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Town of Clay Historian News

Town Historian Dorothy Heller

HISTORY MYSTERY: SOLOMON KITTLE of CLAY, Confederate Prisoner

 

Solomon was born in 1828 to James and Cornelia Kittle in Morgan Settlement, a small hamlet on the corner of Wetzel and Morgan Roads in the Town of Clay, just 5 years after it was incorporated.  In the late 1830’...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Clay’s Best Kept Secret

 

Over 10 years ago, at an interview with Lockmaster Peter Case at Lock 23, he told me stories of the locks that very few, if any, people know.  First a simple explanation of how a lock functions.  Tunnels at both sides of the lock...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Charles Dence and His Lamps

 

Several years ago, I accessioned a beautiful hand-made wooden lamp.  Attached to it was a piece of masking tape which read, “Charles Dence, 1920’s.”  There must be a story in this, I thought.  I approached Harry Dence, a member...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Morgan School/Brown Children

The photo is of Morgan Schoolhouse in Clay, c.1910. Of particular note is that this rural schoolhouse was not segregated (even though “Jim Crow” segregation laws were in full force in the South and parts of the North at this time)—African-American children attended alongside their White peers. The African-American children...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Dutch Settlement Church

 

Immanuel Lutheran Church had another name when the congregation began in the early 1800’s.  It was called Dutch Settlement Church after the early founders of German descent from Duetschland which means Germany.  A large family of...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Trains in Clay

Train service first came to Clay in November of 1871 when the Syracuse Northern Railroad opened from Syracuse to Sandy Creek. There were three stations in Clay. They were Woodard, just off Buckley Road; Cigarville on Route 31 east of the Historic Park; and Dutch Settlement near Caughdenoy Road and no longer in use after 1098. In 1871,...

HISTORY MYSTERY: Freight Yard Brewing Tap Room

This two-story building was built as a feed mill in 1921 and catered to the needs of area farmers until the mid...

  HISTORY MYSTERY: North Syracuse Library

In 1971, we moved to a wonderful house just eight properties west of this old house made into the North Syracuse Library on Route 11 in North Syracuse. I was a constant visitor...

YOUNG GEORGE WASHINGTON

Doing some research on all that is being written to celebrate his birthday, I found some information that is all new to me on Washington’s part in the French and...

HISTORY OF CLAY POLITICAL PARTIES

The earliest recorded mention of political parties since the founding of Clay was from a New York State Legislature report on its naming. The citizens of Clay in 1827 petitioned the State Legislature to create a town from the western portion of Cicero to be called “Bolivar,” probably after the famous South American...

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