FROM PAGES PAST: 1921: Wagener House sold, housing tract planned off Court St.

Yates County History Center

The Yates County History Center’s volunteers have gleaned these entries for your enjoyment from their digitized newspapers. You can access them at the free site For more information about the YCHC, visit

150 Years Ago 

August 17, 1871 

PROSPECTUS OF THE FOUNTAIN COLONY OF COLORADO – This colony is located upon the confluence of the Monument and Fountain Creeks, on the lands formerly purchased by the Colorado Springs company, embracing a tract of ten thousand acres of arable valley lands. By arrangements with the Colorado Springs Company, the Fountain Colony is to have two-thirds of all the town lots and lands owned by said Company; also two-thirds of all the Villa Sites on 480 acres about the famous Mineral Springs, with the exception of one hundred acres, reserved for the Springs proper. A town is being laid out in the center of the larger tract, under the name of "Colorado Springs,” which will be the present terminus of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. The town will be subdivided into business and resident lots, varying in price from fifty to two hundred dollars. The adjoining lands next to the town will be cut into small subdivisions for gardening and fruit growing, at an average price of Two Hundred Dollars for each tract. The profits arising from the sale of lots and small subdivisions of land, will be devoted exclusively to general and public improvements, such as building Irrigating Canals, ornamenting Public Parks, improving streets, building bridges, building a Town Hall and School Houses, construction of roads to mountain scenery, with the payment of surveying and necessary current expenses. Any person may become a member of the Fountain Colony of Colorado, who is possessed of a good moral character and is of strict Temperance Habits, by the payment to the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, of One Hundred Dollars, which will be credited to him in the selection of such lots and lands as he may desire. 

STUNG TO DEATH BY BEES – A horse belonging to Anson Gage, who resides on the Lake shore some six miles from Canandaigua, was stung to death by honey bees on Thursday, the 27th of July. A hive accidentally upset, when the bees made an onslaught upon the horse, which was hitched near by, swarming upon his neck and body, filling it with stings, and the poor animal, after suffering most excruciating agony for three hours, expired. Several hives joined in the attack, and more than a swarm were killed by those attempting to relieve the horse, and yet, strange to say, none of them received a sting. 

100 Years Ago 

August 17, 1921 

CHAUTAUQUA CELEBRATES TENTH ANNIVERSARY IN PENN YAN; STRONGER LECTURES, BETTER MUSIC, AND DIVERTING ENTERTAINMENT – Chautauqua tickets are on sale and judging from the fine program promised and the efficiency of the ticket sellers’ committee there should be a record sale. Former lovers of the Seven Joyous Days will be glad to know that Drew Pearson, son of Director Paul M. Pearson, will come back to Penn Yan again to lecture on Serbia. He has been abroad engaged in Serbian relief work for two years, for most of the time in the capacity of director of his unit of the Friends’ Reconstruction Service. The interesting photographs that he shows were all taken by himself. Mr. Pearson was here two years ago in the cast of one of the plays. The 1921 play promises to be the best ever. It sounds easy enough — “Nothing But the Truth” for twenty-four hours — but have you tried it? The selection of the opera, too, cannot help but please everybody, for “Then You’ll Remember Me,” "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls” and “The Heart Bow’d Down” are songs we all love, but few have heard in their proper setting, “The Bohemian Girl.”  Dr. Frank Bohn sounds like a mighty interesting lecturer. He has been writing for the New York Times on European conditions and has attracted widespread attention. It will be a rare treat, too, to hear the under-secretary of the ill-fated Kerensky cabinet in Russia, Dr. Zilboorg, tell us about Russia.  And the last day we are to see and hear and enjoy the “White Hussars,” nine handsome young men in striking uniforms, a grand climax to the Seven Joyous Days. 

1828 WAGENER HOUSE SOLD; REAL ESTATE CO. TO LAY OUT STREET AND BUILD HOUSES ON COURT ST. PROPERTY –  A real estate deal of considerable importance was consummated last week when the Wagener property at the end of Court street, Penn Yan, was sold to the Smith Park Estates, of 630 Castle St., Geneva, Thomas W. Hassett, manager. This 20-acre plot, with the beautiful old stone mansion, was sold by Charles W. Hines, who came to Penn Yan not long ago from Ohio and purchased the property of J. D. Rogers. It is understood the real estate company will lay out streets, build some houses and otherwise improve this property. Houses are what Penn Yan sorely needs. Mr. Hines will move to Benton Center, where he has purchased twelve acres of land in the village of a Mr. Mortenson. The property on Court street was originally part of the David Wagener estate, and the beautiful old mansion was erected in 1828. David Wagener came here from Philadelphia in 1791 and owned much of the land on which Penn Yan now stands. He was never a follower of Jemima Wilkinson, the “Universal Friend,” although it was largely through her influence he settled in this beautiful region.

75 Years Ago

August 15, 1946

WIDOW HELD FOR GRAND JURY ACTION – Mrs. Addie Bell Walbridge, 38, of Champlin Avenue, formerly of 818 Dayton street, Grand Rapids, Mich., was arrested Thursday afternoon by Cpl. W. C. Keeley, BCI, Trooper Fred Guyle of Canandaigua, and Chief of Police James Moody of Penn Yan following charges made by her father-in-law, Frank Walbridge of Champlin avenue. She was arraigned before Police Justice Ralph Goundry in Penn Yan charged with grand larceny first degree in the theft of $2,100, of which police officials have recovered $1,320. Waiving examination she is being held in Yates County Jail for action by the grand jury. She has so far failed to post bail, which was set by Judge Maurice McCann at $2,000.

Revival tent meetings were a part of religious life in Yates County even into the mid 20th century.

CONCLUDE TENT SERVICES THIS WEEK – The Rev. and Mrs. “Bud’’ Krooswyk and David Wigden are this week concluding the “Youth for Christ” services which have been meeting in the tent on Chestnut Street, Penn Yan, during the summer. Sunday night, Aug. 18, closes the six-weeks series. Mr. Wigden says, “We have enjoyed the warm and hearty welcome given us by the people of Penn Yan. This closing week will find Eleanor at the piano, ‘Bud’ as the dynamic evangelist speaker, and ‘Dave’ as the soloist and song leader. Meet us at the tent this week for a service of rich, deep, and lasting blessing.”

50 Years Ago 

August 19, 1971 

SCHOOL OK’S PROGRAM TO 'IMPROVE IMAGE' – A plan aimed at improving relationships between the school and community and the board and staff, suggested by Penn Yan Central Schools Superintendent Carl Thompson, has been given the “green light” by the Board of Education. A series of public forums, a survey of attitudes and opinions concerning the local schools, and expansion of the work-study sessions of the board to include public participation are planned by the board. Public forums are planned bimonthly, and this is expected to provide an opportunity for the general public, parents, students and teachers to exchange ideas and discuss broad, but basic, concerns in educational affairs outside of the formal organizational structures. The board, in announcing implementation of the plan, said public forum sessions will be informal, with a minimum of procedures to assure open, fair discussions. They will be held on selected dates during October, December, February and April. They will be scheduled for 8 to 10 p.m. on the selected nights.  The district survey will involve distribution of a questionnaire to “ascertain prevailing attitudes and opinions concerning the various aspects of the educational programs and services of the school district.”  Responses will be returned in sealed envelopes and keypunched to data cards for computer processing at the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Results of the survey will be made known to the board and staff, PTG groups and the public generally through news media. The expansion of the workstudy programs will provide for three programs per month, one as part of the regular board meeting and two as part of the monthly work-study session which will be open to the public. 

HIGH QUALITY WATER ANALYSIS REVEALED – Recently the Penn Yan Municipal Board received the results of the analysis of a water sampling program conducted by the State of New York, Department of Health, Division of Sanitary Engineering. Bureau of Public Water Supply in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Interior. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division. The sampling for  this program was conducted in early 1971. The program was mainly performed to provide information on various substances which are not usually determined in the routine sampling required by the State of New York, Department of Health. These substances included heavy metal, trace elements and biocides (pesticides and herbicides). Generally speaking, the report indicated that the Keuka Lake Watershed Controls and Regulations initiated and supervised by the Penn Yan Municipal Board have provided for a body of water of extremely high quality. This can be evidenced by the fact that the mercury concentration in Keuka Lake is only approximately 1/2 parts per billion parts of water. This report also indicates that there is absolutely no concentration of DDT, DDD, or DDE.