What To Write About?

So am I experiencing a case of “writers block” as I sit here trying to write an already late column for this week? Not really, since I do have a variety of subjects for this column. But what I do not have is enough research finished on each subject to be able to write an accurate story.

I could write about the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, but I have misplaced the first notes I had for that and I really should start from the beginning.

The company existed only during the late 1800s but its presence is still here.

Then there is the time I did some research on some of the very early land transactions involving the Roman Catholic Church within Chautauqua County. I need to do a little more research and verify some of my notes. And I am curious to know a little bit more about the location of some of the land. Curiosity always makes a research project larger and more involved than originally thought.

Last time, I wrote about house histories and I have worked on a few of those while doing family histories. Some of the early families and a bit about their houses may show up in one of the columns in the future. And some of those families have lent their names to some of our streets.

Some of the many businesses located in this area could also show up in this column. Before I moved back to this area, I was a weaver so I just may have to investigate the textile and related industries in the area. Did you know that there is a difference between woolen and worsted goods? Hazeltine in early Jamestown had a woolen mill while the Broadheads and others had worsted mills a few decades later. Maybe I can explain the difference and include more about some of the lesser known textile factories in the area. A related industry that had a short life in the area was the silk industry. Silk worms were raised for the cocoons from which the silk threads could be spun. A tedious industry but one cocoon could yield thousands of yards of silk thread.

Research to find proof of service for some veterans from the Civil War revealed that one served in the U.S. Colored Troops. That makes two African-American veterans from the U. S. Colored Troops buried in Lake View Cemetery and there may be more that I don’t know about yet.

Always more research to do!

Events can be another topic to be explored. I want to learn more about the circus-what circuses came to our town, where was the big top, where did the train stop to unload the animals, the performers, and all the equipment? Whether one went to the circus or not, the circus parade was a free event that could be watched by all. Did you know that there was a circus that was owned by people in Warren, Pennsylvania and the animals spent the winters in Warren! That is a little removed from the environs of Ellicott, but an interesting story that may be told here.

I have so many possibilities for content for this column, I need to focus on one at a time to finish the research or at least enough research to get a column written!