tinker Homestead in 1916 newspaper article.

Tinker Homestead in 1916 newspaper article.

Mr. and Mrs. Adelbert Tinker entertained Saturday in honor of the sixty-seventh wedding anniversary of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bush, who reside with them. Seventeen neighbors were present and enjoyed a bountiful repast, at which Mr. Tinker acted as toastmaster.

The Tinker homestead in which the aged couple now reside, is situated four miles from  Pittsford on the Calkins road and is a fine old cobblestone house. It was originally a log cabin built by James Tinker, the grandfather of Adelbert Tinker, who came here from Connecticut in 1812 with his wife, Rebecca Tyler Tinker.

The stones used to build the house now occupied by the family, were picked up on the farm. It was built about 1822, and is in fine condition with an unusual winding staircase. There are five fireplaces and a brick oven in the middle of the original house. there have been additions, but these are modern. The distinctive features of the old home have not been altered. Among the relics made by the ancestors is a collection of handmade quilts. The oldest was made by Mr. Tinker’s grandmother, Rebecca Tinker in 1799. It is of dark blue, homespun linen of a peculiar shade. The pattern is a large vase, surrounded by flowers and oak leaves, all done in fine stitches by hand and is three yards square.

Miss Grace Tinker was the youngest daughter, and the last to live in this home before Mr. Tinker and family came in 1897. She too left many souvenirs including quilts and other handiwork all of which are highly prized.

On account of advancing age, Mr. and Mrs. Bush left their farm home in Michigan, five years ago, and came to reside with their daughter.

Tinker homestead in 2012.

Tinker homestead in 2012.

Top Songs of 1966 – #31

johnny-rives-changesThe next hit song of 1966 was “The Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers. Johnny wrote the song with producer Lou Adler. It would be the only number one song by Johnny, who has had a long career. Johnny was born in 1942 in New York City as John Henry Ramistella. His family moved to Baton Rogue where Johnny grew up. He was in bands in high school but ended up finding more work as a song writer and studio musician. His big break came in 1964 when he got a contract playing at the Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Hr recorded “Secret Agent Man” for the TV series Secret Agent (originally Danger Man) and that made it up to #3 on the charts. He started his own record company, Soul City Records and won two Grammy Awards in 1967, as the producer of the 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.” Johnny continued recorded new songs into the early 1980s. He still does a limited number of concert dates. See his website for details (music starts playing when the website opens, biography and recent live recordings.

“Poor Side of Town” was the top song on both the Cash Box record chart and the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of Nov. 6 – 12, 1966.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #5

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about a early portrait painter in Rochester. Grove Sheldon Gilbert didn’t sign his portraits so there is no way to tell how many portraits he painted. One known painting is of Sophia (Beatty) Rochester, the wife of founder Nathaniel Rochester.

Grove Gilbert was born in Clinton, New York, on August 5, 1805. He was educated at Middlebury Academy (Wyoming, Wyoming Co., NY). He taught school in LeRoy, New York and Niagara, Canada before coming to Rochester.


Grove S. Gilbert came to Rochester in 1834. For 34 years he painted portraits of Rochesterians in his sky-lighted studio on the top florr of the old Reynolds Arcade which was torn down to make way for the present Arcade building and arcade. Gilbert was self-taught and worked out his ideal of true portraiture in his own way which he could neither teach or explain. Of all Rochester portrait artists past or present, he is the acknowledged head. his portraits are numbered in the hundreds, many of them are now (1947) in the possession of the Rochester Historical Society and can be seen at their headquarters “Woodside” on east Avenue. An exhibition of his paintings containing over 233 portraits was held in 1885, the year of his death. he is buried in Mount Hope along with many Rochester notables whose portraits he painted. He had many offers to go to larger cities to carry on his works but he never left Rochester. He underestimated his own ability.

Theater Programs

oklahomaI added 7 programs for theater productions in Rochester between 1951 and 1957. Onw is from Arena Theatre, which was a small  group of performers from Rochester. The rest of the programs are from touring companies that came to the Auditorium Theatre. Some of those plays had people who were stars of the past (Ray Bolger in “Where’s Charley” and Kaye Ballard in “Ziegfeld Follies”). The touring company of “Oklahoma!” had Florence Henderson as Laurey. That was 16 years before she became Carol Brady.

The programs also include some interesting local ads.

These are the direct links to the new programs:

Old News – Newspaper News

Can you imagine having to spend work time at a newspaper folding them by hand? This article tells how the weekly newspaper in Fairport gets a modern machine to fold their newspapers. By getting the folder the newspaper was able to print more pages which probably meant an increase in advertising revenue.

By looking the the picture of the folder, you will notice that it has chains and gears without any guards on them. I wonder how many fingers got caught in the mechanism.


Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1916


The picture shows a view of the latest labor-saving device to be installed in the Herald office, a newspaper folding machine that when running is attached to the cylinder press, and cuts, trims, folds and delivers the papers ready yo be mailed without being touched from the time they are fed into the printing press.

The folder, the Omaha Folder, is the latest thing in folding machines, and is truly a human machine in its work, operating without being touched, at any speed at which the press is run. It will fold either an eight, ten or twelve page paper, and will handle the twelve page as quickly and easily as an eight page paper. in fact this week the Herald is printing twelve pages for the first time since the folder was installed two weeks ago.

In the past few years the subscription list of the Herald has grown so amazingly that it became almost a physical impossibility to fold each week’s issue of the paper and get the edition to the Post office in time to catch the mails, and the folder was the natural sequence that followed the large list of subscriptions. To give you an idea of the work that the machine saves, let us say that formerly the folding by hand took one person at least eight hours, when but eight pages were printed, and proportionately as much longer when ten and twelve pages were printed from week to week. Now all that extra labor is saved, the only handling is to stamp the names on the paper, and that too is done by a neat little mailing machine.

Anyone who desires to see the folding machine at work is cordially invited to come to the Herald office any Wednesday morning between 9 and 10 o’clock and look on. Our latch string is on the outside, come in.

With the addition of the folding machine, the Herald office has added the only machine that was needed to make this office the equal to any country print shop in existence, in so far as up-to-date machinery that assists in making of a newspaper is concerned, and it is the aim of the Herald to make its paper from week to week the best possible country weekly. It might be added in passing, that the gradual growth in the volume of work called for in all our departments has required within the past few years a new cylinder press, new jobber, new typesetting machine, besides a large quantity of other equipment, and now comes the last word in folders, the Omaha.

Webster High School Yearbook


1924 Girl’s Basketball Team

I uploaded the 1924 Reveille yearbook for Webster High School. There were only 21 seniors graduating from the school that year. At that time they had a new high school which today is Spry Middle School on the corner of Sanford St. and South Ave. They had consolidated all the grades into that one school and for some reason there are 75 freshmen. The picture of the kindergarten only has 10 students so there are probably other elementary schools in the town at that time. This school also had both a senior and junior operetta.

I have more yearbooks from the 1920s and 1930s for Webster High School coming in the future but not a complete run. Both the Rochester Public Library and the Webster Public Library have good collections of Webster High School yearbooks.