Jim Murphy's Postcards of West Winfield, Town of Winfield

#1: North Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - This postcard, postmarked West Winfield on December 22, 1910, was sent by Lizzie Harrison to Mrs. E.S. Still, of Coram, Long Island, N.Y. "I have marked our front steps with a X. May you and yours have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year! Your friend Lizzie Harrison. Dec. 22, 1910." The card is No. 2017 F, published by F.C. Wilcox, of West Winfield, N.Y., printed in Germany by the Excelsior Co. of N.Y.

#2: Main Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - Postmarked Skaneateles N.Y. Tues. June 5, 1951 and addressed to Mr. Fred Fatica, c/o Post Office, Jackson, Michigan. The text reads: "Tues. June 5, 1951 This is a quaint little old town - and Art have rummaged around the church-yard and found some headstones over 200 yrs-old. No fooling! We have found the mts. Here rather tiring to drive thro' but so beautiful. Be home soon. Mr. And Mrs. Art Kessler." Published by J.C. Colwell, West Winfield, NY. "The finest American made view post cards - The Albertype Co. Brooklyn, N.Y." Note: The Colwell store is the first one on the right in the photograph.

#3: Old Mill Dam, West Winfield, N.Y. - This dam is still in existence, although the trees and bushes are more grown-up around it. In the background on the far right are buildings that don't exist anymore. They were located behind what is now the Agway storage building. I believe some of them were a cheese box factory. Postmarked Skaneateles N.Y.June 5, 1951, it was addressed to Mr. Fred Fatica, c/o Post Office, Jackson, Michigan. Published by J.C. Colwell, Druggist, West Winfield, NY and printed in France. No writing on the back.

#4: Mill Pond, West Winfield, N.Y. - Postmarked August 6, 1951 Chatham, Ontario, Canada, and addressed to Mrs. Arthur J. Berry, 180 Main St., Athol, Mass. U.S.A. The text reads: "Arrived Chatham Ontario Monday evening - everyone well. Expect to go through Detroit and home tomorrow night. Hope your cold is better. Love, Mary Elizabeth". This card was published by J.C. Colwell, West Winfield, N.Y. "The Finest American Made View Post Cards - The Albertype Co., Brooklyn, N.Y."

#5: Old Mill and Pond at Chepatchet, N.Y. - The old foundation of the mill can still be seen and the dam has been upgraded to a concrete one instead of the laid up fieldstone shown in this card. Judging by the wooden bracing shown, it probably wasn't long after this card was photographed that the upgrade was done!

While Chepatchet is in the Town of Winfield, it is closer to and more associated with the hamlet of Cedarville in the Town of Litchfield. This picturesque view can be seen today from Route 51, just south of Cedarville.

This card was never mailed or written on and was published by the American New Company, New York.

#6: Memorial Park, West Winfield, N.Y. - The gazebo and flag pole are still in the park which is accessible of Route 20 and is open for all to enjoy. Vandals damaged the gazebo a few years ago, but through the efforts of several volunteers it was restored for use. The small building at the extreme right covered a drinking fountain and existed until the early 1970s. The foundation and fountain are still there. The tennis court is gone, but a paved area on the same spot now provides a basketball court in the summer and is flooded for skating and hockey during cold weather.

Not seen in this photo are 3 pavilions, another very similar gazebo, a pine grove picnic area, modern Little League baseball diamond and a softball diamond. Also due to the park's location along the Unadilla River it makes a very accessible spot for fishing, wading and otherwise enjoying the water.

Unfortunately this card was stored in some type of album that left several dark spots of felt on the back, making is difficult to read all of the information.

Postmarked Newport, N.Y., July 30, 1924, it was addressed to Mrs. Metta H__ds, West Winfield, NY, Box 65. Printed by Eastern Illustrating Co. Belfast, ME. Due to the condition of the back of this card, I've put as much as I can decipher and will use ?? wherever I cant read it.

"July 30,
Dear G???
Arrived home alright. Rode from Bridgewater to Utica. Will B., Dell & wife had to wait till 1:15 for Newport bus. from E??. OBX

#7: Academy Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - This is actually a photo scan of a post card that belongs to my wife's uncle. Taken from the front of the Winfield Academy, looking south on Academy Street past the intersection of Carrier Ave. toward Route 20. The houses are pretty much the same as in the photo, although the house at the extreme right no longer has the porch on the front. The stone pillars that the person is standing between marked the entrance walkway to the Academy. One of them is still there, the other one just barely visible behind the tree was demolished and the stone used to make a fireplace in the house that was built on the corner of the property after the school was torn down. These particular trees, many of which were planted by Academy students to celebrate Arbor Day, have been removed, although others on the western side of the property still provide shade and homes to many gray squirrels. The rock shown at the bottom has an inscription on it and was moved to the base of a tree to the west - it is still there, although I am unable to clearly make out the wording.

#8: South East View of High School, West Winfield, N.Y. - This view of the much photographed Winfield High School and it's predecessor Winfield Academy is taken from the intersection of Academy St., Pleasant St. and Fenn St. The High School was torn down after the West Winfield School District building was built on Route 20 (Now the Mount Markham Middle School). The house shown to the right of the building is still there and although the light post shown is gone, the present owner of the property has erected nearly an exact copy farther up the street.

This card was postmarked West Winfield, February, ?? 1912, and addressed to Mr. Ernest Griffith, 79 Oneida St., Utica N.Y. "Thursday. I am out here for a couple of days. Edith." Card No. B 9485, published by F.C. Wilcox, West Winfield, N.Y. and made in Germany by Excelsior N.Y.

#9: Main Street-Business Section-West Winfield, N.Y. - This is a shot of the north side of the Cherry Valley Turnpike (now Route 20) looking east toward the intersection of North and South Streets. In today's terms, the photographer would be standing in front of the Post Office.

The first building is the only one left in existence; at the time it was a blacksmith's shop, then Gert Gilson's antique and gift shop, and ultimately and still the law offices of Cosentino and Snyder. The other buildings are gone, either by fire or demolition - they included a clothing store, meat market, dental office, and even a pool room. If anyone wants further detail, please contact me for names, etc.

This beautiful postcard was never used, published by H.W. Wilcox, West Winfield, N.Y., Number M-16279 by Americhrome - New York.

#10: Main Street Looking East, West Winfield, N.Y. - This card is a shot of Main Street (Route 20) taken from in front of the Catholic Church looking east toward downtown. The house on the immediate right of the card is the old Catholic Church Rector, now a private home. Just beyond is Taylor Avenue. Postmarked May 1910 and addressed to Miss Viola Burdick Waterville, Oneida Co. NY, the only writing is "West Winfield May 24/10 Mary." Number 2009F, published by F.C Wilcox, West Winfield, N.Y., and printed in Germany by Excelsior. Another number printed on the card is #B6198.

#11: Congregational Church, West Winfield, N.Y. - The Congregational Church building was originally erected in 1876 about 4 miles northeast of the Village in what is known as Meetinghouse Green. It was later disassembled and moved to a site about 1 mile east of the Village. In the late 1800s it was again moved to it's final site on the south side of what is now Route 20. The building was used not only as a church but also as a village meeting room, school, and theater type uses prior to Bisby Hall being erected. The church was demolished in the late 1960s and the site is now the U.S. Post Office. The building to the east of the church in the picture today is the Winfield Tavern. The church was merged into the Federated Church of West Winfield along with the Baptist and Methodist congregations. The bell resides atop the Federated Church further east on Route 20. This is an unused card and has no other markings on the back.

#12: Hiteman Leather Co., West Winfield, N.Y. - This is a card of the Hiteman Leather Company Tannery that was located on South Street, just north of the Unadilla River. The photo was taken from the southeast side of the complex. Although there was a tannery in Winfield from the early 1800s, it was the Hiteman's acquisition in the late 1800s that kept the business and indeed the Village and surrounding area a center of commerce and bustling activity until the 1960s when the Tannery closed for good. When the Tannery closed, many businesses in Winfield did also, and the Village quickly became a bedroom community for Utica and the Mohawk Valley areas.

There were many additions to this building over the years and its history is too long to go into detail here. Others such as "Jimmy" Smith's History of Winfield do a much better job than I.

Currently the site is on the Federal Super Fund listing of hazardous waste sites with the Environmental Protection Agency in the process of cleaning it up. The buildings were removed by the EPA in the late 1990s. Clean-up of the land remains to be done, and at this writing the Village officials are trying to determine the future use of the property.

Never mailed, ublished by H.W. Wilcox, West Winfield, N.Y. and card No. M16277 by Americhrome N.Y.

#13: First Baptist Church, West Winfield, N.Y. - The Baptist Church was located on the south side of East Street (Route 20) at the corner of Church Street. The brick and stone structure was erected about 1890 and was torn down in the 1980s. The congregation merged with the Congregationalists and Methodists to form the Federated Church of West Winfield in the 1950s, with this building being used for the new congregation's services until the present day Federated Church building was erected a little farther east on Route 20 in the 1970s. The beautiful round stained glass window shown at the front is now the main feature of the Federated Church building. At the new Federated building are also the pews, pipe organ and bell from this grand old church. My family homestead was next door to the south of this church and I have early childhood memories of playing around this building, peeking into the windows and wondering what went on in there.

This is an unused card with no distinctive markings on the back side.

#14: West Winfield New York - I believe this type of card is called a studio card, being made of several photos. It has four scenes on it:
High School on Academy Street
DL & W Station just south of the Agway building on South Street
East St. Bridge over the North Winfield Creek at the Memorial Park
Baptist Church, Route 20 East at the corner of Church Street

This card has three postmarks:
Utica, N.Y Dec. 8, 1906
West Winfield, N.Y. Dec. ??, 1906
Schuyler Lake, N.Y. Dec 10, 1906

Addressed to Mr. & Mrs. M.J. Clark, Schuylers Lake, N.Y., it says "At home. Jan 1. 07. Mr. & Mrs. E.L. Wood"

#15: Bisby Hall, West Winfield, N.Y. - Mrs. George Bisby had Bisby Hall built in 1909 and gave it to the Village of West Winfield in memory of her husband. The brick and sandstone building was primarily a theater and movie house, but it also housed the Village offices and Winfield Free Library. It had beautiful cathedral ceilings, balcony, and a gilded proscenium arch at the edge of the stage. This building held shows, movies, and saw dances from its beginnings prior to the Roaring Twenties through the Rock and Roll era of the 1960s.

Today the theater is essentially gone - the chairs and stage were purchased by the world famous Glimmerglass Opera House near Cooperstown, N.Y. for it's original theater. Unfortunately they burned up in a fire several years ago. The balcony and seats however are still there, just covered by a drop ceiling. It is not an idle building, the look is the same except for a handicapped entrance built at one side of the walkway. The Winfield Free Library, recently named 18th best Library in the nation is on the first floor along with Village offices and a New York State Police satellite station. On the second floor are the Winfield Town Justice Court and judge's chambers.

Postmarked West Winfield Jan. 22, 1920 and addressed to Leila & Ina May Latt, Orvill, PA, it says "Dear Girls, Your card arrived and I certainly was glad to hear from the ministers nieces. And hope I will hear again. Love Mary" No information given for publisher or printer.

#16: South Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - I think we have an error here. This card as near as I have been able to tell is not of South Street, but of North Street and is incorrectly marked. The view looking north on North Street is taken from near the intersection with Main Street (Route 20). South Street as the card is marked does not have a hill on it. The first house on the right no longer exists but the remaining ones are still pretty much the same today.

This card was postmarked West Winfield, N.Y. May 8th, 1933, addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Fred Grevert, South Barre, Mass, Box 26. The message says: "Monday May 8th West Winfield, N.Y. Well here we are in our own home at last after a hard year. Busy as can be. Letter soon to you. Love from Lillian & Frank" Published by Irving A. Crandall, West Winfield, N.Y. and printed in France.

#17: Residential Main Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - This color picture is probably from the 1930s and was taken looking east toward downtown West Winfield and shows the north side of West Main Street (Route 20). The photographer was probably standing about at the western edge of the Winfield Cemetery. The houses and trees are pretty much the same today, however we have managed to pave the road since then!

This postcard was never mailed. Published by J.C. Colwell, West Winfield, N.Y. and printed in France.

#18: Lower Academy Street, West Winfield, N.Y. - This color card from the 1920s is a view looking north on Academy Street from the intersection of East Street (Route 20). The Winfield High School is at the end and the houses are essentially still the same today, although the school is gone. The trees of course have grown and a few have been cut down.

Postmarked at West Winfield, N.Y. Mar. 20, 1924 and ddressed to Mrs. I.S. Sears, 1141 West St., Utica, NY. This card was published by H.W. Wilcox, West Winfield, N.Y., No. M-16281 by Americhrome, New York.

Dialogue, with spelling as originally written:

"Dear Mrs. Sears
If nuthing happens to pervent you will see me Sat. But I guess I can not stay only for the day this time, the buss is not running since our last storm. Maybe I can come up again before you leave when the weather is better or the roads are so the buss can run.
With love MG"

#19: High School Building, West Winfield, N.Y. - This brick and sandstone building located at the end of Academy Street in the village of West Winfield was built in the 1890s on the same site as the Winfield Academy. Students were educated there until the mid-1930s when the "central" school building was erected on Route 20 (currently Mount Markham Middle School). After the Central School was opened, this building was demolished and the land sold. To my knowledge nothing remains of the school today other than memories of some former students. This card was never sent and has no publisher or printer information.

#20: East Street Bridge, West Winfield, N.Y. - According to my father, James F. Murphy, the stone structure shown in this card is actually a stone facing. This bridge was built out of concrete which replaced the plank bridge of the Cherry Valley Turnpike days.

In the late 1920s two local stone masons, Andrew Doyle who was in his mid-70s and his son Arthur Doyle who at the time was in his 50s were tasked with the job of facing both sides of the arch of this bridge. The stones, which were hand cut, were placed on 55 gallon drums and chiseled to face them, then were set into place on the bridge structure. My Dad, who at the time was a boy of 7 or 8 years old, would go and check daily on the progress of this job - he had a special interest in it as the Doyle's were next door neighbors of his, living 2 doors down from the Baptist Church on East Main Street.

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Created: 3/1/01
Photos Copyright © 2001 Jim Murphy
Copyright © 2001 Jim Murphy/ Martha S. Magill
All Rights Reserved.