It was back in November 2011 that I first published “Just where in the heck is Redwood, NY?..What's in Redwood NY?..” on my ABay.com website. The reaction was heartening with more than 30 comments. Then early this month on September 2, I published it again and this time I got an equal number of new comments.
You may have driven through Redwood, NY and thought to yourself, not much!!
If that's the case you may be surprised to know that Redwood NY once played a pretty important role in the history of this area.. it had hotels, general stores, a blacksmith shop, a lumber mill, a school, a railroad station, and who knows what else.. it was an old time hub and people from all over went through Redwood to get to Alexandria Bay and the River.
At the time I first published the column I wrote, “But really, there's a lot more to it all than that.. so I'm gonna let Daniel Boyer and his Redwood Facebook Group tell the story.. Daniel is a former Redwood resident who now lives in Kentucky. and to say he is obsessed with his old hometown would be an understatement. His Redwood Facebook Group has over 1500 pictures of Redwood, NY - most with detailed captions and comments. So, if you are into history and enjoy looking at old photos it's definitely worth checking out and joining.”
Then I added, “for the record others may be involved with the group who probably also deserve credit. I do not know the details, but if someone does, just post it in the comments”.
We did learn from a comment by Daniel’s sister, Susan Boyer Hook, who wrote “I am the 3rd oldest child of William and Renie Lees Boyer and one of Daniel Boyer's older sisters. One day Danny called me to ask me about starting a Facebook page to pay homage to our hometown of Redwood. He's got the memories but as he will tell you, not a lot of computer savvy. So one Saturday afternoon I sat down at my computer and started clicking keys...hence "Where in the heck is Redwood, New York" was born. Since that time, Danny has worked tirelessly to add tidbits of his memories of Redwood and it's rich history. Many thanks to all who have joined our page, shared their thoughts on our page, invited their friends to join our page, and uploaded pictures to our page. A special thanks to Ken Carmon for the fabulous pictures and information he has shared. There is nothing quite like growing up in Small Town, USA!”.
Dan posted the Redwood School Kindergarten photo from 1968-1969 as a special tribute. “Pictured is former teacher, Katherine Ahles Carmon (right) pictured with Alice Moore (left) and Mrs. Carmon's kindergarten class. Katherine died on September 8, 2013 at 100 years young. Dan wrote, “She taught in Redwood School for many years. She was our Kindergarten teacher, our music teacher, our gym coach and best of all, she was our friend. She was a life-long Redwood resident. Katherine always said "God bless your heart" to every kid in town when she saw you. For years, until her death her 'catch phrase' was 'God Bless Your Heart'. She was an icon in the town of Redwood..We all loved Katherine and we will miss her dearly.”
Here are a sample of other comments from those who do know where the heck is Redwood, NY.
Example of comments published in November, 2011
New comments published after the September 2, 2013 column
Here's the link.. https://www.facebook.com/groups/110405705651196/
Below are just a small selection of the sort of old photos this facebook group on Redwood has to offer. The captions were written by Dan Boyer.
“The first three photographs (1,2 and 3) are all of the same section of Redwood. Picture Number 3 is a blown-up version of the old cars from picture 2. In picture of the close-up of the old cars, you can see the end of the Gates Building on the left. They tore the Gates Building down in 1970. Then the Ayles Building, with the sign on it. My Grandparents had a store in the Ahles Building in the 1940s. My father, Bill Boyer also had a store in the same location in the 1970s at the far end of the Ahles Building where the big canopy is. The entire block burned down to the ground around 1977. It is an empty lot now. Our house was located right behind the Ahles and Gates Buildings. The Gates Building and the Ahles Building are both gone. Just memories. The big building to the right of the Ahles Building is still standing and the last big building on the right (Knorr's Store) is still standing, but most of the middle buildings are gone. They tore them down 25-30 years ago. Only the former barber shop, the smaller building located next to the last building is all that remains of the middle section.
Picture Number 4 “A Glimpse of the business section Main St Redwood NY.” This is a picture-postcard from the early 1920s.
Picture Number 5: Photograph taken in May 1920 during the construction of Kabel's Garage, which is still in existence and located in downtown Redwood, across the street from the Redwood Historical Society (the former Redwood National Bank). You can see Butterfield Lake in the background,and the old sawmill to the right which my father later owned in the 1960s. It fell down in the late 1960s. The house I grew up in was down the alley next to the old sawmill.
Picture Number 6: Not sure who any of these men in the trench coats are, but the photograph was taken in the 1930s. The men are standing in front of what is now Knorr's Store,the last big building located in downtown Redwood. Dewey Catlin ran the store for many years until his death around 1965. Then Ron Lloyd took over. In 1968 Mildred 'Spec' Quincer moved her grocery store into the building. Spec had previously run a grocery store in the old Gates building up the block. Speck died in the early 1980s and Pat Knorr has operated the store since.”
If you have a story about Redwood please leave it in the comments below.
By JOHNNY TRUESDELL - ABAY.COM
The site ABay.com. celebrating 18 years of service to the community, includes a sister site, www.abaycams.com, which began providing unique web shots in 2007. ABay.com gets 5000-10,000 unique visitors, daily, depending on the content. In fact, there is no other site that provides as much rich content about the US Thousand Islands as this site. In addition to keeping ABay.com active, “Johnny Truesdell” is also well known in the region for the tremendous support he gives to charitable activities.
In March 2013, he wrote Polar Bears in A-Bay, in April 2012 he reviewed the eBook “One in a Thousand” for TI Life, Review by ABay.com - The River Meets The iPad and in March 2011 we profiled Johnny Truesdell’s Abay.com
Editor’s note: After “Johnny Truesdell” published his 2011 column, Daniel Boyer, wrote “Thank you Johnny Truesdell..Thanks to you and your great site ABay.com, there's been an instant spike in the membership on the “Where in the Heck is Redwood N Y” site. Over 50 new members have joined in less than 4 days since your post about the Redwood Site. ABay.com rocks. I used to read the T.I.Sun every week for years. Now, for the past couple years I get all my local news and information off your cool site. Thanks a lot for the plug…”