Benjamin Lisk Bessac

Vol. 4, No. 32 As tours of Mt. Albion Cemetery continue every Sunday through the month of August, I noticed a particular headstone that is frequently passed over each year. Progressing up the winding hills towards the Soldiers & Sailors Monument at the peak of the cemetery is a moderately-sized, dark greyish-blue stone that reads “Father – Benjamin L. Bessac, 1807 – 1871.” The stone is rather reserved in comparison to the larger, ostentatious obelisks and monuments that stand around it. Benjamin Lisk Bessac, the feature of this article, was one of the most notable attorneys in Orleans County who

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Communal Company Promoted Early Settlement in Carlton

A pioneer settlement as depicted in the Historical Album of Orleans County (1879) Vol. 4, No. 30 On September 10, 1810, eight men from Stockbridge, Massachusetts signed a contract binding one another to a settlement on the Holland Land Purchase in Western New York. These men were unsure of what they would encounter in the virgin woods of the Genesee Country where land was scarcely settled, and neighbors few and far between. When gazing upon the text of this agreement, the articles read like a manifesto built upon a foundation of communism. Now this is not to say that these

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Demisemiseptcentennial: Mt. Albion’s 175th Anniversary

Vol. 4, No. 29 “We have met to provide a mansion for the dead. We have come out from our quiet homes and the bright sunlight and the crowded streets and all the garish show of life, to this secluded spot to set apart a last final resting place where the weary pilgrim…may come and lay down his burden forever…” – Daniel R. Cady, Esq. Benjamin Franklin once said that there are but two certainties in life; death and taxes. For the pioneers of Albion, the question of a sacred final resting place plagued them from the earliest years of

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Clarendon’s Settlement, a Fortunate Stroke of Serendipity

Volume 4, Issue 3 Of the New York State Historic Markers erected by the NYS Department of Education, the overwhelming majority cover locations deemed significant to the earliest history of Orleans County including Native American and pioneer sites. The marker situated at the Town Park on Holley Byron Road in Clarendon calls attention to one of the earlier settlements in our area. The marker reads, “Farwell’s Mills, here Eldred Farwell, first white settler of town, built the first mills in Clarendon, saw mill in 1811, grist mill in 1813.” While consulting several seminal publications on early Orleans County history, the

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Photograph Showcases Orleans County’s Earliest Settlers

Volume 3, Issue 25 On June 25, 1859, the pioneer inhabitants of Orleans County converged upon Court House Square in Albion with the purpose of establishing an historic association. The Pioneer Association, as it was known, was formulated upon a motion made by the Almanzor Hutchinson of Gaines, which set forth the permanent appointment of officers for the organization. Robert Anderson of Gaines was selected as president, vice presidents representing the nine townships were elected including Lansing Bailey of Barre, Alexander Coon of Shelby, Jeremiah Brown of Ridgeway, Gardner Gould of Carlton, Samuel Tappan of Yates, Shubael Lewis of Clarendon,

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