Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coming Attractions

I have found that unless I put in writing what I plan to do I will keep putting it off. My off-and-on work on this blog is a good example of what I mean. I have a number of items that I want to work on but just keep putting it off to tomorrow (and the day after that, . . .). Let's see if this works. In the near future you will be seeing some of these:
  • Railroad service in Rochester in the 19th century.
  • Correspondence to and from Josephus Requa, a Rochester dentist, member of the 54th Regiment and inventor of a machine gun during the Civil War.
  • Famous persons buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
  • The Catholic cemeteries in Rochester before the opening of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
  • The history of Rochester's Shop School, my father's high school.
Let's see if this works!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

St. Patrick's in Rochester

In a recent post concerning my great-grandfather's family, I noted that "for the entire time since Patrick and Mary moved to Rochester, the family were members of the Immaculate Conception Church." For this I was incorrect. For their early time they were parishoners at St. Patrick's which was on Platt Street. That location is now a Kodak parking lot for either Kodak Office or Camera Works (if Camera Works is still there).

Happy Birthday Rochester!

Today is the 175th birthday of the city of Rochester, NY. Today in 1834 the New York State Legislature passed An Act to Incorporate the City of Rochester. The Act, included in the City Directory for 1834, is available on-line at the Monroe County Public Library web site.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Great-grandfather: Patrick M. Eagan

Patrick M. Eagan and his Family

My great-grandfather, Patrick M. Eagan, was, as far as we know, the first of our Eagan family in America. He was born on the 16th of either November or December in 1828, in Ireland. The conflict in the month of his birth is between 1900 Federal Census for NY, which states November, and his tombstone in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, which states December.
Patrick's wife, Mary Tierney, the daughter of John and Mary Tierney, was also born in Ireland on March 17, 1829.
We do not know where in Ireland either Patrick or Mary came from. I recall that when I was young I asked my father where his family came from in Ireland and he said that he was not sure but thought that it was County Kerry. Whether he was referring to both of his Eagan grandparents or just Patrick I don't know. Census records for the Eagan family just note Ireland as their birthplace.
Although we are not sure when Patrick and Mary came to the United States, we do know that they were in Medina, NY in 1853 when their oldest child, Catherine Jane was born in January of that year. I have assumed that Patrick and Mary were probably married in about 1852 based on the 1900 Federal Census and the date of the birth of their first child, Catherine Jane.
The earliest record I have been able to find for Patrick and Mary is Catherine's baptismal record from St. Mary's Church in Medina, Orleans County, NY. It is not yet known when the Eagan's left Medina but they were in Rochester, NY by 1860 according to the 1860 Federal Census for New York. This census, taken on June 27th of that year found the Eagans living in Rochester's 8th Ward, and probably in the Atkinson and Prospect Streets area. Patrick, a moulder, listed as “Patrick Eagin,” declared real estate valued in the amount of $1,100, and a personal estate in the amount of $100. Not a rich man but certainly not a pauper. (It is interesting to note that, according to the 1865 New York State Census, while their neighbors all had frame houses, the Eagan house was brick.) This census of 1860 showed living at home, in addition to his wife Mary, three children: Jane, 8 years old; James, 6 years old; and my grandfather, Stephen, 4 years old.
The Rochester City Directory of 1863-4 lists Patrick Eagan as a "moulder" and the Eagan family lived at the corner of Prospect and Atkinson Streets. This neighborhood in the 1860's was predominately Irish. Neighbors in 1865, for example, were the McMullen, Beamish, and Lewis families, the heads of these households and their wives having been born in Ireland.
Entries in the City Directories from 1864 to at least 1901 note that Patrick was a grocer and his grocery was, at different times, at number 55 and number 82 Prospect Street. The 1883-4 directory listed a "Eagan & Lamont (P. M. Eagan & C. A. Lamont), grocers" at the 55 Prospect Street location. The partnership was short-lived, however, as the 1885-6 directory noted that Charles Lamont died on September 2, 1884 at the age of 24.
The 55 Prospect Street location was also the Eagan home until about 1884-5 when they moved to 110 Atkinson Street. At the time of Patrick's death, on June 1, 1903, the family lived at number 108 Atkinson Street where they had moved to in 1891-2.

108 Atkinson Street

110 Atkinson Street

Between the 1860 and 1870 Federal Census, Patrick and Mary had three children all of which died very young: Ellen, born in 1863 and died in 1864; Cecilia, born in 1865 and died in the same year; and Fannie, born in 1866 and died in 1868.
In the 1870 Federal Census for Rochester, taken on June 22 of that year, five children were living at the 55 Prospect Street home: Catherine, 17 years, at home; James, 15 years, at school; Stephen, 13 years, at school; Mary, 9 years; and Sarah, 1 year. Later in the year in September, Mary died. In the 1880 Census the only Eagan children living at home was Sarah who was 11 years of age and she was attending school. In the decade between the 1870 Census and 1880 Census, two additional children were born and both died young: Francis born in 1871 and died in the same year; and William born and died in the next year.
The 1900 Federal Census noted that Mary Eagan had ten children although only three were still alive.
For the entire time since Patrick and Mary moved to Rochester, the family were members of the Immaculate Conception Church on South Plymouth Boulevard (today Frederick Douglass Street).
Patrick died on June 1, 1903, and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle carried the following obituary for Patrick in its June 3, 1903 edition:

EAGAN - On Monday, June 1, 1903, Patrick M. Eagan, aged 75 years.- The funeral will take place from the family residence, No.108 Atkinson Street, Thursday morning at 8:30 o'clock and at the Immaculate Conception Church at 9 o'clock.
Mary, as a result of a broken hip caused by a fall, developed pneumonia and died on August 24, 1917. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle carried the following obituary in its August 26, 1917 edition:

EAGAN - At the family residence, No. 108 Atkinson Street, Friday August 24, 1917, Mary Eagan, widow of Patrick Eagan, aged 88 years. She is survived by two daughters, Sara (sic) and Mrs. John C. King.- The funeral will take place Monday morning at 8:30 o'clock from the house and at the Immaculate Conception Church at 9 o'clock. Automobiles.
Both Patrick and Mary are buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Lake Avenue, Rochester in Lot 6, Section 6, along with nine their children (Catherine is buried in her husband's family plot which is adjacent to the Eagan family plot) and some of their grand-children and the grand-children's spouses.
In 1838, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Rochester purchased a 21 acre plot for burials on Pinnacle Hill and members of the city's “Irish” parishes – including St. Patrick's – were buried in this cemetery, and that included six of the Eagan children: Mary Ann, Ellen Elizabeth, Cecilia, Fannie Ester, Francis Patrick, and William Joseph. In 1871, Bishop McQuaid decided that the Catholic families of Rochester would be better served by a single burial grand so a large plot of farmland on both sides of what is now Lake Avenue became Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Following the cemetery's dedication, bodies from the Pinnacle Cemetery were removed and reburied in Holy Sepulchre.

Eagan Monument in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery

Children of Patrick and Mary Eagan:

i Catherine Jane EAGAN
ii James EAGAN
iii Stephen
iv Mary Ann EAGAN born 28 Aug 1860, and died 28 Sep 1870.
v Ellen Elizabeth EAGAN born 3 Feb 1863, and died 3 Jul 1864.
vi Cecilia EAGAN born 10 Mar 1865, and died 27 Mar 1865.
vii Fannie Ester EAGAN born 16 Mar 1866, and died 17 Oct 1868.
viii Sarah L. EAGAN .
ix Francis Patrick EAGAN born 23 Feb 1871, and died 22 Jun 1871.
x William Joseph EAGAN born 11 Jun 1872, and died 10 Jul 1872.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rochester, NY Bridges on the Genesee River - Part 2

We looked at a number of the bridges crossing the Genesee River in Rochester going North from the Balantyne Rd. bridge to the Main Street bridge. Let's continue on from the Sister Cities bridge to the Hojak bridge.
  • Sister Cities Pedestrian Bridge - This pedestrian bridge, little used and in disrepair was dedicated in 1975. In 2006 the bridge was renamed the Frank and Janet Lamb Sister Cities Bridge, in honor of Rochester's 61st mayor and his wife.
  • Andrews Street Bridge - The original bridge on the Andrew St. site, a wooden truss bridge, was built in 1826. An iron bridge replaced the original in 1857 and the current stone structure was built in 1893.
  • I-490 Inner Loop - This bridge is located just south of the High Falls of the Genesee River. It was near this area that a number of mills were located in the city's early years.
  • Railroad Bridge - This bridge parallels the Inner Loop and is Amtrak line running east and west through Rochester. The bridge actually has three tracks on it.
  • Pont de Rennes Pedestrian Bridge - This bridge, named after one of Rochester's sister cities in France, was created in 1982 from what then was the Platt Street Bridge, a truss bridge. The original bridge was erected in 1891. The street that crosses the bridge in additional to Platt Street is also called Morrie Silver Way, the individual who was instrumental with keeping the Rochester Red Wings International League team in Rochester. Before reaching the Genesee River on the west side the street passes Frontier Field, the present home of the Red Wings.
  • Smith Street (Bausch Street) Bridge - This site on the Genesee River has had a bridge since 1873 when the Vincent Street Bridge was erected. This truss bridge was used until 1892 when it was deemed unsafe by the Commission of Public Works. A second truss was added, thereby strengthening the bridge and it was reopened and renamed the Smith Street Bridge. The current bridge at this location was replaced by the steel Bausch Street Bridge in 1930.
  • Driving Park Bridge - A number of bridges have been erected at the site of the current Driving Park Bridge, the first being the wooden Cartage Bridge erected in 1819. At the time it was the 196 ft above the river and described as "one of the wonders of the world." It was apparently not much of a "wonder" as it collapsed after only fifteen months. In 1827 another wooden bridge was erected to replace the Cartage Bridge but that, located much lower and closer to the falls, was washed away by flood. In 1835 a third wooden bridge was erected and that too was washed away by flood. The next was a suspension bridge which was opened in 1857 but collapsed the following year. In 1919 a wrought iron bridge was erected and that lasted until 1989 when it was demolished and replaced by the current span.
  • Veterans Memorial Bridge - At this location the old Veterans Memorial Bridge is a part of the Keeler Expressway (Route 104). The original Veterans Memorial was built in 1931. In addition to the motor traffic, there is a pedestrian over the river in the same location.
  • Seneca Maplewood Gorge Foot Bridge - The foot bridge, as its name implies, provides a pedestrian path over the Genesee River from Seneca Park on the east side to Maplewood Park on the west side. I don't know when this bridge was erected but I do not recall it being there when I lived in the city (until 1970).
  • Patrick O'Rorke Memorial Bridge - This bridge replaced the Stutson Street Bridge in 2004. It is crosses the river at Pattonwood Drive about a block south of Stutson Street. The Stutson Street Bridge, a lift bridge, was erected in 1916 shortly after Charlotte was annexed into the city. The new O'Rorke bridge was named after one of Rochester's Civil War heroes. Patrick O'Rorke, a native of County Cavan, Ireland, came with his family to Rochester. After public school education in Rochester he was appointed to West Point where he graduated first in his class in 1861. He commanded the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry and was killed on the second day at the Battle of Gettysburg on Little Round top. He is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Lake Avenue.
  • Hojak Bridge - This railroad bridge is a swing bridge is in the center of the Genesee River near the entrance to Lake Ontario and is in a permanently opened position. The bridge was built for the New York Central Railroad in 1905 for the Hojack line that ran from Niagara Falls to Oswego. Although the bridge is no longer used for any railroad, there is currently an effort underway to save the bridge as a tourist site.
Additional informational concerning the Genesee River bridges is available at Vintage Views of Rochester.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Income Taxes

Although I had figured out my Income Taxes for this year in February, today I printed the forms and wrote the check but will absolutely not put it in the mail until Wednesday, the 15th. I don't have a refund due. In fact I owed an additional $917. I am at a loss as to how some folks will set their withholding rate such that they receive a refund after filing. Providing the federal government with a interest-free loan for a part of the year is, to my mind, asinine. Why not put that small amount every week, month or so in a savings account and at least draw some interest. Oh, well. Some folks fail to think.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Rochester, NY Bridges on the Genesee River - Part 1

I knew that there were a number of bridges crossing the Genesee River in Rochester. Most are traffic bridges and some railroad bridges. One type that I was nor aware of were pedestrian bridges. I don't recall any pedestrian bridges when I lived there but there may have been some. The bridges from the southern boundary of the city north to Lake Ontario are:
  • Balantyne/Jefferson Rd. Bridge - This first bridge I find is actually located in the Town of Henrietta and is not in the city. When I lived in Rochester this bridge was a two lane truss bridge built in 1913 but has since been replaced by a four lane rigid frame type.
  • Conrail Bridge - Just up-river from the Balantyne Rd. Bridge is a railroad bridge for one of the Conrail lines in Rochester. The line crosses Scottsville Rd., the Genesee River and East River Rd. This Conrail line goes east to Fairport and then follows the Erie Canal east.
  • Interstate-390 - I-390, the Outer Loop (we'll see the Inner Loop soon), crosses the river just south of the Erie Canal.
  • Erie Canal - Obviously not a bridge but a significant crossing of the Genesee River. The Erie Canal crossing here is the city line and also at this point Scottsville Rd. changes to Genesee St. This location at the southwest corner of the city was not the original site of the canal. It's original route took it to downtown Rochester where it crossed the Genesee in an aqueduct. The route was changed in the early 1900's.
  • Elmwood Ave - This bridge in the northern portion of Genesee Valley Park takes motorists from the 19th Ward area on the west side to the University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital area on the east side. The original bridge, a iron truss bridge, was constructed in 1888. The original truss bridge was replaced by a rigid frame type in the 1930's.
  • Pedestrian Bridge to University of Rochester - This bridge, also called the South River Corridor Pedestrian Bridge, was built in 1991 to link the 19th Ward to the University of Rochester.
  • Erie Lackawanna Railroad Bridge - According to a study done for the City of Rochester to investigate the use of this bridge site as a part of the Genesee Riverway Trails complex, a railroad bridge has been at this location on the Genesee River since the 1850s. The current bridge has been there since the early 1900s and was in use for freight until 1971.
  • Ford Street - This bridge, previously called the Clarissa St. bridge, was built in 2000. The original bridge at this point was a wooden truss bridge built in 1844. In 1862 an iron bridge was built at the same site, and this in turn was replaced in 1892 with an iron truss bridge. Finally, the Clarissa St. Bridge that I remember was built in 1918.
  • I-490 Inner Loop - Because the Inner Loop does, as its name implies, loop around the downtown area of Rochester, we will find another I-490 bridge as we move north on the river. This particular location was the site of the Troup-Howell Bridge prior to the construction of the Inner Loop. Troup-Howell was constructed in 1954 and had major renovations as part of the Inner Loop until its replacement by the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge in 2007. (This is without a doubt one of the longest bridge names I have ever heard!)
  • Court Street Bridge - The original Court Street Bridge was a plank bridge which was replaced by a truss bridge in 1858 and the current bridge (with alterations and renovations), a stone arch bridge, was built in 1893.
  • Broad Street Bridge - This is probably one of the most interesting bridge on the Genesee River. This bridge was built on top of the Erie Canal aqueduct. This is the site of the original crossing of the Erie Canal over the Genesee River. When the canal was rerouted to the southern part of the city in 1919, the canal bed was sold to the city for use as part of a subway system. Tracks were laid, a concrete roof was built over the top and that became Broad Street.
  • Main Street - When I grew up in Rochester one could not see the Genesee River as Main Street crossed it. Today there are no buildings on the bridge and one can see the river.
The Main Street bridge is probably a good place to stop for now. A follow-on post will talk about the additional eleven bridges that cross the Genesee in Rochester.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Trivia: 10 Downing Street is the official residence of whom?

Just a bit of trivia for today. No. 10 Downing St. is the official residence of which member of the UK government? You say, the Prime Minister? Actually No. 10 is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury. Usually, but not always, the Prime Minister serves as the First Lord of the Treasury and in that case the Prime Minister resides at No. 10. Actually there is no official residence of the Prime Minister.

Next door to No. 10 is No. 11 Downing St. is the official residence of the Second Lord of the Treasury. Usually, but not always, the post of Second Lord of the Treasury is held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.