Bill Bishop (2019-2020) – Sodus


Photo courtesy of Edith Farrington

Below is a series of interviews done with Bill Bishop where he talks about his life long connection to the Village of Sodus and the surrounding area. Please note that when you click on a link to listen to an interview that these files are very large and you may get a warning message that your virus protection cannot check for viruses because of the size. Don’t worry these files are safe!

 

Oct 11, 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

October 11 2019

Interviewed by Edith Farrington and Sandi Hamilton

In this 98 minute interview, Bill Bishop who was born in 1930, spent his lifetime  in the village of Sodus and leads us on a street by street tour of the village. He grew up on Shaver Street and begins the journey there and discusses family and business in detail all along the way.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IVf2H5RtD0jPm22APev6A1RhA4Ohi4rg/view?usp=sharing

 

Oct 21, 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

October 21 2019

On Oct. 21, 2019, Sandi Hamilton and  Jim Hopkins meet with Bill Bishop for another 89 minute interesting interview.  They begin with some discussion of items such as an old cherry can and then share some Sodus stories.   After these anecdotes, they travel down Maple Ave. from Shaver St. to the cold storage by the RR. tracks. Continuing to discuss houses, businesses and families, they proceed back up the east side of Maple Ave., including some of R.R. Ave..  On the way back up Maple Ave. , they go up & back both sides of Smith St., including some of “Pig-tail Alley” which is now known as William St…

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QA2DH-KVEpKQKYlbAr4VMGMxMbK3obKc/view?usp=sharing

 

Oct. 23 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

October 23 2019

Interviewed by Edith Farrington and Sandi Hamilton

Bill continues his journey down Shaver Street including the old Basket Factory over onto north end of Maple Avenue in this 77 minute interview.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bfY9DdEMBAwHnhqRksrqQsgZbt7RhMxU/view?usp=sharing

 

Nov. 4 2019

Bill Bishop  Interview Summary

November 4 2019

In this 100 minute interview, Bill Bishop with Sandi Hamilton and Jim Hopkins continue travels on Maple Ave. from Colvin house which is presently the Library, going south to Main St.. From the corner of Maple Ave. and W.Main St., which stands the building that was the A. B. Williams store for years and then the Ben Franklin 5 & 10 cent store travel all the way down the businesses until reaching the old Star Market which is presently the Northern Wayne Auto store now.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gHoQghSlJ4Ol6uM8TgfWMWu4keYkMItD/view?usp=sharing

 

Nov. 18 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

November 18 2019

Interviewed by Edith Farrington and Sandi Hamilton

Bill continues his journey with this 94 minute interview starting on West Main Street (north side) includes restaurants, businesses and Arcade Theatre going as far as the Methodist Church on the corner of Belden Avenue. He goes on to Belden Avenue , Union Street as far as the railroad tracks.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tUsrHvGrOXu032m4WEdy-HHxGeSoLWS5/view?usp=sharing

 

Dec. 3 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

December 3 2019

86 minute Interview with Bill Bishop , Sandi Hamilton and Jim Hopkins done on 12/03/2019. They start out on Belden Avenue discussing the coal yards that ran along the south side of the railroad tracks. They continue on the north side of the tracks discussing families and businesses such as Hopkins of Sodus and canning factories/ Culligan water conditioning. Then going north and touching on families on Spring and Danforth streets. Back up to Green Street mentioning the hoboes and businesses such as Standard Oil. Coming back to Belden Avenue on the west side they mention the Soup Company, Linden Products and Warner’s Belt Factory stopping at Ruth O’Bine house.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AoqQGrWvUtBI_Jjn8NTudqTJfoaXa7K4/view?usp=sharing

 

December 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

December 2019

The following Bill Bishop 23 minute interview was done in December 2019 with Sandi Hamilton and Jim Hopkins. They discuss the families and churches along W. Main Street on the north side, starting at what now is the Sodus Post Office as far as Beldon Avenue.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19-CXKuH8gV9w6lmAlvUBfMMLn03M86nx/view?usp=sharing

 

Dec. 16 2019

Bill Bishop Interview Summation

December 16

This 48 minute interview of Bill Bishop was done on December 16 by Sandi Hamilton and Jim Hopkins. They are coming back up Beldon Avenue toward West Main Street on the west side starting with Ruth O’Bine’s house.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O12pyODNN3bftwPA-lmMWR8P3PfY8jHy/view?usp=sharing

 

Jan. 6 2020

Bill Bishop Interview

January 6 2020

In this 84 min interview, Bill mentions Walt VerDow academy senior dance, guest Ann Burns, military corps cadets’ parade in Sodus.  Short discussion on ice skating rink in late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  Go on to discuss West Main St. on the north side from Belden Ave., going west.  Discuss families, homes, small restaurant and Ford dealership locating in this area.  This is in the 1940s thru 1970s timeframe.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eh3meDtUNRBgKqu3MnXZlqZSxy1CMFN1/view?usp=sharing

 

Jan. 20 2020

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

January 20, 2020

96 minute interview with Sandi Hamilton and Jim Hopkins. They discuss the businesses, houses and families along West Main St., going west from Belden Ave., Sodus. They also mention the end of Ridge Rd. which included Doreen’s garage, the Rice Farm and the trolley line.  Where the Paton’s grocery store parking lot is now, once stood the Green house with a barn in back. After stories of sledding down the hill and broken legs, they travel down on Rt. 88 to remember the celery packing house. The Boone family and sawmill is also recalled, along with the Moore family, the Rec. Center and back up Newark St. to end at Main St.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kjYdZWe0kA2VrhEs0g45BE4azAeGf8AB/view?usp=sharing

 

Jan. 27 2020

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

January 27 2020

Along with Bill Bishop there are Sandi Hamilton, Jim Hopkins and Steven Heald in attendance for this 73 minute interview..

Bill tells much about the history of the Sodus Cold Storage:

  • It started in 1914 with his grandfather, Tom Raetz and several other shareholders.

  • Bill mentions several other shareholders, such as the Burns and Case families.

  • Ed Bishop, Bill’s father buys out many others.

  • The Cold Storage started out refrigerating vegetables, such as potatoes, celery and tomatoes for local growers. The produce was shipped to NYC by rail.

  • Started storing cherries about 1926.

  • POW’s worked here during WWII.

  • They did Controlled Atmosphere (C.A.) for a while. Bill explains how this works, in detail.

  • Bill has photos to share.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1quzzFthupHAN1lTfP4ZybCqtA4T6J0Xm/view?usp=sharing

 

Mar. 2 2020

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

March 2 2020

Along with Bill Bishop there are Sandi Hamilton, Jim Hopkins and Steven Heald in attendance for this 115 minute interview..

Bill continues to tell the history of the Sodus Cold Storage. Due to the length of the interview, I have divided it into Part 1 and Part 2.

Click here to listen to Part 1:

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pr5KLVayF6lD2XUE0waQZWo3-wNf3kX4/view?usp=sharing

Click here to listen to Part 2:

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bqhoGFIDPPC3j58Xj5bTn-nPifEfe9FH/view?usp=sharing

 

Oct. 12 2020

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

October 12 2020

Bill Bishop interviewed by Jim Hopkins and Sandi Hamilton

Duration: 93 minutes

Continuation of 2019 – 2020 interviews of the people, homes, and businesses in the Village of Sodus.

We began where we left off in March on the south side of West Main Street at the ambulance base at the corner of West Main Street and Central Avenue.  As usual, we get sidetracked as Bill or one of us remembers people and places of the past.  We talked about this area as the former site of Lessord’s Auto dealership.  Previous to this business and Ross Motors before that, it was the site of Frank Verschoot’s garage where Mark Norris sold Hudson automobiles in the 1930’s and early 1940’s.  As we move up the street toward the middle of the village, we talk about some of the historic houses and the businesses on the south side of the street. Bill remembers that after WWII, the businesses uptown were open on Thursday nights.  We move onto the west side of Mill Street and discuss previous owners of the tavern.  We moved down Mill as I gave information that I remember about the street.  We move onto the north side of Grove Street and end with the house at 8 Grove Street.

Click here to listen:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16SMDiB_LNXOB5upIpfHw543zHNOwMjwA/view?usp=sharing

 

Oct. 19 2020

Bill Bishop Interview Summary

October 19 2020

Bill Bishop interviewed by Jim Hopkins, Steve Heald, and Sandi Hamilton

Duration: 97 minutes

This interview begins with 10 Grove Street where the George Bouvia family lived in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  The house was sold in later years, but was then sold back to Yvonne Bouvia Cornwell where her daughter’s family lived until 2019.  Since Yvonne’s grandparents were there when she was growing up, five generations of her family lived in the house over the years.  When we got the the end of the north side of the street, we crossed to the south side and came back up the hill identifying families who lived in the houses over the years including the Howard Toor family, the Raethka’s, Glenn Dayton’s family at 9 Grove.  Glenn was manager of the Sodus branch of the Marine Midland Bank.  Mary and John Brown lived in the house with their sons Jim and Johnnie.  Jim’s daughter is now in the house.  We moved back up to Mill Street and went down the west side.  There was discussion about the Wood family at 37 Mill Street who also were involved with the Sodus Hotel and Wood’s garage.  We moved down the street and discussed the Conant box factory that used to be at the bottom of the street.

Click here to listen:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VSic0fEsiE7BwKX-U6cpHx1IcQk6uaDU/view?usp=sharing

 

October 27, 2020

Bill Bishop interview summary:

Bill Bishop interviewed by Jim Hopkins, Steve Heald, and Sandi Hamilton.

Duration: 99 minutes

We intended to begin this 99 minute interview at the south end of Mill Street on the east side.  In the 50’s and 60’s it was the Burgdorf house.  The family managed the Sodus Theater uptown during that time.  Rachel Adams now lives in the house.  At this point, we got sidetracked (as we often do) and Bill mentioned Coach Slim McGinn training the high school athletes by having them run from the high school then on West Main to the firemen’s field at the bottom of Mill Street.  That stirred up memories of the firemen’s field and the August carnival that held every summer.  We also talked about “The Pines” an area in back of the present high school that was used for elementary picnics at the end of the school year.  This bordered Bill’s grandfather’s farm and he talked about memories of the farm.  We then talked about the 3 houses on Robinson Road close to the bottom of Mill St.  We continued up Mill (on the east side).  We got as far as 30 Mill Street, the second house north of the old mill.

Click here to listen:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1urPxHuE5IA83pWP9lAuBRfrVAPtBdZBC/view?usp=sharing

 

November 2, 2020

Bill Bishop interview summary:

Bill Bishop interviewed by Jim Hopkins and Sandi Hamilton.

Duration: 97 minutes

We  begin this 97 minutes interview session with Bill filling us in on something he has remembered since our last visit.  This time we talked about the Sodus Packing Company (Gaylord Packing), Sodus Canning Co., Ward and LeRoy, and Wegner’s.  We then went back to our conversation about Mill Street.  We covered 28 Mill Street and moved up the street , talking about the businesses that used to be in the area where the Municipal Building now stands.  Bill relates his memories of the Sodus Hotel.  He and Dan Patchett were close friends.  Dan’s parents owned the hotel at that time.  Bill remembers some of the people who worked in the hotel.  We discussed the business that were in the building east of the hotel that is now Destination Travel.   We briefly talked about Myers Hospital that used to be located on the present site of the Village Park.  (At this point, we take a break.)  We finished the session as Bill recalled his teachers from first grade through high school.

Click here to listen:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qFGirhkHtj3bUSFIw6UgO9CipgZFjzDQ/view?usp=sharing

 

November 10, 2020

Bill Bishop interview summary:

Bill Bishop interviewed by Jim Hopkins and Sandi Hamilton.

Duration: 79 minutes

At the beginning of this session, Bill shared several photos that will be posted with this interview.

We backtrack as Bill describes his grandfather’s farm and a big barn that was located on Maple Avenue where horses were kept.  He also comments about ne of the barns on the Sodus Fruit Farm where his dad, Ed Bishop, Mark Buckman, Steve Putnam, and Al Baker all kept horses.

Bill also shared pictures of a horse his dad bought from Alva Strong and kept on the Alasa Farms.  He briefly talked about Bill De Hondt and his plane.

There are a couple of pictures of kids with whom Bill grown up in the 1930’s.  One picture is of Pat Norton’s birthday party and another of Mrs. Beal’s “kindergarten” group.

Bill mentions his first father in law who owned the gas station (now convenience store across from Oscar Fuerst Field) in the Point.  Later run by Les Bade and Walt DeVolder after that.

We briefly reviewed some of the businesses on Railroad Ave. that we previously discussed.

At the end we talked about the 6 cent stamp cancellation of 1938 that had come up in a recent Bicentennial Committee discussion. Bill witnessed the flight by Jim Young who picked up the mail bag and flew to Rochester with it as a celebration of the stamp.

While listening to the interview, you may want to view the photos they are discussing. I recommend opening 2 windows on your computer. Click here first to view the photos and remember you can use the + and – buttons to zoom in and out:  Pic 1_merged

Next, in a separate window, come back to this web page and click here to listen to the interview:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/119GcBEcZGNhSigJ9o10WSDK-PNnP0xuJ/view?usp=sharing

 

November 19, 2020

Bill Bishop interview summary:

Bill Bishop interviewed by Steve Heald, Jim Hopkins and Sandi Hamilton.

Duration: 85 minutes

 

Bill talks about the Myers Community Hospital when it was located on the south side of East Main Street where the Sodus Village Park is now.  At first, it was Dr. J. F. Myers house and office.  Dr. Levi Gaylord had lived there before Dr. Myers.  Dr. Myers built on the hospital which eventually had 3 floors.  Bill describes the layout of the hospital in vivid detail and remembers the people who worked there.  Dr. Linwood Myers (also known as “Chief”, a nickname his wife Ruth gave him) was a hunter.  Two moose heads were on the wall that the doctor had shot in Canada.  Pam (Peters) Heald (Steve’s wife) was the last girl born in the hospital.  A baby boy was the last baby born there.

In the discussion about Dr. Linwood’s hunter experiences, Bill also named other well-known hunters of the town including Larry Dodge, Bob Dodge, Don Johnson, Ken Johnson, and others.  Dr. Myers often went with them.

The back of the hospital was located in what is now the village parking lot.  The first house on the right going south on Gaylord Street is now John Cook’s, but before that it was Dr. Cotanche’s house.  We continued naming the rest of the residents we could remember as we moved down the street, and then we “moved” back up the street and onto East Main Street (south side).  This includes the big white house with the pillars that was the home of the Carpenters’ part of O and C onion rings (Olney and Carpenter).  We left off with the blue house at the top of the hill on the corner of Old Ridge and High Street, now owned by Bruce Sodervick which was once Shannon’s Boarding House.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1klrb4MtXWHGjdY6ufFQMPcFro5roerZ-/view?usp=sharing

 

December 1, 2020

Bill Bishop interview summary:

Bill Bishop interviewed by Steve Heald, Jim Hopkins and Sandi Hamilton.

Duration: 131 minutes

As always, Bill remembers people, places, and events after we have interviewed him.  He often “fills us in” on more information before we pick up where we left off.  This time, he mentioned Marion Olney, Bill Olney’s wife, Bill and Nancy Palmer (later Ransley), Charlie and Ethel Fox, and Marion (Yeomans) Fox married to Charlie Fox who worked in the post office.

We picked up on the street tour where we left off on the corner of East Main (old Ridge) and High Street on the east side.  At one time Shannon’s Boarding House, later the Husk house.  Frank Saunders house, Gregg and Joyce Ross.  The stucco house with the brown trim on the west side was Joe Piekunka’s house, then it belonged to his daughter, Mary and Ernie Piekunka who also took over Joe’s dry cleaning business on Mill Street. Allen De Cew, Mort Adams who ran the extention service (my mom, Bernice Hamilton, worked there as Mort’s secretary).  Norm MerHoff ran the A and P grocery store on West Main Street. Carl and Elizabeth Webster were in the first house on the east side of the north end of the street.  Carl worked in the Rexall Drug Store on West Main Street.  He and Lizzie ran the Rexall Drug Store in Sodus Point in the summer time. Harold Dye lived in the next house that Lloyd Mc Gown later owned.  The house on the northeast corner before Orchard Terrace belonged to G. Arthur and Helen Smith.  Ivan and Loyce Symonds were in the house on the west side, across from the Pearson house at 20 High St. Symonds’ house was once owned by Fauney Knapp. Mr. Myers had once lived at 20 High Street.  He made monuments for his father’s store on Mill Street.

The big white house on the southeast corner of High Street and Orchard Terrace was the Mills house.  Ruth Mills was the last of the prominent Mills family in the house.  George DeBrine who worked for Alling and Lander was in the house south of the Mills house.  The next house was H.B. Pearson’s house.  According to Bob Pearson, his mother Isabelle, acquired the house for $6,000.00 during World War II thanks to the help of Farley Porter and Norm MerHoff who owned the house.  In the late 60’s and early 70’s, lawyer Merrill Schlee and his wife Carol owned the house.  It is now owned by lawyer Rich and Denise DeValk who have lived there for several years.  Two smaller houses are south of this house. The Vininski family and the Heise family may have each lived in one of those houses. The last house was owned by Al Steele who married Bill Foley’s sister.

We then talked about a few more people that Bill remembered.

After this interview, Bill, Steve, and I drove down Railroad Avenue off of Belden Ave. where Bill pointed out where some of the old businesses were. After that, we went down to the Sodus Fruit Farm where Bill shared his memories of the area.

Click here to listen: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nf6G1huew2WvnQsPqlvQGuzjm19cVEeA/view?usp=sharing