Standing proudly on Main Street in Penn Yan is the anchor building of the Yates County History Center, the Oliver House Museum, one of three buildings comprising the YCHC. The Center, formerly Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society, is one of the oldest in NYS, has been actively collecting, preserving and interpreting history since 1860. Continue reading about us...

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Solomon D. Weaver and Family

Taken from a newspaper clipping with no date or name, but probably came from The Chronicle Express, printed in Penn Yan, one of the weekly editions in 1886.

Solomon D. Weaver was born at Saratoga, NY, within a few miles of the celebrated Springs, October 21, 1797. He married Elizabeth Gamby, (probably should be Gamble, but here has received the former spelling and pronunciation), who was born at Pine Plains (another source lists White Plains), Dutchess County, NY, June 21, 1800, and was the daughter of the widow Gamby, subsequently Mrs. John Weed. They were married in Benton, February 23, 1820.

Mr. Weaver's grandfather, Josiah Weaver, and his father, James Weaver, both came from Saratoga, first to Dryden, Tompkins County, and thence to Reading, Steuben County, (now Schuyler), somewhere about 1823-4, with their families, where they remained until their death. The grandfather died September 24, 1832, aged 88, and the father, June 1864, aged 92. The father had a numerous family, viz: Solomon D., James, Elizabeth, Hugh, Ransom, Nancy, Josiah, Davis, Moses, Lydia, and Orville, (twins), and Alonzo, all of whom reached adult aged but one, and nine were married; but none of them ever because residents of this county except Solomon D. and Moses.

Solomon D., before he was married, worked for Messrs. Way & Brown, at the cloth dressing business, in the village of Penn Yan, near Head Street, the works being located on Jacob's Brook. Afterwards at the solicitation of some of the owners and managers of what was known as the "Factory Mill", he because lessee of the carding machines and clothing works, and run them one year as he found them, and the next year added a building, remodeled and renewed the machinery, and run it a second year and made a paying business of it, while the first year was a loss of his whole time. - He says that he was encouraged and advised to go ahead on his own hook, while thus starting in business life as an inexperienced young man, and without means, by such men as John Lawrence, Benjamin Shaw, Aaron Remer, Abner Woodworth and Dr. Joshua Lee, on the promise of their friendly aid and countenance, and they never failed him or allowed him to doubt their sincerity from first to last, although he was often obliged to make heavy drafts on their confidence and faith in him. To such aid in his weakness he attributes his courage in after life to persevere, and to those men he feels that he owes a lasting debt of gratitude.

It was about this time that he married and subsequently was engaged with George Shearman in the purchase of one hundred acres of land of John Hall, embracing the water power of Keuka Lake outlet, for $16 per acre, on which they erected two saw mills, and one grist mill with three run of stone, long known as the Shearman & Weaver mill, (on the site of what became Fox's Paper Mill) and which they ran successfully for two years, when they added two distilleries and soon after commenced sinking money, and were finally brought to the verge of bankruptcy within six years thereafter. In 1832 he came to Branchport and here entered into the timber business, buying timber land from the Beddoe Tract, cutting and shipping the timber and selling the land after thus stripping it, and had made a successful business of it.

In 1862, July the 8th, his wife died - They had five children who reached adult age, viz: Myron H., Llewellyn J. Sherrel S., George S. and Helen E.

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