The Otsego Herald for March 15, 1819, compiled, with comments:

Across the Genesee from Rochester

It is with great pleasure we announce to the public that the Carthage Bridge is completed, and that its strength has been successfully tested by the authority designated in its charter of incorporation.

It consists of an entire arch thrown across the Genesee River. ... By a recent admeasurement, it is found that the summit of the arch is 196 feet above the water. It is seven hundred feet in length, and 30 in width. ... The whole structure is braced and bound together in a manner so compact, as to disarm even (every?) cavil of doubts. The arch contains more than 200 tons, and can sustain any weight that ordinary travel may bring upon it.

Loaded teams of more than 13 tons, passed over it together a few days since, and produced very little perceptible tremor. Great credit is due to the contractors, Messrs. Brainard and Chapman, for their persevering and unremitted efforts in accomplishing this work. ... The bridge at Carthage may therefore be pronounced unrivalled in its combined dimensions, strength, and beauty, by any structure of the kind in Europe or America.

The scenery around it is picturesque and sublime; within view from it are three water falls of the Genesee, one of which has 105 feet perpendicular descent. The stupendous banks, the mills and machinery, the forest yielding to the industry of a rising village ... are calculated to fill the mind of a generous beholder with surprise and satisfaction. ...

It presents the nearest route from Canandaigua to Lewiston; it connects the points of the great Ridge Road; it opens the counties of Genesee and Niagara a direct communication ... and renders to village of Carthage accessible and convenient, as a thoroughfare from the east, the west, and the north.

Mr. T. H. Wentworth, a distinguished landscape painter, has lately taken views of the bridge, one of which he intends to publish in a large and elegant engraving. ...

COMMENT: Thomas Hanford Wentworth (1781-1849) was indeed a well-known painter, but I haven’t been able to locate a copy of his engraving of the Carthage Bridge. That is too bad, for bridges — like pride — sometimes go before a fall. In this case the Carthage Bridge “contained a fatal engineering flaw. Not strong enough to withstand the inward pressure created by its arch, the bridge collapsed after standing only 15 months.” Carthage never recovered, and in 1834 was swallowed up by the growing city of Rochester.

New sheriff

The appointment of Pascal Franchot, Esq. to the office of Sheriff of the County of Otsego, cannot but meet with the decided approbation of every well wisher in the true interests of the County. We repeat, with the editor of the Cherry-Valley Gazette, that “if the present administration continue to make such appointments as this, they will deserve, and no doubt receive the unanimous support of the R E A L friend of our republican institution.”

We understand Mr. Franchot will enter upon the duties of his office the present week, and that Mr. Samuel Shaw of Butternuts, will take charge of the Gaol.

COMMENT: Pascal Franchot was born on March 30, 1774 in Chamouilley, France. In 1790, his father, Charles Franchot, brought four of his many sons to America, including Pascal, the youngest. Charles returned to France, but the four settled in the Butternuts area of Otsego County, which had become the haven for many French immigrants fleeing the French Revolution of 1789.

Franchot was an active businessman who established wool and cotton mills, and in 1812 petitioned for a county bank. In 1816, he helped found the Otsego County Agricultural Society and remained deeply involved in its activities. He was a charter member of the Meriden Sun Lodge of the Masons, founded in Butternuts in 1809.

He served as town supervisor of Butternuts in 1801, from 1812-16, and again in 1819, 1821, 1825, and 1828. In 1806 he married Catharina Hansen (1783-1813) and they had eight children. After her death he married her sister Debora Hansen (1787-1862) in 1820 and they had another three children.

There have been numerous descendants, including the 20th century movie star Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone (1905-1968), who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1935).

Though a Federalist, Franchot seems to have been considered as non-partisan, and his choice as sheriff in 1819 was welcomed by both Federalist and Republican newspapers. He was replaced in the middle of his second term of office to make room for the Republican Seth Chase. Pascal Franchot died on August 30, 1855. He and many of his relatives are buried in the Hillington Cemetery in the town of Morris.

‘Distressing calamity’

On Sunday night last, the house of John M’Cord, Esq. in Northeast township, (in Erie County, Pennsylvania) was destroyed by fire, and before they could be rescued from the devouring element, two of his daughters, one 16 and the other 8 years of age, perished in the flames.

Few circumstances can be conceived more affecting to a parent, than a scene like this. We understand the fire caught in the kitchen and had made such progress before discovery, and the wind being high, spread with such rapidity, that some others of the family only saved themselves by leaping out of the window. — Erie Patriot, Feb. 13.

COMMENT: McCord was a prominent early settler there.

‘Singular snow’

Richmond, (Virginia) Feb. 26. Yesterday, we witnessed ... the most singular flakes of snow which we recall ever to have beheld. ... Some of them measured an inch in diameter. The substance of them was uncommonly light — their crystallization, very delicate ... (like) the finest needles, lying together in every direction.

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