Historian's Corner



Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
Historian's Corner
February 10, 2017

Photo: Blooming Grove Church, NY

The venerable Blooming Grove Church in Orange County, N.Y. is a historic gem with a unique architectural twist and a connection to a World War I soldier (Chadwick Gerow) who lived for a time in Sandy Creek before enlisting in the war. The church was constructed in 1823 on the site of an earlier church built in 1759. In 1996 the church was enrolled in the National Register of Historic Places. There are three graves in the cellar of the church. They used to be outside of the old foundation wall and were allowed to remain when the new, larger church was put up. I was contacted a year ago for information on Chadwick Gerow as his name was to be added to a special stained glass window which was to be dedicated with a single word at the top “Patriotism.” At the bottom of the window in black lettering are the names of a dozen young men, including Chadwick Gerow.

The beautiful window was dedicated on Saturday, June 20, 1918, not 15 months after American’s entry into the Great World War. Within three months, one of them was to give up his life on the field of France, only seven weeks before the Armistice. On the morning of September 29, 1918, Sgt. Chadwick Gerow was struck by German shelling as his company was about to go over the top of the trenches. The 1st Lieutenant of Company B, 105 Infantry, wrote the sad news to his mother.

Sgt. Chadwick Gerow’s (1890-1918) obituary read in part: November 1918: Word reached here last Friday, through William A. Prescot that Sgt. Chadwick Gerow had fallen in the first real battle in which his company engaged. His home was in Blooming Grove, Washingtonville, Orange County, New York where his parents reside. He enlisted with Rex Hadley and William A. Prescott a year ago and went forth to battle for Democracy.

November 1918: M. S. Prescott, editor of the Holstein-Friesian World, in that journal pays the following high tribute to Sgt. Chadwick Gerow with whom he was closely associated for several years. Gerow was the Associate Editor of the Black and White Record, has died a hero’s death on the battlefields of France, enlisting as a private in the National Guard in July 1917, his promotion has been steady. He was a clean cut American. To know him was to love and respect him. A superb athlete, he was long active and very successful in Boy Scout and Y.M.C.A. work. His Holstein connections were originally with the E. M. Hastings Co. Later, in partnership with E.A. Harrington, the firm of Harrington and Gerow was formed, and a successful pedigree business was conducted at Madison, Wisconsin. In 1915 his firm was combined with the E. M. Hastings Co. and he became a partner, in active charge of the pedigree department. He was also as mentioned above, an Associate Editor of the Black and White Record. In addition to his other activities he was an enthusiastic lodge worker, having advanced in Masonry to the honor of a Sir Knight of the Temple. In his own Blue Lodge he was filling the post of Senior Deacon with credit at the time of his enlistment. He was also Worthy Patron of Lake Ontario Chapter, No. 124, O. E. S. The details of his death have not been received, but we know without being told, that he died as he had lived, with honor to himself, his God, and his country.

The 2016 Oswego County Bicentennial book contains history from local towns and villages and can be purchased at the town and village offices as well as the popular Sandy Creek One Room Schools book. Stop by the Town Clerk’s office or come to the History Center.

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
1992 Harwood Drive
Sandy Creek, NY 13145
315-387-5456 x7
office hours: Friday 9am to 2pm
www.sandycreeknyhistory.com