Canal lanterns, a hitching post and lots of old gas pumps
GAINES – When he and his wife Elma retired from teaching in the early 1980s, Roland Sanford and his wife decided they wanted to have some adventures together.
The couple didn’t need to book a cruise. They went on treasure hunts locally. They are known in the Albion area for an impressive collection of old gas pumps. Orleans Hub featured the collection in a June 13 article. (Click here to see it.)
Mrs. Sanford passed away on Christmas Eve in 2005. Her son Scott has become a gas pump enthusiast. He has restored many of the pumps on the property. There are about a dozen of them, dating from 1915 to 1960.
I was at the Sanfords’ last weekend for a story about the gas pumps for the “585” magazine that covers the Rochester region. I pitch the magazine some articles about Orleans County topics and sometimes they say yes. They wanted the one about the gas pumps. I can’t give away too much of that article.
I did see some other very interesting artifacts at the Sanfords, items I’ve never seen before.
Rollie has a nice old cast iron hitching post in his front yard with a toy horse laying on it. Rollie, 93, says he “picked it up somewhere.”
The retired history teacher likes artifacts from a different era. He has several old lanterns that used to line the canal at night. The lanterns were needed so boats wouldn’t ram into the canal walls. These old lanterns weigh about 25 pounds each. Sanford said the canal used to have employees who lighted the lanterns and also checked the historic waterway for leaks.
“The lights were used as guides,” he said.
Rollie in some of his hunts for local relics also returned home with an old railroad cart that now sits in his son’s front yard.
Rollie also came across a millstone and brokered a deal to have it moved to the Sanford property, which has been in the family for six generations.