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

St. Helena NY Nearing Desertion

Nearing the turn of the century there were only a few families owning property in St. Helena. They were John Piper, John Streeter, George E. Piper, Lucy Wallace, Thomas E. Marsh, A. Alcott, Herman Piper, John Orsburn, and Fred Marsh. L.aura Piper was there until 1902. The southern end of Water Street was no more. The school was still kept at this time. The river had moved closer and closer to the west side of the valley. The George Teeple family left St. Helena and moved to Nunda in the early 1920’s, when the river destroyed their farm. Soon afterward, […]

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

St. Helena Hospitality

St. Helena was host to many a traveler, and its people were kind to the unfortunate. One figure familiar in the town was “Aunt Eban Noddy,” somewhat demented but entirely harmless. She made annual pilgrimages over the country on foot, dressed in fanciful attire. She was the mother of “Sol Noddy” who made his home at St. Helena and Castile for more than forty years. He, like his mother, made trips over the countryside and was given shelter by many good people when he needed it. Sol died July 2, 1895, at the Wyoming County Home at Varysburg. His mother,

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The St. Helena School in 1893, when Miss Ida Bennett was teacher.

St. Helena’s School Life

When homes began to be established in St. Helena, the need for a school arose, naturally. The exact date of the building of the first schoolhouse cannot be learned. However, it is known that the structure was located in the valley on the west side of the northern highway leading toward Castile. The building was used later for a barn. The school district was Number Four, at first, but later was changed to Number Ten in Castile Township. Since the village’s plans were made about 1820, it would appear that the schoolhouse was included. The first school building was used

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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

Castilian Notes about St. Helena, New York

Articles taken from the Castilian which referenced St. Helena. March 28, 1879: “Mr. Gaines, the publisher, apologizes for the lateness of this week’s paper, as he had attended a law suit at Portage, which lasted all the previous day and into the early morning hours. The case concerned a charge against George Green, of St. Helena, for failing to pay the required tax on his dog. After those present had listened to the two lawyers expound their knowledge all that time, the jury brought in a verdict of ‘no cause for action.’” St. Helena was “on the map” that day.

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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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