Melville Reuben Bissell


Melville Reuben Bissell was born today, September 25, 1843.  Melville Bissell created the first carpet sweeper.

Following a financial breakdown which caused the Depression (Panic of 1873), Melville realized inventing something would offer financial security and set to work on creating the carpet sweeper.  He patented his product in 1876.

bissell3                                             bissell2

In 1884, a fire destroyed his plant.  But he rebuilt and actually expanded his business.  Sadly in 1889 Melville died from pneumonia.

The Bissell name and business was carried on by his wife Anna.  Anna Bissell became the first woman to hold the position of Chief Executive Officer in America.

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Historic 19th century village

post office  Read about the Brooks Grove Post Office


In June my daughters class took a field trip to the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

I have to get this out now….I should live in this village!!!  This is the way/time/era I should have been born in for sure!!

This little village is an actual working village.  Volunteers live there or close by year round and the village works as far as growing food (all sorts of food) animals, actual 19th century kitchens being cooked in every day, the only 19th century brewery still brewing beer from their homegrown hops and barley, etc.  Women dressed in clothing from a long ago time are spinning wool, sewing, cleaning, gathering eggs and making stone ground bread from wheat grown in the village.  The food is picked up a few times a day and sent to a local military base.  They also have a restaurant that serves the food grown, butchered, and prepared here.  You can enjoy that with a homemade mug of beer.

These buildings had been carefully moved here to restore and protect them.  Most of these are the original structures!!  I attached some links and you may have to scroll down to find the history but it’s worth the minute to scroll!

I was so in awe, I barely took any pictures.  But you can read about each building and see the pictures of them here


school house schoolchase legs

punishment lol Read about the School House

The first building we entered was the school.  My daughter is tall and could barely fit in the seats.  There was an old school teacher who held a “class” for a few minutes.  The building was so neat with a wood burner right in the middle for warmth and the boys were asked to bring in a piece of wood.  He chose my daughter to give an example of how children who were unruly were disciplined.  They had to stand in the front of the class and put their nose on a dot on the chalkboard for long periods of time.

the girls

Next up we visited the Drug Store.  This is all the girls in her class.

old store

We visited the mercantile store.  My heart was racing in this building.  I would gladly have this whole wall in my kitchen!!

john mckay library

Next up was John MacKay’s home.  You could feel the history in this house and the housekeeper was so helpful in touring the girls around and sharing the story of this wonderful family from long ago.

old church

A quick stop at St. Feehans Roman Catholic Church.  Not as colorful as churches today but I liked the simplicity of the church.

cool  The Hamilton House built in 1870.

I had to force myself to leave this house.  This could/should be my home.  This house was built after the house we currently live in.  The main part of our house was built in 1838.  But I really liked, ok LOVED, everything in this house.  This building is so grand, elegant, country, and historic.  I could feel the history of this house all around me.  It was fascinating to find out this was an Italian inspired house.  Being Sicilian, maybe that is why I loved it.

This Village is an hour away from where we live.  We were only there for a few hours but I am taking the kids back in a few weeks as you need an entire day to tour this village and talk to all the volunteers (and some paid) staff.

If you are ever coming to this area,  Niagara Falls, Toronto, Syracuse, Rochester or New York City, this is a must see attraction!!

July 24, 1915

On this day in 1915, the SS Eastland listed and tipped over while tied to the dock in the Chicago River.


The ship had many issues prior to this tragic event which should have been enough to heed warning the ship was not safe.  844 people lost their lives yet very few people have ever heard of this disaster.

Here is a link to the history of this tragedy if you would like to read about it further.  SS Eastland

While it was such a tragedy, it is also part of our history.

EastlandKenosha eastland

Today in History (United States)

July 7, 1930 was the first day of construction on this massive dam. The history is amazing.

Hoover Dam, named after Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, is a concrete arch-gravity dam located in Black Canyon, near Boulder City. The dam lies between the borders of Arizona and Nevada. President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the dam on December 21, 1928. Construction for the structure began on July 7, 1930 and continued until 1936. Its construction was the result of an enormous endeavor involving 21,000 men and the lives of over one hundred workers.
Visit The Wonder of Hoover Dam

The blazing hot summer temperatures and the lack of facilities presented large difficulties for the men. After five years of tremendous hard work and effort, six companies turned the dam over to the federal government on March 1, 1936. They were more than two years ahead of schedule.

The dam stands at 726.4 feet and 1,244 feet long at the crest. Hoover Dam is filled with 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete. The dam is protected from over-topping waters by two spillways running parallel to the canyon walls and acts as a reservoir to Lake Mead. The lake would not exist without the development of the dam. The hydroelectric energy from the dam’s generators provides power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

You can see some stunning photos and read more of the history here

Today in history….


Paul Mantz, Amelia Earhart, Harry Manning and Fred Noonan in 1937

Today in 1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

I still find this so interesting.

Cheerios history


Here’s an interesting tidbit of history from June 19, 1941.  The round shape was created on this day in 1941.

A little history

  • Original Cheerios® was invented in 1941 by food science innovator Lester Borchardt.
  • Originally named “Cheerioats,” healthy, wholesome oats have always played an important role as the cereal’s main ingredient.
  • Borchardt spent months experimenting with new ways to “puff” oats into the now familiar shape people and families have loved for generations. Not only did he invent the original Cheerios®, Borchardt went on to be a leader in finding practical and affordable ways to feed the world.

I love cheerios and make all sorts of different recipe treats with them. But that’s for another post!!

The Italians

grandparents giambra wedding

Charles Giambra, Carmella Oddi Giambra, Josephine Giambra, Gerald (last name unknown)

This was my father’s parents (paternal grandparents) wedding day in the late 1930’s.  I have written about my grandfather in a past post.  They were Sicilians through and through.  I had many wonderful years with them and am thankful to this day for the blessings they were in my life and the many traditions they shared with me to carry on their legacy with my own family!!

Horses Sweat, Ladies Perspire

It’s no secret I am a huge fan of the pioneering days and days where women spent many hours in their home sewing, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their family.  I am in awe of how the world was “back in the old’n days”.

I came across this Facebook page a few months ago ( ) and it fits right into my world.  I love seeing her wonderful posts throughout the day, reading the historical stories she posts and the delicious recipes from her mother and grandmother.  She has a way of sharing her history that draws the reader in and you can’t wait for the next story.  I have made a few of her recipes (Lemon pie being my favorite) and it’s a great feeling knowing I am making it the way it was made so long ago.

I am sharing the link with you in hopes you will visit the page and find it as wonderful as I do.




Comanche is now remembered as the only surviving member of LTC George A. Custer’s immediate command at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He has always been a symbol of the role of the U.S. Cavalry in the taming of the great plains during the era of  western expansion. When he died in 1891 his remains were preserved for eternity. Comanche now resides in the Dyche Natural History Museum on the campus of the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He resides in a specially designed humidity-controlled glass enclosure. 

Footnote: Comanche was reputed to be the only survivor of the Little Bighorn, but quite a few Seventh Cavalry mounts survived, probably more than one hundred, and there was even a yellow bulldog


**I am not sure such a regal animal would have wanted to be preserved in the manner he is.  I would think he would rather be one with the earth**  Just my opinion