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Enterprising man ran general store in Carlton, at site that later became Narby’s

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 3 December 2016 at 10:19 am


“Overlooked Orleans” – Volume 2, Issue 49

CARLTON – At a time when trips into town took hours instead of minutes, the rural grocery and dry goods stores provided an essential and efficient service to those living in the country.

This image shows the wagon belonging to Gifford D. Fowler, the owner of a general store at Two Bridges in Carlton. A native of Parma, Fowler was brought to Carlton as a young man by his father Benjamin who purchased the store in 1877 from Lemuel Palmer.

For nearly ten years, Benjamin operated the store and it is extremely likely that Gifford worked for his father in various capacities during the late 1870s and into the early 1880s. After his marriage to Belle Simpson of Carlton, Gifford purchased his father’s interest in the store in 1886 and took sole ownership of the business. This photograph was taken in September of 1888, just a short while after buying out his father.

The store was joined together with the Two Bridges Hotel, which is pictured here; this photograph is looking at the west side of the building now known as Narby’s Superette and Tackle. Situated on the east side of this building, the store doubled as a post office prior to the days of rural delivery. The store owner usually served as the postmaster for the area, simply out of convenience.

At the time, this would have served as one of the few locations locally to purchase dry goods and medicines, using a delivery service to make the whole process easier. A traveler from Two Bridges may expect to take a one- to two-hour trip by horse and buggy to the business district in Albion, so a local outlet was far more opportune.

In the photograph we see A. J. Small, a store clerk, showing two local women some samples of linens carried by the store. Situated on top of the wagon are assorted jars and cans of food and other merchandise. The side of the wagon reads “General Merchandise” and “G. D. Fowler – Carlton, N.Y.”

Fowler’s ownership of the business was short-lived, selling his interest to his father-in-law, John C. Simpson, in 1890. The family relocated to Niagara Falls where Gifford was later appointed as a farm manager for the Erie County Preserving Company. A later stint as a vegetable and fruit buyer for the Curtis Brothers Company in Rochester was concluded by his retirement to Albion in 1923, where he and his wife purchased a nice home on South Main Street. Following their golden wedding anniversary, the couple relocated back to their first home – Two Bridges.

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Section of Parkway will close for winter beginning today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 November 2016 at 9:01 am

CARLTON – A 2-mile section of the western end of the Lake Ontario State Parkway will be closed, beginning today, for the winter.

The State Department of Transportation notified local officials of the move, which the DOT has done in recent years to save on de-icing materials, equipment and repairs to damaged pavement.

The 2-mile section is between Lakeside Beach State Park and Route 98 in the Town of Carlton. The highway will re-opened in the spring as weather allows, the DOT said.

About 800 cars travel this section every day and likely even less in the winter, the DOT said.

The Parkway already prohibits commercial truck traffic. Motorists will be directed to use Route 18 as a detour route.

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130 take part in Memory Walk/5K at Brown’s

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2016 at 5:14 pm


CARLTON – Brown’s Berry Patch hosted a 5K run and Memory Walk today to benefit Hospice of Orleans. The event also honored Libby Jurs, a beloved school nurse at Kendall who died last Dec. 12 after a long battle with ovarian cancer and, more recently, leukemia.

This group works at Kendall Central School. They participated in today’s walk/run in honor of Jurs. They include, from left: Matt Zimmer, high school math teacher; Carol D’Agostino, high school principal; Marlene Morrow, ELA teacher; and Rhonda Oliver, high school secretary.


Kathy Jurs crosses the finish line where there was a photo of her late mother-in-law.


Cheryl and Bill McCall of Kendall cross the finish together. They were part of the Healthy Orleans group that trained for the event. About 40 people in Healthy Orleans completed the course.


Paul Glor, coach of the Churchville-Chili Cross Country team, finished first overall today with a time of 17:41, just ahead of Evan Steier of Albion. Glor has won the race eight times the past decade.


Emma Mathes, a member of the Albion Varsity Girls Cross Country team, accepts her trophy for the first female to finish with a time of 22:44. Jeffrey Brown is handing her the trophy and pumpkin.


Margy Brown, the race organizer since 1996, thanks participants for coming out on a rainy day. The run/walk has raised about $40,000 for Hospice in the past 20 years.


Dan Brundage and his son Ben, 10, of Hamlin sprint to the finish in today’s race.


Megan Makarchuk of Brockport and her father David Makarchuk of Oneida run the race together.


Finn McCue, 10, (left) and his brother DeClan, 12, of Carlton covered the 3.1-mile course together.

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Lighthouse at Point Breeze was toppled by storm in 1916

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 8 October 2016 at 8:56 am


“Overlooked Orleans,” Volume 2, Issue 41

POINT BREEZE – In 1867, the U.S. Federal Government allocated approximately $87,000 to construct a set of piers and a lighthouse at Point Breeze. The result was this beautiful local landmark situated along the west side of the Oak Orchard River.

This picture, taken around 1900, shows two women and four men standing along the piers that were said to extend upwards of 1,600 feet out onto Lake Ontario. Where is the fourth man you may ask? While the five individuals stand on the walkway, a sixth person is standing on the lower level to the left of the group, peering into the water. The man on the far right appears to be extending a long pole into the water, possibly fishing.

The Point Breeze Lighthouse was officially completed in 1871 and was accompanied by a light-keeper’s home located on the western shore of the river. The keeper would carry containers filled with lamp oil along the pier to refill the lantern – oil was stored in a square iron building on shore, that building remains on exhibit at the Cobblestone Museum.

After the turn of the century, U.S. Congress passed a piece of legislation called the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1905. These acts, passed every few years, allocated funds to specific projects along rivers and harbors. This particular act brought about an end to maintenance of the two piers and accompanying lighthouse, which fell into a state of disrepair over the next ten years.

During a storm in 1914, the structure was severely damaged and with no available funding to provide necessary repairs to the lighthouse, it remained in place to suffer the continued effects of Lake Ontario.

Finally, a storm on December 28, 1916 delivered the final blow and swept the entire structure and a portion of the pier into the lake. A local newspaper reported that the pier on the west side of the river extended nearly 1,300 feet onto the lake, but was reduced to a length no longer than 1,000 feet after this terrific storm.

Although the lighthouse disappeared from sight, it remained a troublesome obstacle for boaters in the area for years after. Boaters unfamiliar with the area often found themselves running aground on the submerged wreckage of the lighthouse and pier. One such occasion involved a boat from Canada carrying five women and two men. The group was halted suddenly when the boat became lodged on the debris – a higher than normal water level was to blame for the unfortunate occurrence.

On another unfortunate occasion, a cruiser carrying rum from Canada during prohibition became lodged on the wreckage resulting in the subsequent seizure of the crew and its precious cargo. It is believed that this boat was one sold at auction east of Rochester, known as the Q9-92. In 1925, the vessel was captured near Kendall offloading 200 cases of Canadian ale at the Knapp Farm; State Police and Sheriff’s Deputies were led to the location by a nosey neighbor.

The boat was seized, the owner forced to pay $95, and the two 400 horsepower engines stripped from the vessel. The farm owner admitted to helping unload approximately 4-5 boatloads of liquor per week at that very spot, shipping the spirits to Rochester by truck. Police auctioned the boat off outside of Rochester in 1925, so it was no surprise that the new owner would choose to use the cruiser for its original purpose!

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Albion Rotary honors Sharon Narburgh for commitment to Point Breeze area

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2016 at 5:54 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Sharon Narburgh, owner of Narby’s Superette and Tackle, was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow today by the Albion Rotary Club.

This is the highest honor given by Rotary. The Albion club will donate $1,000 in Narburgh’s name to Rotary International for humanitarian projects.

Narburgh is pictured with long-time friend and Rotarian Dick Pilon, left, and Bill Downey, chairman of the Orleans County Fishing Derby, which is run by the Albion Rotary Club. Narburgh sells more than half of the tickets for the fishing derby which runs for about two weeks every August.

She has been outspoken in promoting the fishery and Point Breeze area during her 50 years at Narby’s, including the 2013 community effort when Point Breeze was named “The Ultimate Fishing Town” by the World Fishing Network.

2 towns, Carlton and Murray, cited by Health Department for backflow prevention

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2016 at 7:37 pm
This photo which was widely shared on Facebook shows a hose for irrigation connected to a fire hydrant without a backflow prevention device by the hydrant. It shows a hydrant on Fancher Road in Murray.

This photo which was widely shared on Facebook shows a hose for irrigation connected to a fire hydrant without a backflow prevention device by the hydrant. It shows a hydrant on Fancher Road in Murray.

(Editor’s note: This article was updated from the original to state the towns could face a $100 fine, although that likely would be waived once the towns assure the Health Department they are in compliance.)

ALBION – Two towns in Orleans County were sent violation notices last week for not having backflow prevention devices by a fire hydrant when farmers were using water for irrigation.

Carlton and Murray both allow farmers to use water from hydrants, just like most towns in an agricultural community. However, the Orleans County Health Department saw instances in the two towns where backflow devices were not by the hydrants.

It is the towns’ responsibility to ensure backflow devices are by the first point of connection, in these cases the fire hydrants, said Paul Pettit, public health director in Orleans County.

“It’s not the farmer or any other end user that are in violation,” Pettit said today. “It’s the towns that are responsible for the water districts.”

The towns could face a $100 fine by the Health Department. That fine likely would be dropped if the towns respond by next week and ensure the Health Department they are in compliance by not allowing hook-ups to the system without backflow devices by the hydrant, Pettit said.

Water with bacteria or contaminants from a hose could get in the main water system without a back flow device, he said. In the case of a fire where there could be a big draw or change in pressure in the water system, water from a hose could be pulled into the main waterlines if there isn’t a backflow device, possibly contaminating the public water supply, Pettit said.

The Health Department sent letters to all 10 towns, reminding them to use backflow devices by hydrants for outside users.

“We have a great working relationship with all of the towns,” Pettit said. “But we wanted to make sure they all are doing their due diligence to protect our water supply.”

50-mile walk will test stamina for Waterport woman with MS

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 August 2016 at 1:55 am

‘It will be one of the most physically and emotionally challenging things I’ve ever done.’ – Wendy Cannon

T.J. and Wendy Cannon

Photo by Tom Rivers: T.J. and Wendy Cannon have been training and raising money for a 50-mile walk Sept. 9-11 in a benefit for people battling Multiple Sclerosis. Mrs. Cannon was diagnosed with the condition almost 17 years ago.

WATERPORT – A decade ago Wendy Cannon was so debilitated by multiple sclerosis she was wheelchair bound. That lasted about a month.

Treatment and medication, as well as her determined spirit, got her back on her feet.

Cannon is thankful she has been able to continue working as an occupational therapist. She is grateful she made it to her son’s recent graduation from high school.

She wants to help others with MS, and improve her odds in battling a disease where the cause is unknown. That’s whey she and her husband T.J. are planning to walk 50 miles on Sept. 9-11 in Cape Cod in a MS Challenge Walk.

They have been raising money and training for the long walk. They are about halfway towards the $3,000 goal.

“I’m excited about it,” Cannon said at her home this evening on Knight’s Lane off Oak Orchard River Road. “It will be one of the most physically and emotionally challenging things I’ve ever done.”

Cannon, 45, was stricken with MS when she was 28. It was a cold winter day and she had been playing with her son, then 3. Her lips, the left side of her scalp and her left arm felt numb. She thought she might have frostbite. Doctors diagnosed her with a disease that afflicts women far more than men.

The Challenge Walk will raise money for research and treatment, and to assist people fighting the disease.

“Who knows, the $3,000 we raise might find the cure for MS,” said Mr. Cannon.

He works as a technician for Respiratory Services of WNY. He has been training with his wife, going on long walks, including 7 miles on Sunday.

The couple has had a wine tasting, kayak race and tupperware party to raise money for the challenge. They have been collecting pop cans and water bottles as well. Some of their friends and neighbors leave bags of bottles for them, which adds up towards the $3,000 goal. They also have an online giving option. (Click here for more information.)

She expects the MS Challenge Walk will be a highlight as she and her husband walk 20 miles on Sept. 9, followed by another 20 miles and 10 miles the final day.

“It’s much more for the camaraderie and being with other people and sharing stories,” she said.

She works for HCR Homecare and provides occupational therapy to many people fighting MS. Cannon said the disease can leave many people bed-ridden. She still has some bad days, where it is hard to move and keep her balance. But she keeps moving.

She gets up at 4:30 and goes to Fast Fitness in Medina to work out for at least an hour. She wants to run again. She ran the Albion Strawberry Festival 5K in 2013 when she felt like she was in her peak shape. For now, she is focused on the 50 miles over 3 days.

Cannon has a sister in Connecticut who will be at the MS Challenge. Some of her friends in Waterport also plan on going to root on the Cannons. Western New York doesn’t have a Challenge Walk. That’s why the Cannons are going to Cape Cod.

Mrs. Cannon said there is a candlelight service as part of the Challenge. She has watched the video and it brings her to tears. Mrs. Cannon has been in clinical trials with treatment. She hopes to slow the disease’s progression. She said she is focused on quality of life, not quantity of days.

“I don’t have a bucket list,” she said. “I try to live each day to the fullest.”

Garage fire put out in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 August 2016 at 4:35 pm


Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Albion, Carlton and Kendall firefighters worked together late this morning to put out a garage fire at 14017 Park Ave., in Carlton.

The top photo shows firefighters cutting open the garage door to ventilate the building. The fire didn’t spread to a house close by. A woman and her daughter were able to safely get out of the house.


Jeff Gifaldi, a deputy with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, takes photos of the scene. Deputies and Carlton fire officials say the fire is under investigation.

In addition to Carlton, Albion and Kendall firefighters, the Orleans County Emergency Management Office responded to the scene as well as Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance as a precaution.


A tractor with an American flag is in the front yard of the property.

4-Her raises pig to be auctioned off to benefit Hospice

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2016 at 12:00 pm
Jayne Bannister with Edith the pig

Photos by Tom Rivers-Jayne Bannister, 18, is pictured with her pig, Edith, that will be auctioned off July 30 at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. Proceeds will go to Hospice of Orleans.

Jayne Bannister with Edith the pig

Jayne walks with Edith the pig on Saturday at the family farm on Route 98 in Point Breeze.

Robert Bannister at the 4-H Market Meat Auction

Robert Bannister, right, serves as auctioneer for the 4-H Market Meat Auction. His sister Jayne Bannister is in the ring with the lone steer at last year’s auction. Panek Farms paid $4.50 a pound or $5,378 for the 1,195-pound animal.

KENT – Jayne Bannister later this month will end her 4-H experience after about a decade of showing animals at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. Bannister has won numerous ribbons for showing pigs, cows and other animals.

She wants to make her final time in the show ring special. Instead of going for a blue ribbon, Jayne, 18, is using her 4-H finale to raise money for Hospice of Orleans.

Jayne has been raising a pig that will be auctioned off July 30 during the 4-H Market Meat Auction. The auction is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, the last day of the fair.

Jayne said she appreciates the care provided by Hospice about a year ago when her grandmother, Doris Bannister, was dying. Hospice sent nurses to help care for Doris so she could be at home in her final days.

“It was really great for our family,” Jayne said about having her grandmother at home instead of at a hospital. “We could see her as the mother and the grandmother we knew.”

Doris stayed close to her loved ones and the farm, even joining her son Roger on a Kubota for a ride in the orchard.

“It was so much better for her to be able to be at home rather than in a hospital bed,” Jayne said. “She had a sense of freedom, which was always important to her.”

Doris Bannister was 97 when she died peacefully last July 30.

Jayne in May finished her freshman year at Kansas State University, where she is a double major in animal science and agriculture education.

She has been getting three pigs ready for the fair since she came home. One of the pigs she calls Edith will be in the auction with proceeds going to Hospice. Edith weighs about 240 pounds. Jayne is hoping the pitch will fetch more than $1,000 at the auction.

Edith is named for one of the sisters in the popular PBS show, Downton Abbey. Two other pigs that Jayne named Mary and Sybil – also Edith’s sister in Downton – will also be going to the fair. Jayne is calling the trio, ” Downton Hammy.”

The auction starts at 7 p.m. with a buyer’s preview and reception at 6:30. Steer, pigs, lambs, meat goats, meat rabbits, chickens and turkeys will all be up for auction.

Cigarette on back porch led to Carlton fire

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 June 2016 at 12:00 am

CARLTON – A cigarette in a pail on the back porch of a house in Carlton didn’t extinguish and caused the fire on Monday at a home on Sawyer Road, said Walter Batt, an Orleans County fire investigator.

Batt said the cigarette was put in a pail, and didn’t go out after being used. The homeowner attempted to put out the fire as it climbed up the back wall of the house, but it spread too fast, Batt said.

The house at 1523 Sawyer Rd. is owned by Lee Kruger, who built the house in 2007. Batt said the family intends to rebuild.