Inside Front Cover
Norwood's Centennial Committee
1972 Centennial Ceremonies
Early Land History
Norwood's FoundersJames Symonds
Walks and RoadwaysNorwood Street Survey
The Racquetteville Water Company 1962-1872
Racquetteville Grows Up
- How Norwood Received Its Name
- by Marcia Eggleston
- St. Andrew's Catholic Church
- by Marcia Murray
- and the Growth into the Norwood Community
by R. Cota
- by Leo E. Hickey
- by Bob Haggett, Manager
- by Joseph Swan
- by Joseph Liotta
- by Duane and David Shoen
- by Mrs. Clark Bowhall
- by Historian Helen Deugaw
- by James H. McFaddin
List of IllustrationsAerial View of Norwood (see front cover)
Early Plan of Racquetteville
Benjamin G. Baldwin
Home of Benjamin G. Baldwin
1865 Plan of Racketville
A publication such as this cannot give a detailed story on any subject. Of necessity each account must be very brief. Additional information may be found in the Norwood Museum in any one of a number of illustrated volumes compiled over the past years.
Norwood began in the early 1800 's with the arrival of New England farmers, and with the coming of the railroads in the 1850 's, progressed to become a railroad center and industrial village surrounded by many out lying prosperous farms. This pattern of living continued into the first quarter of this century when the increased use of the automobile spelled doom for the railroads and other factors lead to the closing of the mills.
The Village of Norwood has survived an earthquake, severe fires, floods and mild depression but recovered to become a friendly residential village. Men and women make their homes here and commute to their places of work in area schools, hospitals, offices, stores and a variety of manufacturing establishments.
We are proud of Norwood 's history and confident of its future.
- Susan C. Lyman, Municipal Historian, 1995
The year 1972, marked Norwood's hundredth birthday, an event marked with a July Fourth three day week-end of special events to observe this once in a hundred years occasion. Norwood's first local history booklet, The Story of Norwood, N. Y, was published and now, in 1995, this updated version is printed.
Norwood artist Sherwood Smith hosted the first Craft Fair to be held in Northern New York when some 20 artisans accepted his invitation to demonstrate their skills and exhibit their handiwork. Nearly 2,000 persons visited the Norwood Grade School to see the glassblower, leather worker, doll worker and others at work at their art.
All events planned to commemorate the Centennial Year were arranged by Richard L. French and his committee, each a delegate from the churches, civic, social groups, clubs and organizations of the village. They were: Catherine Logan, Lloyd Stanford, Carolyn Trimm, Roy Trimm, Frank Penny, Marjorie Walsh, Thomas Roth, Wilma Ginn, Julian and Fannie Ruger, Donna LaRue, Louise F. Chase, Ted Jay, Robert Frost, Claire Ginn, Earl K. Drew, Maurice Fullerton, Laura Roberts, Eleanor Royce, Helen Regan, Claire Dockum, E.D. Stowell Sr., Arch C. Royce, Mildred G. Miner, Roscoe Bowhall, Jeanne A. Nicholson, Elizabeth T. Bancroft, Royal J. Lyman, Janine McDonald, Brenda Zagrobelny, Sister Jane Frances and the sisters of St. Joseph, Marjorie Bowhall, Laura Phalen, Marion N. Cranston, Peter Chatell, Village Historian Susan Lyman.
Those who have assisted in this update are noted with their by-line. Thank you to the St. Lawrence County Historical Association for the use of their computer resources in publishing this 1995 edition.
Friday, June 30, 1972
7 p.m. - Opening ceremonies; Ice cream social - What Cheer Lodge #689 F. &A.M. and Lyra Chapter #230 0.E.S.; Concert: Norwood Fire Department Band and the Tri-Town Singers
Saturday, July 1, 1972
1 0 a.m. - Opening of the traditional Craft Fair at the Norwood Elementary School, - Sherwood Smith, Chairman. N.Y.S. Council on the Arts; Sponsors.
I p.m. - Museum opens, Chicken Barbecue at St. Philip's Church, and Smorgasbord at K. of C. Hall by American Legion and Auxiliary
2 p.m. - Craft Fair open until 4:30
3 p.m. - Antique car show with parade & short train rides for children
Alumni Dance at the American Legion Post 9 p.m. - ?
Sunday July 2, 1972
Morning - Long Table, Hosted by St. Andrew's church organizations Noon - Craft Fair open until 2:30 p.m.
Monday July 3, 1972
Afternoon - Open House: Norwood Library and Museum, Judging of Brothers of the Brush, and Dedication of Norwood water pollution control plant
7:30 p.m. - Tri-Town singers concert at Municipal Building
8:30 p.m. - Block Dance by the Norwood "Brass Firemen"
Tuesday July 4, 1972
Annual Norwood Fire Department Celebration with joint parade
All of what is now Norwood was once Indian country, a part of a vast hunting and fishing territory of rival Indian tribes, the Adirondacks and Iroquois being the chief contenders. The Raquette River was full of fish and the forests full of game.
By 1650 the Iroquois had driven the Adirondacks into Canada and the Mohawks, one of the Iroquois tribes, claimed northern New York as their territory, their headquarters were in the Mohawk Valley. The profusion of Indian pottery, clay pipes and other artifacts uncovered on the Dublin Road Haggett farm are certain indication that an Indian village was once situated on the ridge sloping down to the river. Local legend calls this village Ka-na-ta-seke, meaning New Village, and tells of final skirmishes of the French and Indian War taking place there. However an anthropologist from an area college dates the village as much earlier.
After the four "French and English Wars" Great Britain, represented by the Province of New York, was the owner of northern New York. The American Revolution drove the British out and left the State of New York in possession of hundreds of thousands of acres of land "in the wilderness" unknown, unsurveyed and unsettled, with an English possession, Canada, just across the St. Lawrence River.
Deeming it advisable to get the land sold and settled as quickly as possible, a land sale was held in New York City in 1787, even before Washington became president, and almost the whole area went to one man, Alexander Macomb. He made two large land purchases, one in 1787 and the other in 1792, and through purchase and private agreements acquired title to the Ten Towns already established by New York State as well as most of Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and part of Oswego Counties.
The Ten Towns, each ten miles square, involved in Macomb's original purchase were Louisville, Stockholm, Potsdam, Madrid, Lisbon, Canton, Dekalb, Oswegatchie, Hague (Morristown) and Chambray (Gouverneur).
Mr. Macomb had over extended his resources and was compelled to call on wealthy New York City men, about 25 of them, to help him out. One of these men, William Constable, in 1792 bought Potsdam, Madrid, part of Louisville and part of Stockholm for 1500 English pounds and he immediately began to sell the land, including the Town of Potsdam, in smaller size tracts. A wealthy and large New York City family, the Clarksons, bought most of Potsdam. A strip along the Potsdam-Madrid Town line had been divided in two parts and sold the west part to the Ogdens and the east part which includes a small portion of Norwood to Charles LeRoux. The boundary between the Clarkson and LeRoux Tracts ran almost to the northwest corner of River Street and in a south westerly and north easterly direction across Bernard Avenue, Prospect Street almost to the Main Street end and across North Main Street to the Norfolk Town Line.
The Clarksons in turn began to sell their big holdings. One of the purchasers was Benjamin G. Baldwin who bought just south of the Clarkson-LeRoux Tracts in a series of six good size purchases.
LeRoux also sold smaller tracts; one purchaser was James Symonds, ancestor of Albert Simonds, Mildred Wells Reynolds and Mary Hall Seeley of Norwood. Mr. Symonds' purchase included some of River Street, most of Prospect St. and North Main Street. His later land holdings were bounded by Bicknell, Morgan and South Main Streets.
Mr. Baldwin planned a village to be situated on the Raquette River with its potential for ample water power for mills and industry to support the village. His careful planning for the little hamlet he named Racquetteville is shown by his 1856 map which clearly defines all his lots as well as those of James Symonds and the Water Company, the school plot and the village green.
With his plan firmly outlined and the Northern Railroad running through his dream village, largely because of his generous gift of land for a right of way and depot and the prospect of a railroad being built from Watertown to Potsdam, Mr. Baldwin, lawyer, landowner, village planner and public spirited citizen, was ready to sell building lots to those wishing to establish their homes in what promised to become a thriving community.
Norwood was founded on the farmland and holdings of three men, James Symonds, Benjamin G. Baldwin, who sold lots and larger holdings east of the Raquette River, and Charles McCarty whose farm lay west of the river. These three men formed the Racquetteville Water Company to develop the waterpower and sell house lots along the river.
Perhaps one reason for the friendly feeling which has always existed between the churches of the village stems from these men, Symonds, a Methodist, Baldwin, a Congregationalist, and McCarty, a Catholic, a truly ecumenical founding.
James Symonds was born in Burlington, Vermont, Aug. 8, 1790. He was married to Hannah Glass of Litchfield, Conn. on June 4, 1816. The young couple migrated to the northern New York wilderness in 1816 and built a log farmhouse just west of Harrison Street. They became the parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters, James, Mahala, (who was responsible for the founding of the Methodist Society in Norwood) Judson, Royal, (whose wife joined Mahala in holding prayer meetings as early as 1848) Lydia, John and Chester.
The sons became millwrights and helped build many of the mills in the community. Chester worked on the building of the 1852 dam. In later years several of the sons went to Grand Rapids, Mich. to make their homes. Mahala married Harry Chittenden who built the brick house at 49 North Main Street.
When Mr. Symonds died in 1862, Mr. Chittenden was one of the executors of his estate.
Shortly before his death Mr. Symonds deeded a plot of land on Prospect Street for the building of the Methodist Church.
Hannah Symonds died June 2, 1855 at the age of 64 and Mr. Symonds died May 6, 1862 at the age of 71. Both are buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Norwood.
Data on Charles McCarty is not readily available. His farm bordered on the west side of the Raquette River and along the side of "McCarty Hill" and along both sides of McCarty Road. The 1865 map locates his farm as being on "Pig Street."
His 1852 purchase of a business block on "Plank Road" (Main Street) was one of the first land sales, the site is now occupied by the Community Bank, NA. He was one of the three men who formed and ran the Water Company.
He died Feb. 6, 1858 but both his birth date and place of burial is unknown. Benjamin G. Baldwin, then St. Lawrence County Clerk, was named as executor of the McCarty estate.
His surviving brothers and sisters were Owen, Mary, Calvin, Ellen and Jeremiah who lived in Cork, Ireland. A cousin Calvin is also named.
Owen received the business block, the interest in the Water Company and some farmland. In 1865, Baldwin paid $2332.50 for the Water Company interest and farmland along both sides of McCarty Road.
The name "McCarty Road" was changed to Ridge Street by the Norwood Village Board on May 7, 1872.
Benjamin Gordon Baldwin was born in Bradford, Vt., May 13, 1806, the eighth of eleven children born to Capt. Benjamin and Mehitable Gordon Baldwin. His father was a farmer, surveyor, justice of the peace and owner of mills.
Among young Benjamin's progenitors with large families were Henry and Phebe Richardson Benjamin of Woburn (1630) with 11 children; Benjamin and Hannah Baldwin, 8 children; Benjamin and Elizabeth Longbottom Baldwin, 5 children and Benjamin and Lydia Peters Baldwin, 9 children.
Lydia was a midwife and often rode off into the night to help a new life into the world. She practiced until 80 years of age and delivered 926 babies including 10 sets of twins, losing only one mother and few babies.
The Benjamin Baldwins of each generation moved, making new hamlets in the unsettled parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and finally in the most northern part of northern New York.
The Norwood home of Benjamin G. Baldwin
As a young boy Benjamin Gordon Baldwin suffered a serious accident which resulted in the permanent crippling of his foot. This helped to determine his choice of a sedentary career in law. He was tutored for admission to Dartmouth, was graduated in 1827 at the age of 20. He taught briefly, then spent a few months in the law office of Judge Jermain in White Creek near Cambridge, N.Y. In 1828, he came to the Potsdam office of Horace Alien, a widely known lawyer. He was the pupil and later the partner of Judge Alien who doubtless aided his gifted pupil in his start on a successful career in both law and public service.
He married Mary Ann Lamphier of Alstead, NH, Aug. 2, 1833,soon after his admission to the bar. Mary Ann died Oct. 2, 1835. Two years later Benjamin married her older sister, Emeline, the familiar Emeline of Baldwin deeds. She outlived her husband by 12 years. She died June 20, 1885. They had no children but large families of relatives, some of them residing with the Baldwins.
The Lamphier sisters came from a family as distinguished as the Baldwins, the Wellingtons of Charleston, Mass. Roger Wellington married the daughter of Dr. Richard Palgrave and their son, Palgrave Wellington, was Miss Lamphier' s grandfather. Mr. Palgrave, a 1770 Harvard graduate, married Abigail Sparhawk Sewell. Several of their daughters and granddaughters had connections with Parishville, Potsdam or Norwood history.
Mr. Baldwin' s home for 27 years was in Potsdam on the corner of Depot and Market Streets. He gave a strip of land off his long lot to make Depot Street, his short lot ran to the early burial ground on Willow Street.
He served as President of the Village of Potsdam in 1841, he was interested in the mills on Fall Island and as early as 1836 began investing in Clarkson lands at the north east corner of the town. The last of his six purchases, made in 1843, brought his holdings up to 400 acres for which he had paid a total of $2726.73. These acres were bounded on the north by the Clarkson-LeRoux line, on the east by the Norfolk Town line, on the south by the flats near the present day Lobster House and on the west by the Raquette River, excluding a large rectangle of land owned by James Symonds.
Even though Racquetteville was not in existence, in 1846 he induced the Northern Railroad to run their tracks through the unsettled area by giving a right of way over his farm in addition to 15 acres of land for a depot. When the first train went through Racquetteville in the fall of 1850, Mr. Baldwin had erected a hotel, a business block which housed the station agent's office he was the station agent and later the telegraph office and post office.
Mr. Baldwin was a director of the Plank Road from Potsdam, a toll road with three tollhouses, and the toll road to Norfolk. He began laying out lots, had an official survey made, formed the Racquetteville Water Company, served as postmaster, sold a large holding of 217 acres (the Bartlett farm) for $5728.50 and during the 1850's sold many house lots.
In 1847 he had been the first elected surrogate under the 1846 New York constitution, serving until Nov. 1, 1855 when he was elected County clerk. At that time he left Potsdam, moved to Canton, then on Jan. 1, 1859 moved officially to Racquetteville, already a flourishing hamlet. He was involved with the Mill Branch Railroad, buying and selling house lots, serving in public office as justice of the peace, he was supervisor of the Town of Potsdam, and later, in 1871, was elected the first president of the newly incorporated Village of Potsdam Junction.
About 1861 he had the handsome Raymondville Italianate bracketed brick "mansion" built on the cedar knell adjacent to his farmhouse, later owned by Lawrence Smith. In the short decade before his death, Mr. B Baldwin must have enjoyed his lovely home and the Fletcher family who succeeded the Baldwin ownership have felt ever grateful to him for its substantialness and beauty.
Mr. Baldwin continued to buy and sell property, some in Norfolk and some in Stockholm. He served two years as Referee in Bankruptcy. He deeded the park to the village in 1872, he paid the Stiles mortgage on the new Riverside Cemetery, he was active in the Congregational Church and did business until a few days before his death Jan. 21, 1873. He was not yet 67 years of age.
The newspaper notices of his death record the grief of the village.
He had bought a wilderness farm in 1836-42, and in some 35 years had turned it into a well planned incorporated village with railroads, hotels, churches, a school, businesses and homes.
Mr. Baldwin, Mary Ann, Emeline and members of their family, lie in Riverside Cemetery, Norwood.
Mr. Baldwin's will ends in a characteristic way - giving the residue of his estate, if any, to "the president and trustees of the Village of Potsdam Junction to be used in such way as they may think best to promote the cause of education and good morals in said village."
One hundred years ago the streets in this community, as in all other villages, were of dirt and people walked either on the edge of the roadway or on paths. At the present time the Incorporated Village of Norwood maintains more than 13 miles of streets in addition to the sidewalks. Snow removal is done by huge trucks fitted with large plows and wings. A special vehicle was purchased sometime ago for sidewalk snow removal.
In the early days each lot owner was responsible for the building and maintaining of walks along his land.
A few months after the first meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Potsdam Junction the lot owners on the north side of Junction (Mechanic) Street and the proprietors of the famous Whitney House were told to build sidewalks. Specifications were given and included the use of 3 good hemlock planks 1 foot wide and 4 inches thick so laid as to make a walk 5-6 feet wide. A walk was apparently laid from the residence-office of Dr. Truman Pease, now the Norwood Museum, to the post office after residents petitioned the Board. Lot owners on Ashley and Prospect were ordered to remove obstructions from their streets and build walks. One Prospect Street man was told to repair the portion of Prospect Street he had plowed up and restore it to as "good a condition as when he commenced."
Sidewalk construction was continuing in 1889 when walks were laid on the south side on Mechanic Street and the west side of Leonard Street. A few years later someone tore up portions of the Mechanic Street walks during the night, the guilty party was never apprehended and the evidence was probably burned, wood was used for cooking and heating in those days.
The first indication of village snow removal came in 1890 when the Board put $200 in the budget for that purpose. By 1899 the estimated expenditure for streets, highways and walks had risen to $2250 but the increase was due in part to the 1895 decision of the village to be responsible for construction, repair and maintenance of all walks within the corporation.
Norwood Street Survey - From Ledger In Norwood Village Clerk's Office
Railroad St.: opened June 17, 1852, part discontinued May 22, 1867
Bicknell St.: opened June 25, 1853
McCarthy Road (changed to Ridge St. May 7, 1872): opened June 25, 1853
River St.: opened Dec. 23, 1853
Park St.: opened Feb. 1853 (surveyed to run to the river, declared abandoned May 22, 1867)
Spring St.: opened Dec. 1853
Durrell St. (changed to Whitney St., Feb. 26, 1873): opened Dec. 24, 1854
Morgan St.: opened Dec. 18, 1855
Prospect St.: opened Dec. 18, 1855
Extension of Forest Morgan Road: Commissioner of Highway paid Mr. Symonds $15.00 on Apr.24, 1860 to extend public highway from easterly extension of Lamb St., established as a public road Feb. 6, 1872; changed to Bicknell St. Feb. 26, 1873
Ashley St.: opened Dec. 1, 1863, established as public street Feb. 6, 1872
Park Ave.: opened Jan. 1864, established as public street Feb. 6, 1872
Extension of Railroad Ave.: opened Aug. 1, 1864 became public street Feb. 6, 1872
Junction St.: opened July 3, 1866 (changed to Railroad St. Apr. 30, 1872 and to Mechanic St. Feb. 26, 1873; part of road east of Main St.)
Lamb St.: opened June 27, 1866; changed to Bicknell St. Feb. 26, 1873
Leonard St.: opened June 27, 1866
Mill Branch Lane: opened July 30, 1868; changed to Spruce St. Apr. 7, 1873
Howe Road: opened Dec. 19, 1868; changed to Cedar St. Feb. 26, 1873
Road from Potsdam Junction to Norfolk line: opened Dec. 19, 1868, established as a public street Feb. 6, 1872; named Main St. Apr. 30, 1872
Elm St.: opened Apr. 27, 1869
Depot St.: opened Sept. 14, 1869
Whitney St.: opened Apr. 27, 1870
Stone Road: opened Aug. 12, 1850; changed to Main St. Apr. 30, 1872
Yale St.: opened May 7, 1872
Town Line St.: opened Apr. 11, 1871
Pine St.: opened June 4, 1872, part at right angle to Depot St. change to Lang Feb.26, 1873
Maple St.: opened July 8, 1877 (named Feb. 26, 1873)
High, Blanchard, and Walnut St.: opened Aug. 5, 1874
Baldwin Ave.: established as a public street June 7, 1893
Maiden Lane: opened Mar. 5, 1883, changed to Pleasant Street
Rupert Palmer Lane
James Liebfred Drive: named 1994
Lake Shore Drive - formerly part of Cemetery Road
Bernard Ave.: changed from Railroad St. 1940 to honor PFC Bernard Jarvis, first Norwood man to be killed in World War II
Dry Bridge Road
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The Racquetteville Water Company 1862-1872
One of Mr. Baldwin's first projects was to develop the waterpower on the Raquette River and establish mills. He had an added factor, a branch railroad from the main line to the site of the mills. He formed a company, the Racquetteville Water Company. His first partner was Dennis Mould who soon transferred his interest to James Symonds. Charles McCarty, a landholder on the west side of the river, became affiliated with the Company.
There were various informal and formal agreements but according to the terms of the final one made November 14, 1854 and recorded January 1, 1856, Baldwin "put in" 17 1/2 acres of land for a one-half interest; Symonds put in 5 acres of land at the north end of River Street through to Prospect Street along the river for a quarter interest and Charles McCarty put in 7 or 8 acres of land along the west river bank for a quarter interest.
The Company's projects included the Spring Street bridge planned to replace an earlier bridge which crossed from Stiles (Cemetery) Road to Pig Street, the construction of a dam, the railroad, lanes and alleys, mills, piling grounds for lumber as well as some 35 house lots on Spring, River, Park and Ashley Streets.
Following the death of Charles McCarty in 1858 and Symonds in 1862, Mr. Baldwin cleared the necessary legal affairs and became the sole owner of the Company in 1866.
Amable (Mab) Valley came into possession of all the unsold lots on the east shore and in 1872, Wait Reynolds was deeded all the mill holdings and water rights. Mr. Baldwin was out of the Water Company but still owned some of the McCarty farmland on the west side of the river. He laid out house lots and streets, some on High Street remained unsold at the time of this death in 1873.
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Racquetteville Grows Up
The hamlet of Racquetteville was growing by leaps and bounds when, in 1850, a post office, North Potsdam, was established. The little community boasted three hotels, the Northern Railroad with another, the R. W. & O., projected, a dam was being built to create water power for the mills which were springing up but no house lots had been sold.
Just 21 years later, a census taken in August 1871 showed a population of 1177. The following month a resolution and petition for incorporation was noted and a week later ten printed notices were posted in public places within the territory to be incorporated giving notice to the freeholders that an election was to be held on the proposal to incorporate as the Village of Potsdam Junction. The Village was to be part of the mile square lots No. 9 and No. 10 of the Clarkson and LeRoux Tracts in the Town of Potsdam and parts of the mile square lots No. 10 and No. 20 in the Town of Norfolk as surveyed by S.J. Farnsworth in January 1869.
October 21, 1871 was set for the election with the polls to be in the schoolhouse and open from l0a.m.until 3p.m. Supervisor of the Town of Potsdam E.W. Foster and Town Clerk Harvey N. Reedway were in attendance and reported that of the 106 ballots cast 99 were yes" and 7 "no."
November 6, 1871 Mr. Foster gave notice of the first election of village officers for the Village of Potsdam Junction to be held in the schoolhouse December 2, 1871 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. A village president, three trustees, a treasurer and a collector were to be elected.
According to the certificate of election Benjamin G. Baldwin received 57 of the 58 ballots cast. 174 votes were cast for trustees with Wait Reynolds receiving 57, Ora Porter, 55 and Hezikiah Hall 56. Norman Ashley was elected treasurer by a 56-1 vote. The office of collector went to F. Thayer who received 33 of the 5 7 votes cast. C.N. Bixby was appointed clerk.
The first official meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Potsdam Junction was held January 16,1872. At that meeting the clerk was instructed to obtain a book and record all streets and highways.
Two months later in his first annual report President Baldwin estimated the expenditures would be $200.00.
The chief executive officer was known as village president until 1928 when the title was changed to mayor.
A complete listing of all village officials is in the Norwood Museum but, regretfully, lack of space permits mention of mayors only: 1872, Benjamin G. Baldwin; 1873-74, Norman Ashley; 1875-76, Andrew M.H. Pearson; 1877-1882, Moses F. Collins; 1883, Loren R. Ashley; 1884-85, Moses F. Collins- 1886-88, Geo. W. Richards; 1889- 90, A.M.H. Pearson; 1891-94, Henry Ashley; 1895, Fred G. Partridge; 1896-98, Frank L. Smith; 1899, Erastus F. Hall; 1900, Sherman A. Drew; 1901-03, Rollin D. Reed; 1904-06, Sherman A. Drew; 1907-09, George Harris- 1910-12, Sherman A. Drew; 1913, T.J. Turner; 1914- 15, W.B. Hart; 1916-18, F.R. Smith; 1919, W.W. Dearth- 1920-22, E.E. Wright; 1923-24, Frank S. Jenkins; 1925, AL. Dailey; 1926-27, W.D. Fuller- 1928, H.W. Martin; 1929-34, Leo R. Donovan- 193 5-37, Harry L. Farrner- 193 8, C.W. Jenner, acting mayor; 1941, Roscoe C. Bowhall; 1942, C.W. Jenner, acting mayor- 1943-45, Roscoe C. Bowhall; 1945, C.W. Jenner, acting mayor- 1946, C.W. Jenner; 1947- 48, Leo H. French; 1949-52, John N. Hughes; 1953-58, Fred C. Laramy; 1959-61, Harold Buck, Jr. resigned 9-9-6 1; 1961-62, Roscoe C. Bowhall; 1963-66, Robert Parr; 1967-68, Frances McNulty; 1969- 74, Lyle Wolstenholme- 1974-76, Francis McNulty, resigned June 1976; 1976-80, Joseph Hopsicker; 1981-82, Willard Smith; 1983-85, Michael LaComb, resigned 9-16-85- 1985-88, Joseph Mariano; 1989- 90, Rupert Palmer; 1991-95, Mark D. Tebo.
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How Norwood Received Its Name
The residents of Potsdam Junction were irked for many years by a name that indicated the village was a sort of tail to the Potsdam kite. They wanted a new name for the village, for the railroad station was named Potsdam by the officials of the Northern Railroad and was so printed in the time table of the North Country's pioneer railroad when it opened for business in 1850.
Four years later when the Potsdam and Watertown railroad began business the name of the station was changed to Potsdam Junction.
The year the impatience of the resident's rose to fever heat is probably in the early 80's. The prime mover in the agitation was Rev. Mr. Chase a Methodist minister.
A public meeting was called to consider a change of name. There may have been some difference of opinion about the new name but there was unanimity as to the need for the change. Evidently, the Rev. Mr. Chase was a persuasive person for it was he that suggested the unpopular name of Potsdam be changed to Norwood. And why was that name selected?
It seems that Henry Ward Beecher had expressed the opinion that he could write as good a novel as his sister did when she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. To prove it he wrote a novel called Norwood but it was a flop. But Rev. Mr. Chase liked the name and proposed that it be adopted. He pointed out that it was an easy name to write because there were no T's to cross or I's to dot and no letter went above or below the line. Mr. Chase's proposal was promptly adopted and that is now Norwood got its name.
An examination of the minutes of the village board of Potsdam Junction, N.Y. show that on March 30, 1875 a resolution was passed that the President and trustees of the village petition the State of New York to change the name of the post office and railroad depot from Potsdam Junction to Baldwin, but it was discovered that there was already a post office named Baldwin. On April 5, 1875 a meeting was held in Yale Hall to decide on a name. (There is a newspaper clipping of this meeting in the minute's book at the Village clerk's office.)
The results of the balloting at this meeting were:
The name of Norwood received 42 votes
The name of Potsdam Junction received 19 votes
The name Onawa received 12 votes
The name Oakley received 5 votes
The name Duck Pond received 1 vote
On May 11, 1875 the Village Clerk was instructed to prepare a petition for the village board to send to Washington to change the name of the post office to Norwood.
On Sept. 13, 1943, the village board was advised by the St. Lawrence County Clerk that the records in the County Clerk's office still showed the village as Potsdam Junction. Abstracts of the board meetings of Mar. 30 and Apr. 5, 1875 were made and turned over to W. W.W. Haile, County Clerk, for recording.
The first "lawmen" in Norwood were the lamplighters. Mr.Dutton (1884) who was paid $11.50 monthly, H. Leete (1886) paid 75 cents per night and later E.J. Johnson served on the dual job.
In 1900 John Ladue was paid $30 to act as night watchman for the period of October 1, 1899 to April 1, 1900, and later was offered the salary of $4 per week if, in addition to acting as night police, he would also be custodian of the Music Hall and care for the tramps and provide himself with a uniform to wear while on duty and also give a $300 bond.
The following year the Norwood Village Board voted to pay $5 weekly to a competent policeman "if one could be found."
Over the years police constables in Norwood have included Edwin Avery, Ashley W. Clark, Thomas M. Bicknell, Martin V.B. Curtis, George H. Sheer, John C. Streeter, Oel S. Morgan, John Brorreau, Sevey Martin, Leroy H. Martin, Mathew S. Robinson, Hiram W. Lytle, Henry Deleel, David Fitzgibbon, Henry Bedell, Ed Scott, A. H. Lathan, J. 0. Partlow, N. S. Seaver, Charles H. Stowell who was to be at the depot, A.H. Bears, Lewis Moulton, John Carson, A.H. Bean a constable to serve papers only in connection with his business of collecting, D. J. McNulty, George Grant, H.T. Walker, David C. Bix, A.B. Cassada, A. Covey and Wm. H. Capron.
A note in the local paper July 20, 1921 said "Patrolman James Fraughton appeared last week in an honest-to-goodness police uniform just like the kind they wear in New York City. Jim whose build gives him an appearance of a regular city cop looks as spic and span as they make'em."
There have been many persons who have worked for the Norwood Police Department with the title of Patrolman, Constable, full or part time, Chief of Police and other titles.
Prior to the appointment of Chief of Police Dale J. Wells in May 1987, some of the those employed were, Kermit MacIver, Charlie Lonkey and Harry Fieckert in 1956; Winifred Gary and Floyd Currier, 1957; Roy Oakes, 1961; Allen Phillips, 1963 with William LaDuke and Leo Dufore; Roy Trimm, 1966; David McCarthy, 1973; Ronald McCarthy and James Cameron, 1974; Jerry Shampine, 1975; Michael Moulton, Joseph Ramie, Richard Perrigo, Richard Hill, Donald Lustyk and Harry Young, 1976; James Harris, 1977; Timothy Levison, 1978; Timothy Trossen, 1979; James Lahey, Danforth Peacock, Richard Castle, David Devoe and James Mason, 1980; Andrew French, 1981; John Liptak and David Bartlett, 1982; John Kaplan, 1984; Judith Trimboli, John E. Schneller and Alan Mulkin, 1985; Jay Farrand and Timothy Peets, 1986- Wayne Markert, David Fenton, Robert Montroy, August Bonno, Dale J. Wells, Robert Thomas, and Edward Clary, 1987; Mark LaBrake, 1990; John E. Jones, Jr., 1991; Scott Dodge, James LaBrake and Shawn Wells, 1994.
Some of these persons are still in law enforcement. James Mason is a patrolman and D.A.R.E. officer at Potsdam Police Department; Sgt. David Devoe and Timothy Peets are in the new York State Police; James Lahey is a D.A.R.E. officer in Dewitt, N.Y. - Lt. John Kaplan and David Bartlett are with the Potsdam Police Department; Alan Mulkin is Canton Chief of Police where John Liptak is a patrolman and D.A.R.E. officer- August Bonno is at Ogdensburg while Gene Michael Knowlton is a Deputy Sheriff and K-9 handler for the Sheriff's Department; Mark LaBrake is with the Massena Police. Recently retired from the Potsdam Police Department is Sgt. Richard Perrigo and Richard J. Hill.
Members of the Norwood Police Department are Chief Dale J. Wells, Patrolmen John E. Schneller, James J. Harris, Andrew P. French, Brian Burke, Lawrence K. Averill, Scott D. Dodge and Shawn J. Wells. David Fenton, Jr. is currently on leave due to being elected board member in the Village of Norwood.
Training has been increased and as well as all mandated training in firearms, arrest techniques, Force and CPR-Radar and B.T. Operator. The Norwood Police Department officers are trained to be Police Instructors, to be Recertifiers for Police Instructors, to give ATV and snowmobile licensing courses to youths 10 to 16 years of age, to do training for the 80 hour Crime Prevention Program, to give Fire Police training and AIDS training, an Accident Reconstructionist, to give highway drug interdiction training and be a firearm instructor. The Norwood Police also do bicycle rodeos, the C.A.T. program, Operation ID and the D.A.R.E. program in 6 St. Lawrence County schools with about 450 students each year since l989. Each year the Norwood P.D. does fingerprinting for operation CHILD FIND at the Norwood Grade School.
The D.A.R.E. program is a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program where a sworn police officer trained in the program goes into the school for a weekly one-hour class for a total of 17 weeks for grade 6. This teaches children not to use drugs, how to deal with pressure, stress, self-esteem, alternatives, support and gang violence.
During World War 11, a Civil Defense Brigade was formed in the Town of Potsdam and composed in the most part of men employed by the electric company. They drilled in Potsdam but performed their duties as air wardens in Norwood.
Prior to having a full time Chief of Police on duty, the Mayor was designated as Chief of Police ex officio.
The Norwood Police Department is located in a small office near the Norwood Fire Department and has one patrol car and one car used for the D.A.R.E. project.
Back to Table of ContentsHistory of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School System
by Marcia Eggleston
Norwood-Norfolk Central School District is presently a school of approximately 1300 students in grades kindergarten through twelve. It was centralized in 1949 from the two separate districts of Norwood and Norfolk following a vote of approval by the residents of those districts. The history of the Norwood and Norfolk schools must be dealt with separately to show how the central district came about.
The first school in Norfolk was known to exist in 1812. By the 1820s, the township was divided into several school districts. District No. I was located at Norfolk slightly north of the present elementary school. District No. 2 was located at Raymondville, and District No. 3 was located at Plum Brook. District No. 4 was centered at a stone schoolhouse on the northeast corner of the Joy and Plum Brook Roads. District No. 5 was centered at the Judson Schoolhouse, on the southwest corner of the Norfolk-Plum Brook Road and what is now route 56, and District No. 6 was centered in Grantville.
School was in session for two terms, summer and winter. In the winter, when farm work was slack, most children attended school. Often one teacher would have sixty or seventy students aged five to twenty years old. Many times some of the students would be older than the teacher, as a teaching license could be obtained at age sixteen.
Licenses were given by school commissioners following examinations given by them. The certificates for teaching were in three grades. Often young people could pass an examination to teach, getting a third grade license without ever going to a high school or normal school. After a certain length of time, the law required them to get a second grade license, and finally a first grade license. Many prospective teachers went to a normal school for periods of time to help them pass the exams.
Wages were low, and often as part of their pay, teachers were given board in local homes as part of their salaries, in periods proportionate to the number of children in the family. It was also customary to have each family furnish a share of dry wood to help heat the schoolhouse. When families failed to do so, school trustees purchased wood and the delinquent families were compelled to pay for it. Minutes of the Norfolk School Board meeting for October 26, 1830 stated that "each of the patrons of the district deliver a cord of wood for each scholar on or before the first day of January next."
Private or select schools were common in these times and pupils had to pay tuition. At Raymondville, the home of Judge Raymond was used as a select school. It was said to have had many fireplaces and was quite a showcase.
Trustees' report was kept for the Norfolk School starting in the 1820s. The January 1, 1829 report stated that school was held for four months and three weeks since the last report, a year earlier. The amount of money received for the year was $26.27. The number of children taught in 1829 was 46 with the number of children residing in the district who were over five and under sixteen being 72.
In 1840, the trustees began collecting money for a school library. That year they purchased 10 volumes and collected $3.72. By 1842, there were 22 volumes and the trustees began saving money for the purchase of a library for the district. Each year, one of the school trustees was appointed librarian. School Board minutes for January 1, 1848 state that the books used in school were Porter's Rhetorical Reader, Adams'Arithmetic, Mitchell and Olney's Geography, and Webster's Spell Book.
A schoolhouse on a lot north of the present grade school on Hepburn Street was used until the 1870s. Then District No. 1 was relocated to Sober Street, almost opposite the end of Morris Street. This was originally a one-story building, but in 1894, it was enlarged to a two-story building, then employing two teachers. It was used until September 1906, when the Norfolk Union School was opened. This school combined the Norfolk, East Norfolk and no. 5 (Judson School) districts and was again located on Hepburn Street, with 217 pupils attending. Thomas Haggerty was principal; Alberta Wilson was preceptress and music teacher. Mollie King, Erna Borrman, Maud Van Kennen and Etta Raymond were teachers in 1906.
In 1871, a school was built in Raymondville on the comer of the Grantville Road and what is now route 56. In 1904-1905, it was enlarged to two rooms and in 1920-1921, enlarged to four rooms.
The first graduating class of the Norfolk Union High School consisted of Laura Wood, Earl Cuglar, and LeRoy Taft, in 1913. The school did not have an auditorium or a gymnasium, so graduation exercises were held at the Town Hall and students were required to present long essays or orations at the ceremony.
Because of the outbreak of World War 1, the Norfolk Union School Board minutes of June 5, 1918 declared that "a notice be posted in the school building to the effect that the subject of German be discontinued in the course of study for the reason that it is the language of the enemy country and the Board desires to express their disapproval of the teaching of German or the singing of German songs in this or any other school."
By 1919, the population was growing due to an influx of many Hungarians and Italians and the school board requested a committee to ascertain the cost of renting a room for separating the first grade and the advisability of hiring another first grade teacher.
On January 26,1920, fire broke out in the Norfolk School building at 7:15 a.m. and the building was entirely destroyed. The fire was believed to have been caused by overheated pipes and the loss was estimated at $30,000. Arrangements were immediately made to hold classes in the Town Hall. The fire station, the Methodist Church and the Goodnow building on the southwest comer of main and Sober Streets, until a new building would be ready for use.
A proposition to raise $ 100,000 to build a new school passed on March 19, 1920, and the plans for the new school were accepted by the State Education Department on August 23, 1921.
The new Norfolk Union School opened in September 1922, on the site of the school that had burned two years earlier. The teachers of grades one through eight received salaries of $800 a year while the high school teachers received $900 a year, with annual increments of $75, starting in September 1923.
The community was again growing rapidly, and in November 1923, the Board of education asked Miss Flynn, the first grade teacher, to see the parents of the children under six to see if they would take them out of school because of the overcrowded condition. Instead, in April 1924, the Board voted to hire an extra first grade teacher and have an extra room equipped for school use.
By September 1928, the Board of Education voted to hire another high school teacher to take care of the crowded condition there. A proposition to raise $16,000 for an addition to the school was put to the voters on October 6, 1931, and passed. The new wing was built in 1932.
The Norfolk Union Free School District purchased from the St. Regis Paper Company in 1936, approximately four acres of land, what was then known as Barkley Park, for the sum of $200 to be used for athletic and recreational purposes. This land is next to the present Norfolk Arena.
The first known school in Norwood was a building at the corner of North Main Street and Cedar Street in 1852. In 1858, a second school existed in the village.
A school was built on Park Avenue in 1862, at a cost of $2500. A new school budding, the site of the present elementary school was built in 1885 at a cost of $15,000. The Norwood School Board minutes of October 25, 1886 stated that they would "amend the bylaws of the school as to make the terms consist of 4O weeks in three terms known as fall winter and spring terms, two terms of 13 weeks each and one term of 14 weeks, each term to commence at such dates as to make the last week of each term to coincide with the weeks appointed by the regents for examinations."
The Norwood School was closed on May 18,1891, because of an epidemic of scarlet fever. The Primary Department remained closed for the rest of the term, while the Academic Department (High School) opened again June 8. The regent's examinations were postponed until the next term because of the illness. The Board voted at this time not to allow a pupil to come to school from a family in which there was a case of dangerous contagious disease.
In 1903, the school was in an overcrowded condition, which prompted the principal to go to the Board. He stated one primary room had 91 students. A committee was appointed to investigate. Several classes were divided and taught in the churches and various residences of the village.
In February 1917, the principal told the Board of Education that all of the rooms were congested. There were 59 students in one first grade, 55 students in second grade, 52 students in third grade and 48 students in fourth grade, while 3O to 4O students were all the State Education Department allowed. An inspector from the Department had recently visited the school and stated there was an unallowable congested condition and insufficient light. The board voted to have an architect come and look over the school and make a rough sketch of an addition. Plans for the addition, 48' x 98', adjoining the west side of the building at a cost of $20,000 were presented at the next meeting. The addition consisting of several classrooms and a gymnasium was built later that year.
In 1926, the school was again overcrowded and rooms outside the school had to be found for some classes. The first grade was split into two groups, a morning and afternoon session. Several classes were housed in the Powell residence, referred to as the "Little School." In December 1928, Dr. Swartz of St. Lawrence University was employed to determine whether a new building proposition should be brought up.
In June 1929, a committee was appointed by the Board of Education to secure information regarding plans and cost of constructing a new school building and of remodeling the old building. A proposition to purchase an addition to the school site at a cost of $3000 and to construct and equip a new school at a cost of $297,000 was put to the voters of the district in February 1930 and both were voted down. In June of 1930, these propositions were again put to the voters of the district and again voted down. The Board then decided to give up on the idea of a new school for the time being.
In September 1944 the Norfolk Board of education voted to have the principal, Mr. Francis Kelly, contact District Superintendent, C. B. Olds in regard to available information and procedure for centralization of schools, Mr. Richard Hann, principal of the Norwood School, and Mr. E. J. Mulholland, board member, met with Mr. Kelly and one board member from Norfolk in November 1945 to arrange a program of instruction for the new central school if it was voted on.
Meetings continued for the next couple of years between the two school districts and the State Education Department. On June 17, 1949, a combined meeting of the Norwood and Norfolk School Boards was held and a resolution to develop a centralized school district was put to the voters. The vote was 827 for and 205 against. The first Central School Board consisted of Howard J. Hall, Russell Colbert, Kenneth McDonald, Jack Lynch, George Dailey, William Salisbury, Kinsman Wright, Donald Bixby, and Kenyon Jones.
At the first organization meeting, Kinsman Wright was elected president of the Board. Richard Hann was elected supervising principal and Francis Kelly was elected vice-principal. In July 1949, the school district was named Norwood-Norfolk Central School District.
The rural schools known as the Bixby, Plum Brook, Stockholm 24, Daily Ridge, Kinsman, Regan, Burnhams Corners, and Tiernan Ridge schools voted over the next two years to join the central district.
Plans for a new central school building began immediately. 'On January 10, 1951, the voters of the district passed a proposition to construct a Junior-Senior High School including a bus garage at a cost of $1,335,000 at a site on the Norwood-Norfolk Road, and renovate the three schools of the district for $65,000. The first classes were taught in the new Junior-Senior High School on February 23,1953. On May 24,1953, the new Junior-Senior High School was dedicated with then Deputy Attorney General and Norfolk native, William P. Rogers as guest speaker.
In 1958, additional classrooms were added to both the Norwood and Norfolk Elementary Schools. Additional office space was added to the Junior-Senior High School in 1962-63, and in 1966-67, a library and classroom wing was added to the High School. The Raymondville School was closed in 1970, due to decreasing enrollment and those children were sent to the Norfolk Elementary School. Another addition was added to the Junior-Senior High School during the 1979- 80 school year, consisting of several classrooms, a second gymnasium and new band and chorus rooms. This addition became the new seventh and eighth grade wing.
On June 4,1985, centennial celebrations were held at the Norwood Elementary School. A contest was held for the students to design a logo for the centennial and an anniversary cake was made for students and staff. Repairs were also made to the school bell and the fountain in the schoolyard.
In January 1991, a study was commissioned by the School board to determine the need for renovations to the existing three buildings. The report from the architects was received that spring and in August 1992 a Facilities Committee of 42 community members, school administrators and faculty was developed to review the plans. Many options were studied and in October 1993, the voters were asked to give their approval for a building project, which would add a K-6 addition onto the existing High School building, with major renovations done to the High School. The voters overwhelmingly approved this building project and on October 31, 1994, contractors broke ground for the elementary wing. The new elementary wing is scheduled to open in September 1995, with renovations to the High School continuing through the 1995-1996 school year.
The Norwood and Norfolk communities have supported the education of its children for the past 170 years. The administration, faculty and staff have in return worked very hard to provide the best possible education for the students of the district. The result is the future of the communities, our children.
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From North Potsdam To Norwood, N.Y. 13668
Racquetteville was a bustling little hamlet with a dozen or so houses, a hotel and a railroad depot serving the new Northern Railroad when the first post office was established as North Potsdam on December 30, 1850 with Rollin Ashley as postmaster.
The exact location of the first post office is uncertain but is assumed to have been in the Benjamin G. Baldwin building which stood on the site of the present Pert Block.
Mr. Ashley was succeeded April 1, 1852 by lawyer Benjamin G. Baldwin, considered the founder of the village and he was succeeded on December 12, 1855 by Dennis Mould who operated a store near the south corner of Main and Mechanic Streets.
Wyman M. Fuller was appointed to the office of postmaster on May 27, 1856, and the 1858 Robinson map clearly shows that "W.M. Fuller, P.M PO" did business in a block on the west side of North Main Street midway between the Northern Railroad tracks and Prospect Street.
On December 21, 1861, Marshall H. Himes took over. This versatile gentleman was a practicing physician who later served in the 96th Regiment N.Y. S. during the Civil War. He had a drugstore and office about where the Knights of Columbus hall now stands and the post office was most likely there also.
John Raymond succeeded Dr. Mines March 5, 1863, and Beer's Atlas locates the office on the same site. It was during his term of office that, on October 20, 1867, the name of the post office was changed to Potsdam Junction which made it easier for the 1100 residents since the village had adopted the same name. In 1875, the village name was changed to Norwood by the voters.
Among the men who have served as postmaster (list follows) were William T. Leonard who operated the Leonard Butter Factory and had a singing school, Hollis H. Bailey who had been a Civil War prisoner in the infamous Andersonville Prison, H. C. Munson who, in 1883, hired the first woman clerk, Frederick R. Smith who was principal of the village school and Gerald McGinnis who was the first career postal employee to be promoted to postmaster on October 2, 1963.
For many years the post office was located in the small wooden building immediately south of the bank. For a short time following the disastrous fire at the Whitney House Hotel in January 1925, the post office did business in the little building on Mechanic Street recently vacated by the Jarvis Barber and Hobby Shop. The post office returned to its slightly singed quarters on South Main Street and remained there until 1940, when again a move was made, this time to the Inman Block, comer of South Main Street and Bernard Avenue. There it remained until 1983 when the move was made into the large building 20-22 Main Street, a much larger and more convenient location. This budding had been the Crouch Brothers Garage and later, the Ambassador Dry Cleaning plant.
Norwood, St. Lawrence County, New York
Established as North Potsdam on December 30, 1850
Name changed to Potsdam Junction on October 30, 1867
Name changed to Norwood on November 24, 1875
Back to Table of ContentsNorwood Post Office
On July 1, 1971, all United States post offices came under the jurisdiction of the new postal service corporation.
On April 15,1913, Arthur N. Tebo became the first letter carrier for the home delivery of mail. Norwood was chosen one of about 20 communities in the United States to receive home delivery on an experimental basis. Mr. Tebo retired as a rural carrier in 1958.
Rural delivery began out of Norwood July 1, 1903 with Edson Morgan delivering on Route 2 and William E. Dawson on Route 1.
In 1994, the staff of the Norwood Post Office was:
Rural Route 1: Mauree Gonyea; Nancy Bumap, substitute. Rural Route 2: Nancy Bumap and Donald Norman, substitutes. Village carrier: Randy Brault with Richard Pike, substitute. Clerks: Beverly Baynes and Renee Raymonda.
Postmaster: Howard Maroney.
Back to Table of ContentsThe Water Works
Norwood was a busy and prosperous community in 1902, a recent census had listed 1734 inhabitants, telephone service was rapidly becoming a reality and electricity was lighting the streets and school. But the dry sinks in the Norwood kitchens were really dry - there was no "running" water. Many homes had their own wells, some had cisterns and nearly everyone had a rain barrel to augment the water supply for household use.
A special meeting of the Norwood Village Board was held in May 1902 to hear R.D. Reed report that the estimated cost of a sewer system would be $14,358 - the estimated cost of "waterworks" was $33,512. A special election on June 3, 1902 gave the village fathers the authority to borrow $15,000 or as much as necessary for a permanent sewer system and $35,000 or as much as necessary to establish a water system. Water bonds to be sold at 3 1/2% par were issued in the following amounts: ten $500 bonds, twenty $1000 bonds and twenty-five $400 bonds.
P.J. Cumniings and R.R. Haggett were appointed to see about securing a site for a standpipe and eventually a lot 6Ox6O feet on the north east comer of the Norman Pruner lot on 'B.C. Dailey hill" was purchased for $75. The Walsh Boiler and Iron Works of Springfield were contracted to supply the standpipe for $400. W.N. Crouch submitted a price of $1000 per year for furnishing a building suitable for a pumping station together with engine and labor.
The water was taken directly from the Raquette River and was not suitable for drinking purposes but homes were being piped, sinks and bathrooms installed. The sewers also emptied into the river down-stream from the intake.
By 1931 the Village had contracted with Hendrick & Moore to drill an 8-inch well "near the present well on the Jenkins lot." Norwood homes are now supplied with ample water from two wells. The water has a high mineral content but it is sweet and palatable.
A lagoon sewage treatment system was constructed on the West bank of the river as mandated by New York State and was put into operation in the fall of 1970.
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It Is Better To Light One Candle ---
The first mention of street lighting in the village minute books occurs in 1884 when street lamps were purchased at a cost of $46.17, the street commissioner instructed to see about globes and getting the lamps in "good running order" and Mr. Dutton hired at $15 monthly to light the lamps which were installed on Main Street as far as the Congregational Church, on Mechanic Street and a few on Spring Street.
The next lamplighter, H. Leete, was paid 75 cents per night for filling, lighting and caring for the street lamps. A lamp was placed in front of the Catholic Church (then on Bernard Avenue) and on the corner of Park and River Streets. It became necessary to confer with one lamplighter and to instruct him that the lights along the principal streets were not to be put out until after the arrival of the last train at 11:35 p.m.
The idea of lighting the village streets by electricity was being considered as early as 1888 when the American Electric Mfg. Co. of New York petitioned the Board for an exclusive 10-year contract to set poles, string wire as necessary for the purpose of supplying electric power with the provision the plant would be in operation September 15, 1888 or the contract would be null and void. Records do not indicate what happened to the company; no further mention is made of them.
The following year W. D. Fuller presented a petition to the Board asking to erect an electric light plant, all poles would be erected under the supervision of the trustees, according to the agreement.
A special election was held in 1890 and the proposition to instruct the Village Board to contract for 6 years with the Norwood Electric Company to light the village streets with 2000 candle power lights to burn on every dark night from dark until midnight was defeated 73 -71.
Ten years after the first mention of street lights was made, the Village Board contracted with W.H. Wells to light the streets with electricity, 20 arc lights at an annual cost of $50 each, was specified. George W. Richards, president, and W.D. Fuller, secretary of the Norwood Electric Light & Power Company contracted to have the streets lighted by October 20, 1894.
The service must have been satisfactory for later in the year, the Board asked the Company to provide 640 candle power electric lighting in the new Music Hall. However, on one occasion the Board felt the $305.75 bill for three months lighting was too much so voted to discount it 5 percent.
Norwood was fast becoming a modem community when in 1902 the light company was instructed to "run" the lights until 5 a.m. during the months of November, December and January "except on bright moonlight mornings." Lights were furnished in the new academic building, rooms and halls, at no additional cost but the wiring and fixtures were bought by the school.
In the early years of this century, up and coming residents were "putting in" the telephone, electric lights and water, and marveled at the convenience and timesaving of these things which we now take for granted.
Back to Table of ContentsNumber Please!
In 1899 the St. Lawrence Telephone Company applied for a permit from the Norwood Village Board of Trustees to "erect and maintain poles, cables, wire appliances and structures for establishment and maintenance of a telephone and telegraph line in Norwood." However there was no further reference to this company.
In 1902 the Norwood Telephone Company was organized with the following stockholders: Willis J. Fletcher, president; Frank L. Smith, Archie C. Healy, George Harris, W.D. Fuller, J.E. Boyonton and L.E. Ellison. About 50 or 60 telephones were installed at this time.
The switchboard was set up in the back part of the Healy store and Mrs. Healy became the "chief operator" with Miss Mayme Hoag as her assistant. A telegraph line was installed and Mrs. Healy was the operator.
The 1907-1908 Business Directory for the village carried advertising for the Adirondack Home Telephone Company. The Norwood Telephone Company was taken over by the New York Telephone Company. NYNEX now provides telephone service.
According to one source, the switchboard was moved from the Healy store to the rooms above in about 1907 and switchboards added. The telephone exchange remained there until the dial system was inaugurated in 1958 and all calls began going through the Potsdam exchange or the dial office, which had been built on Park Street.
Back in the early days of the telephone, operators were paid the small salary of $4.00 per week. There were no telephone directories and a person making a call asked the operator to ring the subscriber to whom he wished to speak. One of the first operators after the switchboard was moved was Mrs. Blanche Bush. Some of the other operators were Charlotte McCarthy, Charlotte Steams, Elizabeth Pernice, Maude Latimer, Hazel King, Delilah Quigley, Minnie G. Noxie, Eva Waite Dillabough, Blanche Austin Willard, Emma Finnegan, Winnifred Larrabe Sawyer, Delia Long, Mable Redmond Lavigne, Viola Mackey, Mildred Brown Gibson, Beatrice Fanner Stevens, and chief operator, May Sullivan.
Operators honored by the Norwood Chamber of Commerce and the New York Telephone Company in 1958 included Mrs. May Sullivan, 43 years of service- Mrs. Beatrice Stevens, 35 years- Mrs. Leona Colby, 21 years; Mrs. Gertrude Murray, 20 years; Mrs. Erma LaComb, 15 years- Mrs. Laura Farnsworth, 12 years; Mrs. Iona Ames, night operator for 11 years- Mrs. Mary Weisse and Mrs. Betty Shampine.
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Business and Industry
The coming of the Northern Railroad to Racquetteville in 1850 brought people, industry and prosperity. Within a few years, about 1854, a second railroad, the Watertown-Potsdam Railroad, added to the industrial potential of the community by providing another means of transporting goods to the city markets. The Northern Railroad was the innovator of the refrigerator cars - they carried butter in specially built cars - the famous "icebox on wheels butter train."
The railroads employed many local men and as the railroad junction expanded, the employment increased.
With the formation of the Racquetteville Water Company and the building of the dam, mills sprang up like magic along both sides of the river. Other commercial enterprises were located elsewhere in the village.
Some of the industries which flourished for a time in the village were the sawmills, run in succession by Bicknell Brothers, Beckwith, A.M. Adsit & Co., Loveless and Fonda, Reynolds & Shaw, Reynolds & McGill, Pearson's broom handle factory, Davis Threshing Machine factory, flouring mill of Hiram Rodee, Bean & Waldron Tannery, Norwood Lumber Co., a marble works, kindling mill which bundled scrap lumber to send to New York City and Boston, a casket factory, two sash and door and blind factories, Leonard's Creamery and butter factory, Leonard & Martin butter tub factory, H. S. Martin & Sons Grist
Norwood was a 'railroad town' and existed because the coming of the Northern Railroad in 1850. Later the New York Central, the Norwood & St. Lawrence and a line from Canada ran into Norwood. This depot stood on the east end of Mechanic Street and was a busy place as more than a dozen train's passenger and freight, rolled to a stop here. With the severe decline of the railroads, the depot was closed and tom down in 1966.
The railroads were employers of many Norwood men. It was common for several men in a family to be a 'railroader. ' The McCormicks, four brothers, logged a total of about 200 years, their sons worked by their sides; Herbert French and sons, Leo and Weldon; the Fiacco men; the Orologios; the Flynns and many others. There is no employee list available.
mill, and later a hub factory; carriage maker, planing mill, starch factory, ice cream factory, A. J. Phillips, proprietary medicine plant, the paper mill, one of the largest in the area which was eventually bought by the St. Regis Paper Co., and closed during the Depression.
Norwood, with a peak population of about 2,000, has only one physician at the present time, Dr. Ibrahim S. Elkhayat, who has an office in the Medical Building at 38 1/2 South Main Street. Built in the 1950's by Dr. Henry Vinicor, and now owned by the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Foundation, the structure has office space for several physicians.
Over the years other doctors who practiced here were Dr. Marshall Himes, Dr. Truman A. Pease, both had been in the Civil War- Dr. John A. Wilber, Dr. Benjamin M. Ames, Dr. Edson Austin, Dr. Larkin, Dr. Sidney Phelps, Dr. James Kissane, Dr. Lloyd T. McNulty and Dr. James P. Smith, both Norwood natives, Dr. L.U. Hurlburt, Dr. C.O. Sumner, Dr. Henry Vinicor, Dr. Mathias, and Dr. Jan Close.
There has been no dentist practicing in Norwood for many years. One of the best known dentists to practice here was Dr. George Hakins who invented a number of instruments and techniques still used in dental practice. Dr. Leo P. Regan and a Dr. Reynolds also practiced dentistry in Norwood as well as Dr. C.P. Martin who died in 1962.
The first lawyer in this village was the founder, Benjamin G. Baldwin. Charles N. Bixby, Tom Murphy, T. John Turner, Norman Clafin, Willis J. Fletcher, Richard Algie, E.E. Wright and the present attorneys, Lee H. Turner, Robert Sassone, Robert H. Ballan and James Monroe, have followed in Mr. Baldwin's illustrious footsteps.
Two office chairs used in the offices of Mr. Bixby and later Mr. Fletcher are in use at the Norwood Museum, a gift from Mr. Fletcher's daughters, Mrs. Louise F. Chase and Mrs. Margaret Worthing.
A newspaper, The Norwood News, was established in 1877 by E.D. Parks in the "New Block" on Mechanic Street. He sold to F.R. Smith and C.H. Martin. Asa Nickerson was publisher for many years; he sold to Mason R. Smith of Gouverneur who discontinued the paper in the early 1940's. The old Norwood News files are in the Courier Observer office at Potsdam.
In the year 1884, Norwood was the seat of a Catholic parish, which included Norwood, Hopkinton, Parishville and Wick.
The first priest to say mass in the Village of Norwood was Father McGlynn of Potsdam and Father McDonald followed him. The mission was attended afterwards by parish priests of Potsdam and by others from the Episcopal residence of the Diocese until 1877, when Rev. Thomas Walsh was appointed to take charge of the territory which included the above mentioned villages.
The first Irish Catholic family to settle in the village and one of the earliest families was the Daniel Morgan family. Others who settled here were the Collins, Quinns, O'Briens, McCarthys, Driscolls, Bourkes, McCormicks, Learys and Halligans; some of these names are still represented in the parish.
Despite the fact that there was no Catholic church in Norwood until 1879, St. Andrew's was incorporated under the laws of the church Feb. 11, 1876, by the Rev. E. Wadhams, the Very Rev. James Mackey, the Rev. John E. O'Haire and trustees Rody Looby and James Bryan.
St. Andrew's Catholic Church
Church by Rody Looby. It was begun in 1879 and dedicated in 1883 by Bishop Wadhams under the title of St. Andrew the Apostle. This church was used by the parishioners until 1909.
Before the church was built services were held in a building just north of the Post Office on Main Street. The two-story structure later burned was never rebuilt. In those days mass was said once in two weeks until the resident priest was appointed to Norwood.
When Rev. Thomas Walsh came to serve the Norwood Catholics he boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Simonds and daily mass was offered in their home. During Father Walsh's pastorate the first church was built but no rectory constructed. In 1888 Rev. John Fitzgerald was appointed to the parish and through his efforts the house on the comer of Park Avenue and Bernard Avenue was purchased for a rectory.
The house had been built by a doctor following the Civil War and at the time of the purchase was owned by Mr. Dixon, a railroad conductor on the old R.W. & 0. Remodeling was done in the 1920's and again during Rev. James E. Joy's pastorate (1934-1950).
The cornerstone for the present church was laid in 1908. The church was completed and services began in 1909.
The church, with a seating capacity of 500, is made of gray Gouverneur marble. A 70-foot tower holds a 3100-pound bell of ingot copper and East India tin which was purchased from Meneely and Co. of Watervleit. The cost of the church was $40,000 of which $25,000 had been paid at the time of the dedication.
Bazaars and a diamond ring contest raised a considerable amount of money for the new Park Avenue Church. The 1909 report of the Ladies Aid Society of the church showed that a record $2762.70 had been given toward the indebtedness that year.
During Father Roach's administration (1917-1927), subscriptions were obtained for an Esty organ, which was installed in 1928. Mrs. Sadie McCarthy was one of the first organists.
Over the years renovations have been made which includes an altar and altar railing of Italian marble, landscaping in front of the church, modernizing of the basement and church kitchen and installation of a handicapped entrance.
Rev. Paul Worczak is the pastor at St. Andrew's Church. During the pastorate of Rev. Francis J. Maguire a Parochial School was opened in 1959,with classes for elementary grades taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. The modem school building and convent were constructed on donated land on the west side of outer South Main Street. When the school closed in 1974, all eight grades were being taught with the faculty comprised of the Sisters of St. Joseph and lay teachers.
These buildings are now used by the ARC and other structures have been built to house the Norwood B.O.C.E.S.
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St. Andrew's Altar Rosary Society
by Marlene Sullivan
St. Andrew's Altar Rosary Society was established more than fifty years ago under Father Joy. Mrs. William E. (Hilda Healy) Leonard was the first president.
The Society, in cooperation with other parish groups and members, sponsors festivals, raffles, bake sales, etc. to raise funds for the cleaning, upkeep and special needs of the church and parish. The many functions are held in the parish hall, which the society helps maintain.
Court Sancta Maria #715, Catholic Daughters of the Americas
by Carol Plonka
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas was formerly known as the National Order of the Daughters of Isabella. This order was founded in 1903 by Mr. John E. Carberry. There were seven other incorporators - all of Utica, NY. Court Utica was the first to be organized with 60 charter members. At the outset, members of the Knights of Columbus councils were appointed District and Territorial Deputies over the Courts. The Knights also established the ritual for the Order and two degree standards - Unity and Charity. Later a patriotic feature was added.
In five years, the organization had grown from one subordinate Court to ninety. It started with 60 members and in five years had over 10,000 members. It started in one city and in five years, the organization was in 69 cities and 18 different states. In ten years there were 206 courts in 32 states and 16,000 members.
In April 1921, official action was taken to change the name of the order from the National Order of the Daughters of Isabella to the Catholic Daughters of America.
In 1926 the National headquarters moved from Utica to New York City. In 1978 delegates at the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Daughters of America at a convention in New York City voted to change the name of the order to Catholic Daughters of the Americas. In June 1979, by decree of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, this became the official title.
Today, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas have over 145 thousand members in 1,538 courts in the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guam, Saipan, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Norwood Court, Court Sancta Maria #715 celebrated their 70th anniversary in 1992 along with 34 other courts. There were 48 charter members when the National Court signed the necessary documents designating Court Sancta Maria #715 on January 22, 1922.
The Catholic Daughters is made up of women over 18 years of age, working under the standards of Unity and Charity. We are guided by religious leaders from the National Court and our State Court in carrying out a seven-fold program. Each court supports whatever portions of the program is pertinent to its locale. All Catholic women of the area are welcome to join and need not be sponsored by a member. Court Sancta Maria #715 currently has 42 members. Meeting nights are the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in St. Andrew's Church hall.
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Msgr. Francis J. Maguire Council 2309
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus Council No. 2309 received its charter September 18, 1921. The Knights of Columbus organization bases its program on Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, all of which tend to create an interesting and worthwhile Council which has contributed greatly to our community.
The present membership of the Council, 80, is obtained through yearly membership drives. Twice monthly meetings are held according to Grand Knight Mark D. Tebo.
First Congregational Church
by Laura Patterson
It seemed fitting to quote from a passage found in a pamphlet published in 1957 at the dedication of Centennial Hall.
"The activities-events-people found in these pages are the result of the spirit of God living in this little village. If error there be in fact, in dates, in chronology, as details inevitably get lost in the shuffle, there can be no doubt that the spirit which motivated the founding fathers of this church has been passed on through each generation down to the present. And with a continuing ministry to the spiritual needs of the members and friends of this church, there is every reason to believe that "the past is prologue" to great days ahead in this Christian endeavor towards a Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven."
Although we are not the oldest congregation in the village of Norwood, we do have the oldest church building, built when we were known as Racquetteville. The Methodists, with whom our early history was closely intertwined, had earlier formed a society which met in homes, many times being led by a circuit rider preacher.
On March 4, 1858, an initial meeting was held in the local schoolhouse to explore the possibility of establishing a church. T.A. Silvery and E.J. Morgan were Moderators and T.A. Goodrich was appointed Scribe. Some discussion ensued as to whether the church being established would be Congregational or Presbyterian, as both denominations had strong parishes in the area - a Congregational Church in Madrid and a Presbyterian Church in Potsdam. I could not find any mention as to why the decision was made to become Congregational, but at this meeting, on the motion of E.L. Foote, the society was to be called The First Congregational Society of Racquetteville, Norman Ashley, Robert McGill and H.E. Holbrook were elected the first trustees and J.S. Morgan clerk of the society.
The First Congregational Church Of Norwood
Relations remained close and cordial with the Presbyterian Church, ministers from our church having served, when needed, in the Dailey Ridge Presbyterian Church.
A second meeting was called to have the St. Lawrence Consociation of churches ratify the petition of the members of the Racquetteville church to join with them. On July 15, 1858, a little over four months from the initial meeting, it was voted to proceed with the establishment of the church. Some of the names of the first members are still very familiar in Norwood - Morgan, Whitney, Goodrich, Austin and Baldwin among others. From the start the new church had a minister - the Reverend Elijah H. Plumb who served from 1858-1864.
By February 13, 1862 the church building was dedicated. This building was erected on land given by Benjamin G. Baldwin and valued at $225. The structure itself cost $3,375.33 to erect. Initially the Methodists occupied the church with our congregation, subscribing to one-half the costs of the building and of the minister's salary. This arrangement continued for six years. It is interesting and surprising to us today to note that anyone donating at least $25 to the building had the right to use the sheds in the rear for stabling his horse. On certain days pews were assigned to Methodist families and others to Congregational families - seemingly on the basis of monies donated.
When the Methodists decided to build their own church the Congregationalists bought from them their half of the equity. The Methodist Church was built in 1868, being followed by St. Phillips Episcopal Church in 1874, St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church in 1878 and the Free Methodist Church in 1909.
During these early years the village changed its name to Potsdam Junction in 1872, but in 1875 the name was changed again, this time to Norwood after the novel of the same name written by Henry Ward Beecher, one of the Congregational Church's greatest preachers.
Less than fifty years after the founding of the church a remodeling produced the Sessions Room (a Sunday school room). The basement was altered to make room for parish activities. During these renovations the services were conducted over the drug store above what is now Jay's Bouquets.
The church pipe organ was acquired in the early 1900's. Louise Fletcher spearheaded these efforts and Andrew Carnegie through the Carnegie Foundation offered to finance one half the cost of the organ if the local church raised the other half. To help pay for the church's half a pageant Hiawatha was presented on the banks of the Raquette River.
In 1930 because of a previous fire whose date I could not find, further alterations were made with a center pulpit behind which was room for the choir and the organ.
In 1953 the church was refurbished and the lectern moved to one side of the chancel and the pulpit to the other giving a full view of a central altar.
The latest major renovation prior to the current bell tower and steeple project was in 1957 in anticipation of the church's one-hundredth year. On October 13 of that year Centennial Hall was dedicated. At the same time a new heating system was installed and the exterior of the church painted. William Henderson was leader of the efforts to raise the necessary funds.
And so today the efforts continue .................
(A report prepared and given by Laura Patterson at the Rededication Service for the restored steeple and bell tower - October 16, 1994.)
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Free Methodist Church
The Norwood Free Methodist Church was formed in February 1909 and by November of that year land on the south side of Park Street had been purchased and a church building was under construction. In 1926 the house at 46 Elm Street was purchased to be used as a parsonage.
During the 1960's it became obvious that the church facilities were becoming outgrown. A building fund was started early in 1967 and by May two acres of land on outer South Main Street, the corner of Dry Bridge Road and Route 56, was purchased as the site for a new church. A building committee composed of George E. Merkley, Harry Brabon, Julian Ruger, Richard Hubbard, George Ladison, Mary Sherman and Alvin McNaim was named. In 1969 buildings which had comprised the early Seaway Area Technology Center was purchased through competitive bidding and a ground breaking ceremony was held June 1, 1969 inaugurating Phase I of the building program.
Most of the work involved in transforming the utilitarian classroom building into a house of worship was performed by members of the church and friends. A large group of well wishers turned out September 12, 1970 for a "church lawn day" when the grounds were raked, stones removed and seeding done. Plantings were added and a large parking lot was later built at the rear of the church.
Classrooms, a library, office and kitchen are adjacent to the sanctuary.
A service of de-dedication was held at the Park Street church on October 3, 1970 and the congregation moved to the new building where the first full day of worship was held October 11, 1970.
The new church was dedicated November 8,1970 with Rev. A.D. McLachlan, Syracuse, Conference Superintendent of the Susquehanna Conference of the Free Methodist Church, giving the Dedication message.
Rev. Robert L. Billings is the pastor.
Norwood's Free Methodist Church
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The United Methodist Church
The Methodist Society is the oldest religious organization in the Village of Norwood. Methodism began in the first quarter of the 19th century when circuit riding Methodist ministers held services in the Potsdam Township.
As early as 1848 Mahala Symonds held prayer meetings in her log farmhouse located in what is now a field on the west side of Harrison Street back of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Clark.
Because of a prayer experience Mahala Symonds and another woman, who according to Symonds family tradition was Mrs. Royal
The United Methodist Church
Symonds, prevailed upon Rev. Thomas Rickey to establish a Methodist Church in the hamlet of Racquetteville in 1853. The first meetings were held in private homes and later in the Potsdam-Norfolk School District No. 16 schoolhouse located on present day North Main Street just north of Cedar Street.
A few years later the Methodist group joined with the Congregational group in the erection of a house of worship. The church, the present day Norwood Congregational Church, was dedicated in 1862. The two groups shared the building and services of a pastor until 1866 when the Methodists decided to withdraw and build their own church on a Prospect Street site donated by James Symonds. Although friendly relations continued between the two groups, during the period of building, Methodist services were held in the Norwood school which by then was a large white edifice on Park Avenue.
In 1868-69 a parsonage was built using handsome Raymondville brick to match the church. Over the years renovations and additions have been made and in 1963 the new Education Building was consecrated. In 1940 the several women's organizations of the church were combined in the Women's Society of Christian Service. The youth groups were united as the Methodist Youth Fellowship with junior and senior groups. The Brotherhood became the Methodist Men and the Adult Fellowship was formed.
In 1968 a great change came about in Methodism for this church, first known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, later as the First Methodist and by virtue of the marriage of the Methodist Church and the United Evangelical Brethren became officially known as the United Methodist Church.
The first pastor of the church was Rev. J. A. Livingston who served in 1854. The Rev. W.D. Chase (1873-76) proposed the name "Norwood" as suitable for the village in 1875 when the community wished to change the name from Potsdam Junction. Another clergyman who was of great influence in the village was the Rev. W.D. Aubrey (1911-1916) who was instrumental in the formation of the Norwood Public Library. His wife was head of the Red Cross bandage project during World War 1.
Until 1960 the pastor of the Norwood church also served the Methodist churches in North Stockholm and West Potsdam.
The Rev. Dan Corretore has served as the church's pastor since 1987.
Norwood United Methodist Church focuses on five areas of Christian life. Worship is central, with an adult and children's choir. Special services include "Hanging of the Greens," "Candlelight Christmas Eve," and "Easter Dawn at the Haggett farm overlooking the Raquette River. Christian nurture takes place in Sunday school, Ecumenical Vacation Bible School, Youth Group, and Bible study groups. Pastoral care is a priority. Fellowship groups provide support and encouragement. Mission outreach meets both material and spiritual needs in the local community and throughout the world. In these ways the church strives to be a reflection of Christ in all aspects of life.
Back to Table of ContentsSt. Philip's Episcopal Church
by Mrs. Clark Bowhall
St. Andrews Mission was organized in September 1874 with 15 families. Services were conducted by the rectors of Trinity Church, Potsdam and Grace Church, Norfolk in the Congregational Meeting House and Firemen's Hall respectively.
In 1879 the cornerstone of the Church was laid and in 1885 services were begun in the Church although the building was unfinished.
Between 1892 and 1894, under the direction of Rev. E.R. Earle, who had taken charge of the Mission in connection with Norfolk the interior of the Church was finished. On May 23, 1894 the Church was consecrated, a Charter granted, and the name changed to St. Philip's.
Rev. W.W. Lockwood became Minister-in-charge of the Missions of Norwood and Norfolk in 1896. During his years of service, the Rectory on Prospect St. near the public school was purchased. Morning and evening prayer services were conducted in Norwood while afternoon services were maintained in Norfolk.
When Rev. Lockwood had succeeded in bringing the conditions of the Mission at Norwood to a good financial position, a meeting was called in 1901 "for the purpose of incorporation as a Parish." This was effected December 6, 1901. The following men were elected to serve as the first Vestry of St. Philip's Parish: P.E. Walker and W.D. Stowell, Wardens: C.E. Wilber and W. Frank, Vestrymen.
The Rev. Lockwood was elected Rector of the parish. He resigned in 1904.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
A Vested choir was organized and led the services for the first time on Easter Day 1910. During this year the Women's Auxiliary was organized.
The first Parish rooms were located over Plummer's Store and were secured for a period of 5 years beginning in 1926. In 193 1, the upper floor over the Norwood News on Mechanic Street was secured as a Parish hall. Dreams of a new Parish Hall began shortly after that, as these rooms became too crowded due to the popularity of St. Philip's Church suppers.
The first shovel full of dirt was lifted for the present Parish Hall in July 1937. It was completed and equipped in 1938. The building was designed by a Mr. Philip, an architect of Watertown, New York and the contractor was Roy White of Norwood, New York. The complete plant was a gift of Mrs. William A. Moore of Potsdam, New York.
From 1931 until his retirement in 1945 the Rev. Leon Haley served faithfully the Parish family. He strengthened a sense of unity among its members and encouraged a sense of responsibility in spreading the Gospel outside the Parish.
Four ministers served the Parish from l946-1963: Frank Hughes, John Ricketson, William J. Mathers, and Walter H. Read. The rectory during these years was located at 31 Prospect St. Upon the death of Irene Louise Nightengale in 1964, by bequest, the Church became the owner of the property known as the Ashley House at 1 Park St. The house was renovated for use as a Rectory. Rev. John Higgins and family were the first occupants of this Rectory in 1964. He resigned in 1968.
Rev. David B. Plank answered the call to St. Philip's in the spring of 1969. During his years here, his services were shared with the Parish of Zion Church Colton, New York. Rev. Plank resigned in the spring of 1977.
After an extended search, Rev. Lawrence B. Jones became rector in January 1978 and served until his retirement in March 1990. During his service at St. Philip's he continued the shared Ministry with the Colton Church. Also during this time the Vestry sold the house at 1 Park St. and purchased the present rectory at 6 Prospect St.
Rev. Robert Lincoln Graham III is the present rector. He also has a shared ministry with Trinity Church in Gouverneur.
Back to Table of ContentsThe State Bank of Norwood
During the early years of Norwood all banking had to be done outside the village. A great deal of business was by barter, there probably was not much cash in anyone's pocket. As employment increased and more money was at hand, the businessmen felt the need for a local bank. It was the custom to have someone in Albany sponsor a bank charter.
C.P. (Commodore) Vedder was sponsor for the Norwood bank; he had been a state representative, a senator and state assessor and was connected with the State Banking Department. When the State Bank of Norwood was established in 1887 with a capitalization of $25,000, Mr. Vedder, in return for his help, was chosen president, an honorary position.
Loren Ashley, vice president of the new institution, was in reality acting president. Mr. Vedder suggested as cashier, a young man from his own county of Cattaragus, Frank L. Smith, who gave fine service for years. He was followed by Joseph B. Pringle and John A. HO. Mr. Smith, called "Banker" Smith to distinguish him from "Postmaster" Smith, lived in the Raymondville brick house on the north side of Bicknell Street and was helpful in community, business and church affairs and was called "Norwood's best reader" by the Village Librarian.
The Bank was housed in the present day 32 South Main Street building and moved to its present location at 28 South Main Street in the early 1900's.
Following Mr. Vedder in the office of bank president were L.R. Ashley, Frank Smith, Willis J. Fletcher and E.E. Wright.
In 1958 a merger with the St. Lawrence County National Bank of Canton was approved and at the close of business September 30,1958, the State Bank of Norwood became the Norwood office of the St. Lawrence County National Bank.
In 1992, the St. Lawrence National Bank parent company Community Bank Systems, Inc. consolidated its affiliate banks under the charter of the St. Lawrence National Bank to create a streamlined and cost effective institution known as Community Bank, N.A.
The Norwood office is part of the Northern Region of community Bank and its experienced staff continues to provide highly competitive products and services by listening carefully to what their customers want and expect from the bank.
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The Norwood Library
By Marcia Murray
On May 10, 1912 Miss Carolyn Webster State organizer of libraries came to Norwood for an afternoon meeting at the office of George Harris. The twelve persons attending the meeting were Mr. and Mrs. George Harris, the Rev. George Bombach of the Episcopal Church, Mrs. Archie Healy, Mrs. Will Shepard, Miss Frances Fuller, Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Fletcher, the Rev. W.D. Aubrey of the Methodist Church, Miss Margaret Fletcher and Miss Louise Fletcher.
. The first library board, elected June 12, 1912 was: president, George Harris for term of one year; vice president, Mrs. Ella Pease, term four years; secretary, Miss Louise Fletcher, term three years, treasurer, Fred R. Smith, term two years; and chairman of the book committee, Dr. Leo P. Regan, term five years. Other committee members were John Turner, Paul Walker, J.B. Pringle, WT. Leonard, Eugene McCarthy, Ada Smith, and Frances McNulty.
Mrs. Ella Pease consented to act as librarian at a salary of $50.00 per year.
The library was organized by forming an association and supported by membership fees, gifts and endowments, and grants from the state. The association consisted of 46 members paying the first annual membership fee of $1.00.
The Masonic Lodge allowed the new library to share its social rooms over the Norwood Bakery with an outside stairway. The library opened September 17, 1912 with about 1,000 books including 360 loaned by the school and 400 loaned by the state. Three daily papers were on the list of which only the New York Times still exists.
An opening tea on October 1, 1912 drew 100 guests.
Miss Anna Phelps, a state library cataloguer, came to spend a week to train Mrs. Pease and her assistant, Miss Margaret Fletcher, in the Dewey Decimal system and all other necessary library techniques.
A fire severely damaged the library February 8, 1920 and only the 200 books in circulation were saved. However other libraries, the state, and the people of Norwood rallied and the library reopened in the rooms in the Mulholland Block over the Lindley Hardware store, where it remained for two years. We moved in May 1922, to the Pert block over Arch Royce's store. The rent was $5.00 per month.
The next home of Norwood Library was the lovely home of Mrs. Ella Pease, our first librarian. Mrs. Pease left her home to the library. We remained there from March 30, 1946 to December 30, 1984.
At the Norwood Library's 50th anniversary celebration, Miss Helen Cassidy spoke of the library's need for additional space, and asked that we be remembered so that a building fund could be established.
Twenty-two years later, in 1984, construction started on the new library. This handsome brick building is located on one Morton Street. The new Norwood Library houses a community room, a Librarian's workroom, a music room, stack room, and storage areas, as well as the main reading room. It was open to the public January 27, 1985 at a special open house.
In the 82 year history of Norwood Library, there have been six librarians: Mrs. Ella Pease, 1912-1940; Mrs. Bernice Borrman, 1940- 1954; Mrs. Margaret Bartlett, 1954-1963; Mrs. Laura Roberts, 1963- 1977; Mrs. Susan Lyman, 1977-1981; and Mrs. Marcia Murray, 1981 - present.
Services of the Norwood Library include the loan of books, magazines, talking books, cassettes, records, films, videos, puzzles, patterns, and framed pictures.
During the summer the library conducts a story hour for the younger children. A bedtime story hour is held during the winter months, as well.
Our community room has enabled us to provide several more programs for our patrons. In addition to our story hours, there have been figure skating meetings, t-ball meetings, boy scouts, girl scouts, and 4-H. For adults, we have had Al-anon meetings, a health screening clinic, flu shot clinic, parenting classes, a 55 alive driving class, a food preservation workshop, a "color me beautiful" class, and many craft classes. Literacy volunteers have used the room for tutoring and classes on teaching English as a second language.
Other library services include sponsorship of the Norwood Library Association Village Green Concert Series, a Pumpkin Read-A-Thon, a November Children's Reading Contest, and a "Trim the Library" contest.
Eighty-two years after its conception the Norwood Library owns 17,850 volumes and subscribes to 48 magazines. We are working harder to serve you better. Come check us out!
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The Norwood Volunteer Fire Department
On January 4,1876, four years after the incorporation of Potsdam Junction (Norwood), the Board of trustees appointed two prominent residents, William Waldron, a carpenter and builder, and Loren Ashley, a merchant, to form two fire companies of not less than 20 men each and establish fire protection in the village.
Stephen Ducolin, a manufacturer and dealer in stoves and the former owner of a fire engine, was named chief engineer of the Village Fire Department. He was instructed to buy 8 dozen pails, 4 axes and have them marked with engine company and number.
The source of water supply for fire fighting was reservoirs on the comer of Park Street near Main Street, on Depot Street near the American House, and on the corner of Prospect Street.
Mr. Waldron called a meeting January 8, 1876 and organized Defiance Fire Co. No. I with a motto, "Able and Willing" and a roster of 25 men. Their equipment consisted of 3 dozen water buckets, 2 axes with handles and 25 feet of rope for hauling the fire engine. They made a "practice appearance" on the Village Park April 29, 1876. Two years later a 2-story building on the West End of Spring Street near the Norwood Lumber Company was rented as a fire house for $60 per year. Because of the location of the firehouse and the fact that most of the men in the company were employed in the mill, Defiance Fire Co. No. I was commonly called the "Mill Company." Mr. Waldron was elected as foreman.
Rescue Fire Co. No. 2 was organized January 5, 1876 when a meeting held in the law office of C.N. Bixby, Esq. and chaired by W.D. Loveless recruited 48 volunteers under W.T.Leonard, foreman. Their fire fighting equipment included 4 dozen pails, ladders in 10, 18, 25 & 30 foot lengths and "two axes for use."
A downtown building was rented for $20 a year to serve as an engine house. "The place where the key is kept is to be a secret," say the village minutes.
The years of rivalry ended in 1919 when the two fire companies merged as the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department. Prior to the formation of the two companies the village fathers voted to raise $250 to purchase a fire engine, hose and other necessary appurtenances for the engine and another $250 for a second engine and not more than a total of $20 for a uniform for the chief engineer and belts for the first and second assistant engineers.
The first noted certificates of exemption were in 1890 and were granted to AL. Yale and Eli Balch.
The first fire alarm bells were placed atop the two fire halls. At times the whistle of the railroad engines or mills blew the alarm. A new bell to weigh not less than 225 pounds and costing $52.25 was authorized in 1890. About 1918 Chief George Shepard tried out the new alarm system consisting of electrically operated sirens which were placed atop the Music Hall. The box system was inaugurated in 1924 under Chief C.F. Vance with the mill steam whistle sounding the alarm.
Several major pieces of equipment have been purchased since 1975 when a R-12 arrived; in 1979 a 1947 Pirsch ladder truck was purchased from Potsdam; a new E-42 pumper was ordered; in 1989 a new tanker was added to the fleet and in 1995, a Ford ladder truck was purchased by the Firemen's Association, who over the years have used their funds for equipment purchase. In 1995, the village authorized the purchase of a pumper to cost no more than $125,000.
In 1995, there are approximately 40 members of the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department. Many of the men have served more than a half century with the Department. One man, Andy Peterson, was featured in Ripley's "Believe It or Not" column for more than six decades as a smoke eater with the N.F.D. The high esteem with which these men are held is shown by the Deceased Firemen's Memorial Stone and Eternal Light for Deceased Firemen set on the Village Green adjacent to the Norwood Municipal Building and dedicated in a June 20, 1993 ceremony. The Morgan Street Firemen's Field had been dedicated to Earl K. Drew on July 4, 1992.
The lower level of the Norwood Municipal Building is the area set aside for the Fire Department and their equipment, which includes a boat for rescue purposes. There has been an under water rescue squad for a number of years with divers at the ready when their skills are needed.
Each July 4th the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department sponsors a daylong event on the Earl K. Drew Field when entertainment for the whole family features a parade and ends at dusk with fire works.
Many north country villages hold a field day on weekends and the Norwood Firemen are frequently in the parade along with the world famous Brass Firemen. It has been a tradition to have a fire department or "village band" since the late 1800's. A weekly band concert was held during the summer months when the musicians assembled on the concrete band stand near the Music Hall which was tom down in 1958 to erect a modern Municipal Hall. A handsome band shell was erected on the comers of Bernard and Park Avenues and Norwood resident Joseph Liotta arranges many concerts each year. Local and area musical groups perform as well as the Fort Drum Army Band and the Scottish band from Canada playing to an audience which during the summer series, numbered more than 100,000. Mr. Liotta does all the planning, advertising and arranging for these events.
In the early days of our village, before efficient fire fighting equipment was available, a fire many times completely destroyed the structure. One of the first fires recorded in village history is that of 1871 when 30 businesses and residences were destroyed in a fire which burned out the entire block of South Main Street from Mechanic Street to the present day bank Street. Those wooden buildings were quickly replaced by the brick structures still in use today.
A malfunctioning engine caused the fire, which completely destroyed the Mechanic Street Leonard & Martin Hub and Butter Tub factory in 1878. An 1894 Christmas Eve fire caused a total loss of stock of L.R. Ashley and Henry Ashley, retailers of dry good, boots and shoes, and merchant tailoring. Another Mechanic Street fire, date unknown, burned the "Dailey Building," a horse shop, stock in Steam's Grocery and the Johnson and Taylor Meat Market.
Nov. 19, 1897 was a disaster for G. F. Clark & Co. located in the E. T. Phelps block when a fire began in the carpet room, destroying the store and also Bowen's Drug Store and the law office of C.N. Bixby. When it was rebuilt the corner of the block was to be the new home of the Bank, and is currently the Community Bank, N.A.
The St. Lawrence County Historical Association archives have an old scrapbook of circa 1890 which gives information relative to other Norwood fires.
A fire started in the Bell Block, one of 8 over the period of a few months. This "Block" was a series of wooden buildings back of Main Street between Mechanic Street and the Whitney House containing a shoe shop, restaurant, T.N. Murphy's law office, a blacksmith, sheds, all burned out and causing some damage to the rear of some Main Street stores.
Arson was thought to be the cause of the fire, which destroyed the Donahue Bros. stable situated across the street from the American House. A brick building replaced the wooden structure and was used as a roller skating rink, coal and building supply business and later, as a flea market and warehouse when it again was completely burned in the late 1980's.
Other major fires include that of 1903 when the Norwood Sash, Door and Lumber Company on Ridge Street burned; Mackey's Main Street Grocery Store in 1910. The American House in 1914; the Jacobson fire in 1918 when the 3-story dry goods clothing store with 4 upstairs apartments built in 1915 was totally destroyed and caused damage to the A&P located on the north side and the Hesselgrave & McPhearson grocery store on the south side. This is approximately the site of the Norwood Post Office, which had been originally built to be the Crouch Brothers Garage. The Norwood Library fire occurred in 1920; the Whitney House burned on a cold Sunday in 1925 and the Frank Jenkins barn burned the same year. The hotel was rebuilt the same year and opened as the Norwood Inn, popular for many years under the management of the Whalen family. It was under different management and known as The White Pillars when it closed and was razed.
The former A.M.H. Pearson home, then known as the Borrman house, burned in a spectacular fire in 1966 and another Spring Street home was badly damaged but was rebuilt. The E.M. Reagan block, corner of North Main Street and Baldwin Avenue, the present site of the Atlantic Mini-market, was destroyed in 1970. The Charles Purves garage fire occurred in 1973, Whips Tavern in 1974. The Norwood Theatre was badly damaged when a film caught fire in the projector; the "movies" was closed for a time but reopened. The large audience was evacuated without casualty.
Sixty-nine head of cattle, farm equipment and a 50 x 100 foot barn were totaled when fire destroyed the former Rood farm on outer North Main Street in 1979.
Flames once again played havoc with South Main Street in July 1981 when fire destroyed two businesses and several apartments and caused damage to an antique store. The fire, thought to have begun in a television store, spread to Elwood's Ladies Shop to the north and to the antique shop on the south side. Within a few days the burned out stores were demolished, leaving a sadly vacant spot on the corners on South Main and Mechanic Streets. Elwood's had, in earlier days, been the famous "Ashley's Store." Mr. Malek continued to do business in his building which had been "Healy's" where the first telephone exchange and telegraph office had functioned along with Mr. Healy's watch, jewelry and stationery business.
Tragedy struck this village October 7, 1990 when the "Boy's home" on Bernard Avenue was destroyed in a fire believed to have begun in a first floor room. The housemother and three boys, residents of the Department of Social Services home for troubled youths, died and three others, injured in the fire, escaped from the flames. The Home was rebuilt and the new four bedrooms raised ranch style structure reopened in 1992.
A number of year's prior, a woman was rescued from her burning Clark Street home but died later in the hospital.
In recent years three Norwood men have been cited for valor for risking their own lives to rescue unconscious fire victims from blazing structures. Robert Harper pulled his neighbor from the burning "LaBrake house" on North Main Street while James Grant and Tim Levison entered the burning house at 25 Mechanic Street to remove the occupant.
Another Mechanic Street fire destroyed a large brick building used as a flea market-storage building and the large four apartment structure on Leonard Street, the first Leonard Butter factory, was totaled and razed in an early morning fire.
Back in the days when the New York Central Railroad ran a late night train, commonly called "The Midnight," a fast thinking trainman aroused the South Main Street residents to the fact that the George Gibson woodworking shop was burning by blowing the train's shrill whistle from the Dry Bridge down to the station. The shop was destroyed but there were no injuries and the flames did not spread to the adjacent Gibson dwelling.
In 1993, a fire believed to have been electrical in origin, heavily damaged the 38 1/2 South Main Street Medical Building where Dr. Ibrahim Elkhayat, a specialist in internal medicine, conducted his practice. The building, owned by the Canton-Potsdam Hospital foundation, reopened in February 1994 after extensive remodeling had been completed.
1994 saw a series of major fires in Norwood beginning with a fire at the Harrison Street Clark home on June 6. Three days later a fire destroyed a vacant house and damaged the former BullPen Tavern on lower Mechanic Street. Then on June 11, the large three apartment house on the corner of River and Spring Streets caught fire, forcing the evacuation of seven residents, one a 90 year old woman. The structure has been repaired. A Lakeshore Drive home was damaged by fire on October 26, 1994.
Retired Norwood business man and veteran member of the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department, Lyle D. Camp, John Upham and Robert Matthews contributed information for this article.
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A Brief Chronology of the Potsdam Rescue Squad and The Growth into the Norwood Community
by Rod Cota
The Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad is a non-profit service organization, which was established in July of 1955 to provide emergency rescue service to the Town of Potsdam. Our original name was Triple "R" Rescue. In a very short while the name was changed to "Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad." The original, founding members of PVRS are:
Sanford Dewey - living
Ralph Lawrence - deceased
"Bud" Spotswood - deceased
Andy Roger - deceased
PVRS was the first volunteer rescue squad in the North Country therefore it was not uncommon to travel to other townships for emergency calls. PVRS vehicles have traveled to Gouverneur, Brasher Falls, or South Colton to answer calls for assistance. Today PVRS services the Town of Potsdam, a portion of the Town of Stockholm Village of Potsdam, Village of Norwood, the hamlets of West Potsdam, West Stockholm, Sanfordville, Hewittville, and Unionville.
PVRS is a New York State Certified Ambulance Service, which offers advanced life support care. This is a program that enables advanced level EMT's to treat life-threatening situations at the scene of an accident. In many cases, it brings the emergency room to the roadside, patient's home or sports event. An Advanced Emergency Medical Technician - Critical Care Technician is a New York State Certified EMT that has added to his basic life-saving skills an arsenal of equipment and drugs. These drugs can be administered in your home or wherever they are needed. Today cardiac monitor/defibrillators and pulse oximeters are commonplace on ambulances.
PVRS is fortunate to have built up a current fleet of 5 ambulances, 1 crash/rescue vehicle and a rescue boat. Our main base of operations is 25 Cottage Street, Potsdam along with a satellite station in Norwood on Bernard Avenue, opposite the Fire Station.
The Norwood Unit of PVRS came about in 1987. Chief Line Officer (Bill Corbett) and Squad President (George Kahn) approached the Norwood Kiwanis about interest and support for a rescue unit in Norwood. The concept was that with an additional crew in the Norwood community response would be faster in a "real emergency. " The additional benefit would be that PVRS could have additional personnel. The Norwood unit today is an Advance Life Support Unit. The garage that houses the Norwood Unit of PVRS was built with Kiwanis monies and efforts. Several members of PVRS were faithful in lending a hand as well.
The original members of the Norwood Unit were:
Richard (Dick) Liscum
Robert Harper Jr.
Along with the medical duties PVRS handles car accident extrication and special rescue. Potsdam Rescue handles its own extrication and special rescue techniques because it responds with several different Fire Departments. Purchases of new equipment such as air bags, power hydraulic extrication system (for example, "The Jaws of Life") are just a few additional improvements gained over the past years.
PVRS is also involved in water rescue. A new boat was purchased for use in rescue and recovery in cases of drowning and boating accidents with EMT divers available.
PVRS provides stand-by protection at many sports events. The rescue squad can be seen at Clarkson University's Golden Knights home games, at Potsdam State's Bear's home games, and at Potsdam Sandstoner's home football games. There are other events we are called to "be there just in case" too numerous to be remembered.
Two thirds of the operating budget of PVRS is from individual contributions and memorials, the balance comes from service contracts with the townships and villages that make up the Town of Potsdam. Without the dedicated support of our community, PVRS would not exist as it does today.
We would like to thank all those who have supported PVRS in the past and all those who will continue to support us in the future.
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Our Home Town Band
There's a group of young fellows in Norwood they be
Make the best aggregation you ever did see;
They're the best-darned musicians in all this land
And they're known thruout Norwood as Fred Morgan's Band.
Their type of rendition is strictly their own
When backed up by Fred Morgan's big Sousaphone,
And although they read music, they're much better without -
In the Town Hall their concerts have been much talked about.
There was Georgie McLennon and his brother Jim
Who gave out on the drums and the trombone with vim;
And Ernie Delaney beat time on the snare -
Gene Lewis with cymbals was certainly there.
There was never a moment in which to relax
When Murray Farmer was tooting his small soprano sax
George Bixby from Potsdam the band did adorn
When he doubled and tripled on his baritone horn.
On the xylophone we had a fellow named Bond
He was exceptionally fine and of him we were fond,
The clarinet playing was talked of so much
People knew when they heard it, it was Jim Calnon's touch.
When the trumpets gave out with their notes round and clear,
John Cotey and Don Jarvis were the ones you did hear -
With a recent addition from Erin's Green Isle
David Donahue did join them with a broad Irish smile.
There is a horn in the band that is different from most,
To play the french horn is to be able to boast-
And to have one in our band we were surely in luck,
Peckin' away on the off-beat was old Sealy Buck.
The Director of our band was a man good and true,
Whose knowledge of music was surpassed by few
He led with abandon and his cornet was grand,
Harry Fieckert was the leader of Fred Morgan's Band.
I'll always remember be my life short or long
All the moments I spent with these stout lads of song,
And the memories I keep "I be memories grand -
Of that great aggregation called Fred Morgan's Band.Leo E. Hickey (1912-1977)
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Music, Music, Music
Norwood has had a long history of listening to and making music. Banjo Clubs, Cornet Bands, singing schools, family orchestras, choirs, minstrel shows, recitals and village bands have been some of the ways that our friends and neighbors have enjoyed music. And at one time there was a dancing school conducted by an out-of-town man who came to Norwood on a regular schedule to conduct classes in the latest dance steps.
Many years ago an elderly man told of his participation in the Norwood Village Band when they played on excursion boats which went from Waddington to the Thousand Islands in the early 1900's. Frank Worden, the leader, played cornet. Everything was fine until the musicians were put up in a vermin infested hotel.
The roster of the 1922 Norwood Band as listed in the Norwood News was George Lindley, manager; Earl Claffey, secretary-treasurer; Leo J. Anable, director; Earl Claffey, bass; W. B. Andrews, tenor; L.J. Anable, trombone; John Gravline, alto; Clarence Premo, Harold Franz, Charles Drew, Arthur Tebo, Lyle Shepard, cornets; John Remington, Harold Wood, Leon Wood and Kenneth Andrews, saxophone; Mr. Brown, clarinet; Guy Finch, snare drum; Eugene Charlebois, bass drum. It was expected that Dr. Greenmore, clarinet, Sanford Bell, trombone, and two additional altos would join the group at the next practice.
The officially adopted name of the band was The Norwood Fire Department Band.
The Band, in 1946, led by director Harry Fieckert, was composed of. James Calnon, Jr., Leo Hickey, Eugene Lewis, Hubert Bond, James McLennon, George McLennon Jr., George Bixby, Ernest Delaney, Sealy Buck, Murray Farmer, Fred Morgan, Donald Jarvis, and David Donohue.
By 1966, the Norwood Fire Department Band had been recognized as one of the best, they played weekly concerts on the park, they often were in the line of march at parades in Northern New York. And that is the year when, under the direction of Timothy S. Donahue, retired military officer, the Band was auditioned by Buddy Paige, chief talent scout for the popular television show, The Ted Mack Amateur Hour. At the Fire House the early afternoon of April 24, 1966 were Norwood Fire Department Band members John R. Burns, assistant director and trumpet; Fred B. Morgan, manager and Sousaphone player, James Cotey; John Cotey; Michael Desnoyers; Verner Ingram, Jr.; Fred A. Morgan; Philip Regan; George Bixby; Jerry Dresye; Michael Edwards; Lowell Clark; Lyle Camp; Dennis LaFleur; Lee Farrington; Sealy Buck; Steve LaBarre; Lloyd Howe; Tim Maloney; Robert Frost; Fred Purves; and Richard French.
The Band later auditioned again at Clayton for the Production Manager of the show but was never given a spot on the TV show.
Over the years the personnel of the Band changed but the high professional quality of their music did not change, as they became known on the state and national level. The whole world watched as "our boys," now known as the BRASS FIREMEN, and the Official USA Band in the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Winter Olympic, at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, led the world procession to the strains of "When the Saints Come Marching In." It was estimated that about two billion people around the world watched as Norwood's 24 member band entered the arena where the Ceremonies were to take place.
Fifty years ago the music of the band was enhanced by a men's quartet composed of James Calnon, Tom Charlesbois, Gerald Dockum and Leo Hickey. The ladies quartet was composed of Claire Dockum, Esther Dickey, Louella Burton and Joyce Calnon. Wilfred Wordon, pianist, and old time fiddler, Otto Felix, were the accompanists.
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The Norwood Brass Firemen
By Bob Haggett, Manager
At the opening of the 1972 Norwood Village Centennial the Norwood Fire Department Band produced a best-selling record. Mrs. Charles (Edith) Purves bought the first record from Band Manager Fred Morgan and Band Director John Cotey.
Firemen's Field Days with entertainment and parade were a popular Sunday event at that time so each Sunday the 15-member Norwood Fire Department Band and Manager Fred Morgan were participants. They made an average of 15 appearances during the summers of 1972-1976. In 1976, the second record was made in honor of the Nation's Bicentennial and was also offered on 8-track tape. This is what helped to inspire the present day name of the Band - THE NORWOOD BRASS FIREMEN.
Field days were still going strong and these events actually created a political arena for local politicians. The Band was well liked; a Canton politician was seeking a seat in the State Capitol. The association with Dave Martin would prove to be very beneficial to the Band in coming years.
In 1977, Fred Morgan decided to turn over the management of the band, which he had headed for 32 years, feeling it was time for new leadership. He asked me, his nephew, to be the new manager. At first I found the job overwhelming but realized the fun in it and decided to continue Fred's philosophy of why there was a band to begin with. Simply, it was for a group of volunteer men to get together, play good music, enjoy the fellowship and, most of all, have fun.
The Norwood Brass Firemen. Front row, left to right: John Wolfe, Norfolk, trumpet; Chris Clark, Norwood, bass drum; Jamie Callahan, Potsdam, trombone; Kevin Murray, Potsdam, trumpet; Lyle Camp, Norwood, bass drum; Roger Davis, Norwood, cymbals. Standing: Lee Farrington, Norwood, snare drum; Joe Liotta, Norwood, trombone; Gerald Gallagher, Waddington, trombone; Jeff Brackett, Norwood, trombone; Paul Haggett, Norwood, trombone; Bill Felix, Norwood, trombone; Matt Vaska, Potsdam, trombone; David Rourke, Madrid, trombone; Chris Greenwood, Potsdam, trombone; Andy Vanduyne, Norwood, sousaphone; Tim Donahue, Norwood, trumpet, Elmer James, Potsdam, trumpet; Paul Vaska, Potsdam, trumpet, Paul Santitmaw, Norwood, snare drum; Band Manager, Bob Haggett, trumpet; Band Director Bob Thorpe, Potsdam, trumpet, David Flint, Norwood, trumpet, Darren LaGarry, Norwood, baritone.
At the time of the Sarajevo trip, ten of the 24 member BRASS FIREMEN BAND, either had served or were active members of the Norwood Volunteer Fire Department.
We continued our annual performing schedule from Memorial Day to Labor Day with about 15 public appearances.
In 1979, Assemblyman Dave Martin invited us to the State Capitol in Albany to perform while the Assembly was in session. This was a first for both the Band and the Assembly since there had been very few performances by outside groups during the actual Assembly session.
Our trip to Albany was historic and exciting. We were televised throughout the state and carried on local TV news at home. This was also Fred Morgan's last trip with the Band. We performed in Albany in January 1979 and in March Fred suffered a stroke.
Each year the Band represented the Northern Delegation at the annual Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) convention where we entertained the convention delegates and also sold records to them. This convention is held at a different location each year, anywhere from Buffalo to New York City.
Instrumental in promoting the Band with FASNY was Bill Reid of Massena, a former Norwood resident and an executive director of FASNY. We were becoming better known all the time and important things were in the making.
In 1980, Assemblyman Dave Martin became Congressman Martin. He invited the Band to Washington, D.C. for a four-day visit. Food, lodging and transportation were required. Since we were a volunteer Band with a yearly expense of about $200, we had to raise $5000 to undertake this trip. Throughout the summer we held fund raising events and by September of 1981 we had reached our goal and the Nation's Capitol. We performed on the Capitol steps and at the Lincoln Memorial. We were given a tour of the West Side of the White House. We saw the Oval Office, the Cabinet room and had a tour inside Vice President George Bush's office. One band member, Tim Donahue, sat in Mr. Bush's chair. We left a record on his desk for which we later received a personal note of thanks from the Vice-President. This note is in the Norwood Museum. When we left the White House we signed the guest book, THE NORWOOD BRASS FIREMEN.
In July 1982, 1 received a call from the White House inviting the Band back to Washington to perform on the South Lawn for First Lady Nancy Reagan. The Band borrowed $2800 for airfare. We boarded our used high school bus early in the morning, drove the three hours to Syracuse airport, flew to Washington and performed for Mrs. Reagan for two hours. After visiting with the First Lady and having a glass of lemonade with her, we were taken back to the airport by the Secret Service. There Congressman Martin met us in the airport parking lot. So we celebrated with a couple of cold beers before flying back to Syracuse the same afternoon. After landing in Syracuse and boarding our bus for home, I reflected on my early beginning with the Band. In 1969, we drove our cars to different events but in the early 1970's we acquired a used school bus for transportation. Now we had just flown to the Nation's Capitol and performed for the First Lady. Nothing could beat this experience.
In February 1983, the Band was invited to perform at the Lake Placid Olympic Arena. Lake Placid was the host of the World Winter Olympics in 1980. Because this site continued to be a training center, there was World Competition each year. The Band was invited to perform at the Ceremonies for the International Luge event. We bused to Lake Placid did the event in the evening and went home. Three weeks before Thanksgiving 1983, 1 received a phone call from one of the Olympic Committee members at Lake Placid. He said that the Committee was very impressed with our performance and extended an invitation to travel to Sarajevo, Yugoslavia to be the Official USA Band in the Opening Ceremonies for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
I could write a book about the trip to Sarajevo, there are scrapbooks on the trip in the Norwood Museum. I do want to mention that, even though we were invited by Lake Placid to attend the Olympics with them, we had to raise over $20,000 to cover our expenses in transporting the Band to Yugoslavia. We had about $150. My wife, Judee and I worked countless hours in our kitchen writing letters and making phone calls asking for support for our cause. Once the papers, radio and TV spread the word of our trip, the entire Norwood area and surrounding villages took interest in our trip. In ten weeks after starting our campaign for funds, over $20,000 was received from private, individual, public and corporate groups. The North Country had responded in its traditionally generous way.
Putting together a 24-piece Band which two billion people around the world would view on TV was also a task. Rehearsals, packing, preparing uniforms for a summer Band which was going to play in a winter event, acquiring passports were some of the preparations that we had to make. This was all done in 12 weeks, which included Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year Holiday.
(Historian's note: when the Brass Firemen returned to Norwood in the wee hours of a cold morning, they, in their "can do" spirit, assembled their instruments and we held an impromptu march from the Municipal Building, up Park, across Park Avenue, then up Bernard Avenue back to the Municipal Building. Never had " When the Saints Come Marching In " sounded so wonderful!)
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Baldwin Acres, a thirty-six-unit complex for senior citizens, opened in the spring of 1983. Two of the apartments are constructed especially for the handicapped and two others are for semi-handicapped tenants.
The attractive brick and vinyl buildings are located on the south side of the first block of Baldwin Avenue. The Baldwin Acres apartments are federally rent subsidized housing, under the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section Eight program.
The general construction was done by Hayner and Hoyt of Syracuse while Potsdam architect Quentin R. Reutershan did the planning.
The grounds of the complex are attractively landscaped and each tenant may plant flowers at each of the buildings, making a homey and colorful appearance.
A maintenance supervisor is on duty full time to care for this not-for-profit complex and to assist the tenants as necessary.
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Norwood Golden Agers
The Norwood Golden Agers Club was formed in the fall of 1967 for the purpose of providing a meaningful organization for retired and semi-retired men and women as well as the still active persons who are looking forward to retirement.
The first officers were William Henderson, chairman; Miss Ella Cranston, secretary; Peter Chatell, programs; Mrs. Peter Chatell, sunshine committee; Mrs. Harold Buck, Sr., refreshments and Mrs. Amanda Dishaw, membership.
Meetings were held the first and third Thursday of each month in the Municipal Building and later in the rooms over the old firehall. The Club was invited to use Centennial Hall in the Norwood United Church of Christ (Congregational) and did so happily until they were able to move into their own clubrooms on Mechanic Street May 6, 1971. These rooms were made available through the generosity of the Norwood Village Board and friends who donate equipment, furniture, labor and money.
Mayor Lyle Wolstenholme, William Curtis, Peter Chatell, Gene Lewis, Ed Mackey, Joe Royer and the SATC class taught by Wendell Fuller, Jr., gave many hours of volunteer labor to transform the former restaurant into its present attractiveness. A number of persons made money donations in lieu of labor.
The Club is non-sectarian and non-political and enjoys the fellowship and support of all Norwood churches and clergymen.
The clubrooms are now used as the Norwood Nutrition Site where hot dinners are served Monday through Friday at a small suggested donation. No one is turned away because of lack of funds. The modem kitchen is in charge of two paid cooks who prepare and serve the meals.
The Norwood Golden Agers hold a monthly covered dish supper and business meeting. Membership is open to all area senior citizens; many are from the areas surrounding Norwood.
The Club sponsors a chartered bus once or twice each year when a day trip is made to some place of interest such as Ottawa or Beck's Grove.
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Civil War Memorial Meeting
A group of Norwood members of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, wishing to take part in the Civil War national Centennial then being observed, arranged a Civil War Memorial Meeting which was held in Centennial Hall of the Congregational Church, August 30,l961. In order to focus on Norwood's part in the conflict guests were invited to display Civil War letters, diaries, discharge papers, regiment insignia, buttons, guns, uniforms or any other items dealing with the war.
The committee for this meeting was Mrs. Carroll L. Chase, Mrs. Charles W. Bartlett, Mrs. W. Mark Jenner, and Mrs. Gerald Dockum.
Because of the great interest in the formation of a local historical society, Mrs. Chase as chairman of the meeting, appointed Mrs. Bartlett, Mrs. Jenner, Mrs. Dockum, Mrs. Royal J. Lyman, Richard Dunne and Arch Royce as a continuing committee.
The committee met at the Norwood Library September 12, 1961 when Mrs. Jenner was elected chairman, Mrs. Lyman, secretary and Mrs. Bartlett, publicity chairman.
October 26, 1961 was set as a date for a public meeting to be held at the Norwood Municipal Building for the purpose of forming a Norwood Historical Society. At that meeting the local historical association was organized and continues to be an active force in the community.
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The Norwood Historical Association
The Norwood Historical Association was formed at a meeting held at the Norwood Municipal Building on October 26,1961. Mrs. Mark Jenner acted as chairman of this meeting.
Mrs. Harland Bancroft and Mrs. Royal J. Lyman were elected as co-chairmen of the Association; Mrs. Jenner was named secretary- treasurer and Mrs. Charles W. Bartlett and Walter R. Hydom; were appointed a program committee. Mrs. Bancroft and Mrs. Lyman served as chairpersons for a period of 19 years.
To publicize its formation and purpose many window displays dealing with local history were prepared in the downtown store windows with the cooperation of the merchants. Miss Carol Lyman, Mrs. Jenner, Mrs. Bartlett, Mrs. W.R. Hydorn, Mrs. Bancroft and Mrs. Lyman planned the displays and accepted the loan of priceless articles for the exhibits.
When gifts of articles of local historical interest began to be received, plans were formulated for a museum. Before such a facility was available, the Village made storage space available in a small room
The Norwood Museum, headquarters of the Norwood Historical Association.
The Norwood Historical Association was formed on October 26, 1961.
The Museum is the former Norwood Library and home of Dr. and Mrs. Truman Pease.
they cleaned and painted for this express purpose. This room was once part of the "school on the park" and was situated on the present day site of the Rescue Squad. It was destroyed by fire years ago but not before all historical artifacts had been removed to the present Museum.
The local history museum was opened on the second floor of the Norwood Library on September 10, 1969, when more than 200 friends and well wishers visited and viewed the exhibits prepared by the Museum Committee. E.D. Stowell Sr. was named Museum Director and under his guidance all necessary painting and general arrangements were carried out.
After the Library moved into their new building in December 1984, the Museum was given the use of the entire building and, in the spring of 1985, with the help of civic organizations, moved part of their artifacts onto the ground floor.
A curator was employed and regular open hours were established. The Museum is open to visitors each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon during the months of May through October or by appointment.
Mrs. Robert (Catherine) Steele was the first curator and when she resigned to attend graduate school, Mrs. James (Jean) Cotey assumed the position. Mrs. George (Patricia) Veraldo is the current curator and is ably assisted by Mr. Veraldo. Edgar F. Ladouceur is chairman.
The Norwood Museum is a viable and growing institution with frequently changing exhibits of particular and timely interest. Plans include having some Sunday open hours. Gifts of items relating to Norwood's earlier days are gratefully received.
This booklet, The Story of Norwood, N. Y, A Nice Place to Live is funded and written under the auspices of the Norwood Historical Association and with a grant from the Norwood Lake Association and the Newton Falls Paper Co.
Back to Table of ContentsThe Smith Museum
In 1987, Willard E. Smith built a spacious addition to his 1 Ridge Street home and opened the Racquetteville Library of Political Americana. This private Museum is open by appointment only.
Kiwanis Club of Norwood
"We Build" is the motto of the Kiwanis Club of Norwood, formed in 1937 as a community service club under the sponsorship of the Kiwanis Club of Ogdensburg.
A Charter Presentation ceremony was held at the Norwood Inn April 25, 1938, when F. Trafford of Winnipeg, Manitoba, President of Kiwanis International, came to Norwood to make the presentation.
The first officers of the new club were Frank S. Jenkins, president; A.A. Kingston, Elias Dewey, R.C. Algie and J.B. Pringle. Other charter members were Clayton C. Bush, William F. Borrman, Charles S. Drew, Earl K. Drew, Harry L. Farmer,Wm. E. Gracey, John A. Hall, Wm. M. Hart, Grant S. Haley, Glen Kingsbury, H. Wm. Martin, Arthur H. Martin, Leon A. McCargar, Nobel M. Powell, Robert L. Plummer, Arch C. Royce, Edgar Smith, Murray Farmer and Dr. Henry Vinicor.
The public affairs activities of the Kiwanis Club of Norwood includes the support of churches in their spiritual aims, cooperation in law observance and enforcement, assistance in public safety movements, the presentation of non-partisan information on public problems, maintenance of the international goodwill existing between Canada and the United States and the promotion of cultural and recreational use of leisure.
The club has sponsored Boy Scout troops and other projects involving youth of the community. Each year several awards are presented to members of the graduating class of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School.
In 1959 the club initiated the policy of honoring Norwood citizens for their outstanding service to the community with E. E. Wright as the recipient of the first Citizen of the Year award.
Since 1972 many more Kiwanians have served as Presidents of this club. Their names are on a plaque in the Lobster House.
As the years progressed, the activities of this club increased. Today there is hardly a project or activity in the Norwood area that this club is not involved in.
A major undertaking in recent years has been the construction of many new homes in the village by BOCES students with Kiwanis providing the funding. Over the years over half a million dollars of taxable property has been added to the Norwood tax base making this one of the main reasons that taxes are so much lower here than in surrounding communities. The Norwood beach and the arena were all started (and completed) because of Kiwanis - its' dollars and its' manpower. The new bandshell and the Village Green concert series have been both endorsed and supported by Kiwanis.
This club provided the radio equipment for the police department also. The ARC gym was equipped by this club - the Norwood playground is a reality because of them and through the years many boys and girls have been sent to summer camps (Kamp Kiwanis, scout camps, etc.) by this club. Today (1994) they are the prime sponsors of the scouting movement in Norwood (both boys & girls). A new Rescue Squad building was financed and constructed by the club and we now have a local unit based in Norwood as a "quick response team." "Operation Sleep Tight" evolved from this club and national recognition was awarded to the club because of it. They are or have sponsored Key clubs in the high School, Circle K clubs in Clarkson and SUNY-Potsdam who in turn are reaching the handicapped and elderly. The club presently is deeply involved in the Special Olympic program - sponsors Regatta racing on Norwood Lake and is very involved in the local schools. In addition, several members have served in New York District and St. Lawrence Division Office as Lt. Governors, District Chairman, etc. In recent years, women have been invited into Kiwanis and they are presently making their presence known and are making a great contribution to the meaning of Kiwanis.
In 1987, a great 50th year celebration was held at the Sunset Lodge with many American and Canadian clubs attending. They helped the Norwood club set the pace for the next 50 years.
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Norwood Village Green Concert Series
by Joseph Liotta
The full and formal name is THE NORWOOD LIBRARY ASSOCIATION VILLAGE GREEN CONCERT SERIES. It is a program of the Norwood Library Association and was founded in 1974. It was conceived, founded and developed by Joe and Mickey Liotta. Mr. Liotta is the founding Director and serves in this capacity on a voluntary basis. It is rural Northern New York's premier eclectic outdoor concert series and has been an inspiration for the start up of several other series.
The Series was built on the foundation of the community's past history with its Village Band and its Opera House, both of which date back to the 1870's. The modem version of these two traditions are the Norwood Fire Department Band and the Norwood Village Green Bandshell - home to the Series. In 1974, the first season of operation the total budget for six concerts was $25. For the first nine years only local performers were featured. In 1984 the first professional touring group was presented and the Series began to grow exponentially. Over the years the Norwood Village Green Concert Series has presented more than 320 performances for an audience in excess of 181,150 people. The Series has been able to present Grammy, Juno, and Emmy award winners along with a host of international, national, regional and local performers. Recent budgets have ranged from $20,000 to $25,000 and the Series obtains its financing through a wide array of sources both public and private. Since 1991 the Series has joined forces with the Community Performance Series at Potsdam College in an annual Neighbors in Harmony Concert.
The Series prides itself in its programming for children and youth and its long history of giving opportunity for student musician performances. It always tries to present its offerings in the spirit of community whether the performer is the beginning student or the internationally recognized artist. The concerts are performed at the Bandshell in Norwood, which was built as a community project for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in 1976. The Series owns an extensive outdoor lighting system and a first rate professional sound system. Several New York State and private foundation grants funded these technical accessories. Performers have come from as far as Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, South, Central and North America. All of the above statistics are current through August of 1994.
A Short and Incomplete List of Village Green Series Performers Over the Years:
Bill Morrissey, Garnet Rodgers, Rene Fleming, Dick Stephan, Paul Meyers, Larry Ham, Tom Melito, Gene Bertoneini, Michael Moore, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cary Black, Chestnut Grove with John Rossbach and John Kirk, Laurie Lewis and Grant Street, Scott Robinson, Pat O'Reilly, Brett Zvacek, Barry Lumendial, Valery Ponomerov, Patty Larkni, Peter Ostroushko and the Mando Boys, The Bennington Marionette Theater, The Merry Go Round Playhouse, Ruth Pelham, Puppetworks Incorporated, The Stardusters Big Band, Laurel Masse', Freyda Epstein and the Atta Boys (Bob Vasile and Ralph Gordon), The Tri-Town Singers, Nancy Kelly, Calvin Custer, The Brass Firemen, The North Country Preservation Jazz Band, The Suncoast Singing Artists, The St. Regis String Band, The Woods Tea Company, The Crane Youth Music Band and Jazz Ensemble, The Potsdam Community Band, The Sweet Adelines, Topaz, Martin's Breakdown, The All Star Big Band, The Brigadoons, Jean Redpath, The Carlton Showband, Rare Silk, The Desperadoes, Le Petite Opera, James Cotton, The Racquette River Rounders, The Brandy Four, The Crane Mirimba Ensemble, Randy Reed, Rosetta Stone, Music Theater North Previews, Heather Forest, Marshall Izen, The Starry Night Puppet Theatre, Mike White, New and Unusual Artists, Danny Gotham, Barb Heller Burns, The Pete Giroux Quartet, Richard Groome, Larry Baycura, Joe Benasham, Fredi Ni Hogan, Vicia Garneau and Swingshift, Das Puppenspiel, The Family Brown, Read A Loud Theater, The Clown Conspiracy, PM Electric, Joe Locke, Tim Homer, Fred Gee, Christopher Holder and Storysinger Productions, Summit, Bill Keith, Eliot Fintushel, Sweet Rose Revue, Gamalon, Double Axel, The Syracuse Opera Company, L.U. S., Colin MacLellan, Scott Nygaaa Tom Rozan, Tony Furtado, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters with Daryl Numlisch, The Fox Family Band, Kip Reed, Annie Hickman, Willie and Company, The Potsdam Brass Quintet, Dean Rolando, Jack Adams, The Beswick-McLaughlin Dance Company, The Shadows, Without Words Musical Mime Theater, Broken Axel, The Tenth Mountain Division Band, The Fiddle Puppet Dancers, Dirk Powell, Mark Schatz, George Wesley and the Irietations, Mike Welsh, Lazy Mercedes, the Maskman, Shari Kane, Jutta Distler and the Hi Dukes, Scan Hernandez, Christian Parker, Mac Benford and the Woodshed All Stars, Doug Henrie, Pete Sutherland, Marie Bums, Flor De Cania, and music groups from Norwood- Norfolk, Potsdam, Canton, Massena, St. Lawrence, Gouverneur, Colton-Pierrepont, Edwards-Knox, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Morristown, Madrid-Waddington, Parishville Hopkinton, and Lisbon Central schools.
Also, Ranch Romance, The Burns Sisters, Samite of Uganda, Details at Eleven, Terra Brasil, Bells and Motley, Front Range, Tim and Molly O'Brien and the 0 Boys, The Mettwee River Theater Company, Natraj, Danielle Martineau and Rockabayou, Sol Y Canto, John and Trish Miller, Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball, The Adirondack Liars Club, Connie Kaldor, Mustard's Retreat and The Gigolo Aunts.
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What Cheer Lodge F.and A.M.
What Cheer Lodge No. 689 F. and A.M. was instituted June 18, 1867 in the Town of Norfolk, N.Y. The first officers included David W. Branch, Worshipful Master; Levi P. Bedell, Senior Warden and Josiah C. Mould, Junior Warden.
On September 19,1893 the first meeting of What Cheer Lodge No. 689 was held in Inman Hall, 3 South Main Street, Norwood. After this meeting room had been severely damaged in the February 8, 1920 Library fire, the What Cheer Lodge looked around for suitable quarters. They used the Odd Fellows Hall on Mechanic Street for a time and late in the summer purchased the block now occupied by Jay's Bouquets and the Community Bank, N.A. They rented the Clark-Robinson Norwood American Legion Hall then located in the building now owned by the Knights of Columbus, meeting there until June 21, 1921 when they moved into the Masonic Temple which they share with Lyra Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.
Back to Table of ContentsThe E.J. Wilkins Chapter, Order of DeMolay
by Duane and David Schoen
The International Order of DeMolay is a fraternal organization, for young men ages 13 to 21 sponsored by the Free and Accepted Masons. The organization was founded in 1919 by Frank S. Land in Kansas City, Missouri and has more than 1,000 chapters in twelve countries.
The Order of DeMolay is named after Jaques DeMolay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, a fraternal organization of knights, which were most active during the time of the Crusades. King Philip the Fair of France, who wished to possess the wealth of the organization and wanted the names of other Templars, arrested DeMolay in 1307. DeMolay was imprisoned and tortured for seven years and was finally burned at the stake in 1314 when he refused to betray his comrades.
E.J. Wilkins Chapter was instituted on 4 October 1980. What Cheer Lodge #689, Free and Accepted Masons sponsored the chapter. The chapter was named after the late E.J. Wilkins, long-time secretary for the lodge and for other Masonic bodies.
Frank N. Colbert served as the first Master Councilor in the Chapter's history. Randall J. Colbert was Senior Councilor while Brian J. Bumap was the Junior Councilor. The Chapter's other charter members were: James D. Bates, Jeff S. Clark, Jeffrey B. Colbert, Kyle A. Colbert, Patrick J. Colbert, Robert D. Colbert, Frank Davey, Guy P. DeCamp, Jon A. DeCamp, James E. Dennis, Lynn P. DeWalt, Eric F. LaBarre, Colin McClure, Darren J. McClure, Scott A. Raymo, Stephen A. Richards, David J. Shoen and Gregory J. Warner. Members of the Chapter's Advisory Council were Leon H. Bumap, Chairman, and David P. Colbert, Chapter Dad.
The Chapter received most of its early recognition from its ritual and bowling teams. The Chapter made its mark in the Four Rivers Region Ritual Championships in 1984 and 1985. The Chapter won two consecutive titles in the DeMolay Degree Fourth Section competition. Duane Shoen and Aaron Farr led the teams in the competitions. Other members of the teams were Brian Liscum, Bill Hammac, and Kenneth Thompson. David Shoen would capture individual honors in 1985, winning both the Flower Talk and Ceremony of Light competitions.
The Chapter's most notable success during the early years was the "Strike Force" bowling team. The Strike Force, bowling out of Norwood Bowl, finished second in the Four Rivers Region Bowling Tournament in Troy in 1984 and would upset Mohawk Valley Chapter of Utica in the 1985 Championships in Poughkeepsie.
The Strike Force team was led that year by team captain David Shoen, who finished his career with the highest overall average on the team. Assistant captain Duane Shoen would post the team records for both high game and high series during his career with the team. Aaron Farr, Bill Hammac, and Brian Liscum rounded out the 1985 champions.
E.J. Wilkins Chapter would receive recognition as one of the top chapters in New York State during the late 1980's. The state's annual Chapter of the Year competition was where E.J. Wilkins Chapter would make its mark. The Chapter won the New York State Division E Championship in 1984, earning a promotion to the B Division in 1985 and reaching the top ten for the first time in 1986. The Chapter would reach its highest standing in the 1989 competition, finishing with over 100,000 points for the first time, good enough for sixth place.
The Chapter also became a major player in the New York State DeMolay Basketball Championships. E.J. Wilkins Chapter would capture their first state basketball title ever in 1989 at Hamilton College in Clinton (near Utica). The Chapter defeated Round Hill Chapter of Endicott in the semi-final game before dethroning Mohawk Valley Chapter in the title matchup. The team was led by forwards Rob Greenwood, John Richards, and Tom Cota. Duane Shoen and Jon Cota were in the backcourt for E. J. Wilkins Chapter's first champions.
After being unable to defend their title in 1990, E.J. Wilkins Chapter would win the championship back in 1991 at Morrisville Tech. This time, their victims were Wantaugh Chapter of Long Island in the semi-finals and Robert R. Livingston Chapter of Hudson in the finals. Rob Greenwood returned to action for E.J. Wilkins Chapter, and was joined in the front line by Mike Almasy and Kris Graves. Jason Mittelstaedt and Jon Paige were the guards.
With most of the outstanding members from the 1980's either reaching the age of majority or off to college, the Chapter has been rebuilding during the early 1990's. The rebuilding effort paid early dividends as 1993-94 marked one of the more successful years in the history of the Chapter. E.J. Wilkins Chapter reached its New York State membership recruitment goal for the first time ever. They would also finish in seventh place in the Chapter of the Year competition with a Chapter record of 107,720 points.
Master Councilor James L. Shantie, Senior Councilor Joseph E. Wood, and Junior Councilor John E. Woodall lead the Chapter to its 15th year of operation hoping for even greater success. Helping them will be Advisory Council Chairman David J. Shoen and Chapter Advisor Duane R. Shoen.
Three members and one advisor have received recognition from the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay for their outstanding work.
David P. Colbert is the only advisor from E. J. Wilkins Chapter to ever receive the Honorary Legion of Honor. Mr. Colbert, who received the honor in 1988, served as the Chapter Advisor from its institution until 1993. He has also been Champlain District Deputy for the Four Rivers Region from 1986 to 1987 and the St. Lawrence District Deputy for the Phoenix Region from 1987 to 1993.
David J. Shoen became the first E.J. Wilkins Chapter member to receive the Degree of Chevalier when he was honored in 1988. Mr. Shoen, a charter member, served as its Master Councilor from October 1982 to March 1983. He later became the Deputy Region Master Councilor for the Northern Section of the Four Rivers Region during the 1985-86 year. He has also been Chairman of the Chapter's Advisory Council since 1986. Mr. Shoen has also been active in the New York State Chapter, serving as Phoenix Region Financial Advisor from 1987 to 1990, Phoenix Region chapter Advisor from 1990 to 1994, and is currently Area VI Governor for the state chapter, covering most of northern New York.
Duane R. Shoen became the second E. J. Wilkins Chapter member to receive the Degree of Chevalier in 1990. Mr. Shoen was initiated in 1981 and served two terms as Master Councilor during the winter 1983-84 and summer 1985 terms. He became the Deputy Region Master Councilor for the Phoenix Region during the 1988-89 year and received the Representative DeMolay Award in 1988 (the first Chapter member to ever receive the award). Mr. Shoen served the Chapter as Assistant Chapter Advisor from 1989 to 1993, and currently serves as the Chapter Advisor.
Robert L. Greenwood is the third E.J. Wilkins Chapter member to be honored with the Degree of Chevalier. Mr. Greenwood, who joined the Chapter in 1986, became the first member to serve three terms as Master Councilor (Winter 1987-88, Winter 1988-89, and Summer 1991). He became the first member in the Chapter's history to serve on the New York State Chapter's Executive Committee when he was elected Phoenix Region Master Councilor for the 1989-90 year. That year would be the only year where E.J. Wilkins Chapter would fill both leadership positions in the region as Jon C. Cota joined Mr. Greenwood on the Executive Committee as Deputy Region master Councilor. Mr. Greenwood was elected by the International Supreme Council to receive the Degree on Chevalier in 1993.
The E. J. Wilkins Chapter meets regularly the 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings of each month at 7: 00 p.m. in the Norwood Masonic Temple at 26 1/2 South Main Street. For more information, you can contact Advisory Council Chairman David J. Shoen at 353-8886 or Chapter Advisor Duane R. Shoen at 353-2628.
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Lyra Chapter #230, Order of the Eastern Star
By Mrs. Clark Bowhall
Lyra Chapter #230, Order of the Eastem Star, held its first meeting on September 6,1901 in the Masonic Hall, Norwood, New York after having received permission to organize a Chapter from the Grand Chapter of the State of New York. There were 24 charter members. Its formal charter was received in 1902. Mrs. Rollin (Jane) Reed was the first Worthy Matron and Willis J. Fletcher, Worthy Patron. From then until the present there have been 73 Matrons and 27 Patrons. The number of officers has increased from 18 to 24 at present.
Meetings are held in the Masonic Hall on the first and third Wednesdays after the first and third Tuesdays of each month with the exception of the summer months.
All Eastern Star Chapters in the State are governed by the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of the State of New York, which dates back to 1869. All owe their existence to the Masonic Order. Membership is open to all women 18 years of age or older who have a Masonic relationship or by being sponsored by a member of the Masonic Order. Masons may also be members of the O.E.S.
The O.E.S. is a social, charitable, and fraternal organization with approximately 71,000 members throughout the state of New York.
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Norwood Dance Halls
One of the popular entertainment spots before World War I was McNulty's Hall on Mechanic Street, upstairs over the bar and grill, once operated by William Casey. A drug store run by Henry L. McNulty was on the street floor and any group or organization that wished to sponsor a dance or use the kitchen facilities for "oyster feeds" used the upper story. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs frequently use this hall. These structures are just a memory of older residents.
About 1915 or 1916 an orchestra, consisting of Lyle Austin at the piano, Walter and Norman Austin playing the violin, Paul Oliver, the horn, and Victor Jones, the drums, was in great demand to furnish music for dances. Any special occasion was regarded as a good reason to have a get-together, hence there were Silver Gray Balls, Harvest Balls, and Thanksgiving Balls, as well as the usual holiday season festivities.
Mr. Ray Binan of Brushton held dancing classes in McNulty's Hall at about this time. There were other dancing instructors who came at various times to keep the patrons of the dance up-to-date on the latest round and square dances.
Dr. Kissane Sr. and the dentist, Dr. Reynolds were in regular attendance at the dances, their practices permitting.
A few dances were held in a hall over the Norwood Bakery but it never became a popular spot even though every one always had a good time.
Shepard's furniture store, located between Santimaw and M.J. Reagan stores, used their upper floor as a dance hall. This building burned many years ago.
The Wolfe brothers from Potsdam were popular as callers. Mr. Potter, who lived in Parishville, had an orchestra, which played frequently. It is said that if Mr. Potter noticed a dance set making a mistake, he would angrily rap on the back of his fiddle and order that the steps be repeated correctly.
The Frank Henderson home on the Dailey Ridge Road had a work shop which was the scene of many a good time for the friends of Will, Mae and Gertrude Henderson. It is said that a hay or sleigh ride party could always pull into Henderson's and be sure of a hearty welcome from Mr. and Mrs. Henderson. The shop would be hastily opened and Mr. Henderson, who was an excellent fiddler, would get the dance under way. Mrs. Henderson would enjoy watching the young folk's square dance to the lively strains of Frank's music. Often there were three or four sets danced in this shop. These were not public dances, being of the private party variety, although all friends were always welcome.
The Jarvis Brothers Orchestra played for the barn dances held at the Potsdam River Road farm of John and Ethel MacArthur in the 1920's.
The famous Hillview Pavilion operated by Harold Mackey was built just outside the Village of Norwood on the Knapps Road. Two fireplaces, one at each end of the long structure provided heat for the spring to fall weekly dances. Famous orchestras of the Big Band era played at this pavilion; one in particular was the Cab Calloway band with his sister, Blanche.
When the popularity of the dance pavilion waned, Paul and Viola Mackey who, with the foresight and hard work of a young couple, converted it into a handsome dwelling purchased the building. The fireplace, which had been in the rear portion of the hall, became a part of an inviting picnic area.
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Unfortunately early military records as well as those of the G.A.R. are not available but a partial roster of men from this area who served in those conflicts has been compiled from local histories and cemetery records.
War of 1812: Aaron Nichols, Hazen Dailey
Civil War: Oel Austin, Hollis H. Bailey (who had been confined in the infamous Andersonville Prison), George L Burroughs, William E. Dawson, Lewis W. Hudson, George R. Kelly, Elkanah F. Shaw, L.A. Howard, A.S. Plumley, Charles Worthen, Charles B. Peabody, W.E. Call, James McClennen, Charles Hall, Alexander Amos, George Goldie, Reuben Betts, Rody Looby, Jacob Partlow, Jack Ford, Jim Ford, John A. Rutherford, Ralph Amos, Benjamin Edgar, CharlesWesley Peet, Joe Chatell, Antoine Chatell, - Worthing, Henry Worthing, Dr. Truman Pease, George Grant, Zenith Grant, Adolphus Oakes, Humphrey Beardon, Tom Murphy, -Nulty, Ab Cross, Eli Dayton, - Bixby, Jas. Hall, Andrew Frennette, Dr. Marshal Himes, Edgar A. Genter, Rufus Marsh, Loyal Bradish, Ralph Amos, William Dailey, and Anthony B. Chase. Loyal Bradish was killed at Gettysburg.
A Norwood woman, Mrs. Ellon McCormick Looby, wife of Rody Looby, volunteered her services as a nurse and rendered aid to the soldiers at the battles of Cold Harbor, Spotsylvania, Culpepper, Alexandria, Va. and was later stationed at Fort Sandy Hook and Willitts Point prior to being transferred to Central Park Hospital in New York city. She was honored by Col. Stein, Commander-in-Chief of forces for her gallant services in rendering aid to the sick and wounded. She was personally acquainted with Generals Curtis, Sheridan and Burnsides. Mrs. Looby died at her Prospect Street home in 1922 at the age of 88 years.
Company D was first called into federal service in the spring of 1916 for duty on the Mexican border. Several detachments were assigned to special duty in May 1917 and in July the members were mustered under Captain Clark A. Briggs. Dr. Harry J. Worthing was commissioned first lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the Company.
Company D was assigned to the 107th Infantry, a unit of the 27th Division. The 107th was cited for bravery by the British, received by the King and Queen of England and inspected by General Pershing. They participated in some of the most intensive fighting in World War I including the great battle around Cambrai late in September 1918 and they immediately moved on September 28, 1918, to Poissoy and the front line facing the Hindenburg Line, moving under constant shell fire. The next day "they went over the top" and on through the invincible Hindenburg Line, receiving 60 percent casualties. This action along with other victories during their front-line duty led to the November 11, 1918 Armistice.
The members of Company D formed an association, "Company D Veterans Association" and held a reunion each year on the Saturday nearest September 19 to commemorate their part in breaking the Hindenburg Line.
Norwood men who were members of Company D were John A. Hall, Ed Frennette, Wm. Long, Vic Charlebois, Carroll (Dutch) Moulton, Joe Sovie, Earl Murray, Cecil Wilkinson, Horace (later Major) Scott, George Cuglar, Calvin Robinson (later killed in action), Leo McKenty, Bernard J. Cardinal, George D. Grubb, Leslie J. Bearden, James Lee, Ira Purvis and Hubert McLaughlin.
Other men serving in World War 1, and doubtless there were more, include Arthur N. Tebo, Reuben A. Yale, Verne Sullivan, William Fletcher, Wyman Fuller, Glendon Fuller, Phelps Ashley, Mark Ashley, Walter LaBrake, Homer Clark, Dr. Lloyd T. McNulty, Earl K. Drew and Grover Sullivan.
Norwood men who have died in the service of America are:
World War I: Sgt. Homer Clark, Corp. Calvin Robinson
World War II: S/Sgt. John A- Phillips, Pfc. William E. Stone, Pfc. Paul A. Narrow, Pvt. Andrew W. Deugaw, Pvt. Lloyd E. Robinson, Corp. Wallace E. Hough, Pfc. Frank C. Spencer, Jr., Pvt. Bernard Jarvis, Pvt. Robert L. Smith
Korean War: Robert G. Cutler
Vietnam War: Sgt. Douglas E. Murray, Pfc. Douglas R. Colbert
Norwood men taken prisoner during World War II were: Paul W. Tebo, Lyle D. Camp, Donald Fetter and Clarence Ashley
Douglas Robinson was a prisoner of war during the Korean conflict.
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Clark-Robinson Post #68, Norwood American Legion
The Norwood Legion Post, the first organized in St. Lawrence County, was formed following a notice in the Norwood News asking "every soldier, sailor and Marine in Norwood and vicinity to make a special effort to attend a meeting May 8, 1919 in the Business Men's Room over the W.D. Fuller store for the purpose of organizing an auxiliary to a national veteran's organization now being formed."
This national organization referred to was born March 15, 1919 in Paris when a group of some 20 American officers called a meeting "to consider establishing a non-political civilian organization which would continue in peace the comradeship that the war had thrown them into and continue in peace the sense of service and dedication to America that in war led them to offer their lives for their country." The American Legion was a name fitting for an organization of this nature for they were determined not to create another Grand Army of the Republic or United Confederate Veterans, both of which got into partisan politics after the Civil War.
The ranks of the G.A.R. were becoming severely depleted by the deaths of the old soldiers and the young men returning to Norwood from the World War realized the need for a new and vigorous veteran's organization. An application for a temporary charter in the new American Legion was signed by William E. Flanders, Frank E. Frennette, Fred B. Nichols, Earl K. Drew, William Bowen, Ira Purvis, James L. Capron, Lee Henderson, Fred Bearden, Jr., G.A. Fuller, John A. Hall, Leo J. Anable, Gerald McQuaid, Arthur N. Tebo, Harry F. White, Leon J. Wood, Leo McKinley and J. W. Bearden.
The Norwood Branch of the American Legion received its charter, which was displayed in the window of the W.E. Flanders Insurance Agency. This was the first charter to be issued to this organization in St. Lawrence County and bore the number 68. The name, Clark-Robinson Post, was chosen to honor two Norwood men, Calvin Robinson and Homer Clark, who had made the supreme sacrifice in the World War.
The G.A.R. Hall, located on the second floor of the Knights of Columbus Hall on North Main Street, was the first meeting room for the Norwood American Legion Post. Later the meetings were held in a building on Mechanic Street. Then the Legion moved into the rooms on the second floor of 32 South Main Street and still later to the rooms over 3 South Main Street where they remained until their Maple Street Post was completed in 1957.
A First Annual Banquet was held in the G.A.R. Hall September 10, 1919 when Dr. Grant C. Madill, famous surgeon and "the father of the Legion in St. Lawrence County" joined the 50 Legionnaires in installing the following officers: William E. Flanders, president; Lewis W. Price, vice president; Carroll Moulton, second vice president; Roscoe Hale, secretary and John A. Hall, treasurer.
The titles of the officers differ from those used a few years later when Mr. Flanders was elected to the post of Vice State commander. Another member of the Clark-Robinson Post, Arthur N. Tebo, was elected a Vice State Commander in 1935.
Their first activity to foster and perpetuate Americanism was to arrange a suitable program for the first Armistice Day November 11, 1919. The following spring when making plans for the Memorial Day observance, a band was secured and all ex-servicemen of the World War, the G.A.R., The Women's Relief Corps (WRC), firemen and school children were to be part of a large parade with a prize for the best decorated "auto." They assembled at the Norwood High School and marched to the Music Hall on the park where a Union Memorial service was held. Mrs. L.P. Regan was the soloist and Mrs. L.T. McNulty had the best-decorated auto.
As a fund raising venture, a series of "entertainment courses" for the fall and winter of 1920 were held with such artists as cellist Bertha Rund, pianist Rose Weiffenback, the Boyds, Suwanne River Quartet, and John Gantt appeared. The total cost of the series was $2.00 "plus war tax."
Armistice Day 1920 was marked by a chicken pie supper and address by Dr. Richard Eddy Sykes of St. Lawrence University. A musical program was presented by George McLennan Sr., Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Simonds, Miss Phillips and Carroll (Dutch) Moulton. Reverend Joseph Phillips, pastor of the Congregational Church, gave an Invocation and Benediction. The older guests enjoyed games while some 80 couples went to McNulty's Hall for an evening of dancing.
The Clark-Robinson Post is continuing leadership in the support of Americanism through education in the school and of the welfare of Veteran's children, rehabilitation service to their comrades, grave registration and decoration, funeral escort, honor guard and grave-side memorials for military funerals, participation in Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day and Veteran's Day and all other patriotic holidays.
They have served America's youth through sponsoring Scout Troops, Civil Air Patrols, and establishing special scholarships. Considerable federal legislation vital to the country and veterans has been enacted through the efforts of the Legionnaires.
Membership in the Clark-Robinson Post 68 is composed of veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and men who were in the United States Armed Forces.
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Luther Priest Women's Relief Corps 216
Luther Priest Corps 216, an auxiliary to G.A.R. Post 167 was organized in Norwood November 23, 1894 with twelve charter members. The first members were Mrs. Alma Smith, Eliza Nulty, Jennie Melrose, Ella Pease, Abbie Scripture, Esther Simpson, Kate Buttolph, Alice Hale, Mrs W.D. Stowell, Emma Dawson, Mrs. Annie Worthing, and Mrs. Amanda Hale.
On April 12, 1928 this unit of the Women's Relief Corps, the last unit in St. Lawrence County, had a roster of 47 members: Mrs. Gebo, Mrs. H.H. Bailey, Mrs. Huron Walker, Mrs. Vandewalker, Mrs. Plumley, Mrs. Frances Amos, Mrs. Joseph Robinson, Mrs. Charles Worthing, Mrs. Nulty, Mrs. Cline, Mrs. Abbie Scripture, Mrs. Loveland, Mrs. Bi Camp, Mrs. George Osier, Mrs. Sophia Wood, Mrs. Elizabeth Pernice, Mrs. Madore Cardinal, Mrs. Annie Worley, Mrs. Roy McDonald, Mrs. John McDonald, Mrs. Emma Garner, Mrs. Nettie Waite, Mrs. Sutton, Mrs. Clarence Cobb, Mrs. Hickey, Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Robert Colburn, Frances Austin, Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Lewis King, Mrs. Chas. Brown and Mrs. Gertrude Henry.
According to records in the Department of New York Women's Relief corps, the Norwood Corps was disbanded November 5, 1934.Clark-Robinson American Legion Auxiliary Unit #68
By Historian, Helen Deugaw, 1994
The American Legion Auxiliary of Clark-Robinson Post #68 of Norwood, N.Y. has been an active organization dedicated to fostering and perpetuating Americanism since it's founding in May 1921 when fourteen ladies met to form the Auxiliary Unit. Charter members were Mrs. Eugene Flanders, Mrs. W. E. Flanders, Marion Flanders, Harriet Flanders, Mrs. W. Baker, Mrs. R.J. Phillips, Mrs. James Calnon, Mrs. F.E. Henderson, Miss Mae Henderson, Mrs. Earl Murray, Mrs. James Wood, Mrs. James Hickey, Mrs. Edward Clark and Mrs. E.K. Drew. Mrs. Calnon was selected to serve as temporary Chairman until the Charter was received. The Norwood Unit received Charter #68 and was the first Legion Auxiliary Unit in St. Lawrence County.
The American Legion Auxiliary has carried out many programs of service to Servicemen, Veterans and their families and others in need. They support many charities such as Boy and Girl Scouts, Neighborhood Centers, Rescue Squads, Local Library, etc. One of their services to the community is the loan of hospital equipment to anyone in need. Membership in the Legion or Auxiliary is not a criteria for borrowing these items. Hospital Beds, Wheel Chairs, Crutches, Walkers and Commodes are among the items available.
The Unit meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Legion Post. Delegates attend monthly meetings with the other twelve Units of St. Lawrence County. Each Unit takes a turn hosting these monthly meetings.
The Unit serves dinner to members of the Legion Post each March in honor of the Birthday of the American Legion. Also a dinner in November for Veterans in honor of Veteran's Day. On Memorial Day in May the Unit serves lunch to all participants in the Legion Parade.
The Norwood Unit supports Veterans who are patients at the Phyc. Center in Ogdensburg. With other Units of the County, twice a year they do a Bingo party with refreshments for these Veterans. Once a year they do a picnic for them. At Christmas time the Units supply a gift shop for these Veterans to choose gifts for their families, refreshments are also served to them.
On Memorial Day each grave of our deceased members is decorated and a wreath is placed at the monument in the Park. The Unit has purchased U.S. flags and presented them to the Norwood Library, The Rescue Squad, Girls Scout Troops, senior citizens, etc. in the Village of Norwood.
Each June Awards are given to two seniors graduating from Norwood-Norfolk Central High School who are considered to be Good Citizens of the community. Every two years a high school Junior is chosen to attend Girls State Session with all expenses paid by the Auxiliary.
Records show the following ladies served as President of the Norwood Unit for these years: 1971-72, Mrs. Wm. Pollard; 1973 -74, Mrs. Irene Fiekert; 1975-77, Mrs. Helen Deugaw; 1978, Mrs. Shirley McGrath; 1979-81, ??; 1982-83, Mrs. Jean Dyke; 1984-85, Mrs. Helen Deugaw; 1986-87, Mrs. Shirley McGrath; 1988-89, Mrs. Jean Dyke; 1990-92, Mrs. Louise Pierce; 1993, Mrs. Jean Dyke; 1994, Mrs. Louise Pierce. Officers for the Unit 468 at the time of this History (1994) are: President, Louise Pierce, 1st Vice, Helen Deugaw; 2nd Vice, Keron Longest; Secretary, Sherry Sweet; Treasurer, Theresa Gravlin; Chaplain, Jean Dyke; Sgt. at Arms, Louise Bradley. There were 69 paid members in 1994.
Members who have served as President of St. Lawrence County Auxiliary are Mrs. Arthur Tebo, Mrs. Phillip Fetter, Mrs. Helen Deugaw and Mrs. Shirley McGrath. Other County officers held by members of unit #68 are: Chaplain, 1983, Shirley McGrath; 1990-92, Helen Deugaw. Secretary, 1986-94, Louise Pierce.
In October of 1976 a "Spirit of '76" Car Plate from the American Legion Auxiliary was buried in a time capsule in the Norwood Village Park.
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The Norwood Lake Association
The first meeting of the Norwood Lake Association was held May 30, 1984, at the Norwood Municipal Building with 20 people in attendance. Primarily through the efforts of William Grant and Terry LaFleur, who were concerned about the poor water quality in Norwood Lake, the Association was incorporated on May 13, 1985. William Grant was elected president and served the group two years (1985 and 1986). James McFaddin was elected president in 1987 and serves currently.
The Association's goals are to help maintain good water quality in Norwood Lake, to foster pride in Norwood properties, to enhance recreational use of the Lake and to promote social interaction within the community.
In addition to Mr. McFaddin, officers include John Chapple, vice president; Elaine Perry, treasurer; and Dorren LaVine, secretary.
Association membership has grown to over 160 and members keep busy doing many projects that benefit the entire community, such as the annual winter family fun day; they also manage the Norwood Recycling Center, donate to the "Heart to Heart" fund and Neighborhood Center.
For the Regatta, Lake Association members are coordinating the race events and will host an information booth.
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The Norwood Lake Regatta
By James McFaddin
On a cold winter day in 1986, U.S. Title Series professional boat race driver Neil (Chic) LaRose, told Norwood Lake Association members Mayor Joseph Mariano, Terry LaFleur and Jim McFaddin that he thought Norwood Lake was ideal for professional boat racing. After many meetings and with support from elected officials, the Norwood Lake Association invited the Norwood Kiwanis Club and Village Youth Commission to join them in hosting the first Norwood Lake boat Regatta in 1989.
Norwood resident "Pete" LePage and many volunteers did a great deal of work to get the beach ready for the event. More than 100 volunteers help each year getting the site in proper condition for the mid-July races which bring drivers and their families from twenty-six states into the Norwood and surrounding area.
The Regatta in 1994 was the sixth annual Regatta. More than $100,000 has been grossed with all profits used locally to help the Rescue Squad, support of local churches, summer youth programs, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, the recycling center and gift toward the expenses of publishing this book of local history.The Norwood Recycling Center
When village and town dumps were closed, local residents were faced with high costs for disposing of their solid waste. On November 10, 1990, the Norwood Lake Association, using profits from the Norwood Lake Regatta, established the Norwood Recycling Center near the Bernard Avenue Rescue Squad building. More than 200 area residents take their solid waste to this Center each Saturday morning where volunteers are on hand to assist them.
Other communities have used the Norwood Recycling Center as a model for establishing a similar service.
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People began living in Racquetteville in the 1850's, and probably used as a burial ground the land on the south side of Park Street just west and bordering the former Mill Branch Railroad, a spur from the main line of the Northern (later Rutland) Railroad to the paper mill on the west end of Elm Street.
On March 15, 1864, Mr. Baldwin deeded 1 1/60 acre of land on this location to the Racquetteville Cemetery Association of North Potsdam, and speaks of it as "already enclosed by a posted board fence." A good plan with numbered lots exists in the county clerk's office but there is no index and no burial records have been found.
When the Riverside Cemetery was begun, bodies from this early burial ground were moved.Riverside Cemetery
About 1870 the Association contracted with Aaron Stiles for farmland where Riverside Cemetery is now located. The Farnsworth 1873 official village survey shows Maple Road extending to the gate of the cemetery, its present route is entirely different.
The early burials are along the west river ridge of the cemetery. Benjamin Baldwin, James Symonds, Wait Reynolds, several Hall lots, Phelps, Ashley, Bixbys and Holbrook lots are located under the Maple trees which overlook the tranquil river. Hezikiah Hall, a surveyor, doubtless planned this section for he had charge of the removal of the bodies from Park Street, but again, no records are found. Mr. Baldwin, just before his death in January 1873, instructed his lawyer in writing to pay the money due Aaron Stiles on the Riverside Cemetery Association contract.
When the cemetery was enlarged Albert Cassidy did the planning.
The Riverside Cemetery Association Board of Trustees administers the cemetery. A complete listing of burials has been made by the Village of Norwood Historian and is kept in that office.Calvary Cemetery
Catholics in Racquetteville must have used Potsdam or other burial grounds. Calvary Cemetery on Dry Ridge Road, just off Morgan Road, was not established until many years after the beginning of St. Andrew's Parish. The first burial, in 1899 was Mrs. Ella O'Leary Sullivan.
For Memorial Day 1987, Robert L. Gravelle prepared an index of Veterans of the United States Armed Forces buried in the cemetery, listing each veteran by rank, branch of service and conflict. Only one Civil War veteran, Edward Nulty of 106 Reg NY Vols rests there but also (and not listed because the fact was not known then) is Mrs. Ellon McCormick Looby who served as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War and for a time after the end of the war. She received military honors from Generals Burnside and Curtis for her bravery in doing battlefield care of the Union soldiers.
A special marker has been erected near the main entrance of Calvary to honor those veterans buried there.
St. Andrew's Church Parish cares for Calvary Cemetery. A complete index of burials is in the office of the Norwood
Village Historian.Union Cemetery
The Union Cemetery on the "Twin Ellis Farm" just off Route 56 and in a field at the rear of the Suburban Gardener business is a pioneer cemetery established for the members of "The Union' a communal group which settled in the vicinity in the early 1800's. The first of about 125 burials was in 1811, the last in 1902.
A Revolutionary War member of the Mass. Troops, Stephen Chandler rests here as does Dr. Marshall Himes, surgeon of the 96 REG NYS and Loyal Bradish killed at Gettysburg.
Located on sandy soil, many of the early stones are sunken into the ground so as to be unreadable and, in 1993, vandals further damaged the stones.
A map and index of the cemetery is in the office of the Norwood Village Historian.
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