Friday, July 30, 2010

Great Great Great Grandfather Nathaniel Olney

Some time spent in Avoca, NY, home of my great great great grandfather Nathaniel Olney - birthplace of Henry Cadmus Olney - see link to his 1886 Diary blog to the right. The Historical Society had the old tax record books - see above. They also had an old business directory map of Avoca, NY in the late 1870's, with N. Olney listed as a "custom and merchant miller" and grist mills noted at the end of Mill St. - see below. "Custom and merchant miller" would mean that he bought grain and ground it into flour or animal feed to sell to the locals, and you could bring in your own grain for milling for your own use.
I knew Nathaniel lived in Avoca, but it was really cool to see actual records of his presence in the town, and to wander around the area where his mill and home was located. You can see the location of the town mills along the Cohocton River to the west side of town. The smaller stream to the east of the river was probably the mill race constructed to provide faster moving water to power the mills. The Cohocton is a fairly slow running river along this wide valley, so a mill race would take off water quite a ways up stream, and be constructed with a quicker drop off to provide the power necessary to turn the mill stones. From the map you can see that all the mills are located near the lower end of the mill race. The mills are long gone, and there is a double wide trailer located approximately where Nathaniel Olney's mill probably was. The mill race is gone - taken out when the broom factory was built? The Cohocton River is currently located about 200 yards (?) to the west of the location shown on this map. I have no idea if this is from natural meandering of the river through this wide valley over the years, or it it was relocated in an engineering project of some sort? I find it interesting that the tannery, and the cider mill are located along the Cohocton River (not on the mill race). This was probably for easy disposal of the waste products of these operations?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spinning Top Show

Avoca Free Library, 18 Main St., Avoca, NY
6:30 PM, Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's a spinning top show?

Avoca, NY - birthplace of my great great grandfather Henry Cadmus Olney
Location of my great great great grandfather Nathaniel Olney's mill!

Phantom Wedding

Sunday, July 25, 2010


While Dad goes grocery shopping, Mom and I go for a ride! We've found a few favorite places, mostly nice quiet spots in local parks. We also like to find a spot with people wandering by and sit and make remarks about clothing styles, tattoos, underwear that shows above the belt, etc... you get the idea. We're not mean, but we do enjoy a good chuckle! The above is my view of Mom looking at one of our creations while enjoying a sunny day in Ellison Park, Rochester, NY. Below is a nice shot of three young women riding their horses. We may not remember much these days, but these moments are priceless!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dad's Lilies

With special thanks to Claire Hawkes and her Dad who sold us the bulbs quite a few years ago. 40 blossoms this year!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great Family Picture!

Cheryl took some pictures with my camera while I was driving Mom and Dad home. Boy was I pleased when I discovered this one! As always click on the picture to embiggen!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Post # 600

Not sure where this came from, but unfortunately even if not real, it certainly could be!


The old Genesee Hospital in Rochester, NY is being torn down. A big chunk of it is already gone - note the foreground piles of dirt. The remaining section is coming down now, and while on a drive with my Mom, I took some pictures. The above shot gives an overview of the project. If you look at the left side of the building you will note a small "porch" or "forecastle" projecting out of the side of the building about 5 stories up! Below are some detail shots. I can't think of any really functional use for such a projection. Maybe a "solarium" for patients to get some sun? Maybe a private escape for the head doctor? Any suggestions or actual knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The cake Casey made for Maya's Lemonade Party

Move over Ace of Cakes!
A glass of lemonade complete with ice, lemon slice, and bendy straw!
And it tasted great too - lemon flavored!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spin Tops for Maya's 3rd Birthday!

Maya's personally chosen theme for her 3rd birthday party is Lemonade! Both the yellow and pink lemonade versions, with a "little green" added. Thus this year's top is a slice of lemon with a pink skin, and a green stem. Party is today - actual birthday Monday! I love you Maya!
This is the third time I've made spinning tops for Maya's birthday! I hope I'll be around to design and make many more birthday tops --- starting with birthday top number one for CJ in November!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mechanical Planetary Gear in Business Card holder

I've taken the planetary gear mechanical design, and put it into the front panel of our horizontal business card holder. The front information can be altered to include your information. I've also done several with other artwork on the front --- will post more pictures soon! Introductory price = $30 each. For a while I'll customize the front at no extra charge!

Video below.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Successful Cicada

I can't believe I managed to get these shots of a cicada freshly emerged from the shell. Click on the pics for a bigger view! Nature in the front yard this time!
If you are not knowledgeable about insects, (or if you are) this beauty emerged from the shell it is clinging to. It lived underground for 3 years - dug out of the dirt - climbed up the side of this tree in my front yard - clamped itself to the bark very firmly, and then split open the back of the hard exoskeleton, and crawled out - pulling the legs, the antennae, even the tiny air tubes it breathes through, out from inside the original skin. It then waits for the soft skin to harden, while pumping blood through the veins in the wings to flatten them out from the small crumpled things that were inside the original skin! Click here to see pictures and video of the earlier parts of the process

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New Show at My Sister's Gallery

My Sister's Gallery is located at the Episcopal Church Home at 505 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 - right in our neighborhood! For a second time they have invited is to put up an exhibit of our work. I guess they must have liked us?

The gallery is located on a very busy main thoroughfare just off the lobby. - Enter the front door, and the gallery is on your left. All work is for sale with a percentage of the sales going to support the fine work these folks do! The show will be up until August 15th..... be sure to check it out!

Above is Cheryl surveying the boxes of our work before we went to work arranging it on the empty walls - see below.
Below you can see the same view when we were finished. I'll post some more pictures over the next few days.
One favorite piece below

Thursday, July 01, 2010