First person account of life in an Erie Canal town in the pre Civil War era.
James Cornes was a Brockport native, graduate of the Brockport Collegiate Institute, and Civil War veteran. He wrote a series of reminiscences about life in Brockport before the Civil War starting in the 1880s, up through about 1911. Those that were published were run in the Brockport Democrat, but some may never have been in print.
This invaluable collection of local history for an era which we lack newspaper and other sources for the most part still needs some editing but we offer it now so readers may have a chance to view it. Tyler Beyea, a history major at Brockport, scanned and did much of the editing of this document.
The typewritten manuscript we used is from the collections of the Emily Knapp Museum in Brockport. It is likely not the original manuscript by Cornes, rather it seems to be a copy typed up from his papers sometime in the 1930s or '40s, perhaps for local historians A.B. Elwell and Harold Dobson whose names appear on the cover.