View the H-Connecticut Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-Connecticut's November 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-Connecticut's November 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-Connecticut home page.
Sent: Mon 10/27/2008 10:23 AM Subject: RE: routes to "New Connecticut" (long but useful I hope) Regarding routes to the Western Reserve, I've done a good bit of poring over historical maps on one side of my computer screen with Google maps on the other, trying to piece together the route of Sylvia Lewis Tyler and her family on their 1817 emigration from New Hartford, Litchfield County, to Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio. (I have been transcribing and researching the unpublished manuscript diary [1801-21 and 1829-31] of Sylvia Lewis Tyler of Bristol and New Hartford, Ct.; have made it from 1801 thru mid-1820 volume and nearing the end at last!) (by the way, Ann Smith who posted this query--could you let us know where to direct useful info? Your email doesn't come up on the post; but do I contact North Ridgeville Ohio? Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury? Pls advise.) There were two main routes to Ohio: thru NY State on a variety of new turnpikes, and thru Pennsylvania on the "Forbes Road". Roots and Routes lists some published diaries c 1810 detailing travel on the Forbes road: http://www.rootsandroutes.net/body.htm?http&&&www.rootsandroutes.net/tra velthen.htm Excerpted from the site (snipped a bit): A Tour to New Connecticut in 1811: The Narrative of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, Phillip R. Shriver, ed, Western Reserve Historical Society (pub). The Yale University Press edition of Margaret Van Horn Dwight's journal, A Journey to Ohio in 1810, available in libraries; newer edition avail thru University of Nebraska Press. Excerpts from these accounts are also on the Roots and Routes site: click on "two tours to New Connecticut" on the above link. As for the Tylers, they took the New York route across the northern part of the finger lakes, specifically: E on Litchfield Turnpike to modern 44N, old Albany tpk; to Canaan, N on rte 7 to Lee and Stockbridge, Mass; to Chatham, NY and to Albany (she is on Rte 20 by now). West of Albany on Rte 20 ("Western Turnpike") thru Bridgewater and Sangerfield in Oneida county; to Cazenovia, Manlius, and along the top of the finger lakes thru Onandaga, Skanateles, Auburn, Aurelious, Seneca falls, Waterlook Canandaigua, Genessee, Moscow, Warsaw, and Orangeville (we're now in Wyoming County); they then headed for and went along Lake Erie via Hamburg, Eden, Concord, and the Indian reservation at Cattaraugus; Portland, Ripley, and State Line in Chautauqua County; crossed over the NW corner of PA (Erie and Crawford Counties) thru Harborcreek, Waterford, West Millcreek, Venango, Meadville, Sadsbury; Fallowfield and Shanango; then into Trumbull County (on the PA line, the second-northernmost county in Ohio on the PA border) into Vienna. Much of this route is modern US route 20, but that is a simplification. (If anyone wants, for some reason, my best current approximation of that entire route...email me off list at email@example.com.) Depending on where in the Western Reserve someone was heading, they might have taken one of the turnpikes further south--there were several choices as you can see on William McCalpin's 1808 map of the turnpike roads that then existed across New York State: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&s trucID=253393&imageID=434761&word=434761&s=1¬word=&d=&c=&f=6,17,18,7, 8,16&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&total=2&num=0&imgs=12&pNum=& pos=2# If the link doesn't work, or is too long to paste, try this: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgdivisionbrowseresult.cfm?di v_id=hm and enter in the "search library division: box its number, 434761. (Map # 434753 is from 1830 and is also useful, giving more town names and roads connecting them, altho w/o the names of the turnpikes and roads. The NYPL map division has many other NY state maps of this era...all have excellent pan-and-zoom feature.) Some smaller stretches of turnpikes between towns are hard to identify (where they could be extensions of any number of tpk's where they meet); but major routes are easily identified as the 3rd Great Western Turnpike, the Seneca tpk, etc. Wikipedia explains some of these on its entry about the Great Western Turnpike: "The Great Western Turnpike was a series of toll roads that crossed part of New York State from east to west. The First Great Western Turnpike was started in 1799 in Albany where the present Western Avenue is located, and it extended west to Cherry Valley in Otsego County, New York, along a path similar to today's U.S. Route 20. The Second Great Western Turnpike ran from Cherry Valley, through Cooperstown and on to Sherburne in Chenango County, New York, along a path similar to today's New York State Route 80. The Third Great Western Turnpike or Cherry Valley Turnpike went from Cherry Valley to Cazenovia in Madison County, New York, along a path similar to today's U.S. Route 20. This was eventually extended as far as the Finger Lakes. The First and Third Turnpikes were rebuilt as part of US 20 in the 1920s, bypassing the older Route 5, which passed through several cities." Wiki also has entries on the Cherry Valley Turnpike, the Skaneateles Turnpike, and U.S. Route 20. I have also found NY county histories--the ones written in the 1880s-1910s or thereabouts--very helpful; these exhaustive histories usually have a chapter on roads and canals in their counties. Of course, these roads passed through so darn many counties--I have had to read about 15 NY county histories' chapters on roads to try to piece some of this together, and it still confuses me (maybe I should have stopped after the first 2 or 3...). I had intended to retrace the Tyler family's route last summer when I did research both in Connecticut and in Trumbull County, but $4.00+ gas prices and limited vacation days changed my mind...unlike Sylvia, I had a choice of flying...maybe next summer... Alden O'Brien DAR Museum Washington DC