A brief history of Chemung county, New York

Local history is fleeting and evanescent. Events of one day, even considered of supreme importance at the time, are forgotten the next day, and soon drop into oblivion. Any effort to recall them, after years have passed, entails tireless and exhaustive research amongst the files of musty, old newspapers, private memoranda, public records, and, best of all; the interviewing and arousing the recollections of elderly persons; preferably ladies, for their memories are usually very retentive and are seldom found inaccurate. Very much that follows is from the remembrances of old ladies; who knew the country in their girlhood; when it was pretty much all woods and swamps. Interviews with them could only be characterized as delicious. If there could be reproduced only one-half of all they have recalled, it would form a book many times the size of this, and if their names could be given; they would be recognized as belonging to some of the oldest and best-known families of the county.

Seldom does a company assemble socially for a quiet visit that the discussion of "old times" does not come up during the gathering; and those most eagerly listened to are the ones who can tell the most about the periods when our "grandfathers lived." It is a subject not particularly valuable, perhaps with some exceptions, but always interesting and entertaining.

It will be found that children are always attracted toward subjects of this character, and it is safe to place such memories in their keeping. They can then tell all about their homes and the people dwelling thereabouts, and transmit their knowledge to an indefinite posterity. When they are fully informed concerning these matters in their own localities, they will be prepared to enter with enthusiasm upon the study of the stories of the larger affairs of the world.


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Beginning with a battle. Chemung County, N. Y.; gets its name, as does the river that flows through it, from an Indian term meaning "Big Horn" It is situated in the southern part of New York State; on the borders of the State of Pennsylvania about half way between the eastern and western boundaries of New York; in latitude 42 N., its western line being on the same meridian as that of Washington D.C.; from which longitude is sometimes reckoned.