of Bernhards Bay,
Town of Constantia,
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
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 1950......in 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 floor.....at 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
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 what......as
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
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.
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 built.......it
must have been really nice then. This is the same Crandall family
who were partners in the glass factory in Bernhards Bay.
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2001 Carol White-Hammer
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