Thursday, May 16, 2013

A sword of a different color….an event…a deed….and a museum!

Barbra looking sword over!
So many things to do before we open the Eaton Old Town Museum here in Eaton on Memorial Day Monday!  I have been wondering how to tie all the loose ends down with the weather as bad as it has been.  The other night it was 21 degrees …last night it warmed up to 29...whoopi doo…and the WIND!

The little documentary I was working on for the special day ground to a halt and I have had to redo in a different format…but of course that means changing it entirely as one is PC and the other is Apple…but the good news is Col. Joshua Leland’s Revolutionary War sword has arrived!

The old sword is not some glamorous shiny thing… it is a real...used sword!  The Col. was in the Revolutionary War as and Ensign under the Commission of George Washington, and the sword has been handed down to the eldest son from the Colonel’s death to today!  How cool is that.  The current owner is Richard Leland of Malta, New York, who is a friend and supporter of the museum.  Here a thank you to Fran Van Slyke for picking it up and delivering it!

Step to Col. Smith's Farm house in Smith's Valley
The Leland story actually starts with Col. William S. Smith who served under Washington and married Abigail “Nabby” Adams (President John Adams daughter) and lived in “Smith’s Valley.  Joshua purchased the property, which became Eaton from him, and the original document is framed at the Madison County Clerk’s Office.  The document on sheepskin has been preserved and has a back-story of its own.  This deed is dated July 2, 1795, and was recorded by Albert F. Devitt, Madison County clerk, July 2, 1926, just 131 years after it was dated!

But back to the “sword”.  The Col. it is said used to also help drill troops that were the early Militia here.  Most people don’t realize the local Militia’s were active at the time since the War of 1812 was pending and people were still required to form to protect and serve..the Col. died in 1816.  Of interest to me was that our wonderful Madison County Records Manager - Kevin Orr has found some information for the museum that confirms my belief that Smith famiy members lived in the Eaton side…John Adams Smith and his wife Ann are listed in deeds for Eaton, among others.

Well that all adds up to more stories and more information for the mseum…which will be opening to the public and telling its story on Monday…Memorial Day..the old fashioned way with new fangled video (I hope) and a good time for all…please come!

Here's a video on Leland & the Ponds that bear his name!

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