Surname: Burnap

St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

Cemeteries of St. Helena, New York

Burials were made in several near-by cemeteries. One at the top of the eastern hill was opened about 1830 and was the first in that entire section. Fifty persons were buried there. In 1839 the Oak Hill Cemetery, near Brooks Grove, was established. Some years later, when the plot had to be enlarged, Milton Burnap, Sr., Fred Marsh, Sr., and James Piper, early settlers at St. Helena, helped with the task and chose their family burial spots. The two cemeteries at Castile were used, and also, of course, the well-known cemetery on the western hillside. Because there were no burial …

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St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

St. Helena’s Church Life

Weekdays, the St. Helena schoolhouse was used for teaching three R’s—Readin’, ’Ritin’ and ’Rithmetic. On the Sabbath day, it became a church house, where a fourth R, Religion, was taught. St. Helena was a charge of the Methodist Protestant Church at Brooks Grove, a hamlet four miles up the eastern hill. The Grove was named for General Micah Brooks, of Gardeau Reservation fame, who settled there in 1832. The Methodist Protestant Church movement started in 1830 and a society by that name was organized at Brooks Grove in 1840. The church was built there in 1844-45 and Rev. Short was …

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St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

St. Helena’s Patriotic Life

St. Helena’s young men responded quickly when their country called for volunteers during the Civil War, 1861-65. Among them were: Charles Buckley, Eugene Buckley, Milton Burnap, Emerson Crowley, George Crowley, Franklin Eddy, George Green, James Green, Fitch Merithew, Hiram Merithew, Philander Merithew, Chauncey Orsburn, Albert Piper, George Piper, Henry Piper, John Piper, Myron Powell, Hugh Skillin, Sherman Streeter, George Westbrook and Emmett Wood. Many of those boys drilled on fields near Portage High Bridge. There were such large numbers of volunteers that the hastily built barracks could not house all of them. It is said that old buildings, used for …

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St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

Homes and Places of Business in St. Helena

West of the store building in St. Helena was the home of Henry Dixon, head miller for Mr. Parshall for many years. Next, west of Mr. Dixon’s one-half acre lot, was a cross street running south from Main Street past the farm home of Mr. Parshall. This was the street called “Maiden Lane.” On this street at one time were six or seven houses, At the west corner of Maiden Lane and Main Street, J. D. Tallman owned and conducted a hotel business for accommodation of both man and beast. This property was later owned by Mr. Foote. South of …

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St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

St. Helena NY Bridges and Mills

The first bridge across the river was a covered structure with wooden latticework sides, built in 183 5, and was said to be very picturesque. There were 226 feet of latticework spanning the river with fifty feet of different construction at the approaches. This linked Wyoming and Livingston counties and made it possible for the families on the east side of the river to reach the mills and stores without traveling by boat or fording the river. This bridge was in use until 1868, when it became unsafe and was replaced with a four-span bridge of truss style. This bridge, …

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St Helena, ghost town of the Genesee, 1797-1954

Early Settlers of St. Helena, New York

In 1826, Mr. and Mrs. Parker Nichols emigrated from Vermont and settled in St. Helena, where on September 25, 1827, a daughter, Fanny, was born to them. She could remember seeing Mary Jemison at St. Helena. An abundance of timber and water power for their mills drew the early settlers to the valley. During the early 1800’s, an English surveyor, Stewart by name, laid out the plan for the village. Divided into three sections, residential, business, and manufacturing, the little town began to grow. In 1832, Asa Willey Gifford purchased land there. Asa was born in Vermont in 1798, son …

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