Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Underground Railroad! Post # 900!

From about the age of 5 till about 12 or so, my family lived on Nakoma Farms, in Fairport, NY.  Above is an aerial picture of Nakoma Farms, or at least the buildings area of  the farm.  There are lots of stories to share about my years at Nakoma Farms, but today Dad and I added another chapter.  We were at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, wandering through their Underground Railroad exhibit.  Very educational and quite chilling.  At one point Dad called me over and pointed out that a couple of places on Whitney Road were on a exhibit panel showing pictures and addresses of a number of local Underground Railroad stops.  I looked closely at the pictures, and told Dad I was almost certain that one  was the Butler place - the big house front and center in the picture above!  Some internet digging, and sure enough - that is the house!  The exhibit called it the Talman House. but a Rochester Library web page about the Underground Railroad identifies it as Talman/Butler House

Another stop was mentioned in the exhibit which turns out to be our 1950's next door neighbor's home - the Isaac Talman House!  At that time home to the Schermerhorns.  Just down the road from Nakoma Farms.  It turns out that the Butler's home was built by Darius Talman, and his father Isaac lived at the Schermerhorn place!  There were a total of 5 Talman built homes in my old neighborhood!  Additional history of the farm and the house can be found here.

Just for the record, we didn't live in the big house - we lived in very small digs over the milk house  - the small structure in front of the big barn - with a truck parked beside it, and I think that's our family car out front.  I did lots of odd jobs for the Butlers who owned the fancy old farm house, including changing storm windows and screens, lawn mowing (two full acres), etc.  We still have a couple of Christmas ornaments that Mrs. Butler helped my brother Dave and I make one year.

I'm very pleased  that this story came along for my 900th post! 

Not totally clear from the picture, but the fancy house is on quite a hill.  Note the driveway headed down from the back of the house toward the barn.  Dad taught me to ride a bike by launching me down that hill!  It was a cinder driveway, so I learned really fast!

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