History Mystery: Dec. 26, 2018
Question: This photo was taken circa 1900 in a village specialty shop. Do you know anything about the photo, the shop or its location, or do you recognize any of the men in the picture? At the time of this picture, food shopping was as much a social event as it was an errand to secure provisions. Do you know why?
Last week’s answer: The building under construction in last week’s photo was built for the Syracuse Bamboo Furniture Company. In 1888, the firm needed more room so they moved from Syracuse to Baldwinsville especially because of our good reputation. It was constructed on the river near the cemetery to the east of the present Lock 24 (remember that was all land at the time). The wooden frame building was two stories high measuring 150 by 54 feet with a height of 54 feet when completed. As can be seen in the construction, it had many windows.
Transportation of their products was made convenient by the construction of railroad tracks between the building and the depot on the north side of the river located at the current parking lot behind the B’ville Diner. It crossed the river on the bridge that existed where the stone pillars are now. It manufactured bamboo furniture as well as fine fishing rods and tackle. For the first year and a half the firm prospered and workers often worked overtime, but then it went bankrupt.
After a few years of lying vacant, it was bought by Messer’s Mack and Miller. Their firm manufactured fine candles under the name Mack-Miller Candle Factory. The most common candles were for church use and home decoration purposes. This company lasted until the digging of the Barge Canal began in 1907. At that time the firm was unable to find suitable land in Baldwinsville so it moved to Liverpool where is still exists.
Email your guess to email@example.com or leave a message at 315-434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by noon Friday. If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo before the deadline, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature. History Mystery is a joint project of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse and the Baldwinsville Public Library.