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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Preston

Elizabeth Swales-Preston 

April 18, 1902 - 

A 90th Birthday Celebration for Elizabeth Preston

Among the many items I received from Peter Gaylord were a number of newspaper clippings dating back to 1902 and 1905. This particular one reports Elizabeth Preston's 90th Birthday party hosted by her grandson's wife Mrs. Willis T. Gaylord on April 18th, 1902.  All of Elizabeth's children were present except the youngest, John Preston, who at the time was employed by the government in Olcott, N.Y. 

Among the children were Mrs, Willis T. Gaylord ( Mary Preston), of Sodus; Mrs. W.B. Morley (Elizabeth- “Lizzie” Preston , of Sodus Center, George Preston and wife (Anna W. Cleveland)of Canastota, N.Y.; Mrs. E.H. Sentell, (Fanny Preston), of Sodus Point; Mrs. Hattie Lee, (Hattie Preston) of Newark, and Mrs. E.B. Mather,(Anna “Annie” Preston), of Sodus Center.  Several grandchildren and three great grand children - Miss Castelle, and Master Preston Gaylord, of Sodus; and Master Roger Ewing, of Holley, N.Y.

The article goes on to tell of how Mother Preston held the place of honor at the dining table with about 25 guests seated. After dinner other guest came to wish her well as she reminisced about her childhood years telling the story of coming to America in a sailing vessel down the St. Lawrence River, landing at Sodus Point at the age of six. Her family originally settled in Geneva, N.Y. Before her father purchased nearly 1,000 acres along the shores of Lake Ontario in Sodus, N.Y.  At 90 years young, Mrs. Preston retained all of her faculties except her eye sight. She recognized her family and friends by their voices.  She was remarkable for her age. 

At this time, Mrs. Preston was the last of the old people, of a once large and flourishing neighborhood composed mostly of large families and known generally as the Sentell District. 

Below is a copy of the original newspaper clipping of Elizabeth Preston's 90th Birthday Party. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Preston (sitting) Mrs. Mather (standing)

1902 newspaper clip of Elizabeth Preston's 90th Birthday

Monday, March 20, 2017


wine barrel fountain
Spring has sprung!

The Lake Ontario Wine Trail Presents: "Roll out the Barrels" Spring Event

  • Be the first to check out New Spring releases straight out of the barrels.
  • Tastes wines, spirits, and craft ciders.
  • This is a drive yourself, start where you want wine trail event.
  • Five wineries, two craft ciderworks, and a distillery 
  • April 1 & 2, 2017
  • 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  • Tickets $15pp (click here to purchase tickets online)
  • Make it a weekend get-away at Maxwell Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast AND -
  • Get 10% Off your total stay during this event (March 31 - April 2, 2017)
Remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.
Hope to see you on the Lake Ontario Wine Trail!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Part IV - A Treasure Trove of History; Letters from the Past

writing by candlelight with feather pen

A Letter From George Appleyard Esq. to Elizabeth 1864

This is the 3rd hand written letter recently given to me by the ancestors of our home - The Preston-Gaylord Cobblestone Farm House. Once again, I have not changed any spellings of the words written by George Appleyard to Elizabeth to keep the authenticity of this beautifully hand written letter. Furthermore, I'm unsure as to which Elizabeth George is writing to as Elizabeth's second daughter's name is Elizabeth. However, the family called her Lizzie.  Lizzie was born in Sodus, NY on March 29, 1838 and would have been 26 at the time of this letter.  You'll remember that I shared a letter from Lizzie to her sister Fannie in January. And, Elizabeth Swales Preston not only has an older sister named Mary, but has a daughter named Mary.  George speaks of giving his love to her sister Mary at the end of his letter. 

The date of this letter is March 1864. Elizebeth Swales Preston's husband, John Preston is still alive during this time.  George writes to Elizabeth in sort of a longing and romantic way saying that she was his first and he has not taken another as he had one for 42 years.  I wonder if George was courting Elizabeth at one time before she married John. He talks of knowing her father back in England. It also sounds like he is a bit older than her.  If it's Lizzie he writes to in some ways this would make sense, but her mother immigrated to Sodus at the age of 6 with her father, William Swales and mother Sarah.  I'm still trying to figure out who George Appleyard, Esq. is and how he is associated with the Preston's. Stay tuned!

Note that George uses every square inch of the paper that he wrote on; even writing up the side of the letter over previously written words. Also, there's no punctuation or indication of the end of a sentence and the beginning of another, so I have left a couple of spaces to indicate this. He also misspells words and then spells them correctly in the same sentence. 

Rochester March 4, 1864
Mr. George Appleyard Esq
My Dear beloved Elizabeth I take my pen in hand to address a few lines to you hoping they will find you well as they leave me at the present  thank you for it but I ham (am) very busy on the farm that I bought last week   I have three men plowing and puting in three seed and corn and potoes  I ham (am) planting 20 acars of potoes 20 acars weate  spring wheat now   my Dear beloved Elizebeth  I have though about a short time witch I heaven tuok a women againe  you was my choice witch the very first time I saw you   Now my Dear I did think I would not take  a nother  I had my last one 42 years   I thought I never get such one agane but I will try agane   Now Elizebeth I have bought this farm for home for my self and Wife and famley   after I ham lade in the ground and it will be a good home   there is 100 acars   I pay one thousands for it cash down so I have it without any incomberence   theare is not such a farm in Sodus nor County of Geeneso (Geneseo)   the plase they call it Mountmors (Mt. Morris) as beautfull a contry as ever did see   I never nothing to come up to it fine prospect all round it   it is just 30 miles from Rochester 30 miles from Rochester tow Sodus  that is 60 miles   that like nothing now love  If I live till back end of the week I shall come and a nother young gentleman with me  I shall going my houn (own) horse and bugey  now love you can make up your mind in litle time because I must have one because I shall keep six and eight cows from 10 to 12 hogs one spar of horses  from 50 to 60 sheep geese turkes and pultry    there is 5 acars of orchards all cind of fruit in peache plums cherry wall nuts  abundans guseeberry corrsbery    all kind of berrys and abundans of Quinches    I ham fixing the house and painting papring every room but the kitchen   as for the carpeting you can have your wish when you come    I want to hire one of John Loley boys the year round   I want to hire a nice girl year round   16 or 17 years ould     now I ham writing to you penaptes  (I think he means panoptes; which in Greek Mythology means "all seeing one.  To describe being subject to strict scrutiny in ones actions)  you have engaged at the same time but it make litle matter to me   I want one of my oun contry     as for farther was brought up at next vilige to me that I now all about him   you Mother Farther I new him in England    now my love after harvest we will go hover to England and spend three or four months witch we will have a good time  witch we shall have peple will very glad to see us   my oulds son that lives in the same township wheare your was brought up and your Farther as relations in the same plase    well Dear I think that all at the presant excpt the same from your well wisher George Appleyard    give my love to your Uncall John Rigboon and his Wife and your Sister Mary and her husband.

Letter from George Appleyard Esq pg1

Letter from George Appleyard pg2