Ghost Walk celebrates Albion history

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 28 September 2014
ALBION – Zach Shaffer portrays Noah Davis, who grew up poor but was later an esteemed judge. He was elected to Congress in 1869 and appointed US District Attorney by President Grant. David was elected a State Supreme Court justice and presided over the trial of William “Boss” Tweed.

Davis was one of 13 prominent Albion residents highlighted on the sixth annual Ghost Walk on Saturday at Mount Albion Cemetery. There were 66 students involved, serving as “ghosts,” tour guides, singers and on the tech crew.

Shannon Broda portrays Laura Ward, who was married to Judge Alexis Ward, who was instrumental in the development of the Rochester-Lockport-Niagara Falls Railroad. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1854, but died before taking office.

Kyle Thaine portrays Rufus Bullock, who grew up in Albion, was a railroad official in George and was elected that state’s governor in 1868. He was instrumental in the reconstruction of Georgia after the Civil War.

The steps leading up to the Civil War memorial at the cemetery were aglow for the Ghost Walk, which was attended by about 500 people.

William Pecorella portrays Starr Chester, a shoemaker from Gaines. He operated his shoe shop on Ridge Road. That shop was later moved to the Cobblestone Museum, where the building was restored as the John G. Peters Harness Shop.

Evan Steier portrays Judge Arad Thomas who served as county judge from 1860 to 1864. He wrote a book about pioneers in Orleans County. That book published in 1871 – “Pioneer History of Orleans County” – has been a valuable resource for the Ghost Walk.


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Smoke but no fire at Saint-Gobain

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 27 September 2014
ALBION – Albion firefighters responded to a call about dark smoke coming from Saint-Gobain Adfors at about 12:30 p.m. today.

The company didn’t have a fire at its manufacturing plant located at 14770 Route 31. It was trying to use old oil for its boiler. When the dark smoke surfaced, the company switched the boiler back to natural gas, an employee said.


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Students will again portray prominent residents from Albion’s past

6th Annual Ghost Walk is Saturday at Mount Albion

File photo by Tom Rivers
In this photo from last year’s Ghost Walk, student Chey-Rain Eagle depicts Elizabeth Proctor, the third wife of John Proctor. He is considered the “Paul Revere of Gaines” for riding his horse and alerting residents all the way to Lewiston that the British were coming.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 September 2014
ALBION – Students will again bring famous and not-so-famous Albion residents back to life on Saturday for the sixth annual Ghost Walk at Mount Albion Cemetery.

The event typically is a sell-out, and 400 of the 500 spots have already been claimed. Susan Starkweather Miller, one of the cooridnators of the project, said there are still spots available between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Residents can call up to 11 a.m. on Saturday to RSVP. Call Starkweather Miller at 589-2087 to reserve a spot.

Attendees are encouraged to park at the elementary school, and a bus will shuttle every 15 minutes between the school and cemetery.

“We still have spots open,” Strkweather Miller said this afternoon. “It makes the kids so happy when we fill up.”

Tickets are $5 each and proceeds are used for community projects. The student participants will meet to decide how to spend the money.

Some of the Albionites featured on the Ghost Walk include the following:


• Rufus Brown Bullock, Governor of Georgia after the Civil War;

• Dr. Elizabeth Harriet Denio, University of Rochester professor of Art History and German, who helped establish Memorial Art Gallery, and wrote definitive work on painter Nicholas Poussin;

• Judge Noah Davis, presided at the trial of Boss Tweed and law partner of Sanford Church;

• David Hardie, first to form a volunteer company from Orleans County to fight in Civil War;

• Nehemiah Ingersoll, instrumental in Albion’s development and its selection as county seat;

• Starr Chester, owner of shoe-making building that is part of Cobblestone Museum;

• Dr. Elizabeth Vaile, Orleans County physician who visited soldiers during Civil War;

• James Lewis and Emily Pullman, whose famous son, George, provided funds to build the Pullman Universalist Church in their memory;

• Alexis Ward, Orleans County judge who was instrumental in securing Niagara Falls-Lockport-Rochester Railroad and Niagara Falls Suspension bridge;

• Hiram Curtis, ran a successful foundry and built agricultural implements;

• Jennie Curtis, first woman prisoner of the Civil War, an accused spy;

• Caroline Phipps Achilles, opened the Phipps Union Seminary for girls;

• Judge Arad Thomas, in 1871 published The Pioneer History of Orleans County.


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Ag company will leave Albion for new site in Ridgeway

Helena Chemical has operated out of village since 2007

Photo by Tom Rivers
Helena Chemical plans to leave this site on Platt Street in Albion for a new complex on Allis Road in Ridgeway. The Orleans County Planning Board supported the project during its meeting today.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2014
RIDGEWAY – Three years ago Helena Chemical made a push to build a new facility serving the agricultural community on Long Bridge Road in Albion.

Helena first set up shop in Orleans County in 2007 on Platt Street in the village of Albion. The company wanted a site out in the country, closer to its many fruit and vegetable farmers.

The company withdrew its plan for Long Bridge Road after some residents voiced concerns about the added truck traffic. The company believes it has found an ideal location for its expansion. On rural Allis Road off Route 31 in the town of Ridgeway, Helena wants to gradually build a complex of six structures.

The company will use the site as a distribution point for chemicals, seeds and other products for the agricultural industry. Helena won’t manufacture any chemicals there. It mostly sells bags of seeds and bottles of chemicals.

“What we do is distribute products,” Mitch Wilber, Helena branch manager, told the Orleans County Planning Board tonight.

The company would only have one neighbor on Allis Road, the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Helena isn’t open on Sunday when the church has services. The church also has some Wednesday evening programs.

The company has been operating out of the densely populated village the past seven years, and there haven’t been any complaints from residents about noise or odors, said Ron Vendetti, the village’s code enforcement officer.

“We’ve never had any issues with them in the village since 2007,” Vendetti told the Planning Board.

The Allis Road property is zoned industrial and includes access to the railroad, which Helena wants to utilize for some shipments. The company plans to put in a railroad siding. It will also extend a 10-inch waterline from Route 31 to the property.

The six buildings would be about 75,000 square feet collectively. The company is planning a 23,000-square-foot processing plant building, a 20,000-square-foot agri-chemical warehouse, a 20,000-square-foot packaging seed warehouse, a 7,140-square-foot liquid fertilizer building, a 3,260-square-foot office building, and a 2,500-square-foot shop building.

The County Planning Board recommended the Town of Ridgeway Planning Board approve the site plan for the project, while urging there be an “adequate buffer” between the Helena property and the church. The town should also make sure the structures can be readily accessed by larger sized emergency vehicles, county planners said.

Helena opened the Albion site as a satellite of the Geneva office. Albion handles the company’s business west of Route 390 in Monroe County.

“The Albion site is kind of constrained,” Wilber told county planners.

Helena sees more potential in serving the farm community with the expansion, he said.

‘The company has been pleased with our results in Western New York and would like to do more,” he said.


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Truck bursts into flames outside Albion grocery store

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 24 September 2014 6:55 p.m.
ALBION – A Dodge Dakota pickup truck burst into flames at about 5:20 p.m. at the Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot parking lot.

The truck is owned by Timothy Martin, who lives on Hamilton Street near the Save-A-Lot.

Albion firefighters were on scene and doused the fire. This sequence of photos was taken over about three minutes.


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Peaceful protest before U.S. launches airstrikes

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 September 2014
ALBION – Before the United States launched air strikes tonight against ISIS in Syria, a few people held a peaceful protest at the edge of the Courthouse Lawn near Main Street this afternoon.

Diana Dudley, top photo, holds up a sign stating her feelings about the military intervention.

Dennis Seekins also held a sign against the military involvement. Lee Richards (right), pastor of the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church and his wife Louise Wu also joined the demonstrators.

The U.S. military launched air strikes against the Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-declared capital. The U.S. was planning to attack as many as 20 Islamic State targets in the operation, according to the Associated Press.


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Albion scouts end a long tradition with paper drive

Photos by Sue Cook
Nathan Olmstead takes papers from Cole Spierdowis to put into the truck.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter Posted 20 September 2014
ALBION - After 30 years, Albion Boy Scout Troop 164 is ending their monthly paper collection.


Every third Saturday, the Boy Scouts would collect newspapers from businesses and citizens in the Save-A-Lot parking lot, then makie collection stops to get large quantities. A large 18-wheeler would come from Pennsylvania to take their paper and put it to use as insulation for houses and animal bedding.


“It started in 1984," said Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty. "Troop 167 started it, then it was Troop 48, then Troop 60, now 164, but it ends today.”

Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty helps with carts while the boys load the trucks.


The collection has come to an end due to the busy schedule that the Boy Scouts have in their own lives. Many are unable to make time on Saturdays due to commitments to family activities, sports and other functions. The troop of about 40 ranges from age 10 to 18, though most of the scouts are 11 years old.


“We just can't get help on Saturdays," Doherty said. "We can only get a couple to help. It's sad, but what can you do? We're going to do two big fundraisers for the year, so that way there's money for the activities.”


Troop Leader Karen Williams added, “It's sad to see the paper drive go because it's been going on over 30 years. It's a sure sign of the electronic age and people's lives getting busier where they just don't have time to spread themselves out for volunteer work.”

From left: Nathan Olmstead, Cole Spierdowis and Sammy Williams load papers on the last day of the paper drive.


The troop is currently uncertain if they will continue their pop bottle collection. They are considering having an account at a local redemption center to allow the public to drop off bottles any time.


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