December 1990

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About this Issue

Note from the Editors

This December issue begins with Christmastime stories. The first is Vi Gunderman's recollections of Christmas when she was a little girl living with her grandparents on a farm in Steuben County. Her great grandfather, James Morrow, bought the farm from the Pulteney Estate.

Our second Christmas story is from St. Nicholas magazine. It may be more amusing for adults than for children. It is the tale, The Peterkins' Christmas-Tree, and it was written by Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820-1900). She was a daughter of Nathan Hale, a journalist who was a nephew of the famous Nathan Hale. Lucretia's brother was the writer, editor, and orator, Edward Everett Hale. Miss Hale was a social worker, but she is more usually remembered for her books: The Peterkin Papers, 1880, and The Last of the Peterkins, printed in 1886. This story came from the December 1876, issue of St. Nicholas.

The poem parodying Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas" called "The Night After Christmas," and The Christmas Tree illustration and accompanying text are both from Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine of December 1861, published in Philadelphia.

A. G. Hilbert presents the third installment of his history of the Preemption Line. Accompanying the article is a section taken from an 1803 map that shows the two Preemption lines. The boundaries between Chemung and Steuben counties and between Seneca and Ontario counties coincide with the second line, but the boundaries between the towns of Tyrone and Reading in Schuyler County, and Barrington and Starkey in Yates County are on the original survey line, as are several roads mentioned in Mr. Hilbert's article. Two marker stones are also pictured. One stone is in the Montour Falls Memorial Library and has the name Morgan Jones incised in its surface. Steuben County Historian, Richard Sherer, found in Clayton's History of Steuben County that Morgan Jones was in the 1792 survey party of the Ellicotts. Other names are scratched on this stone, but they look to be more recent.

We continue Peter Henderson's monthly calendar for gardeners with advice for December.

Ed Harris contributes the story of entrepreneurial businessman, Lewis Kleckler from his book, Harpending's Corner's.

This issue concludes with Chapter 37, The Elegant Margolds from Caroline Kirkland's A New Home.

Next Issue

Our January issue will feature Genealogy.

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