Editor’s note: This is the eighth installment of stories about Fulton Families. The monthly series will tell the stories of families that have either lived in Fulton for ages or perhaps only a short while — but the common bond will be they love the city and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. If you know of a family we should highlight, please email Ashley M. Casey, Valley News assistant editor, at email@example.com.
By Ashley M. Casey
It began with a cow.
Elon K. Rowlee and his bride, Gertrude Candee, received the small cow from Elon’s parents as a wedding present in 1917. Four years later, that cow inspired the start of the Fulton Dairy Farms Co., which lasted more than four decades. Continue reading →
Beth Hilton abruptly resigned her position as executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce effective April 29. The board of directors has appointed Nate Emmons as interim executive director.
Emmons, of Oswego, previously served as the Chamber’s operations coordinator until about two months ago. He and his wife, Lisa, own the Mother Earth Baby boutique in Oswego.
Emmons could not provide any details about Hilton’s sudden resignation. Hilton had served as executive director since 2009.
“I don’t know the circumstances around it. I wasn’t made privy to anything surrounding her departure,” Emmons told The Valley News.
Emmons said he left his previous job with the Chamber two months ago to focus on opening a second location of Mother Earth Baby in Watertown.
Now that the store’s second location is running smoothly, the board of directors contacted him to take Hilton’s place while they search for a permanent executive director. Emmons could not provide a timeline or any details on the board’s search.
“I enjoy the Chamber. I believe in the Chamber’s mission and the board thought I could advance that mission. I’ll try to make that happen,” Emmons said. “I’m here to do the absolute best job I can for the Chamber, its members and the community. I can’t be concerned with anything else right now.”
The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce recently moved to 106 W. Utica St. in Oswego and also has an office at 12 Canalview Mall in Fulton.
Before becoming chamber executive director, Hilton taught a class for University of Phoenix, was general manager of Tanger Factory Outlets, marketing director for the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce and director of sales and marketing for the Wisp Mountain Resort/Hotel.
Operators returned Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station Unit 2 to full power today after successfully completing the station’s spring refueling outage that began in late March.
During the planned outage, roughly 2,200 employees and highly-skilled supplemental workers performed thousands of inspections, maintenance activities, tests and technology upgrades while replacing one-third of the reactor’s fuel. Many of the activities performed during the outage cannot be accomplished while the plant is generating electricity and all are designed to ensure continued safe and reliable operations.
“We work hard all year to plan and execute safe and effective refueling outages and this year was no exception,” said Chris Costanzo, site vice president. “I’m proud of our team for executing another safe outage and I’m thankful to the many local residents who supported us during this busy time.”
Unit 1 continued to operate during the Unit 2 outage. Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station is located in Scriba.
About 1,300 British troops stormed into Oswego May 5, 1814 – 200 years ago this Monday. They were met by a mere 300 Americans.
The British had 222 cannons and other weapons. The Americans had a lowly five cannon and their muskets.
The Battle of Oswego, May 5-6, one of the later battles in the War of 1812, did not go well for the young Americans again fighting the British just 38 years after the start of the Revolutionary War.
But they fought hard, fought valiantly. They did all they could to keep the British out of Oswego. Men died right at the flagpole inside Fort Ontario trying to keep the British away from the American flag.
Paul Lear, manager of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site and an expert on the battle, said while the Americans lost the battle, they did keep the British from attaining their goal.
“The British wanted two things,” Lear said. “They wanted to disrupt the flow of military parts and equipment to Sackets Harbor where the USS Superior and Mohawk were under construction. If they seized cannons, ropes, riggings and ammunition coming through the pipeline they could slow the ship construction and maintain their advantage on Lake Ontario.”
“They also needed food,” Lear said. “They were desperate for food.”
Earlier in the spring, some of the British military hierarchy thought perhaps the best target for an attack would be Sackets Harbor, the large U.S. military bastion on Lake Ontario (it was the U.S. Naval headquarters during the War of 1812) where much of the American shipbuilding was taking place.
But, after thinking about two earlier attacks of Sackets there that did not go well for the British, Commodore James Yeo and Maj. Gen. Gordon Drummond decided to bypass Sackets for Oswego – “an objective of lesser proportions,” said Lear, quoting Yeo and Drummond’s superior, Gen. George Prevost.
So the plan was to attack Oswego.
Lear said Oswego was important during the War of 1812 because shipments of food stuffs, military equipment and ship parts came through Oswego before heading to Sackets Harbor.
Shipments would come from New York City up the Hudson to Albany, over land to Schenectady, onto boats at the Mohawk River to Rome and then Wood Creek. The shipment then would move across Oneida Lake and down the river to Oswego Falls (now Fulton).
Then the material would be moved around the falls and rapids and then back onto the river to Oswego, where it would move onto Lake Ontario for the short trip north to Sackets.
Lear said the British knew attacking Oswego would allow them to cut off these shipments without being hit by a huge military presence like that at Sackets Harbor.
The village of Oswego at the time was the home to about 200 people, most involved in the forwarding or shipping trade, Lear said. “The best salt at the time came from Salina (outside Syracuse),” Lear said, noting Oswego was a prime spot for receiving salt before it was shipped elsewhere.
The village was split in two by the Oswego River – just like today’s city. But there was no Utica Street or Bridge Street bridges – to get from one side of the village to the other, people had to take a ferry.
There were only a couple hundred military men at Oswego at the time and the British knew this. Fort Ontario also was a mess, having fallen into near complete disrepair after being discarded in 1796.
Lear said U.S. Lt. Col. George Mitchell of the 3rd U.S. Artillery, who was in the Niagara Territory, was told to march with 300 men to Oswego to protect supplies and naval shipment being brought through the village. From April 23 through April 30, Mitchell and his men march from Batavia to Oswego.
Upon arrival, Mitchell finds the dilapidated Fort Ontario and five cannons. “He had almost nothing to work with,” Lear said.
On May 5, guards at Fort Ontario see a fleet of ships out in Oswego Harbor.
“The alarm guns go off. Mitchell sounds an alert for the militia to turn out,” Lear said. About 200 or so from surrounding areas such as Hannibal, Sterling and Scriba show up.
The British are getting ready to come ashore when they are hit with something all Oswegonians then and now are used to – a storm.
Lear said the storm actually was a blessing for Mitchell and the Americans. While the British waited in their ships for better weather, the Americans had time to hide much of the equipment, ship parts and food they knew the British wanted in the woods around the village.
Mitchell also set up a large grouping of tents on the west side of the village to give the illusion of more American troops being on hand than there really were.
But Mitchell knew that once the storm passed, the attack would begin in earnest. He was right. Yeo and Drummond loaded men onto smaller boats heading to the shore near where the Fort Ontario post cemetery is today.
Since the water is shallow, the boats had to stop off shore and the British soldiers and sailors had to jump in the water to head to shore. Lear said they tried to keep their weapons dry, but every once in a while they would step into a deeper pocket while walking to shore and go in over their heads.
“The lakeshore became a mass of sodden, red-coated Royal Marines and De Wattevilles (Swiss soldiers) and green-jacketed Glengarries (Canadian Scots) struggling ashore, streaming with water, shaking themselves, and checking their cartridge boxes to determine how much of their ammunition was ruined,” writes Robert Malcomson in his book “Lords of the Lake.”
“Mitchell brought 80 soldiers and 20 sailors down to engage the British line where he got off six or seven crisp volleys,” Lear said. “The other 100 men left the ditch and marched out to join Mitchell’s line when he was about halfway back up the slope, so he wouldn’t get flanked on the right or south side.”
Then the British begin firing back – at least those with guns that still worked.
As the British moved up the hill and closer to the fort, some Americans retreated to the woods.
Others keep fighting. British are coming from different directions and eventually Mitchell realizes the Americans are being overrun. He orders a retreat.
Lear said while the Americans were told to “defend the supplies and water route and not the fort and village,” the soldiers didn’t want the fort and flag to fall. A few Americans “nailed the flag to the pole and stayed by their guns,” Lear said.
“Royal Marine Lt. John Hewett and a burly sergeant were in the van of the raisers as they fought their way toward the lofty flag pole in the center of the fort,” Malcomson writes in “Lords of the Lake.” “Hewett leapt up to the foot rests and scaled the pole, drawing the fire of insulted Americans who succeeded in hitting him several times.”
“Unfazed, Hewett tore the massive Stars and Stripes flag from the nails that held it aloft and it fluttered to the ground to the cheers and huzzahs of his comrades,” Malcomson writes in his book.
Lear said one American, who already had been shot and was on the ground inside the fort, tried to stop Hewett only to be run through with a bayonet.
In all, the Battle of Oswego lasted a mere 16 minutes, Lear said. The Americans retreated, many to Oswego Falls, which is now Fulton. They took many wounded with them.
Lear said the most perplexing thing about the battle is trying to come up with an exact number of casualties. It seems everyone has different numbers. Lear said his research has found the Americans suffered 18 dead by May 30, many dying weeks after the battle from “horrible wounds.”
The British had 90 killed or wounded. They also captured some ship goods, equipment and food, but not the amount they thought they would find.
According to Malcomson’s book, Mitchell and Master Commandant Melancthon Taylor Woolsey thought the British would continue their surge down the Oswego River to Oswego Falls (Fulton) and then to Three Rivers where more goods were stored.
But the British got back on their ships after the Battle of Oswego and headed back to Kingston.
While the British had the upper hand in Oswego, they would meet their match at the end of May in Sandy Creek.
Woolsey’s troops, with help from militia and Oneida Indians, would ambush them there on May 30 in the Battle of Big Sandy Creek, keeping them from capturing any more goods on the way to Sacket’s Harbor.
Fulton Kiwanis baseball will be holding sign-ups for the 2014 season from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday May 3 at the War Memorial.
Director Derek Lyons said Kiwanis baseball will be heading in a new direction this season. Lyons and his group of supporters will be striving to turn its Kiwanis baseball and softball programs into more of a learning experience.
Fulton varsity baseball and softball coaches will be used to help players learn the proper mechanics and throwing, catching, fielding and batting techniques. Lyons said games will still be held, but the program will focus more on skills development.
The 2014 Kiwanis baseball season will begin the week of June 30 and end the week of Aug. 4.
Participants can expect activities two nights a week, including a practice session of station work with varsity and junior varsity coaches.
Games will be played following the practice sessions and on another night of the week as well.
This season, Kiwanis will feature five different leagues. The T-Ball League (eligible to boys and girls ages 4-6), the Grasshopper Minor League (Coaches and Umpires pitch in this league which is eligible to boys ages 7-9) and the Grasshopper Major League (eligible for boys ages 10-12).
Girls softball will have two leagues as part of the Kiwanis baseball program once again this season. In the Minors, coaches and umpires pitch in this league to girls ages 7-9.
Girls ages 10-12 are eligible to participate in the Major League. In terms of participation eligibility, the ages indicated are based on how old a player is on June 24.
Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward met recently with the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s Fulton Project Bloom committee to proclaim Saturday, May 3, 2014 Mayberry Day in the City of Fulton.
Mayberry Day is a beautification project to clean up sand, salt and debris in the city after a long winter. Local businesses as well as organizations, student groups and private citizens have all participated in this clean up.
Groups or individuals interested in participating should call Joann at the Fulton Department of Parks and Recreation at 598-3593 to “register” themselves or their group. They will be assigned an area to work or you may request an area.
This signup helps ensure that all areas needing assistance will be attended to, plus it will provide a meeting spot for clean up and supplies.
Clean up begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 3 and ends at about noon. A representative from each team can pick up supplies at the Chamber office at 12 Canalview Mall starting at 7:30 a.m.
Trash bags will be supplied, with a limited number of safety vests and gloves available. Gloves and brightly colored clothing are recommended.
More information is available by contacting the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 343-7681 and online at www.oswegofultonchamber.com
The Palermo United Methodist Church will host its chicken and biscuit dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1 in the church dining room.
This is a family-style, all-you-can-eat dinner including chicken and gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetable, dessert and beverage.
Takeouts are available and can be reserved by calling 598-4888
The church is located on County Route 35 just off of State Route 3 in Palermo, just north of Palermo Center.
The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center will present a public program about the American woodcock at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, (rain date May 2).
American woodcock advertise courtship intentions by strutting about and emitting a series of nasal peents. With a final “peent,” the male launches into an enthralling flight display to attract hens.
Following a short presentation of woodcock natural history with Pat Carney, facility’s naturalist, attendees will venture to a singing ground to observe and listen to the serenade of this twilight troubadour.
Other spring heralds also will regale us with evening ballads. Program participants should dress for an evening spring walk by wearing jackets, boots and shoes that can get wet and/or muddy.
Assemblyman Will Barclay will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 2 at Believer’s Chapel in Fulton.
Anyone is welcome to donate. To schedule an appointment for the May 2 blood drive in Fulton, call the Red Cross at 343-0967 or sign up online, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood and click on “Schedule an Appointment.”
It takes about 8-10 minutes to give blood with a total time to register and replenish with provided snacks of about an hour and 15 minutes. Donors are encouraged to eat well and hydrate prior to appointment.
An immigrant farmworker who works on an Upstate dairy and an organizer for a local workers’ center will speak at noon Sunday, May 4 at First Universalist Society of Central Square as part of a statewide speaking tour aimed at improving the lives of immigrant farmworkers.
The talk and a brief slideshow will be given by Jose Canas, who is originally from El Salvador, and Rebecca Fuentes, of West Monroe, who is lead organizer for the Syracuse-based Workers’ Center of Central New York.
Canas works at a dairy in Northern New York. Fuentes is the daughter of a farmworker from Mexico.
The program also is part of the Voices for Worker Equality speaker and film series organized by the church, state Route 49 just west of U.S. Route 11, and the workers’ center.
The statewide campaign will include several other dairy farmworkers and is being organized by the workers’ center along with Worker Justice Center of New York, in Rochester.
It coincides with Worker Memorial Day on April 25, May Day on May 1 and Farmworker Advocacy Day on May 5.
The local talk is free, but donations will be accepted to support the workers’ center. Light refreshments will be served.
Girls and boys ages 12-15 are invited to the Montezuma Audubon Center for up to three weeks of Sportsman Education this summer.
Young hunters will get their hunter safety, bow safety and waterfowl identification certificates in three weeks of hands-on learning and outdoor experiences.
The camps will run from July 14 through 31 (Monday-Thursday for each course).
Each week will feature classroom-style learning, covering the basics of each course, enhanced by hands-on outdoor field lessons including orienteering, canoeing, tracking and more.
Participants will also take part in conservation projects that enhance habitats for game and non-game species.
Fee per camper: $100 for one week, $190 for two and $270 for all three. Major support for this program is provided by Bass Pro Shops.
Space is limited and registration is required. Registration forms can be found at http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma. For more information, call 365-3588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Week 1 – Hunter Safety – July 14-17
Week 2 – Bow Safety – July 21-24
Week 3 – Waterfowl ID – July 28-July 31
For more information about the Sportsman Camp or the Montezuma Audubon Center, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma.
The First Congregational Church of New Haven is holding an eat-in or take-out dinner from noon until gone Saturday, May 3.
Preorders are available to be picked up between noon and 2 p.m.
The dinner will contain ½ chicken, pulled pork, pasta salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter. Call 963-3118 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the number of dinners you want. You will receive a call back to confirm your order and to make arrangements for you to buy the tickets needed for your dinner(s).
The church is located at 4250 State Route 104 in New Haven. The church is just west of County Route 6.
The youth group at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Phoenix is having a garage sale May 17.
The youth group is asking if people would donate bottles and cans for the sale. The youths are raising money for a trip to Steubenville, Ohio for a youth rally with about 40,000 other teens. The event, at the Franciscan Univerity of Steubenville, is focused on connecting teens to the sacraments. There is live music by Bob Rice, speakers and Masses.
There is going to be a drop off area on the day of the garage sale in the parking lot behind St. Stephen’s Church. There is also a drop off spot right next to the church if people would like to drop off before or after the garage sale.
Those dropping off should tell the bottle and can business they are dropping off for Team Awesomess of St. Stephen’s church.
The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic for cats, dogs and pet ferrets from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Oswego County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road, Pulaski.
State law requires that all cats, dogs and pet ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age.
A second vaccination is required for cats and dogs within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. Ferrets need to be vaccinated annually.
In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated and should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate to the clinic.