Old News – Impersonator

Edith Victoria Sharpe was born in 1869. Before she left for China, she was a vocal teacher at the Normal School at Brockport (now SUNY Brockport). She had also graduated from that school. On 1 May 1917 she married to Arthur B. Aldrich, a Baptist Minister in Naples, NY. Edith died in 1944 and is buried in Burdett. Schuyler County, NY.


Thursday, Oct. 19, 1916


Interesting Entertainment to Be Given by Miss Edith Sharpe.


Friday evening, October 20th, at the Methodist church, under the auspices of the Mizpah class, will be given an unusual and unique entertainment. It is the story of the life of Bau Tai Tai, a Chinese woman of the official class. Miss Edith V. Sharpe impersonates Bau tai tai, shows her as she is in her home, on feast days and the marriage day. Miss Sharpe went to China, when it was an Empire, taught in the Peking University that was made possible by the return to China of the indemnity money for the Boxer rebellion by the United States government. She was there during the revolution, saw the rapid changes of the beginning of the republic, saw much of official life and entertained many of the noted officials including Dr. Koo, Chinese minister in Washington. She will have with her curios and costumes which it will be worth more than the price of admission just to see. Besides giving this original impersonation, Miss Sharpe will sing a cycle of Oriental love songs. Other than this there will be instrumental duets and vocal music by a ladies; trio or quartet.






R. G. & E. History

rge-storyI uploaded The R. G. and E. Story to the Monroe Co. GenWeb . It is about 100 pages of the history of Rochester Gas and Electric. Company and was written in 1957. The company dates back to 1848 when they started as a company to have some gas lights along the downtown streets of Rochester. This history mentions former company executives Beebee, Russell and Ginna, all names that became names of electric generating plants in the area. The Beebee Station near the upper falls of the Genesee is currently being destroyed, although other buildings near it will be retained. It is slated to be down by the end of 2016. The Russell Station on the shore of Lake Ontario is also being destroyed and should be completely down by the end of the year. R. G. & E. is no longer a locally owned company. They are a subsidiary of AVANGRID, who owns energy companies in 25 States.

More Mt. Hope Cem. Tombstones

A few days ago I uploaded three web pages that are the tombstone inscriptions of Range 9 of Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester. These tombstones were copied by Karen Dau who has spent years copying the tombstones in the newer portion of Mt. Hope.

Range 9 is one of the largest of the Ranges in Mt. Hope Cemetery. About a third of the burials in Range 9 are from Congregation Beth El, a Jewish synagogue. These are the direct links to the web pages for Range 9:

Surnames starting with A – G
Surnames starting with H – P.
Surnames starting with Q – Z.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #2

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947)  he quotes the first part from Rochester; A Story Historical by Jenny Marsh Parker. Mr. Wilkinson also uses “We remember” as his method of saying what he remembers in 1947 from his visit to the gallery many years before. The color cartoon is his drawing and the black and white cartoon is an unknown magazine.


“One of the objects proposed by D. W. powers in the establishment of his famous gallery was to show and explain the noted paintings of the great artists known as the ‘OLD MASTERS.’ In this collection will also be found the best examples of recent art – pictures of home life, views of the beautiful and sublime in nature. A large number of modern original painting from the studios of the most noted artists of Europe have been imported and added to this collection and it is no presumption to claim that this Art Gallery is second to none in the country for the number and value of its works of art” –  Jenny Marsh Parker – 1884.

We remember having visited this art gallery along about 1894. It was worth a visit. We remember looking at the steropticon views. These same views are now in the possession of the Rochester Historical Society. A few of the old paintings can still be seen in the fifth floor corridor of the Powers Building and perhaps a statue or two. There is a statue in the Powers Hotel that came from this famous gallery.

Old News – Submarine

German U-boats (submarines) started being used as weapons of war during World War I. On 7 Oct. 1916 U-53 stopped at Newport, RI and visited with a couple of US Admirals. As that the US had nor entered the war, the sub was to peacefully leave. The very next day the sub sank 5 ships that it said were carrying contraband but not before allowing the crew of the ships to abandon the ships. The sub also did allow a couple of passenger ships to pass without incident. This same sub sank many more ships the next year. It was eventually captured in December 1918.


Thursday, Oct. 12, 1916


U-Boat Was Very Fast and Was Cleverly Handled.


The wholesale raid on foreign shipping south of Nantucket lightship on Sunday was the work of one submarine, according to reports of American naval officers.

Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, commanding the torpedo-boat destroyer flotilla, which did such remarkably speedy rescue work on Sunday, said that the reports of all officers agreed that one raider only was concerned.

Admiral Gleaves said he could easily understand the positive statements of the captain of the Nantucket lightship and of sailors of the torpedoed vessels that more than one submarine was concerned. The U-boat, he said, was very fast and appeared to have been handled cleverly.

It was easy, he pointed out, for her to disappear on one side of a ship and then show up unexpectedly at another spot.

Doubtless, he believed, she had submerged and reappeared often enough to mislead any but a keen professional observer and to create the impression that more than one sea terror was operating.

This opinion would seem to be borne out by the statements of many of the refugees that the submarine had more business on hand than she could take care of at once and was obliged to request one steamer, to wait her turn while another was being put out of commission.

Later news from Newport says that the German commerce raiders that bore down on shipping off the New England coast on Sunday, sending six vessels to the bottom, are believe to have made a clean escape.

British warships from the American coast patrol and from Canadian ports are still scoring the Atlantic far out at sea in hopes of overtaking the Germans.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #1

William Wilkinson has many of his old scrapbooks in the Local History Division of the Rochester Public Library. In one scrapbook, which he titled “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he draw cartoons and wrote a description. Some of the drawings also have newspaper drawings glued to them; like this one of Daisy from the “Blondie” comic strip. He says in the forward of the scrapbook that he “snitched” the descriptions from other sources. Come to think of it, I am doing the same things.


Jenny Lind sang in Corinthian Hall on the evenings of July 22 and July 24, 1851. Tickets for her second concert were sold at auction, so great had been the demand for those of the first. The excess over the regular price of five dollars was donated by the generous singer to a local charity. This was a gala event in Rochester. During her stay in Rochester, she stopped at the Eagle Hotel, which stood on the 4 corners where Powers Block now stands, and, out of the goodness of her heart, voluntarily gave a private concert in a room of that famous hostelry for the entertainment of a small group including four Indian Chiefs, of whom Ely S. Parker was the most important. As a child, she was trained for the stage and appeared as an opera singer at 16. Her soprano voice was of brilliant, sympathetic quality with an unrivaled mastery of colorature. No other artist has ever been so popular throughout the world for her personal qualities. She was a model of rectitude, generosity and straight forwardness. She was in her 31st year. Born 1820 – died 1887.

Old News – R.R. Crossings

Can you imagine crossing a railroad track without knowing if a train is coming or not? In the old days you were just supposed to stop at every track and decide if it is safe to cross. This new invention of 1916 at least told that a train was coming. It still didn’t block autos from crossing. That kind of signal with gates were still to come as auto traffic got faster.


Thursday, Oct. 5, 1916



In these days of automobiles and motorcycles, something more than the old-fashioned “Stop, look, listen” sign is necessary at railroad crossings. Such signs are entirely too unobtrusive to attract the attention of a motor car driver going at 60 miles an hour. At night they are practically worthless.

A striking experiment has resulted in the invention of the “automatic flagman.” At the approach of a train it rings a loud gong, and waves a bright red disk by day and a red lamp by night. So sensitive is the human eye to red and to motion that such a warning can hardly escape notice.

The electric consists of a weather-proof case containing the operating mechanism and a signal disk upon which are mounted standard ruby=red switch lances with an incandescent lamp between. Energy is supplied by a small electric motor, which operates the mechanism that rings the gong and waves the disk.

The motor receives its energy from storage batteries, lighting circuits or trolley circuits, depending on the character of the installation. On steam roads the track is insulated and bonded for the desired distance away from the signal and is charged with current from a small battery. On entering this block the train completes the circuit and operates a relay, which connects the motor with the power circuit.