Thursday, October 14, 2010

Willow Creek, NY

Willow Creek is a crossroads in Tompkins County, about 8 miles north of Ithaca, NY. It was probably named for the willow trees that grew along its bank, and which waters flowed into Cayuga Lake.  Samuel Vann was one of the first settlers. When the Geneva to Ithaca railroad served that area during the late 1800s, Willow Creek had a small station and a U.S. Post Office.  The post office was discontinued in 1913. When I was growing up in the 1950s, only the two-room schoolhouse remained.  The school was started because in 1812, it was deemed that everyone should be able to read the Bible, so under the direction of New York Governor Daniel Tompkins, a state law was passed that mandated there be a public school within walking distance of every child.

John and Sarah Agard purchased a farm a half mile up the road and that is where my mother grew up.  I was interested in Dr. Bill's comment that he, too, grew up near a "Willow Creek" in Iowa. And he is correct, it is a small world. 

Jesse Tucker Agard wrote in her diary, "On New Year's Day John Agard, Ella, Arthur, Merritt and I went to Willow Creek on the train. The Colegrove farm was for sale and we went up to see it. Later, John Wesley Agard bought the farm and we moved up there on April 1, 1908." 

The Agard family remained on this land, and continue to do so today.  There will be much more on the Agard family in later posts. 

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