Caledonia 1892

Dublin Core


Caledonia 1892


This collection of images is based upon an 1892 birds-eye panorama of Caledonia, NY published by Burleigh Litho of Troy, NY. According to John William Reps, Lucien R. Burleigh was responsible—whether as artist or publisher—for some 228 lithographic city views (it is possible, even likely that the Caledonia map was executed by an employee named Christian Fausel). Trained as a civil engineer, economic recession pressed Burleigh into finding other ways of making a living. He began city viewmaking during the 1870s and by the mid-1880s was well established in his profession. His usual practice was to work from an available map, determine the most advantageous viewpoint (for a village like Caledonia, typically 1500 feet above the ground), and making small sketches at the street level. Another important task during a two- or three-week stay was soliciting subscriptions for the panorama: it took perhaps 100 persons, each paying $2.50-3:00 for a map, for the project to break even.

The Burleigh map’s legend provides us with a snapshot of Caledonia in 1892, just recovering from a major fire in 1891. It lists railroad stations, churches, the public school, and even Seth Green’s fish hatchery, but a majority of the numbered locations are commercial enterprises—a likely base of customers for purchasing copies of the completed work. Using old newspapers and trade magazines, this collection has gathered advertising from most of the businesses. Its purpose is to populate an interactive map for the “Heraldry” section of the “Clans of Caledonia” exhibit, where we see immigrant affiliations interacting with national and commercial icons—a complex process of so-called “Americanization.”


Cooper, Ken


Thanks to Tom Tryniski, Fulton History

Collection Items

Bird's-Eye View of Caledonia, NY, 1892
Aerial panorama of Caledonia, NY was published by Burleigh Litho of Troy, NY. According to John William Reps, Lucien R. Burleigh was responsible—whether as artist or publisher—for some 228 lithographic city views (it is possible, even likely that the…

Ball & Donahue, General Store
Number 24 on the Burleigh map of Caledonia, this enterprise was run by George T. Ball and J.D. Donahue--the latter of whom continued the business as J.D. Donahue & Son.

Caledonia Opera House
Number 10 on the Burleigh map of Caledonia, the Perhamus Opera house was constructed in 1877 and for a time was a popular venue for local and traveling performances--here, an 1891 staging of Miles Medic's two-act comedy entitled "The Cool…

A.K. Fowler, Drugs & Medicines
Number 40 on the Burleigh map of Caledonia, drugstore relocated here in 1890 from Lima but shortly thereafter was destroyed in the Caledonia fire of 6 February 1891. The first image shows an advertisement for Chamberlain's Cough Remedy, the sort of…

Cottage Hotel, C.D. McKay, Prop.
Number 13 on the Burleigh map, the Cottage Hotel was managed by the peripatetic Charles D. ("C.D.") McKay, who previously had run the Globe Hotel in Geneseo, then the Cascade House at Portage, NY, and later went on to manage the McKay House in Perry,…

McKay Bros' Grist Mill
Number 14 on the Burleigh map, mill site is one of the older landmarks in Caledonia. It was built in 1801 by Col. Charles Williamson, who was agent for Lord William Pultney concerning a massive tract of land--sold to Scottish immigrants on favorable…

F.W. Miller, Agricultural Implement Manufacturer
Number 18 on the Burleigh map, for a period this Caledonia firm was nationally known for its patented equipment--especially bean harvesters. Factory was founded by the McColl Brothers in 1868, until purchased in 1880 by Alexander and his son F[red]…

Hugh Campbell, Harness and Sadlery
Number 19 on the Burleigh map, this firm dated back to Scottish immigrant Colin Campbell, who founded it in 1843 and later took on his nephew Hugh (1855-1920) as a partner. Their quality of work on saddles, harnesses, and collars was known throughout…

R.W. Matteson, Post Office & Stationery
Number 20 on the Burleigh map, this seal of the Post Office Department is shown because Matteson's business probably was dependent upon his position as postmaster for Caledonia. In 1889 he first was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison, then…

McDonald Bros., Bankers
Number 22 on the Burleigh map, this location housed a bank chartered by David A. and Simon W. McDonald, the latter also running an insurance business in the same building. David was primarily a miller, who during the 1880s ran the Genesee County…
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