Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History

"An Old Timer Remembers Smoky Hollow"

It may be hard for some to imagine that the area we call Smoky (or Smokey) Hollow in the northern part of the Park was once a busy farming area.(See Image 124)

In the July 9, 1959 Castilian (the newspaper for nearby Castile NY) an article by Dorr L Tinkham of Edgewood Farm in Perry was printed that included his memories of the hollow around 1900. He even includes a bit of a ghost story!

Mr. Tinkham's article is reproduced below in its entirety, keeping his spelling, punctuation, and capitalization intact.


"An Old Timer Remembers Smoky Hollow"

"Just yesterday, I came down over the park boulevard from the Wolf Creek Area to the GRAPE HOUSE, missing every landmark that I had been used to as a boy.

As I look back about sixty years, I begin to realize how I loved those four miles of dirt road from Smoky Hollow up to the bridge, where the mud holes lasted all summer. Coming down the Smoky Hollow Hill and south on the bottom, there was a road to the left, that went to the ford and on up the east side to the Ridge Church. McNairs lived on thar corner, then south up over FIDDLERS ELBOW with the sumac rubbing both sides of the card.

It was out east from the crest, where the GHOST OF FIDDLERS ELBOW used to be heard on moonless nights. This case was the more remarkable, beause as I remember, there was no riffle there. The voices came from the edge of the river or from the surface of the smooth water. At a riffle, you can easily imagine hearing voices.

At the crest of the elbow, the road turned west, and along the cove and on the right, were two house, at least one occupied in my time. Then the road curved around to the left and south on up to St. Helena. Going along up on the right was the Mulay upright saw mill, - last operated by Jake Quackenbush, and then an old thresher being torn down. I was going up thru one evening and found Sam Agar, who claimed the old machine, and I bought the barley bearder for three dollars, for a machine I was building. It was about five feet long and over a foot in diameter. As I look back, I wonder how I got home with it on the two wheeled cart. I came home that night up the Garrity Hill Road.

These memories run from about 1895 to 1901 and I could not imagine then that I would live to be unable to tlocate the GRAPE HOUSE or THE FORD ro (sic) the corner at Lyman Brainerds at the top of St. Helena Hill.


Also see "Smokey Hollow Memories"



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