Monday, February 17, 2014

Malone: The War of 1812: Part 1

English: Main locations of the War of 1812 bet...
English: Main locations of the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom Français :. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Unless otherwise noted, information about Malone and the War of 1812 came from: Seaver, Frederick, Historical Sketches of Franklin County. Malone: JB Lyons, 1918.

If it wasn't due to the appointment of General Wilkinson, an "imbecile" and "drunk" (pg. 590), the War of 1812 may have passed by Malone. It had no vast resources to plunder, not strategic location--but Wilkinson changed the situation.

Fort Covington, formerly known as French Mills, seemed to be the base of operations. A fort had been built where the Presbyterian church stands. It was called Fort Invincible, which became a misnomer.

One of the first battles, led by Captain Rufus Tilden in Ft. Covington, took place in late October when rumor had it that a couple of hundred of the enemy approached near Hogansburg. Four British were killed and about forty captured. Major Young bragged that the colors of the enemy had been captured and wanted to present them to the Governor seeing as they were the first captured in the war (593). According to a Canadian report, this turned out to be a private citizen's own flag used for his own residence!

One month later, Captain Tilden was captured on Nov. 23, 1812 when Fort Invincible was invaded.

Aside from these few skirmishes, the building an arsenal in Malone and two block houses in Chateaugay, no other 1812 activity happened here until Generals Wilkinson and Hampton arrived--except a little profiteering.

During the war of 1812, our population declined, in part in fear of the Indians, which is, in part, quite odd seeing as we quartered the British here. The Brits assured us there would be no pillaging or molesting of the populace. And with the exception of the attempt to burn the armory (our current YMCA), they apparently kept the agreement.

This war caused improvements of roads and in the end, brought in more residents and commerce. People knew how to earn a buck--and they did so in the usual way, they traded with the enemy and moral standards were lowered.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Malone: Poverty at its roots

Descendant of the Puritan Faith
Malone, no shock to anyone living here for long, had never been prosperous. In the early years, no one had money. Literally. To purchase goods, people bartered. Only one man appeared to own any cold cash—Obadiah T. Hosford. He had two silver dollars that he clinked in his pockets. This had to be quite the status symbol since several histories had noted it.

Hosford ran the Hosford House for thirty years. Seaver said this boarding house was just south of where the railroad crossed Elm—so I believe that was up by Raymond Street. In addition to money, Hosford was said to have been the owner of the second horse in town.

Because of the poverty and isolation, “a common spirit of helpfulness seemed to pervade all hearts” (Seaver, Historical Sketches 26). This time period saw life here “all grim earnest, almost unintermittent toil, privation and poverty without much pauperism” (Seaver 26). In 1825 with a population in Malone itself of about 2,719, only one in every one thousand was a pauper, leaving a total of about eight in the whole county (Seaver 39). The poor at this time were always cared for and our own need caused us to give to one another.

Our communal spirit and concern for one another was seen in things like work bees. Since no one could hire labor nor do it oneself, we worked. Usually for booze. (see my blogs on bootlegging).

Rum and whiskey was freely provided from local distilleries. The most infamous of our five distilleries, “Whiskey Hollow,” was located by the electric plant on Lower Park Street. This brewery lasted the longest of all in the town, and according to Seaver, at one time rivaled the town in importance (411).

Despite our predilection for liquor, which was a puritanical allowance, and old-timer said, As I remember Malone, it was the most perfect representation of the ideal puritanical village” (Seaver 37). This could be taken almost literally since most of the town were members of the First Congregational Church—a denomination descended from the Puritans. In the earlier years, it was fashionable to be a church member.

And if you are aghast at the paucity of entertainment today, the only amusements tolerated, at least according to one private letter, was church, prayer meeting and singing school (Seaver 37). 

Do you know more about Malone's beginnings? Anything to add? Corrections needed? Feedback is always welcomed.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Malone: The Beginning

English: Armory, Malone
English: Armory, Malone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As we look out the window, not daring to take a step outside on these frigid winter days, it's easy to see why Malone had been called the Siberia of the North. The forested landscape and hills as they rolled down from the Adirondacks, were as beautiful then as they are today. However, no one wanted it. Not even the Indians.

In 1791, a section of New York called the Macomb Purchas was made. This was the Old Military Tract of about four million acres. Richard Harison bought the middle tract, and thus Malone had its beginnings.

Portrait of John Jay
Portrait of John Jay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Richard Harison was a frined of John Jay's (a governor of New York from 1795-1801) and was once a law partner of Alexander Hamilton's, as well as a friend of George Washington.

The first settlers who came to Malone in 1802 were Enos, Nathan and John Wood, three brothers who had fought in the war for Independence. Noel Conger and Noah Moody followed shortly after. They, along with others, came from the Vermont corridor. These first settlers cane "with devotion to home, with belief in the church and the school and with fidelity to conscience" (Seaver, Historical Sketches 14).

The young town grew up around Main and Webster Streets, and you can see the historical marker of Harison's home next to Davis School on Webster.

Our town, erected in 1805, was originally named Harison, but he settlement along the river was more frequently called the Center. In 1808 Harison changed its name to Ezraville after his friend Ezra L'Hommedieu. Eventually it was named Malone after Edmund Malone and eminent "Irish Shakespearean scholar" and another friend of Harison's.
And today, people complain about the lack of activities in Malone. Today, as in 1805, aside from churches and government, no other organization existed. A situation soon to be rectified.

Coming next week: early growth.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Are You SAD?

English: Diagram illustrating the influence of...
English: Diagram illustrating the influence of dark-light rythms on circadian rythms and related physiology and behavior. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The carols sing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." And if you're afflicted with SAD, it's true...Dec. 21st marks the solstice, and the days, thankfully will become longer. Just the knowledge that we're not loosing more sunlight is often enough to turn SAD around.

SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, strikes many people living in northern climates where the daylight diminishes until winter arrives. It comes at the same time of year as Christmas when we're supposed to be happy, and so it also adds a layer of guilt.

Believe me, I know. Every year, beginning in November it strikes me...some years worse than others, and for whatever factors this year it hit me hard. If you checked the symptoms at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195/DSECTION=symptoms
you'll know exactly what I've been feeling lately:

  1. depressed
  2. hopeless
  3. anxious
  4. listless
  5. withdrawn
  6. disinterested in my usual activities
  7. craving carbs and sugar (oh, gimme chocolate!)
  8. gaining weigh (see #7)
  9. unable to concentrate
  10. disruption of your circadian rhythms

Is there any way to find relief from SAD, aside from moving to Brazil or hibernating until January when the blazing sun shining on the glittering snow helps brighten the day?


And Yes again.

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs
Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is what has helped me:

  1. Talk to someone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It's a real condition and someone you trust will understand. Go to a spouse, a friend, a relative, a pastor, or your doctor who can recommend a therapist. You're not crazy.
  2. Photo-therapy. Open the blinds. Buy full spectrum lights and  keep them on when it gets dark. For some people, a light box with intense light helps.
  3. Exercise. I don't mean running a 10K or weight lifting. Dance to the WII. Scrub the floors or vacuum. Go for a walk. Haul wood. Practice Tai Chi. Take a yoga class. Swim. Choose something your area provides that you enjoy. If you go out and socialize, that packs a secondary aid. (See #4).
  4. Socialize. Being with people you lik
  5. e takes your mind off yourself.Now's not the time to try out #1, you're trying to enjoy life like everyone else.
  6. Eat properly. You crave potato chips and chocolate--maybe chocolate covered potato chips?--but they're not good for you. Eat carbs like potatoes or rice or noodles, vegetables, and protein--whether vegetable protein or animal.
  7. Pray. Don't forget that you are love by God. As anyone who loves another, we do not want to see the one we cherish suffer. God understands.
  8. Read Scripture. For me, Psalm 138:8 did the trick. "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; yo
    English: Scroll of the Psalms
    English: Scroll of the Psalms
    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    ur steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." (English translation)  I struggled with my writing, with my talent, my dreams, my goals. That God would perfect (KJV) or fulfill all His goals, encouraged me to almost giddiness.
  9. Omega 3. Try fish oil capsules.
  10. Anti-depressants. If you're not adverse to using them, they can be an invaluable help in coping.
  11. And number 10 reiterates number 1. Be vulnerable. Not to any old Joe, but to a trustworthy friend who loves you. Let people into your pain, and you will find healing.
Keep in mind--the solstice is only days away. You're not alone--why did society decide to celebrate all these holidays at the dreariest time of year? Why do we had lights to our homes? Go to parties? We need salvation from the dark.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

A Northern Tea Garden: Caraway

English: Caraway seed Français : Graines de carvi
English: Caraway seed Français : Graines de carvi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I love rye bread and have discovered I can drink it in a calorie free tea! Caraway tea. Caraway, a staple in Russia and Germany, has been grown as an herb for over 5,000 years.

It has been:

  1. found in Stone Age settlements
  2. been buried with the Egyptians
  3. used to ward off witches
  4. used as a love potion--or a talisman to keep your spouse faithful. Thus, it became an ingredient in bridal cakes, or was thrown like rice today.
  5. believed to prevent theft if the seed was in the item
Although some culinary "experts" believe this relative of parsley was a peasant herb, it is fragrant, earthy with a kick like mint and a hint of licorice.

For a tea, I use about three teaspoons of the seed in a tea strainer and let it seep. It does help to grind the seeds lightly in order to release the essential oils.

As far as health benefits:
  1. it can be used in a decoction to relieve colic
  2. it is believed to relieve menstrual cramps
  3. in the pharmaceutical trade, it is often added to laxatives to reduce harsh side effects
  4. increases the flow of milk for nursing mothers
  5. helps heartburn and other digestive ailments

Aside from tea, caraway leaves can be used as a salad garnish. The roots can be cooked and eaten. Its taste resembles parsnips.

Next time the stomach bug grips you, try caraway tea.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Northern Tea Garden: Bee Balm

Hummingbird moth at bee balm
Hummingbird moth at bee balm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I discovered bee balm quite by accident. The plant I found was a magenta in color, and the oddest part of the beautiful flower was that it grew out of another flower. I transplanted it, and discovered it is one the hummingbird's favorite foods.

It's related to mint and had been used as a tea by the Oswego Indians. Boston settlers used it as a tea substitute after the Boston tea party. It's related to the mint family--as you can tell from its square stem and has a lemony taste.

You can add fresh leaves to salads or stuffings or drinks. It's used in jellies. And dried leaves make a wonderful tea.

The benefits--aside from sheer delight:

  • helps sore throats
  • helps bronchitis
  • helps menstrual cramps
  • helps insomnia
  • helps wind and nausea
  • brings in the hummingbirds

The leaves and blossoms can be used.
I need to plant more.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Northern Tea Garden: Basil

English: Basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum).
English: Basil leaves (Ocimum basilicum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We make pesto out of it, flavor our tomato products and sprinkle it over fresh mozzarella. But did you know that basil can be used as a tea? And it's healthy for you.

My garden is incomplete without this fragrant herb. Basil, also known as St. Joseph wort, is healthy as well as an insect repellent. It's minty flavor rivals mint tea (it is related to mint). Aside from simple enjoyment (always the main reason to drink tea), basil tea can be used to:

  1. settle the stomach
  2. mixed with honey--it relieves tickly coughs
  3. mixed with honey--it relieves the runny nose--that mucus irritation known as catarrh
  4. Cup of Tea
    Cup of Tea (Photo credit: crayonmonkey)
  5. to enjoy--especially mixed with its fragrance and taste. Currently, it's my favorite tea.
Basil, as I said, is a healthy herb. It:
  1. is rich in flavonoids
  2. it has an anti-bacterial property
  3. According to whfoods.org, the essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, curbs some bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85)
  4. This same website says that if you was your produce in a solution that contains about 1% of the essential oil, you can help prevent intestinal upsets.
  5. The eugenol, it's essential oil, is both an insect repellent and an anti-inflammatory
  6. It's a good source of vitamin A and helps your cardio-vascular system
  7. It's a good source of vitamin K--along with other vitamins and minerals
Currently my favorite, tea--rich, minty, fragrant. A little bit of ambrosia.
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