Saturday, June 9, 2012

Susquehanna River with the Bullochs

We have worked with President and Sister Bulloch since we got here last August.  He is a former Seminary/Institute Teacher and Director; she stayed at home and was a great mom to three children.  They began serving in July of 2009 and will be leaving in a few weeks.  They are extremely busy taking care of 100 missionaries, training, counseling, and leaning on the Lord in all they do.  We have managed to have them to our home for supper twice while we have been here.

They had been invited to go to the dedication of a monument that had been erected at the Joseph Knight Sr. home in Colesville, NY, and invited us to go with them.  We were very excited to go.

We visited the site where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored on the banks of the Susquehanna River.

A monument commemorating the restoration has been erected near the road that runs by the river.  It was produced by Avard Fairbanks.  

This tree (what is left of it) is very old--it may have been there when Joseph and Oliver were baptized in the river.  This was a very beautiful, sacred place.  We felt very privileged to be there with the Bullochs.
 We also stopped at the cemetery where Joseph and Emma's first child was buried.  The original headstone is the dark stone enclosed in the newer, marble headstone.
 The cemetery is located just south of the site where Emma and Joseph first lived after they were married.  The translation of the Book of Mormon was done in this house.  The home is gone and the foundation has been buried--too many people wanted a stone from the foundation for a souvenir.

 This is the foundation of the home where Emma's parents lived, just a short distance from Joseph and Emma.  You can see that it is surrounded by a very high chain-link fence.  We poked our camera through the fence to get this picture.

 Emma's parents, Elizabeth and Isaac Hale, were buried in the same cemetery where the Smith baby is buried.  These are their headstones and have been preserved like the baby's was, but the original stones are on the other side of the monuments here.
  It reads, "In memory of Arvin, infant son of Joseph and Emma Smith," with the date.  He died the same day he was born.  This was a very difficult time for both Joseph and Emma.  Martin Harris had taken the 116 pages of translation of the Book of Mormon to Palmyra to show his wife.  He was supposed to have returned right away, but it had been months and he still hadn't showed up.  Joseph wanted to go to Palmyra and find out what was wrong, but he didn't want to leave Emma so soon after her confinement.  But she encouraged him to, assuring him that she would be all right.  Palmyra is pretty far from Harmony, over 200 miles, which took many days to travel in those days.  It took driving there for us to appreciate how far it was.

This is the Joseph Knight, Sr., home in Colesville.  The couple is one of three couples that formed a company they call "Colesville Branch LLC," which purchases property in that area that is important in church history.  They erected this monument of Joseph and Hyrum as young men in the front yard of the home.

Joseph Knight operated a farm,a grist-mill, and a carding machine where Joseph Smith worked as a laborer.  During the translation of the plates, he furnished food and the paper upon which the original copy of the Book of Mormon was written.

A quote from the book, "Our Heritage" which we use when we study Church history: "Joseph Knight Sr. is also an example of those who willingly made sacrifices in the sale of their properties in order to join the Prophet in Ohio. His simple notice in the Broome Republican says much about his commitment to the gospel: “The farm lately occupied by Joseph Knight, situate in the town of Colesville, near the Colesville Bridge—bounded on one side by the Susquehanna River, and containing about one hundred and forty two acres. On said Farm are two Dwelling Houses, a good Barn, and a fine Orchard. The terms of sale will be liberal.”

The inside of the Knight home is a work in progress.  Below is a "Nanny Bench" from the period.  It is actually a rocker and the mother lays the baby behind the bars you can see on the front of the bench while she sits on one end or the other and snaps beans, pods peas, knits, etc. while the baby sleeps.  Pretty good idea, huh?

Above are some beams in the ceiling, we think they may have been original.

And this is the basement.  The pipes and wires are add-ons, as well as the electricity.  The stones on the left are part of the original basement/foundation.  The cement blocks are very new, replacing the wall that gave way and had to be replaced.

 Next we went to the Josiah Stoal home which is a few miles from the Joseph Knight home.  You may recall that Mr. Stoal was Joseph Smith's employer, and one of his enterprises was looking for a silver mine he was convinced was in the area.  He was a prosperous man and a good friend to Joseph.
 This is the front of the house with a plaque mounted on a stone.
 There is a statue of Joseph Smith holding an ax on the property to the left of the front door.
 Joseph proposed to Emma in this very room.

This was our last stop.  As you can see, the house of Squire Tarbell where Joseph and Emma were married is long gone and a high school athletic field has been built on the ground.  This sign was erected by the New York State Education Department and they didn't do their research very well, as you can see by the spelling of Emma's name.  But we are glad they acknowledge the importance of the site.

Last week on our way to church, we saw a road sign that had a picture of a tree trunk with a tap in it and a bucket hanging from the tap.  "Aha!" I cried (I really did).  "There must be a maple tree farm up that road!"  So on Saturday, we took an afternoon drive.  We found the sign, turned onto the road and drove for about three miles and found, well, it wasn't a farm.  It was a maple syrup shed and boiling display that had been set up by the Verona/Vernon/Sherrill FFA.  There was no one around, so we didn't go into the sheds, but the boiling display was an open shed (roof, supports, but no walls) with a very large cast iron kettle hanging from the center beam.  There was a fire pit under the kettle with lots of ashes, but no fire.  Two of the 4"X4" support beams had taps in them with buckets on them, so we got a close up of what the taps looked like, but obviously, we didn't see any sap dripping from the tap.  Very interesting, but fully investigated in about 5 minutes.

Since we were close and had the rest of the afternoon, we decided to drive to Oneida Lake, which was only 10 more miles.  It was a lovely drive and the lake was very big.  There were a couple of villages that stretched out along most of the east side of the lake, both of them very tourist oriented and very crowded--this was Memorial Day weekend, after all--and parking cost an arm and a leg.  So we drove through Verona Beach State Park and up through Sylvan Beach before we finally found a place to park the car on the side of the road (no parking fees), which was only a few feet from the water.  I dipped my fingers in the water (almost cool) and we enjoyed the breeze for a few minutes and headed for home.

The GPS didn't want to take us back the way we came and since we weren't in a hurry, we decided to follow the GPS.  We were awfully glad we did.  As we drove along, we passed a sign that said, "Lock 22."  "Lock 22," I cried (yup, I did it again).  "Do you want to turn around and go see it?"  We still had plenty of time, so we did.  We had driven a couple of miles and the GPS wanted us to turn onto Lock Road, but a sign said the bridge was out, so we continued driving onto a road that was marked "Dead End."  Our GPS got really excited and kept telling us to get back to the designated route.  We finally turned it off and continued until we got to Lock 22.

Lock 22 is part of the Erie Canal.  The canal is only open during the summer, and it was full of water.  There was a lovely yacht coming down the canal when we got there, so we got to watch the lock work.  When the yacht was in place, the operator closed the upper gate behind it, then walked to the next gate (the gates were about 100 yards apart) and began lowering the water between the gates.  There is a tunnel full of water on each side of the canal and the door holding the water back was opened so the water flowed out of the lock and into the canal below the gate.  In 5-8 minutes (we didn't time it) the water in the lock was down to the lower level, the operator opened the lower gate and the yacht continued down the canal into Oneida Lake.  The gate is opened and closed with huge gears that we could see under a grate that we stood on--it was so fun to watch.  The operator then began filling the lock for the next boat coming down the canal.  We had a nice visit with him and he explained all the workings of the locks and where the water comes from that fills the canal.  He also told us that when the canal is closed in October, they rebuild all the engines located on one side of the canal that drive the gears that open and close the gates.  The next winter, they rebuild the engines on the opposite side of the canal, so his job is full-time, even though the canal is only operated during the summer.  He also told us that there was very little commercial shipping on the canal, that the traffic was mostly pleasure craft.  As we drove back toward home, the next yacht which was considerably bigger than the previous one, arrived and the process started all over again.

We wished we had taken our camera, but decided we will go to Lock 20 which is not very far from where we live and get some pictures there.

Well, it's two weeks later and here we are at Lock 20.  Other than the locks themselves, it doesn't look a lot like Lock 22 and we didn't get to see it work.  We thought since it was a Saturday, there would be more pleasure crafts heading down the canal for Oneida lake, but no such luck.

You can see the gate in the picture above--it looks like a bent bridge.  In the foreground you can see the gears that actually open the gate.  The shed in the left of the picture contains the huge electric motor (probably 200 hp) that turns the gears that pull or push the rack that opens or closes the gate.
This is the rack that is attached to the gate and works with the gears to open and close it.  It looks really cool when it is working.

This is Bill looking at the mechanisms that actually make the gate open and close.

And here it is, the real works that make things move back and forth.

This shows how really beautiful the canal is looking south from the lock.  There is a walking path that goes for miles!  The tiny dot right in the center of the picture is actually 3 people and two dogs!

Here is a better view of the top of the lock and the motor housing on the other side of the gate.  We were glad we got to see it again (we visited it last fall, but it took the trip to Lock 22 to really appreciate what we were seeing).