Pultneyville—A Place of Hope
One of the many places of Prayer in Upstate NY.
The spirit of hope springs forth from Pultneyville NY, located 30 miles east of Rochester NY on Lake Ontario. It is estimated that over 4,000 escaping slaves on the Underground Railroad (UGRR) caught a boat to Freedom in Canada from Pultneyville. The hopes and dreams of those escaping slaves and others for a better life and world still linger in Forman Park (Pultneyville, NY).
During the abolitionist period Pultneyville served as a port of entry in what was a wilderness area. The present north south Highway 21 was the only route connecting the area to the Erie Canal and other points.
“Pultneyville also played an important role in the underground railroad. It is thought that the main route coming into western New York came from Philadelphia to New York City, north to Albany and west to Syracuse and Rochester. Of course, there were many branches off these main routes. The route that led to Pultneyville was believed to have come north from Canandaigua into Palmyra to the home of Pliny Sexton. The journey would continue on to a station in Marion, and, --then, on to the home of Griffith Cooper in Williamson. Griffith Cooper was a well-known Quaker and great advocate of the runaway slaves.
From the home of Griffith Cooper, the slaves were sent to Pultneyville to the home of Samuel Cuyler, until such time as they could be transported to Canada by ship. One of the captains who transported slaves was Capt. Horatio N. Throop. Mr. Cuyler would, invariably say to Capt. Throop, "Capt. Throop, I have some passengers for you." Capt. Throop would always reply, "My boat runs for passengers." Office of History, Wayne County
Griffith Cooper specifically built his home in nearby Williamstown to be one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad. His other home in Haddonville New Jersey was one of the first stops on the UGRR coming out of Philadelphia. His home a private residence now, still stands on Route 21 just south of the Willamstown High School.
The home of Samuel Cuyler where passengers on the UGRR awaited departure to Canada burned down. Fortunately the Cuyler property was acquired by the county and turned into a 25 acre park, Forman Park, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
Where to Pray
Forman Park, located on Lake Road on the east side of Pultneyville provides an excellent place to pray and meditate with spectacular views of Lake Ontario. Gazing out on the expanse of Lake Ontario in Forman Park you can begin to tap into that feeling of what could be.
There are picnic benches and grills available for cooking. Swimming is prohibited. A pure guess but, the park could be a little crowded in the summer time. When we were there in mid June on a sunny day there were several people picnicking and kids playing on the swings.
Peninsula/bluff on the east side of the park—There is a small peninsula/bluff (pictured above) on the shoreline at the eastern side of the park that provides an excellent place to pray and meditate. It is located just east of the swings. The picture above does not do justice to the magnificent views. Your good thoughts and intentions will add to the wonderful things already at work in the bluff area.
Knoll where Cuyler’s home was-- Town historian Chester Peters said that the knoll by the side of road in the park is where Sam’s Cuyler’s home once stood. I did not spend anytime there in prayer, but I imagine it is quite a powerful place.
Shoreline Contemplative Walk—There is a good amount lake frontage, enough for a contemplative walk. Although the shoreline is not the best representation of the famous Lake Ontario stones (circular stones of various pastel like shades) there are enough to at least give you a sense. More importantly there is lots of heavenly energy descending all along the shore line.
Walking Tour--The Great Lakes Seaway Trail recommends the following walking tour of Pultneyville. The Captains monument pictured below provides a majestic view of the lake and is situated next to the cobblestone home of Captain Throop who ferried passengers on the UGRR to freedom in Canada. The last house going east on lake road (4 or 5 houses down) before the lake brushes up against the road is where the pier once stood.
Forman Park has lots of wonderful things about it. The feeling of good intentions and hope permeate the air. A positive vortex, or what I call land samskaras, created by the intentions of good minded people embraces the park. There is a series of energy vortexes (more than 10, I stopped counting) that dot the shoreline bringing in heaven’s energy.
The peninsula/bluff I spoke of has three ley lines, or lines of consciousness, intersecting on it. Mother’s earth’s presence in the form of a water dome can found just south of the bluff. Then there is the lake. Then there is……
If you go
For more information on Pultneyville and a map go the home page of the Pultneyville Historical Society.
Make sure to say “Hi” to town historian Chester Peters when you visit. In his eighties and having spent his whole life in Pultneyville he still is a passionate advocate of the town and its history. At a time of sadness for his family he was all too willing to tell me about Pultneyville.
Thanks to Wayne county historian Peter Evans for help. Special thanks to professor emerita of history at SUNY Oswego Judy Wellman for telling me to consider doing a survey of Pultneyville.
Pultneyville, particularly Forman Park offers the Pilgrim a unique opportunity to go beyond observing artifacts in a museum and to experience first hand the spiritual energy of abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. The hope for a better world and better life that existed 200 years ago still exists there. Please go and pray there and add to that feeling of HOPE, the world could sure use it.
God Bless and Praise Allah,