B'Ville Voices is a community-driven public art project based on favorite Baldwinsville places, stories and traditions.

In 2013-2014, the B’Ville Voices team (the Erie Canal Museum, City Lore and Echo) partnered with the Village of Baldwinsville, the Baldwinsville Public Library, and the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse to create a trail of beautiful “memory-markers” highlighting the first person stories, histories, and experiences of Baldwinsville, past and present. When a place is marked, its value becomes apparent to all. Place-marking encourages people to pay attention to their surroundings, and to recognize, preserve and care for the places that matter to them. These memory-makers promote knowledge of the past, and they encourage greater appreciation for the people and sites that have made B’Ville a great place to live, work and play.

During the course of this yearlong initiative, B’Ville Voices staff video recorded interviews with thirty B’Villians to learn more about the town’s history and what residents appreciate about their community. Residents also participated in four Town Hall meetings, where they shared stories and made recommendations about the placement and design of the final markers. Created by artist Brendan Rose, the site-specific markers are customized to incorporate oral histories and first-person memories from village historians and local residents. Their forms pay homage to the infrastructure of Erie Canal Lock 24, as well as Baldwinsville’s heritage.

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Acknowledgements

Sincerest thanks to Joe Saraceni, mayor of Baldwinsville from April 2007-April 2014, for encouraging and supporting this project. B’Ville Voices is indebted to project collaborators Meg Van Patten, Bonnie Kisselstein, and Sue Ellen McManus for providing endless resources and insights, and for helping Baldwinsville’s special light to shine even brighter. B’Ville Voices intern Elisabeth Scheemaker help in facilitating project operations and community outreach efforts contributed significantly to the initiative’s success. The project could not have proceeded without guidance from Steve D’Arcangelo and Baldwinsville’s Department of Public Works. Many thanks also to Jim Huber and the fantastic team at Mack Brothers Boiler and Sheet for fabricating the memory-makers, and to Harold and Marylin Jenkins for generously donating their Morris pump to the marker entitled, “The Sun Never Sets on a Morris Pump.”

B’Ville Voices is immensely grateful to the wonderful residents and neighbors who took the time to share their stories for this project: Remo Bianco, Robert Bitz, Elizabeth Bowers, Ralph Bratt, Andrew Derby, Aiden Donaghey, Emily Ekross, Michelle Ekross, Stuart Hosler, Harold Jenkins, Marylin Jenkins, Rheta Jenks, Bonnie Kisselstein, Lisa Kisselstein, Kara Mackey, Julianna Mangano, Sue Ellen McManus, Leslie Nicoletti, Luella Oaks, Jim Orlando, David Penafeather, Scott Pierson, Stuart Reeves, Catherine Rice, Alan Smith, Fred Thomas, Meg Van Patten, Arline Warner, Gabrielle Widger, Captain Daniel Wiles.

B’Ville Voices was made possible by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Video Image Credits

The Legacy of Lock 24

Lock No. 24 installation of gate, October 1909,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Barge Canal Lock 24,
Erie Canal Museum Photograph Collection

Andy Derby, Chief Lock Operator, Erie Canal Lock 24, 2013,
City Lore

Postcard of boats exiting Lock 24,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Emita II at Lock No. 24,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Canal dredges going through Lock 24,
Andy Derby

Last maintenance boating of the season,
Andy Derby

Erie Canal Lock 24, 2013,
City Lore

Lock 24 Pump House, 2014,
City Lore

Andy Derby in Lock 24 Pump House, 2014
City Lore

Andy Derby applying open gear grease to lock valve,
Andy Derby

Operator John Metelsky painting at the lock,
Andy Derby

Last maintenance boating of the season,
Andy Derby

Preparing Lock 24 for canalling season, 2014,
City Lore 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt takes barge trip on the Erie Canal, 1930,
Archival footage from the FDR Presidential Library

Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. tour on the Emita II, October 2013,
City Lore

Lock 24 construction view facing west August 24, 1909,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

The 524 mile Barge Canal System was designed by New York State engineers, some of whom worked at the Syracuse Weighlock Building in 1907,
Erie Canal Museum Photograph Collection

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Map,
Erie Canalway National Heritage Cooridor

Historic view of the Barge Canal, contemporary with its construction,
New York State Museum Collection

Southwest Trail, Village of Baldwinsville, 2013,
City Lore

Mule on towpath,
Erie Canal Museum Photograph Collection

Outward Bound, Oneida Lake, Brewerton, NY
Erie Canal Museum Photograph Collection

Canal schooner Lois McClure on her way back to Lake Champlain,
Andy Derby

Aerial view of Seneca River and Lock No. 24 facing west,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Seneca River, Baldwinsville, 2013,
City Lore

Erie Canal Lock 24, 2014,
City Lore

Patrons at Suds River Grill overlooking the Seneca River, 2013,
City Lore

Baldwinsville Oktoberfest revelers, 2013,
City Lore

Baldwinsville Farmers’ Market, 2013,
City Lore 

Paper Mill Island Summer Concert Series, 2013,
City Lore

Looking west from Lock 24, 2014,
City Lore

The Sun Never Sets on a Morris Pump

Plant Interior, c. 1976,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris Axial Flow Pump ready for shipment,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris pump on railroad flatcar,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris in Egypt on camel,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris catalogue cover, 1896,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Etching of Morris Plant, c. 1870,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris Old Shop, 1911,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris Machine Works Employees, 1946,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris department party,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Morris Hose Company, c. 1910,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Plant photo with blue collars and brass,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Shovels on Parade

Images of 1994 Baldwinsville Public Library groundbreaking festivities and ceremony courtesy Local History Collection, Baldwinsville Public Library

121 Pies in a Day

Images courtesy Bonnie Kisselstein:

Al Palmer in Front of Palmer’s Diner For Library Fundraiser
Library contribution pie, John Commane
Al Palmer rolling pie crust
Palmer’s Diner, early days before addition
Palmer’s Diner interior
Palmer’s Diner, From the Archives
Pies on Diner Counter – Al and Jimmy
Help Someone Today – Volunteer
Palmer’s Perfect Pies
Luella McNeill, Woman of the Year; Albert J. Palmer, Man of the Year, 1961

Decoration Day

Parade coming south over river bridge,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse 

Decoration Day Parade, May 30 1930,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse 

Memorial Day wreath, 1946,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Mayor Dalt Brooks, Decoration Day, 1947,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

River Rats

Aerial view of Seneca River and Barge Canal facing NE,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Syracuse Street looking south, 1947,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. tour on the Emita II, October 2013, City Lore

National Class

Baker High School’s “Plan Bee” Pep Band performance at Paper Mill Island, June 2013, City Lore

One Room Schoolhouse

Shacksboro Schoolhouse, 1910,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Shacksboro Schoolhouse, July 4, 1976,
Archives of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse

Making of a Mural

Baldwinsville 4 Corners Mural Project concept drawing,
Michelle Ekross

Photos by Dave Arthur courtesy Baldwinsville 4 Corners Mural Project

You Got the Key?

Photos by City Lore