Christmas 1825

In December of 1825 the village of Geneseo consisted of fewer than 90 buildings, both public and private. Roads were bad and residents welcomed a good snowfall, which made getting about in sleighs possible.

News from afar traveled slowly. The only local paper carried some news of surrounding villages and, now and then, of the state and the nation. Local items did not take up space, since villagers were dependent on each other both in times of stress and for sociability. Their news was firsthand.

At Christmas time 150 years ago, merchants advertised the necessities more than the luxuries of life. B.P. North was advertising a complete line of Parlor, Franklin, Meeting House, Oven, and Box Stoves. Samuel Gardiner, the cabinetmaker, offered “a quantity of mahogany and carved work.” The Stewarts informed the public that they carried all kinds of dry goods, crockery, groceries, shoes, nails, and "plenty of good old whiskey by the barrel or gallon." They also mentioned that they would receive in payment "cash, wheat, pork, corn, rye, beeswax, etc." The editor of the weekly, a Mr. J. Percival, inserted a notice that wood was wanted in payment of debts due his office.

Recreation consisted mainly of home gatherings or church affairs. At Christmas time social events revolved about the churches and the ladies were kept busy supplying them with fresh greens and other seasonal decorations which they gathered.