Milan 50 Years Ago 1/1969

Looking Back at Milan’s History ~ through the lens of the Milan Community Association Newsletter started in November 1968…

Local author Bonnie Wood, editor of Stone By Stone and creator of the Burton Coon blog, writes “Reader’s Notes” and “More About History” to supplement the original MCA Newsletters.

Milan Community Association Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 3 January 1969

Can You Identify This Place?
Local artist, Oswald Stippa, Academy Hill Road, has contributed this sketch of a Milan landmark. How many residents recognize it?
See Historical Quiz below the Newsletter for the answer.

Reader’s Notes~ Beautify Milan: From Planning to Planting

Take a glance at Oswald Stippa’s article “Town Planning” to consider whether “good planning [did indeed] help preserve the best characteristics of a town and create a pleasant environment in which to live”.

If indications are correct, Milan is perhaps destined to become a predominantly residential township. What we do or fail to do in the next few years will to a great degree determine Milan’s future.

Garden Group: The seed catalogues are out and all individuals interested in a garden club are asked to call Mrs. Walter Hermans.

Beautify Milan: For landowners who wish to plant trees, now is the time to order seedlings from the New York State Department of Conservation …Trees may be ordered in multiples of 1,000 at the rate of $10 per thousand. Species available this year include: White and Norway spruce, White, Scotch and Austrian pine, Douglas fir, larch, and Black locust.

MCA Meeting Note January 1969: Those who attended the December meeting were amply rewarded by a delightful talk on the subject of the anemone by Mr. Richard Battenfeld. An ancient flower from Asia Minor, anemones were the biblical lilies of the field, their name coming from the Greek “anemos” meaning “wind”. Mr. Battenfeld’s history of the flower and of his eventual success at hybridization provided a fascinating evening.

Historical Quiz This sketch shows the Henry Jackson House, predating 1850, on Rowe Lane, now owned by Mr. McClure. Henry’s son Ferris, lived in the house until 1940. He was born in 1856, took his schooling in White Schoolhouse, was well loved in the community and was a happy, musical man whose fingers were at home on an organ or piano while he would sing hymns and songs in a rich rolling voice. He died in 1940 and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Rock City.

More About History~

Ferris Jackson

Can You Identify?
Local musician, Ferris Jackson (far left) and local writer, Burton Coon (second from left)…? Who are the other men in the photo?

Ferris Jackson, an African American who lived with his sister Emma, served as organist of the Church and would arrive early every Sunday to provide beautiful music as the congregants arrived. Ferris also served as Church Treasurer and sang in the choir with his rich bass voice. Ferris and Emma were strict observers of the Sabbath. They walked to Church every Sunday so the horse could rest. At Church dinners, he would be the last to sit down – he would wait until he was sure everyone else had a seat. Ferris Jackson died in February 1940. His funeral was held in this Church on a day with a heavy snowstorm. Even with the storm, so many people attended his funeral that the Church was standing room only.

From Ryan Orton’s History of the Rowe United Methodist Church – Written for the 175th Anniversary Celebration 1838-2013

Fred Battenfeld

Check out the Battenfeld Oral History

Published by Bonnie Wood

Local History Writer & Website Designer

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