Photos by Joyce M. Tice
Retyped for Tri-Counties by Anne PRATT Slatin
(Joyce's Third Cousin)
Many thanks to the Tri-Counties guest who sent this book to Joyce and who wishes to remain anonymous.
THE FIRST WEDDING.
THE town covered 300 acres. The first building erected after the dwellings were completed, was a theatre, and the next a small log chapel. The first wedding was the marriage of M. de Blaçons, late deputy in the Constituent Assembly, to Madame de Mauldée, late Canoness of Bomberg. She had fled from France with Abbé de Sevigny.
Alexander Wilson, author of American Ornithology, made a journey to Niagara Falls in 1804 and stopped at Asylum, where he wrote his impressions of the place in verse as follows:
"Gauls exiled and royalists, a pensive train,
Here raise the hut, and till the rough domain.
The way-worn pilgrim, to their fires receive,
Supply his wants, but at his tidings grieve.
Afflicting news forever on the wing,---
A ruined country and a murdered King.
Peace to their lone retreat, while sheltered here
May these deep shades to them be doubly dear,
And powr's proud worshippers wherever placed,
Who saw such grandeur ruined, and defaced
By deeds of virtue to themselves secure,
Those inborn joys that spite of Kings endure,
Through thrones, and states, from their foundation part,
The precious balm of a pure blameless heart."
Mr. Wilson may have been an excellent describer of the feathered songsters and their songs, but he was not a good poet, and might better have extolled "Gauls exiled royalists" in prose.
Chevalier de Pontgibauld, one of the young French offers who came over with General Lafayette and served in the American army, visited Asylum and wrote as follows: "The most conspicuous spectacle was to see those Frenchmen fallen from their greatness and now exercising some trade or profession. One day I entered a shop and found the proprietor to be a nobleman who had been a member of The Constituent Assembly."
When the purchase of the Schufeldt flats was concluded, the deed of conveyance commenced as follows: "Beginning at a remarkable rock on the west side of the Susquehanna River, known as the Standing Stone, and from thence, &c." The stone stands in the edge of the river on the west side, about one or two rods from shore. It is about 18 feet high on the upper side, and 23 feet on the lower, and four feet thick. One corner has been broken off. It is said to have been done by General Sullivan's army by firing a cannon ball at it when encamped on the opposite side of the river. There is no doubt that the rock was loosened by some convulsion of nature, slid from the top of the mountain, struck on one end, sunk so deep into the mud and gravel that the ice floods have not been able to move it.
At the end of the street leading directly to the
river from the village, a wharf was built for loading and unloading boats,
as the river at that time was the only public means of transportation.
The roads were so execrably bad no heavy loads could be drawn on them,
and oxen were used for teaming more than horses, for the reason that they
were patient and slow to step over stumps and rocks, and wade through the