Historian –Town of Elba
Historian – Village of Elba EROTH@ROCHESTER.RR.COM
President – Historical Society of Elba
Master – Elba Grange #783 January 15, 2018 2018-1

Greetings – My e-mail list continues to grow, I am eager to continue and expand my mailing list, if you know of an Elba resident or ECS graduate that might be interested, I will be happy to add their name to my list.


Did you know that prior to the Firemen’s Field Day (Onion Festival), initiated in 1937, that the Elba Grange held an annual Grange Fair and supper each fall. The following is an original poem by Will Balfour, dedicated to the 1923 Elba Grange Fair.

The Grangers held their annual Fair The Ice Cream Booth was in command
In nineteen twenty-three of Bert and Mrs. Dorman
The month, it was October And the tickets for the supper
And a success it proved to be. Were sold by Harry Norman.

The people came from far and near There also was a Candy Booth,
As by magnet they were drawn Fish Pond with things galore
But all roads lead to Elba And the Ladies had a Fancy Booth
When there’s something going on. In the center of the floor
And as you looked around the hall
The Supper was a drawing card It nearly made you dizzy
The tables were well filled To see the people move about
With chicken pie and other things They were so very busy.
I’m sure they filled the bill.
So asked me what the Fair was for
The Hall was decorated They really like to learn
With Red-White- and blue Says I, – to swell the “building fund”
The Articles donated That the mortgage we might burn.
I should say were not a few.
You may think the writer crazy
The Vegetable Booth, was well supplied No doubt – his mind’s unsound.
And with “Robert for a clerk, But will give you three cheers for
He waited on the customers the Elba Grange
With the courtesy of a Turk” And a “Tiger” – for the Old Home Town.

Page 2


The mid-winters doldrums have hit and with the brutal weather, activity has gone into hibernation. Members will soon receive a schedule of 2018 events, as well as an invoice for dues. As always we appreciate everyone’s support and look forward to expanding our membership.


In May of 2016, soon after I was appointed Town Historian, I received a request for information regarding a traffic light at the four corners. Long time Elba resident, Stu Hare, stated that he had recollection of a suspended signal over the corners, but did not remember any additional details. He recalled that when a vehicle would stop for the signal, that certain young lads would appear out of the bushes and lift the rear of the vehicle off the ground.
Recently, as I was reviewing minutes of the Elba Grange, I found a resolution dated December 10, 1938; asking the State Highway Dept. for a traffic light or substitute put back, owing to a fatal accident.
Armed with this information, I reviewed newspaper clippings for December 1938. A Daily News article confirmed the fact that a pedestrian was killed crossing Main Street. The article mentions that on Saturday (Dec. 3rd) a stop-and-go signal was removed by state authorities. The fatal accident occurred on Monday (Dec. 5th), two days later.
The pedestrian was Emero Merrill and the car was driven by Gordon Ransom. Mr. Merrill had just purchased a writing pad at the Earl Hundredmark general store on the west side of Main Street and was crossing Main Street to return to his vehicle.
The accident occurred at 7:30 PM and the lights from an on-coming vehicle blinded Mr. Ransom.
Mr. Merrill lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Howard Schuler, and was also survived by a niece (Dorothy Schuler) and a nephew (Elton Schuler).
Several years ago, this same intersection was the scene of another accident, when Ralph Gillard (our long local assessor) was killed, when turning from Chapel Street onto Main Street.

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