Memories of Bernhards Bay, Town of Constantia, N.Y.  
Memories of Bernhards Bay, 
Town of Constantia, 
Oswego Cnty, N.Y. 

Many thanks to Carol White-Hammer for sharing her memories of Bernhard's Bay, in the Town of Constantia.  Carol says "The only real "history' I can offer on Bernhards Bay is the Crandall Family.  I do not know a lot about them, other than they had a large house on a hill at the end of town. I know it was built well before the 1880's and that at one time it was a stage coach stop and overnight inn.  Three siblings owned it together and lived there from that time forward----they were very old---70's and 80's----when I lived there as a young girl.  I recall speaking to them....they never married at all.  All died in the house before it burned to the ground.  This was in the late 50's and early 60's---house burned around 1959ish......"

Just a little bit of history-----regarding Bernhards Bay----

There was a general store in the Bay for a very long time, but from the 40's it was owned and run by george and Edna Davis, whose home was across the street. George and Edna had one daughter and named her Carol.  She later married Neil Wright, son of George and Janet Wright who lived "around the corner" on Rt 49. The store was an old 2 story building housing a general store, and the post office.  It was on Route 49 just a half mile from the Webb Lumber Mill.  There was a War Memorial <later covered by trees> next to the store where every Memorial day the town would turn out and the Girl Scouts, among others, would be present at the ceremony honoring the war dead.  

A block away was Railroad Street.  One quarter mile up this road was the train depot.  It was right on the corner of the tracks and RR street, but it was not  active in the 50's nor did a train stop there.  Trains still ran once a week in the mid 50's, as i could plainly hear them fom my bedroom window late at night, they just didn't stop. In the early 60's the trains stopped running completely and all the ties were pulled up, leaving a black road bed that was only used for walking and bike riding---by the local kids.

On the corner of RR street and Rt. 49, going towards Cleveland, one house from the corner, was the local funeral home..... Run by the Winn Family.  It is still there, built in 1860, a 2 story Italianente style house, with 2 outbuilding in the rear.  The Cook family owned it at one time also.  In one outbuilding were found lots of goodies----heavy Syracuse china that was packed in crates and used at the local church dinners, before the house was a front parlor with inside French doors, heavily draped with maroon velvet for privacy....and a family room, dining room and kitchen leading into a large glassed in rear porch.  But the best part was the basement!  At the bottom of the stairs and straight to the front of the house, built into the wall like a large bed, was the embalming table.  Surrounding this table, were trenches about 2" deep, draining into another trench on the the opposite end of the basement were 2 large doors to the outside. I lived here from 1955 to 1963, once moving to Utica for a year, but came back---just couldn't stay away!

The Methodist Church was at the bottom of the hill, with the Grange right next door.  This Church was always Methodist, but I suspect it was the Society of Friends earlier.  Anyway, it has a large cemetery in the rear, that I believe Kiely is documenting now. <VBG> There were many a church supper I helped serve as a teenager in that church......guess they don't have those anymore.  The old school was right next door, I can recall it was a shell inside in the mid 50's, as a family bought it and turned it into a home.  Their name was Biddlecome----had 3 kids: Gary, Joy, and Lee.  Past this area about 2 miles was Cleveland.

Family names that were connected are:

The ancesteral Crandall home sat on top a large, sloping hill.  It was built before the Civil War and lived in by 3 of the 4 children whose father had built it.  Maud, Sophie, Kitty and Frank never married, but remained attached to the old house until they died.  I can recall talking to Sophie and Frank as a child in the 50's....they were in their 70's and 80's then.  Sophie wrote a column for the little newspaper about who was doing a girl I thought they were weird, but neat.  They always wore old clothes; Frank always in the same ones, but Sophie would wear anything that was black and predated the first world war.  She held to the old way of doing 
things-----she "came to call" when we moved in.  More than once.  Drove my mother nuts-----she had 5 kids and a large house----- but Sophie always got the respect due her age, and always left her calling card if we were "not at home."  
The house fell to ruin due to absolutely no attention by anyone.  It was a shambles in the 50's, but I remember going in it twice to sell Girl Scout cookies  <which they bought and paid for>  and seeing 8+feet high rows of stacked newspapers lining the edges of the walls in every room, creating a hallway or maze like effect.  It is no wonder it burned to the ground in the early 60's.........

It was, in its heyday, a stage coach stop.......and an overnight hotel for travelers.  Sophie told me this herself.  I would think that was right after it was must have been really nice then.  This is the same Crandall family who were partners in the glass factory in Bernhards Bay.

These are my memories of where I lived and facts of some of the buildings.  Hope you find it interesting as well...Carol White-Hammer.

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