Around Boonville (NY) (Images of America)

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9780738565026: Around Boonville (NY) (Images of America)
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Nestled in the Black River valley with the Tug Hill Plateau to the east and the Adirondack Mountains to the west, Boonville traces its origin to the failure of a grand investment scheme. In the mid-1790s, Gerrit Boon, agent for the Holland Land Company, purchased vast acreage in northern New York, hoping to establish a plantation for the production of maple sugar. When that enterprise collapsed, Boon founded a settlement in the remote wilderness. Adopting a paternalistic stance, he attracted settlers by extending financial assistance to farmers, artisans, and tradesmen. The village soon prospered, and dairy farming became the dominant industry. With the arrival of a canal and railroad in the mid-1800s, Boonville expanded to become the largest town between Watertown and Utica. Around Boonville documents the growth of the village and surrounding area, with special attention to local landmarks and scenery, industry and recreation, prominent leaders, and ordinary citizens.

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About the Author:

Harney J. Corwin, an educator who holds a doctorate in applied linguistics from the University of Texas, is a member of the Boonville Black River Canal Museum, the Rome Historical Society, and the Town of Webb Historical Society. He currently owns Classic Nature Prints, an online source of antique botanical and zoological prints.

Review:

Title: Around Boonville

Author: Norm Landis

Publisher: Rome Sentinel

Date: 9/2/09
The mid 1790’s plan for a plantation for maple sugar production didn’t work out, but that didn’t stop Boonville from growing as Grant built guide boats, demoninations shared a church building, movies were "tested," the first railroad locomotive arrived by boat and commerce included logging, sand, potatoes and more.
"Around Boonville," by Harney J. Corwin, another in the Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing, documents days gone by in the northern Oneida County community and the area where at one time roads were so rough buckboard riders had to be strapped down. It covers from 1795 to 1940.
His introduction gives historical background but there is history throughout.
The book offers 128 pages of history, most with two photos on each with captions containing numerous tidbits of information, perhaps not even known by long-time area residents. Of course few would have been around in 1915, and those who were would have been too young to remember that the first postal carrier covered the village twice a day.
The format makes it easy to view short sections at a time, so you can spend as little or as much time as you want.
There are sections on: Village Green and Public Square, Upper Main Street, Canal Street and Lower Main Street, Erwin Park, Around Town, Churches and Schools; Farming, Logging and Mining; Country Roads and Great Outdoors.
Henry Dwight Grant (1833-1911) was a guide and guide boat builder on Post Street. He was "a moving force behind the creation of the Brown’s Tract Guides’ Association" in 1898, the book explains.
Uses of buildings changed and buildings moved, readers learn. The Union Church, from about 1827, was shared by Methodists, Presbyterians and Universalists but was moved to make way for the railroad.
Readers learn that first-run movies were shown in the Franjo theater "to guage audience response before general release." That was in the theater built after another building was raised in 1937, so would have been after the 1926 hotly contested election in which residents decided to allow the showing of movies on Sunday.
A bear attack (fatal for the bear) reported in the Rome Daily Sentinel is described.
Best known for his "Drums Along the Mohawk," author of more than 30 books Walter D. Edmonds is shown at his typewriter at Northlands on the Black River between Hawkinsville and Forestport.
Besides Gerrit Boon, agent for the Holland Land Company, we meet other notables from the area, including James G. Grindlay of Hawkinsville who won the Medal of Honor, other authors, a congressman and governor. Then there were visitors, including a female presidential nominee who spoke at the grandstand in 1888.
"Around Boonville" author Corney also co-authored an earlier Images of America book, the "Black River Canal" with Edward P. Fynmore.
Corney is a Boonville High School graduate who taught at the school and college levels and owns Classic Nature Prints (http://www.classicnatureprints.com/) offering prints of plants and animals.
"Around Boonville," by Harney J. Corwin, 6 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches, 128 pages, paperback. Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing, 420 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. Phone 843-853-2070 www.arcadiapublishing.com

Title: Sharing images of NNY

Author: Gabrielle Hovendon

Publisher: Watertown Daily News

Date: 6/5/09
Harney J. Corwin and Dorothy K. Duflo at first might seem to have little in common. The former lives in Boonville, the latter lives in Lowville, for example.
The two are similar in one respect, though: Both are now authors in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series.
Mr. Corwin's book, "Around Boonville," features 128 pages of black-and-white photographs from Boonville and its environs prior to 1940.
The photos, ranging from pictures of mansions and snow-covered storefronts to shots of old-fashioned automobiles and factories, come with captions about the subjects and their links to Boonville's history.
"Many of these photos have never been seen before," said Mr. Corwin, a native of Boonville who has a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Texas and a long-standing interest in local history.
His favorite photos include a picture of former neighbor George Oliver Capron dressed in a Wild West outfit.
"The whole village will seem familiar but strange to contemporaries," he said.
The book contains pictures from Mr. Corwin's collection of old photos as well as those of local residents.
"Many local people collect postcards and they have large collections, so there was a great reservoir on which to draw from the very outset," he said.
Mr. Corwin also did all the research for the book; quite a time-consuming task.
"Around Boonville" took three years to complete. Searches of newspaper archives often required more than half a day to locate a person's name. In the case of one picture of tobogganing girls, it took Mr. Corwin two years to track down three names.
The most onerous part of his research? "Finding photos that I knew must be out there but I couldn't put my hands on."
Mr. Corwin said it was difficult to choose among the wealth of photographs he had found. He said he had enough material to make a separate book out of each of the nine chapters.
"I enjoyed doing it a lot," he said.
LOWVILLE IMAGES
Mrs. Duflo expressed the same enthusiasm for her Images of America book, "Lowville."
The work, which has 10 chapters and includes 211 images, covers Lowville from the early 1900s to the present day. Its photos and captions depict everything from byways and bridges to houses of worship and the Lewis County Fair.
"Most have never been published before," Mrs. Duflo said about the pictures, noting that her book is the first publication of historical information on Lowville since 1965.
Like Mr. Corwin, Mrs. Duflo had lots of images to spare ― nine albums' worth, to be exact. "We ― my husband and I ― have collected for about 18 years," she said.
"It was very, very easy," she said, despite the amount of time that went into the project. She said that the Northern New York Library Network was key in making her research not only simple but enjoyable.
"It's just basically finding out all the information on the village itself. I think that was the most fun," Mrs. Duflo said.

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