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The Cobblestone Museum...

Is a social history museum that promotes the study and exploration of cobblestone construction methods from 1825 to 1860, offering visitors the opportunity to explore three period cobblestone structures set in Victorian appearance and four wood structures highlighting 19th century agricultural implements and skilled trades.

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Post date: Tue, 09/09/2014 - 8:31pm

Dr. Hartwell Carver Tompkins - photograph from "Heavy Guns and Light: A History of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery"

by Matthew Ballard, September 5, 2014

Hartwell Carver Tompkins, the focus of this biography, was born on March 15, 1828 at Henrietta, New York. The son of James and Charity Cornell Tompkins, he was one of six known children born to the Westchester natives. Educated in the district schools of Henrietta, Tompkins later entered the Rochester Collegiate Institute situated on Chestnut Street in downtown Rochester. He was still a young man in his teenage years when he began his studies in medicine and surgery under the direction of Dr. Edward M. Moore of Rochester.

Tompkins was married to Orinda M. Garlick, daughter of Pittsford farmer Samuel Garlick, on January 20, 1853. She would bear him four children, all except Daniel living into adulthood. Approximately six months after their marriage, Hartwell completed his coursework at Woodstock, Vermont, quickly receiving his medical degree only five years after his studies began in Rochester.

Post date: Mon, 09/08/2014 - 8:00am

Improved Breast Pipe - 1959.62.98

Part of the collection of medical artifacts from the Rexall Drug Store in Albion, NY donated to The Cobblestone Museum by Raymond G. Gardner, this piece of early “technology” dates to the turn of the 20th century. Marketed as the “Improved Breast Pipe,” this implement was used to remove excess milk from nursing mothers. Produced by the Davol Rubber Company of Providence, Rhode Island, the breast pipe was “to supersede the use of the common breast pump.” As noted on the box, this instrument was generally carried and sold by druggists and was “recommended and patronized by the best physicians and nurses in the United States.” Not much different from “4 out of 5 doctors recommend.”

Post date: Sat, 08/30/2014 - 3:15pm

Photograph from original at Cazenovia Town Hall - Dr. Stephen M. Potter is seated on the right - circa 1860s.

by Matthew Ballard - posted September 1, 2014

Physicians, sworn to uphold the Hippocratic Oath, rarely take the life of a person intentionally. Instead, they take in their hands the lives of their patients with the sole intent of preserving the person’s physical wellbeing and health. Yet one of Albion’s earliest practicing physicians was forced to deliberately end a man’s life in 1854.

Stephen M. Potter was born October 6, 1794 at Westport, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Potter and Amy Manchester. Benjamin was all but a young man at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775, nonetheless Stephen’s grandfather faithfully served the fledgling nation as a seaman aboard the brigantine “Hazard” under command of John Foster Williams. Stephen followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and enlisted with the 98th Regiment of New York Militia during the War of 1812, serving as a private in Capt. Plinney Draper’s company under the command of Col. Christopher Clark. Potter was paid $6.70 for his service in October and November of 1814 at Smith’s Mills, receiving his discharge on November 17 of that same year.