Castile Historical Society & Museum

Castile Historical Society & Museum Castile, NY history
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The town of Castile was established in 1808 and was separated from the town of Perry. The first settlers, Robert and Janet Whaley, along with Janet's brother, Daniel McKay, built the first sawmill. This was the beginning of many more stores, houses, and facilities to be built into the 1830's when the town's population boomed. In 1816, Ziba Hurd purchased land in the area that would become the Village of Castile. The village was incorporated on June 19, 1877. The Castile Historical House is the headquarters of the Castile Historical Society, formed in December of 1952, and incorporated in April of 1955. It was built in 1865 by Civil War veteran Henry L. Cumming. He died in 1900, and in 1907 his widow sold it to Mr. Frank Vining, who in 1955 sold it to an agent. It was purchased in 1956 and given to the society by Annie Eddy in memory of her husband, John E. Eddy (1873-1954). The building is used as a research center for persons interested in area history, as well as a museum where one may see tools, books, clothes, paintings, and furniture which belonged to people who have lived in the vicinity since Castile was founded. Most of the staff and the Board of Trustees are Society volunteers. Their work takes place in the office and research room, which houses records, files, maps, scrapbooks, and family histories made readily available to visitors seeking information. Also available on microfilm and online (fultonhistory.com) is "The Castilian", Castile's local newspaper which was started in 1878 by Alamanzer Gaines. At present there is no fee for admission or for searches. However, donations are always needed and gratefully accepted to help preserve the house and it's historical treasures.

Mission: The Castile Historical Society is chartered to collect, preserve and exhibit records, pictures, and other items connected with the history of Castile; to conduct or sponsor research in such history and to promote interest therein.

03/22/2020

In an effort to eliminate potential employee and patron exposure to COVID-19, the Castile Historical Society & Museum will be closed until further notice.
If you have research questions, please email our Castile Town Historian and Historical House Curator, Linda Little, at: [email protected] .
We hope you all stay healthy and have resources to get thru this difficult time.
We also hope that you are able to take time to do a little family tree research, whether from your home, or by taking a walk thru a cemetery to search for your ancestors. If you make any discoveries you'd like to share, please private message us on this page so we can post to the page!

We love visitors to the museum! Here's what Jill Davis said recently of her trip to see the historical house:"Thank you ...
09/18/2019

We love visitors to the museum! Here's what Jill Davis said recently of her trip to see the historical house:
"Thank you so much, Linda Little, for the tour of the Museum in August. It is a great museum and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area. What a thrill to hold in my hand the booklet about Mary Jemison that I helped to make with other 5th grade girls in 1958!!"

What items might we have that YOU were a part of? Come visit and find out!

Treasured Trestle Company
07/08/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

The COUNTDOWN begins!! Will you be in the Letchworth State Park area this coming Saturday, July 13th? Look for our booth at Perry Chalk Art Festival !!! We are SOOO EXCITED!!! If you've been waiting to get a piece of the 1875 trestle in person, you'll have your chance!!
Look for the railroad crossing sign (don't worry...no trains actually crossing, just good bridge history!) See you there!! (Festival runs from 8:30am til 4:30pm, one day only!)

Treasured Trestle Company
06/14/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

Will you be in or near Letchworth State Park this weekend, June 15 & 16?
Stop by our booth at the Fare and Ware Festival at the Highbanks area, 11-6pm Saturday, and 11-5pm on Sunday, and check out our 'wall of history': FROM TRESTLE TO TREASURE to see how the 1875 Medallions came to be!
We'll also have several large turnbuckles that played an important role of holding the bridge together--come and touch a piece of history! We hope to see you there!
See more details about the festival here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/312692262922076/
Genesee Valley Council on the Arts John Kucko Digital

Treasured Trestle Company
06/13/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

TODAY IN TRESTLE HISTORY: Exactly 144 years ago today, June 13, 1875, the first piece of iron was erected at 3:00 in the afternoon.
To imagine that Mr. Letchworth stood on his Glen Iris porch and watched not only the burning of the old wooden bridge, but also the beginning of a new iron bridge only 38 days later.
Those of us alive today can claim the same kind of history as Mr Letchworth-loss of an old bridge, beginning of a new one!
Trees were cleared in March of 2015 for the new Genesee Arch, but it wouldn't be until the beginning of June 2017 that the arches were just starting to be erected.
March 20, 2018, would mark the day the last piece of our beloved 1875 trestle came down.
We are truly living in an historic time to be witnesses to such events, and even though the trestle is no more, we still thankfully have preserved pieces of it to treasure forever!
DON'T FORGET: Stop by the Fare and Ware Festival this weekend, June 15th & 16th, 2019, at the Highbanks Area in Letchworth State Park and visit us at our booth to get your piece of the trestle-we hope to see you there! Genesee Valley Council on the Arts John Kucko Digital

Treasured Trestle Company
06/06/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

As we remember those who gave their all on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago today, D-Day, June 6, 1944, WW2 truly did affect the whole world, including our own Letchworth State Park.
As the trains rolled across the old 1875 Trestle, this is what was happening under its shadow.
(Following excerpt from Tom Cook & Tom Breslin 's wonderful website, links below):
'Park Commissioner Secretary Van Arsdale reported in June of 1944 "that the former CCC Camp building in both Hamlin Beach and Letchworth Parks are to be used in housing German Prisoners of War to help relieve the labor shortage in harvesting and canning of fruits and vegetables."'
Read the full story here: http://www.letchworthparkhistory.com/powglimpse.html
Below is a 1939 photo from one of the CCC camps in the park, also from Tom's website.
For more photos of this CCC camp, click here:
http://www.letchworthparkhistory.com/camp49mem.html
AND.....you can get a wonderful book on the CCC camps in the park written by our own Tom Cook here (be sure to use Amazon Smile & select 'Friends of Letchworth SP'. A portion of the sales will go to this wonderful group):
http://ow.ly/ghAH50uyouq

Treasured Trestle Company
02/04/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

TWO 'SUPER' ANNOUNCEMENTS ON THIS 'SUPER' SUNDAY!
First, The GREAT 1875 MEDALLION GIVEAWAY: We are happy to announce our winners, both of whom will receive an 1875 Medallion Keychain!! Congratulations to Terri Pukos, who was chosen at random from all entries!! Congratulations also to Wanda Spahr, who won the 'Guess How Many Medallions' portion of our Giveway--her guess was closest to our final count!
We had a huge range of guesses, from the lowest guess at 75 medallions, to the highest guess of 495,150!
But, you'll see from the photo, the total number of medallions we were able to cut from 1,140 pounds of turnbuckle rods--yes-- 6,725!!
Many have been spoken for already, which brings us to our...
SECOND announcement: Barring any unforeseen circumstances, all pre-orders will be shipping BY THE END OF THIS WEEK!! We are SO SO HAPPY to be able to say that--it has been a longggg time coming!!! Each medallion, as you may be able to see, still needs to have the edges filed smooth, the number engraved on top, & a protective coat of natural beeswax applied. We can't wait for those of you who have reserved a medallion to be able to hold a piece of history for yourself!
(Now back to whatever you were watching....like, maybe, some sports thing on tv??? 😉😀 Oh, and if your party food isn't tasting good, go to our website and feast on some history! http://www.treasuredtrestle.com ) John Kucko Digital

Treasured Trestle Company
01/03/2019

Treasured Trestle Company

Installment #13: Even though we're still in production of the 1875 Iron Portageville Bridge Medallions and have opened the website for pre-ordering, we'd like to share more specifics on the pieces, the history, and the various people/companies involved in making this all possible!
LAST TIME, we shared the method we are using to cut the turnbuckle rods, which is a dry cut saw with a Cermet Carbide blade, giving us the straightest and fastest cut.
LIKE A KNOT IN WOOD: As the 1875 Medallions are being cut, it is obvious that not all iron/steel is the same! One second the rods cut smoothly, then suddenly, WHAM! A hard spot is hit and not only makes the saw blade work VERY hard, but can chip teeth off the blade (or worse yet, damage the saw, which has happened)! These broken teeth on the blade then need to be repaired when we send them to a specialty shop in Buffalo, where the whole blade is also re-sharpened.
In searching the web, apparently hard spots in iron/steel are something that metal workers do encounter, with some saying it can be parts of the material that wasn't incorporated/melted properly when made.
Anyone who has hit a knot while working with wood can imagine what these hard spots are like!
Are you a metalworker? Have you encountered this problem? We'd love to hear your experience! http://www.treasuredtrestle.com John Kucko Digital

SO honored to have a piece of a treasure, the 1875 Iron Portageville Bridge! Stop by the museum to see it in person!!
10/16/2018

SO honored to have a piece of a treasure, the 1875 Iron Portageville Bridge! Stop by the museum to see it in person!!

Preserving History: The third stop in delivering cherished 1875 trestle iron to museums/historical societies in the region. Swung by the Castile Historical Society & Museum today in Wyoming County, just a few miles from Letchworth SP. Suzie Canby Carlson (left) reached out to me several months ago about getting a piece of the iconic rail bridge for the museum there. Castile legend and Letchworth SP Ambassador Ken Wallace and I were honored to present a lattice section of the trestle. Ken and I had a blast documenting the building of the new arch and removal of the trestle the last three years. This is a terrific little place (the house dates back to the 1800’s). Hours of operation are every Tuesday (9am-noon, 1pm-3pm). It’s located at 17 Park Road East and they have a most impressive collection of historic pieces—and now they’ve got another. Norfolk Southern displayed superb
corporate citizenship in working with me to get these historical sections of the trestle. Tomorrow it’s off to the Medina Railroad Museum.

Very soon, our historical house will have an amazing piece of history--a piece of the Iron Trestle!Thanks to John Kucko ...
09/24/2018

Very soon, our historical house will have an amazing piece of history--a piece of the Iron Trestle!
Thanks to John Kucko for working so hard to get pieces of this icon saved for many museums so that everyone can enjoy seeing the trestle, even after it is long gone!

All That Remains: Happy to report that I have taken possession of the trestle iron that we worked diligently to procure for some of the railroad museums in WNY. Hard to fathom that one year ago, trains were crossing the iconic 1875 trestle here at Letchworth SP as the Genesee Arch Bridge was being built. A significant amount of work took place here to build the new and take down the old. It’s hard to believe. For the various railroad museums out there—I will soon be in touch.

07/05/2018
John Kucko Digital

From John's post below:
"...some local entrepreneurs are in the process of getting organized and plan to sell small medallions made from the old 1875 trestle iron. I have seen a prototype and it is fantastic. I will provide more details as the endeavor progresses forward. The hope is to have these available for purchase by the fall. Many of you have inquired about such an availability and this should come to fruition soon. I’ll keep you posted here."

JKDrone Extra: A quick 30 second video of the Norfolk Southern Heritage Unit, Reading Lines, leading a westbound freight on Sunday evening through Letchworth SP. The Genesee River Arch is all completed now, the painting finished. All that remains is some cleanup, removing of cables, etc. Earth restoration continues on both sides of the park and paving of the enhanced park road at the Portageville entrance is underway. That popular Portageville entrance is expected to be open by the fall, if not sooner.
Also, some local entrepreneurs are in the process of getting organized and plan to sell small medallions made from the old 1875 trestle iron. I have seen a prototype and it is fantastic. I will provide more details as the endeavor progresses forward. The hope is to have these available for purchase by the fall. Many of you have inquired about such an availability and this should come to fruition soon. I’ll keep you posted here. Thanks to Vertigo Drones for the guidance in flying the Typhoon H for these aerial shots.

06/20/2017

Something EXCITING is happening at The Castile Historical House!!! We are excited to announce that we will be closed for at least the following Tuesdays: June 20 & 27, July 4 (of course!).
Whhhhhhaaaaaaa......??? WHY would we be excited about being closed??? Glad you asked!!
After several years of planning, we are getting a new steel roof and vinyl siding, plus a new handicap ramp, wooohooo!!!!!
We assume that we should be open again after the 4th of July but will have to monitor the progress for that decision, and we'll be sure to let you know if anything is different!
We are SUPER excited to protect our beloved historical house for generations to come with these improvements, and in the meantime, make sure you drive by the Historical House and check out the Fire Department building in the yard to the right of the historical house, which houses their antique hose cart.
It's especially impressive at night with the lights on!!

Yes, it's 2017!! But we still have plenty of the 2016 Castile Village Bicentennial calendars, as well as the 2008 Town o...
05/13/2017

Yes, it's 2017!! But we still have plenty of the 2016 Castile Village Bicentennial calendars, as well as the 2008 Town of Castile Bicentennial calendars left!
Both have plenty of wonderful historical info and pictures that can be enjoyed no matter what year it is!
We will send you BOTH calendars for a total cost of only $5.00, which includes mailing costs--thats TWO for $5!!
($1 or $2 additional donation towards mailing costs are appreciated, but certainly optional).
You can send a check or money order to: Castile Historical Society , PO Box 256, Castile, NY 14427, and we will get those out to you asap!

It's been a while since we've posted anything here, so what is more fitting than a post about our beloved Castile reside...
05/07/2017

It's been a while since we've posted anything here, so what is more fitting than a post about our beloved Castile resident Mary Jemison!
Someone asked a while ago about a sign found going down the hill into Varysburg on Route 20A, and we finally captured a picture of it.
Even though this area had not been settled by the white man in 1779, the Revolutionary War still greatly affected the native inhabitants of this land, as we can see from this sign.
Thanks to page member Kimberly for bringing the sign to our attention so that we could share it with everyone!

By Mrs. Wilklow's 5th Grade Girls.This book is in the collection at the Historical House in Castile, NY.The Historical H...
09/06/2016

By Mrs. Wilklow's 5th Grade Girls.
This book is in the collection at the Historical House in Castile, NY.
The Historical House is open Tuesdays from 9-12noon, and 1pm-3pm.
Come by and see what other treasures are there waiting to be found!!

By Mrs. Wilklow's 5th Grade Girls.
This book is in the collection at the Historical House in Castile, NY.
The Historical House is open Tuesdays from 9-12noon, and 1pm-3pm.
Come by and see what other treasures are there waiting to be found!!

No Irish heritage in your family?? That's ok--you can get a taste o' the Irish by coming Saturday to the Castile United ...
03/10/2016

No Irish heritage in your family?? That's ok--you can get a taste o' the Irish by coming Saturday to the Castile United Church of Christ and get your very own Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner! Event organizers have hinted that you can come as early as 4pm--they said they'll be there and ready to dish out the luck!!
There is no set charge but a donation is greatly appreciated to not only cover costs, but to help the Castile Historical Society raise money for the historical house siding project, something much needed at this time.
As stewards of this historical place, we want to keep it maintained for future generations to enjoy and learn about the history of Castile, so come on out and get your Irish on!!!

Dinner Meeting and Talk, March 3rd, 2016
03/10/2016

Dinner Meeting and Talk, March 3rd, 2016

100% Whole Wheat Savory Garlic Herb Bread is out of the oven, ready for the Castile Historical Society's dinner and talk...
03/03/2016

100% Whole Wheat Savory Garlic Herb Bread is out of the oven, ready for the Castile Historical Society's dinner and talk tomorrow night. May your night be filled with the fresh baked aromas of days gone by!

03/03/2016

The members of the Castile Historical Society and this page manager THANK YOU ALL for the love you've shown!! 323 'Likes' for this page--and we were hoping for 200!! Can't wait to share the news, and love, with everyone at the dinner meeting and program tomorrow night!! And don't forget: come on out for a great potluck dinner and talk from Mr. Dan Chasey about the history of the Castile Cider Mill!

03/02/2016

We are TWO away from 200 'LIKES' here on Facebook! Ohhhh how the ladies who work so hard every week at the historical society and house would LOVE for everyone to give some love and push our 'Like' button over that 200!

03/01/2016

HAPPENING THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 3RD:
The quarterly dinner meeting and program of the Castile Historical Society!
Come one, come all, to the Castile United Church of Christ in Castile, NY at 6pm for a delicious dinner. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service.
Then, at approximately 7pm, we will have a short business meeting, followed by a presentation by Mr. Dan Chasey on the Castile Cider Mill!
If you've had their delicious cider, donuts, and other goodies, you'll enjoy learning about the history of this fantastic little gem just a few doors down from the Historical House!
Guests ALWAYS welcome!!

And finally, Mr. John Grover shared with us a picture of a print of the historic Portage Bridge.Mr. Grover said: " I inc...
03/01/2016

And finally, Mr. John Grover shared with us a picture of a print of the historic Portage Bridge.
Mr. Grover said: " I included a print of the old railroad bridge in the park. It is signed by a Clifford Rice and dated 1965. I assume that given the later date, that Mr. Rice must have copied the picture from old plans and/or photographs."
Thank you, John, for sharing all of your treasures with us!

Mr. Grover's family was prolific in business in Castile, NY!He also shared with us pictures, front and back, of this 'pr...
03/01/2016

Mr. Grover's family was prolific in business in Castile, NY!
He also shared with us pictures, front and back, of this 'promotional' medallion/token from a dry goods store that was in Castile (penny in photo to show size).
According to Mr. Grover: "The store was owned by a W. M. Gledhill, another relative. The initials stand for Walter Maurice Gledhill, my great, great grandfather. I believe that the tokens were attached to items to remind buyers and potential buyers where the merchandise came from."

From Mr. Grover's earlier post: "According to my grandmother (Lillian Craig Shores), the painting was of a stream that r...
03/01/2016

From Mr. Grover's earlier post: "According to my grandmother (Lillian Craig Shores), the painting was of a stream that ran into the Genesee River in the Perry/Castile area (possibly Wolf Creek). The painter signed it "A. Robinson". While having it repaired, matted and reframed, the framer found the picture was painted on poster board with the pastoral scene on the back. It was an ad for William S. Shores, Choice Meats, Castile, NY. He was my great grandfather. He had his meat business from the early 1900's possibly well into the 1920's."

Address

17 Park Rd E
Castile, NY
14427

General information

Museum open Tuesdays: 9AM--Noon, and 1PM--3PM. Other times by appointment. Dues are only $10 a year. Dinner meetings with interesting programs and speakers are held on the first Thursdays of March, June, September and December at 6pm at the Castile United Church of Christ. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(585) 493-5370

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Comments

Thank you so much, Linda, for the tour of the Museum in August. It is a great museum and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting the area. What a thrill to hold in my hand the booklet about Mary Jemison that I helped to make with other 5th grade girls in 1958!!
My father Harry Mckinley Phelps and his 2 brothers and sister, grew up around Castile, NY He carries his father's Name Mckinley, there is a connection to Elam Phelps and/or E. Palmer Phelps, they both owned farms I believe. My grandmother worked at the Sanatorium in Castile, she was a Beach. Any info will be greatly appreciated. thanks Bob Phelps. I know a Bob Phelps works the farm today but not sure if iits E. Palmer's or Elams or are they the same? Thanks again.