Fredonia’s Cushings & Westfield’s Lincoln-Bedell Statues

22 07 2009

I spent a week-long vacation with my family at Van Buren Point, outside Fredonia, New York, on Lake Erie.  Next door to my in-laws’ cottage is a lot that until a couple of years ago was home to “Cushing Cottage”, once owned by the Fredonia family that included Gettysburg martyr Alonzo and naval hero William B. Cushing.  In fact, we have an old photo of William’s daughters Marie and Katharine frolicking in the surf in their mid-calf length bathing suits right there off my wife’s family’s beach – though somewhat eroded, it is unmistakable.  Click the thumb for a larger image.

cushing

About 15 miles from Van Buren Point and pretty much on our way home is Westfield, home to Welch’s of grape juice and jelly fame – this area of western NY is known for grapes.  Westfield was the home of Grace Bedell, the little girl who encouraged then presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln to grow whiskers.  Lincoln stopped in Westfield on his roundabout journey to his inauguration and met Grace.  The moment has been commemorated by the town.  Here are some photos of the statues, an accompanying plaque, and an interpretive marker.  I used my cell phone, so excuse the quality.  Click on the thumbs for larger images.

Westfield-Placard Westfield-Plaque Westfield-Statue-1 Westfield-Statue-2

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3 responses

22 07 2009
Jim Schmidt

Harry – Super! Grace Beddel had an impact on the future career of game maker Milton Bradley. He had made thousands of lithographs of the newly popular and (beardless) Lincoln which quickly became worthless when the Republican nominee grew a beard on the little girl’s advice. Facing bankruptcy, he decided to use his printing presses to publish games instead, and the rest is history! Keep up the great work!

23 07 2009
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks Jim.

17 02 2011
From the Archives: Grace Beddel « Bull Runnings

[...] train trip to the inauguration in 1861 and I’ve been too busy to post anything lately, here’s a link to an earlier article on the statues of Lincoln and pen-pal Grace Beddel in Westfield, NY.  Check [...]

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