The Otsego Herald for Jan. 18, 1819, compiled, with comments:
But Not For Long
The bridge at Carthage, Ontario county, is nearly completed. A correspondent of the Recorder in that county, says, “It will almost rank with one of the wonders of the world. The banks on each side of the river (Genesee) are 200 perpendicular feet in height — 350 feet from bank to bank — across which was thrown one entire arch, from the centre of which to the water is 270 feet.”
The project of this vast work was considered truly chimerical; — and the accomplishment of it has disappointed the expectation of the most calm and calculating,
COMMENT: First of all, the “Carthage” of this article was really Carthage Landing, Monroe County, once a major Lake Ontario port. In 1817 (when the village contained all of 40 houses) $16,000 was raised to construct a wooden arch toll bridge. Completed in 1819, it was 718 feet long, and almost 200 feet above the Genesee River. Celebrated (at least by Carthage Landing residents) as “the eighth wonder of the world,” it briefly attracted tourists going to and from Niagara Falls.
Alas — after only 15 months — the bridge collapsed! Carthage Landing, which once hoped to compete with Rochester, never really recovered from the loss, and when, in 1834, Rochester became a city, it swallowed it up. Happily, the impressive Veterans Memorial Bridge was completed in 1931, at last granting Carthage Landing’s dream of crossing the Genesee River.
On Friday, the 4th (January), about 700 men ... formed a hunting party. The signal for proceeding was given on Frenchtown Mountain (Bradford County, Pennsylvania), which was answered by all the horns of the hunters, comprising a circuit of 40 miles, in the space of 15 minutes.
The hunters then progressed towards a centre in Wysox township (also in Bradford County), shooting and driving the game before them, until the circle became too small to use guns with safety.
The animals were then attacked with bayonets fixed on poles, clubs, pitchforks, &c. with such success that nearly 300 Deer, 5 Bears, 9 Wolves, and 11 Foxes were killed.
It was calculated that 500 Deer, 10 Bears and 20 Wolves escaped, together with a great number of smaller animals. The expedition was attended with many circumstances highly interesting to hunters, and closed, as usual, with great mirth.
COMMENT: So 700 men killed about 325 animals, which leads me to suspect that the “mirth” was the main feature of the event. Would this be legal today? And the guns were used only for making noise. What would the National Rife Association think?
Fire in Decatur
The Blacksmith shop belonging to Mr. Pliny Hitchcock, of Decatur, in this county, was a few days since burnt to the ground. The building was about 20 feet by 40, and very commodious.
The loss of Mr. Hitchcock was considerable; but by the liberality of his neighbors, he was enabled to see another building of the same dimensions immediately erected on the same ground. The timber was taken from the tree, and in two or three days the building was complete. — Communicated (by a reader).
COMMENT: Pliny Hitchcock (1779-1849) came from Massachusetts, and in 1802 married Sarah Hiscock, who bore him five children between 1805 and 1813. Then, in 1816, he married Millicent Howe in Decatur, Otsego County, who bore him another six children between 1817 and 1829. He then moved west, and in Batavia married Mrs. Lucretia Clapp. He died in November 1849 in Parma, Monroe County, where he had become a farmer.
Died — in Middlefield, on the 17th (January) Miss MELISSA CHELES, aged about 18, daughter of Mr. John Cheles.
Died — In this town, on the 16th (January) Miss BETSY CLARK, aged 17, daughter of Mr. Abel Clark.
The subscriber thinks it is his duty to inform the public, that he has found his absent daughter, in Cherry-Valley, in a comfortable and respectable situation on the 22d (January). Those kind citizens who have assisted in the discovery, will be pleased to accept my warmest thanks. JOHN COCKETT. Hartwick, January 23, 1819.
COMMENT: John Cockett was born about 1776, and died in Hartwick on Dec. 26, 1836. He owned a cotton mill in Hartwick, established in 1814, which employed three men at $6 a week, and 30 women at $1.75 a week. No employees were under 12 years old and 80 people were supported. the mill produced 150,000 yards of cloth a year.
The mill was about two miles south of Hartwick Seminary, in what was then known as Cockettville. In 1840 it was sold to William Clinton, and its name was changed (and remains) Clintonville. It then produced about 624,000 yards of cotton cloth a year. Eventually, it became the Clintonville Power Company (supplying Cooperstown with its first electricity), until the dam washed out in 1914 and the plant was closed.
Snow in the South
Three or four inches of snow fell at Darien, Georgia, on the 28th December. In some parts of Virginia, snow has fallen this season more than 12 inches in depth. This is more than has fallen in any part of the northern states this season.
A new form of lock
An alarm lock has been invented in Philadelphia, which, while it is so constructed that it cannot be picked, may be fixed so as to give an alarm when an attempt is made to open it.