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Historical Publications

Below is a list of important historical publications about Orleans County, New York.  Many of these books are available either at the Hoag Library in Albion, NY, or at the college library at SUNY Brockport, NY.  Town historians may have copies of books relating to their towns.  Some books are still available new.

Growing Up and Growing Old On the County House Road 
By Stanley G. Vanderlaan
This book depicts the life of Stanley G. Vanderlaan who lived here for more than 77 years.  The book is filled with photos and amazing facts from the past.  The book is available from the Book Store or Swan Library – Cost $20.00

Growing Up On A Clarendon Muckland Farm
By Betty Sherwood Genter, pub. 2003, soft cover, 40 pages.
The writer describes her life growing up on her parent’s muckland farm in Clarendon, NY in the 1940′s and 50′s. Topics covered are the trials and tribulation of farm life during this post depression era period, WWII, the ups and downs and uniqueness of muck farming, some favorite family recipes, and Betty’s school days at the Manning School (now the Clarendon Historical Society museum).  Note: This book is available from the Clarendon Historical Society @ $12.50 – see town of Clarendon section.

History of Clarendon
By David Sturges Copeland, pub. 1889, hard cover, 382 pages; book also known as Copeland’s Clarendon.
A complete history of the town of Clarendon, New York (Orleans County), includes descriptions of early settlers, first businesses, schools, churches, politics, cemetery information as well as people’s stories.  Author walked ever road in town gathering information for this book.  Note: This book is also available in hard cover reprint from the Clarendon Historical Society—see town of Clarendon section.

Index to History of Clarendon
Compiled by Irene M. Gibson, pub. 1981, hard cover, 48 pages.
An index to David S. Copeland’s wonderful book about Clarendon.  Unfortunately Copeland didn’t have an index published in his book, so the Orleans County Historical Association supported the publication of this index which includes all names from the HISTORY OF CLARENDON.  Note: This index is available from the Orleans County Historical Association-see town of CLARENDON section.

The Sesquicentennial of the Town of Clarendon
By Clarendon Sesquicentennial Association, pub. 1960, soft cover, 68 pages.
Booklet in celebration of the town’s 150th anniversary; several illustrations, thumbnail history of town, past prominent citizens, church histories, grange history, fire company history, local business ads, names of all families living in Clarendon during 1960.  Note: Original new copies of this booklet are available from the Clarendon Historical Society—see town of Clarendon section.

Threading Together the Past
By LouAnn Wurst (and others), pub. 2001, soft cover, 91 pages.
Booklet is about the Polly Tavern historical site in the town of Clarendon and the results of a 1999 archaeological dig there by SUNY Brockport students.  Note: Original new copies of this booklet are available from the Clarendon Historical Society—see town of Clarendon section.

I Remember
By Kay McAllister, pub. 2000, soft cover, 50 pages.
Booklet compiled from newspaper articles written by Ms. McAllister from her memories of Clarendon as a child during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Included are reflections of childhood, farm life, community activities, school experiences.

Images of Clarendon Past
By Alan J. Isselhard, pub. 1985, soft cover, 122 pages, 120 illustrations, 10 maps.
A collection of historical accounts about Clarendon, New York including the Cold Summer of 1816, Clarendon-Lindon earthquake fault, temperance camps, local folklore, many photos of early residents, fire of 1892, plus some family history and articles about Lemuel Cook, David S. Copeland, and Carl Akeley—famous citizens of the town.  Note:  New copies of this book are available form the Clarendon Historical Society—see town of Clarendon section.

Hillside Cemetery – 125 Years
By DeFillips, Herlan, Isselhard; pub. 1992, soft cover, 64 pages.
History of local burial rounds, early Hillside Cemetery history, biographical sketches of first trustees, story & illustrations of mortuary chapel, many illustrations of monuments, cemetery maps & documents, listing of all officers that served cemetery since beginning, interment statistics, cemetery rules, tombstone symbols and their meanings.  Note: This booklet is available at $12.95 (including postage) new from Hillside Cemetery Association, C/O Ellen Germeo, 26 Van Buren Street, Holley, NY 14470.

Orleans County History – Past to Present
By Lynch, Gibson, Pratt; pub. 1976, hard cover, 362 pages.
Published in observance of Orleans County’s sesquicentennial and the bicentennial of our nation.  Book includes updated histories of all 10 towns and the 4 villages, archaeological history of county, county organizations & government, many illustrations.

Local History Materials in Drake Memorial Library, SUNY College @ Brockport
Compiled by Bloch, Herlan; pub. 1988, soft cover, 40 pages.
Booklet is an annotated bibliography with name and place index—a guide to the collection of local history materials at the Drake Memorial Library @ the State University of New York College at Brockport.

Medina (Orleans County, NY), City Directory, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 4 vols.
Containing lists of residents and businesses, numerical telephone directory covering Medina and Albion and other parts of the county, street directory.  Also a brief history of Medina and Albion.

New Century Atlas of Orleans County
By L.J.G. Ogden, pub. 1913, hard cover (large book), 169 pages.  Large maps of all towns and villages, lot maps, listings of businesses and industries.  Town maps have names of individual property owners.

Gazetter and Business Directory of Orleans County, NY For 1869
Compiled by Hamilton Child, pub. 1869, hard cover, 216 pages.  Includes historical summaries and list of prominent people and places in the county and has small foldout map, contents includes all the towns and villages in Orleans County and their elected officials, some town and county history, lists all residents and all businesses at that time.

Our Cobblestone Heritage
Published in 1970 by the Cobblestone Society, soft cover, 25 pages.  History of the cobblestone nature of western NY and features cobblestone church and schoolhouse in Childs, NY (Orleans County).  Illustrates cobblestone architecture in the area.

The Cobblestone Church at Childs 
Published by the Cobblestone Society, no date, 12 page pamphlet.  Contains the history of this cobblestone church that is now the headquarters of the Cobblestone Society.  Contains historical address by an early church leader and another address on the re dedication of the church in 1968.  Provides an overview of the history and development of Universalism.

Rochester, Lockport and Buffalo R.R.
By Wm. R. Gordon, pub. 1963, soft cover, 84 pages.  Booklet covers the history and development of this railroad during its 1908-1931 life.  Railroad traveled east-west through Orleans County.  Booklet contains nice foldout map and numerous illustrations.

A Legacy for Holley
By Winifred M. Bentley, pub. 1997, soft cover, 98 pages.  This booklet is a history of the Community Free Library (1947-1997) in Holley, NY on its 50th anniversary.

Life on the Ridge
By J. Howard Pratt, pub. 1987, soft cover, 172 pages.  Authorized in his 98th year, Mr. Pratt tells about his life’s experiences on
rural Ridge Road in Orleans County covering subjects not mentioned in his previous books.

Memories of Life on the Ridge
By J. Howard Pratt, pub. 1978, soft cover, 216 pages.  Book is about author’s country life on Ridge Road in Orleans County from the 1890s to the 1920s.  Author lived his whole life on this road in Orleans County.

Saga of the Ridge
By J. Howard Pratt, pub. 1983, soft cover, 213 pages.  About western NY history centering around the famous Ridge Road which runs from Lewiston through Orleans County.  Some illustrations, and name and subject index.

Pictorial History of the Square—Holley, New York
By Marsha DeFillipps, Raymond Santoro; pub. 1991, pamphlet soft cover, 28 pages.  A visual history of Holley, NY with early photos, postcards, maps.

Historic Gaines 1809-1984
By Delia A. Robinson, pub. 1984, soft cover, approx. 62 pages.  An updating of major people and events from the town of Gaines in Orleans County.  Many interesting early illustrations, great 1913 map.

Cobblestone Landmarks of New York State
By Shelgren, Lattin, Frasch; published in both hard and soft cover, 163 pages.  A guide to cobblestone structures in upstate NY including many fine photos, maps, and descriptions of buildings.  Many Orleans County buildings are illustrated.  A significant book on cobblestone architecture.

Historical Amnesia
By Delia A. Robinson, pub. 2000, 53 pages, available hard and soft cover.  Describes 19th century Orleans County women, ordinary and extraordinary, who helped Orleans County to grow.  Several illustrations.

Hard Breathing Days—The Civil War Letters of Cora Beach Benton
Transcribed, edited and researched by Thomas R. Taber, published 2003, hard cover w/dust cover, 501 pages including 32 page index and glossary and biographical sketches.   This book is a collection of about 160 Civil War period letters of historical and genealogical interest from the Orleans County wife of a soldier about mid-19th century Erie canal-village (Albion, New York) life on the home front and a woman’s role in society.  Copies are still available at $36 each + tax and shipping. To order, Email Tom Taber

A History of the Town of Yates in Orleans County, New York
By Carol Dates Gardepe and Janice Dates Regester; pub. 1976.

Maps of the Genesee Valley & Finger Lakes Region 1776-1950
Compiled by Alma Burner Creek, pub. 1977, hard cover, 143 pages. Lists all the maps and atlases of this region as an addition or guide to the study of the area—includes Orleans County.

Historical Markers in Orleans County, New York
Compiled by C. W. Lattin and Neil Johnson; pub. 2001, soft cover, 38 pages.  Contains listing of all 78 Orleans County historical markers erected during the 20th century within the county.  Many illustrations.  Available through the Cobblestone Society.

Historical Album of Orleans County, New York
Pub. 1879, hard cover, (large book) 320 pages.  History of towns and villages, biographical sketches, many fine illustrations of private residences and public buildings, Civil War information with lists of veterans from each town, some Indian history.

The Ridge
By Arch Merrill, pub. 1944, hard cover, 112 pages.  Story & history of a unique road 200 miles long in upstate New York—from  Sodus to Lewiston, (including Orleans County).

Give Us this day our Daily Bread
Compiled by C. W. Lattin, pub. 1980, soft cover, 16 pages.  Booklet is a pictorial and historical sketch of farming in Orleans County, NY published by the Cobblestone Society in dedication of its Farmers’ Hall.

A History of First Presbyterian Church of Albion, NY—175TH Anniversary
Compiled by Neil Johnson, pub. 1999, soft cover, 34 pages.  History of this Albion, NY church with many illustrations.

OCHA Chronicles
Compiled by Orleans Co. Hist. Assn. from articles written by members and local historians; pub. 1987, hard cover, 12 articles, 32 pages; description of municipal historians’ activities, office of Orleans Co. historian, grass bed fishing, small museum fashion shows, discovering man’s past, Holley’s gold seekers, events of 1887 a century ago, Orleans Co, government changes, OCHA history for 10 years.  Available new, $7 from O.C.H.A., P.O. Box 181, Albion, NY 14411.

The Veterans’ Biography World War II
By Tom Page, no pub. Date in book but circa 1950, hard cover, 81 pages with ads.  Features veterans from Albion and Holley area and has their photos and brief WWII biographical history-gives military service history, rank, awards, discharge date.

Medina, Here’s to our Heritage
By Ed Grinell, hard cover, pub. 1996, 450 pages plus 2 indexes.  Extensive history of Medina, NY form Indian times through early 1990s.  Maps, photos, businesses are covered.  Erie Canal info.  Available new from the Medina Historical Society—see Medina section.  Book is available new from the Medina Historical Society, 406 West Ave., Medina, NY 14103.

Medina, Past and Present
By Cecelia White, soft cover, pub. 1982, 100 pages including ads; covers Medina’s beginnings, Erie Canal, 1850 village map, some old Main St. photos, politics, etc.  Book is available new from the Medina Historical Society, 406 West Ave., Medina, NY 14103.

Medina Historic Photo Album
By Journal Register (local newspaper), hard cover, pub. 2000, 128 pages.  Mostly photos of good quality of old Medina back to turn of
century to about 1940s.  Little text but super illustrations of high quality; each photo is labeled, book divided into units such as street scenes, public service, industry, clubs, transportation, etc.  Book is out of print and unavailable.

Yesterday’s Heritage—Shelby Mills
By Herbert S. Weet and Alice Zacher; pub. 1985, 82 pages, soft cover.  History of the town of Shelby (Orleans County, NY) covering its industry and agriculture.

Landmarks of Orleans County New York
By Issac Signor, pub. 1894, hard cover, 960+ pages.  Lengthy historical, and biographical record to the county with some illustrations of prominent citizens, and index.  An important and significant book about this county.

Index of Personal Names in Landmarks of Orleans County, NY by Isaac Signor 1894
Compiled by Marsha L. DeFillips; pub. 1979, soft cover, 175 pages. Valuable index to this large volume which lacked one.

Pioneer History of Orleans County
By Arad Thomas, pub. 1871, hard cover with 463 pages.  Contains brief biographical sketches of the early settlers, early county history, histories of each town and village in the county and appendix with lists of county officers, organizations, partial name index, subject index.

Chronicles 151st Regiment 
Compiled by Helena Adelaide Howell, pub. 1911, hard cover, 302 pages.  A history of this Civil War unit’s service (NYS Volunteer Infantry 1862-1865) which was staffed by many Orleans County soldiers.  Many portrait illustrations.  Much of the text was contributed by surviving Civil War members.

Name Index to Arad Thomas 1871 Pioneer History of Orleans County New York
Complied by Evelyn Rich Smith, pub. 1982, soft cover, 29 pages.  A complete index of names found in the original Arad Thomas book.

Index to Early Naturalization Records
Compiled by Delia Robinson, pamphlet pub. 1990, 17 pages. Lists by name in alphabetical order those people who applied for naturalization in the county, their county of origin, date of intent to become naturalized, date legally admitted.  Compiled from records in the Orleans County clerk’s office.

Shelf List of Documents Contained in the Basement of the Orleans County Clerk’s Office, Albion, NY 14411
Compiled by Linda Fitzgerald, pamphlet pub. 1988, 16 pages.  Lists a myriad of early documents found within the clerk’s basement office such as deeds, mortgages, Supreme Court minutes & records, Judgments, Civil and Criminal Court certificates, habitual criminals, partnerships, bonds.

Albion Illustrated
Soft cover booklet published in 1905 by the Chamber of Commerce, 126 pages, well illustrated with numerous quality period photos of the business section of Albion, photos of area businesses, some homes, photos of village streets, etc.

The Story of Medina
Soft cover booklet published by the Chamber of Commerce in 1950, 26 pages, many photos of Medina’s village and businesses.

Swan Library 
By Neil Johnson, pub. 1990, 48 pages, soft cover, a history of Albion’s Swan Library.

History of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
By Winifred M. Bentley, soft cover, 167 pages, published in 1995 by the Episcopal Church in Holley, NY. A history of this church from 1894-1994.

The Historic Ridge
Published in 1926, 24 pages, soft cover, with a few illustrations. A history of the historic Ridge Road through Orleans County, NY

Record of the Orleans County Pioneer Association
Published by the Orleans County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939, hard cover, 316 pages, with index. This book is a record of the minutes of the Pioneer Association meetings between 1858, when it was formed, until 1905.

Brown, Hakes & Allied Families
By Walter and Theta Brown, published in 1940, hard cover, 341 pages. Book covers the ancestors of Florence Brown and some of their descendants. Many of the people covered are from Orleans County, NY

Remembering – One Hundred Fifty Years   
Hard cover book of 112 pages,  pub. 2002 honoring St. Joseph’s Church of Albion, NY (1852 – 2002) Many quality photos of the church, its past and present pastors, staff, committees, church history, musical groups, societies, St. Joseph’s cemetery, old school photos, special events, renovation projects, patrons section, memorial section and sponsor section. *Purchase book directly from St. Joseph’s Church, 106 S. Main St.,  in Albion, NY 14411 @ 585-589-4243 at cost of $15 plus shipping.

Memories of Manning  Corners
By Roy Bubb. Soft cover with color cover, 79 pages pub. 2002 by the Clarendon Historical Society. Book is a history of the Bubb family and the Manning, NY neighborhood from the 1931 -1942 period when the author was growing up there. Included are chapters on his family’s move to Clarendon, pre-school years, Manning Corners, his school years, life on the farm, St. Mary’s church i nearby Holley, NY and the early World War II years. Many illustrations, photos and family tree.

Odds and Ends – Archeological Memoirs
By Stanley Vanderlaan. Soft cover book about Stan’s digs in western New York for Indian sites, illustrated with photos of the numerous artifacts found during his adventures. Book is available through the Orleans County Historical Association at approx. $25 plus mailing and insurance.

Details of Cobblestone Masonry Construction in North America 1825-1860
By Robert W. Frasch and Delia A. Robinson, booklet published in 1993, 28 pages, soft cover, describes our cobblestone heritage, types of masonry and has numerous illustrations.

My Three Years in World War II
By Irene M. Gibson, published in 1987 by the Orleans County Historical Association, soft cover, 28 pages. Booklet is an account of a young Holley, NY woman’s experiences as an officer in WWII and her efforts to help America’s war effort.

Cobblestone Buildings of Orleans County, NY: A Local History
By Delia Robinson, published in 1996 jointly by the Cobblestone Society and Orleans County Historical Association. Well illustrated soft cover book about all the known cobblestone structures in Orleans County, New York. Copies of this book are still available from the Cobblestone Society.

Carl Akeley – Africa’s Collector, Africa’s Savior
By Penelope Bodry-Sanders, published in 1991, hard cover with dust jacket, 298 pages with index. Book is about Carl Akeley who was born in the town of Clarendon in Orleans County in 1864 and became one of the greatest taxidermists in history. This book documents his African travels, connections and experiences and his efforts at collecting specimens for the American Museum of Natural History.

Microfilms of all Orleans County newspapers are available at the Swan Library in Albion, NY covering from early 1800s to present.  Most of these microfilms are also available at the Drake Memorial Library on the SUNY campus at Brockport, NY.

NOTE—Most books listed above are not currently in print.  Books out of print may be available from rare book dealers in this area or possibly through Internet rare book dealers (such as and or even on eBay.  Orleans County libraries have many of these books on file; however many of them are not circulated or allowed to be removed from the library due to rarity and value.  Some books have been reprinted.


Clarendon Historical Society Fund Raisers The following items are available for purchase. Proceeds will benefit the Clarendon Historical Society.

Thank you.

Images of Clarendon Past  – $15.00
The culmination of many people’s efforts to collect, research, preserve and document for generations, both present and future, some of the story of Clarendon’s past.  Written by past Town Historian, Alan J. Isselhard; Published by the Town of Clarendon  175th Jubilation Committee.

The Sesquicentennial Town of Clarendon  – $3.00
This Booklet was written and compiled under authorization of the Sesquicentennial Association 1810-1960.

History of Clarendon – $45.00
This is a hard cover re-print of David S. Copeland’s History of Clarendon, published in 1889.

Index—History of Clarendon – $8.00
In 1979 a member of the Orleans County Historical Association compiled this hardcover index, 48 pages, to David S. Copeland’s History of Clarendon.

Clarendon Christmas Cards:
These cards have a Christmas verse on the inside and are available in two styles; a photo of the Museum at Farwell’s Settlement, or a sketch of Old Clarendon four-corners on the front.

(There is a limited supply of the winter scene at the park available also; see Clarendon Note Cards.)

10 Cards/Envelopes – $10.00
20 Cards/Envelopes – $20.00
30 Cards/Envelopes  -$30.00

Clarendon Note Cards:
These cards are blank on the inside for your own message, and have a photo of a winter scene at the park on the front.

10 Cards/Envelopes   $10.00
20 Cards/Envelopes   $20.00
30 Cards/Envelopes   $30.00

1890’s Clarendon Business District –  $5.00
11×14 color print of H.F. Smagorinsky’s Folk Art painted in 1993. This winter scene shows the business district of Clarendon as it was in the 1890’s. (The original painting is on display in the meeting room at the Clarendon Town Hall.)

Clarendon Holiday Cookbook$5.00
This cookbook is a collection of recipes submitted by Clarendon residents, past and present!

Scenic Line Drawings – $3.00 ea
These line drawings are available with nine different sketches, including the old churches, schools, Main Street and more.

Ship/Handling Costs:

1-2 Items         Add $3.20

3-5 Items         Add $5.00

Over 5 Items   Add $7.00



Total Order:_______________

Make checks payable to:

Clarendon Historical Society  P.O. Box 124  Clarendon, NY 14429