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October 24, 2013

Ithaca junior does film thesis on Springfield

On Friday, Oct. 18, Danny Doran, a Junior at Ithaca College came to the Springfield Historical Society to meet with us and discuss his thesis project.

He is a film-maker and will be researching a story, in letters found in a tin, regarding the Mary Young “stone baby,” and Dr. David Little of Springfield.

A book was written on this topic, which had the names changed and the location, entitled “Canal Town.” The found letters were in the trash in Rochester. His mother, who was more interested in the decorative tin, retrieved them. Upon inspection, the letters led him to this story and ultimately he will bring it to life with a documentary for his senior project.

We located the grave of Mary Young and her parents in the Middle Village Cemetery. Susan Miller, Town Historian for Cherry Valley spoke with him in the morning and led him to Dr. Little’s grave, which is in Cherry Valley.

He also had a chance to speak with people at NYSHA and took footage of the “stone baby,” which is housed at NYSHA.

It was reported that Mary Young was with child, and her father, denied this. After Mary didn’t give birth, Dr. Little’s career was reportedly ruined. When Mary died at age 27 in 1817 of Yellow Fever, Dr. David Little and Moses, his slave, dug up her body and produced the “stone baby.” The stone baby then went to Albany and later was returned to NYSHA and is reportedly one and the same.

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