Monroe High School Yearbooks Online

monroe-hs-1927The Rochester Public Library recently added yearbooks for the first years of Monroe High School in Rochester. The June 1927 class was the first to graduate from the school. Then there would be a January class and a June class to graduate each year after that. RPL does not have a complete run of yearbooks. These are the yearbooks available from RPL in PDF format for the first years:

These yearbooks join other Rochester High School yearbooks already online from East, West, Charlotte and Kodak High Schools that are linked to on this page from RPL.

Old News – Items for the Ladies


Rochester, NY

Friday, April 24, 1914


tilting-teapotPivoted Teapot That Swings For Brewing.

A practical novelty is a pivoting teapot with an upper compartment to hold the tea leaves and an alcohol lamp beneath the pot, with which the water is boiled. At the instant of boiling the flame is extinguished and the teapot tilted backward until the water covers the tea leaves. The teapot is left in this position as long as may be necessary, and when returned to its normal position the tea is ready for drinking and is not further affected to contact with the tea leaves.

To Clean Aluminum Ware.

Aluminum ware may be cleaned by washing in hot water with plenty of soapsuds. It may be polished with a paste of jeweler’s whiting which has been sifted to remove hard particles. Paste may be made with soapy water or water and alcohol or water and ammonia added to the whiting. Spread paste smoothly on surface and polish with soft cloth or chamois skin. Nickel and silver are polished in the same way. Any good metal polish may be used. If this fails, discolorations may be removed with very dilute solution of nitric acid. Never use alkalies such as washing soda or potash in cleaning aluminum.

Bean or Pea Soup.

An excellent soup which costs little or nothing is prepared thus. Soak one cupful of beans or split peas overnight and in morning put to boil in two quarts of water. When well parboiled pour off the water and add fresh. Cook slowly and add water from time to time to keep the required amount. Simmer until the beans or peas are tender enough to pass through a sleeve. Add a pint of milk, a lump of butter, salt and pepper and let boil up once, to be eaten with crackers of toast made from stale bread that happens to be on hand.

Old News – Erie Canal

More news from the past.


Thursday, April 16, 1914

fairport-candy-kitchen-1914Canal Opening May Be Delayed

May 15th is the date officially set for the opening of navigation on the Erie canal, but there is doubt whether through traffic from Buffalo to Albany can open at that time, as there may be delays in the construction of a concrete aqueduct at Medina.

It is said that more than 7,000 yards of concrete must be poured before the canal can be opened at Medina. For the next month day and night shifts will work on the job, but the concrete must all be in place by May 1st, in order to give it time to set before the water is let in.

At Bushnell’s Basin, where the big breaks occurred in 1911 and 1912, sheet piling is being driven to strengthen the banks at several points where weakness has been shown.

Swann VR Collection

Two kinds of cards

Two kinds of cards

I was looking for a Rochester family on FamilySearch and came up with a relatively new source of area vital records.

The Swann Collection is from the Yates County Genealogical  & Historical Society. Their collection contains all kinds of vital records from family records, newspapers and 21 family Bibles. The earliest record in the collection is dated 1723 and the records continue up to 2009. Most of the collection is on 4×6 inch cards (see pictures) of which some are handwritten.

The collection is names for Frank L. Swann (1894 – 1987) who was Historian for Yates County from 1956 until 1980. Mr. Swann was a 40-year newspaper man and had access to many early Yates County newspapers.

Although the collection is centered on Yates County, it contains records for families from Rochester to Syracuse and also the southern tier counties. Check out the Swann Collection and see what family members you can find.

Old Cemetery in Penfield

The old Penfield Presbyterian Church

The old Penfield Presbyterian Church

I recently found out about an old cemetery in Penfield that I hadn’t known existed. I am transcribing an old newspaper column from 1911 and found this reference to the cemetery.:

“The first school house and pioneer burying ground was situated on the southwest corner of the village, and in 1809 when the then “new cemetery” was opened; on land given by General John Fellows many of the dead were removed, but about sixty were unclaimed, and remained until 1824 when the Presbyterian church was commenced. At the solicitation of Mrs. Penfield the sixty unknown or unclaimed dead were removed and placed beneath the church.”

Next I checked Penfield’s Past (1960) by Katherine Thompson and found some similar information but with varying dates. Then I corresponded with the current Penfield Historian, Kathy Kanauer, who added some more information .

Putting all the information together, here is what I found. On the southwest corner of Penfield Road and Five Mile Line Road was a small school house and to the west of that was the old cemetery.It dates back to  1800 or possibly a few years earlier. The church was organized as a Congregational Church in 1806 and then changed to Presbyterian in 1814. Oakwood Cemetery (referred to the “new” cemetery in quote) was begun about 1812 or thereafter. Probably about 1825 the old cemetery was dug up and those graves that could be claimed were removed to Oakwood. There remained the bones of 60 individuals that would have been placed in bone boxes and buried under the red brick Presbyterian Church that was dedicated in April 1826. In 1878 because of dwindling membership the church was sold to the Evangelical society to use as their church. That organization in turn sold the old brick church building in 1914 to Frank Hill who converted it into a three family apartment house. It remained as apartments until at least 1960.

Ms. Kanaur says that an old resident remembered that at one time some bones had been dug up near the cemetery site. More than likely most of the 60 individuals are still under the ground where the church was. Today that would probably be under the garage or parking lot of the auto repair shop that is now on the corner. The only way to be 100% positive that the graves are still there would be to do an archaeological dig. I can’t see that happening anytime soon.

Old News – Small Items

More old news. This time just some small news items.


Thursday, April 9, 1914


Items of General Interest Gathered from our Newsy Exchanges

kodak-brockport-adRochester has acquired a motion picture studio which was incorporated last week with a capitalization of $50,000 and which is the only one between New York an Chicago. The company is in the Newell Building where no doubt residents will now be prepared to see actors hanging from the windows or sliding down roads to the accompaniment of violins issuing from the windows when fire thrillers are being filmed.

It is estimated that in the year just passed the people of this country spent $275,000,000 at the moving picture shows, bring an average of about $3 per capital. Incidentally also, this explains in part the high cost of living.

LeRoy Odd Fellows have settled for the loss of their building which was damaged by the big fire of Feb. 16th for the sum of $3,804.

Miss Meta Reddish, the young LeRoy prima donna who has made such a name for herself in the Grand Opera world in the past year, made her debut a few weeks ago at the Constanzi Theater in Rome where she made a decided impression in Rigoletto.

Cornell is enjoying a record run of German measles.

The Senior Class of Spencerport High School are to present a play entitled “The Colonel’s Maid” to be given at Masonic Hall, Spencerport on April 3rd and 4th.

John S. Gunsaul, a pioneer resident of Fairport died at his home there last week. Having worked his way up from a team driver on the superintendent’s boat on the canal he became superintendent of the section for Fairport and retained the position for 18 years.

The heavy snow storm of March is reported to have cost the city of Rochester $14000, 17000 loads of snow having been drawn away from the downtown streets.

The way of the transgressor was made hard in County Court at Albion last week when no less than six offenders paid heavy penalties for allowing gambling or selling liquor without a license.

Early Rochester Family Records; #5

Early-Rochester-family-recordsI added the fifth page of records from the old newspaper column “Early Rochester Family Records” that were published between 1910 and 1912. The records are on Page 45 of Biographies. Highlights of families on this page are:

  • Goss family of Pittsford
  • William Welch family of Wheatland
  • Horace Bush family of Penfield
  • Lusk family of Penfield (and some additions)
  • Gideon King family of King’s Landing (Rochester)
  • Daniel Penfield family of (where else) Penfield
  • Brainerd family of Rush
  • Hiel Brockway family of Brockport
  • Squire Goff family of Mendon
  • Donald McKenzie family of Caledonia
  • Thomas Faulkner family of Wheatland
  • Peter Sheffer family of Wheatland
  • An early history of Penfield by Henry Ward of Penfield and records of his family
  • Letters relating to the Spear family from 1787 – 1790
  • Revolutionary War pension applications of Josiah Barce, Jacob Anthony, Thomas Averill, Thomas Adams and Joel Baldwin

Plus other short family records.

I still have more of these genealogies to transcribe.