Ellery Stories

The following is taken from the Old Jamestown Newpaper


The initial discovery of a Mastodon within the Chautauqua County was made
August 25, 1871, on the farm of Joel I. Hoyt near the northern border of
Jamestown among a group of low hills. The sink of peaty slough in which the
remains were found was about five hundred feet from the east line of North
Main Street, covering an area of about an acre and varying from two to eight
feet in depth--originally fed by several springs. Mr. Hoyt caused the sink
to be drained, leaving the muck to dry, but later began an excavation there
for the double purpose of enriching his land, with the muck and making a
trout pond. The work of excavating had continued about a week when the workmen
began to find as they supposed a peculiar kind of wood and roots imbedded
some six feet beneath the surface. For several days they continued to carry
the smaller pieces into an adjoining field with the muck and to pile the
larger ones with pine roots and stumps to be burned. But Mr. Hoyt being present
August 25, discovered unmistakable evidence of the remains of some huge animal
which at some previous age of the world had been deposited there. It was
difficult to determine the precise position of the remains as they were much
disturbed, and some removed before any special notice was taken of them.
It was concluded that the body lay with its head to the east, from four to
six feet below the surface. Many of the bones, however, were out of place.
The lower jaw was about five feet from the head, and lay on the side crushed
together so that the two rows of teeth extended eastwardly in nearly a natural
position, and judging from the statements of Mr. Hoyt and the workmen they
must have been ten or more feet in length. After digging into the gravel
and clay about ten inches traces of a rib were found decayed but distinctly
marked, over five feet in length. Where the body must have lain were found
large quantities of vegetable matter, evidently the contents of the stomach,
mostly decayed, in which were innumerable sections of small twigs from one-half
inch to two inches in length, which under the microscope proved to have the
cellular structure of the hemlock spruce. The remains were all in a forward
state of decay, and it was found impossible to do but little more than had
been done to preserve them. Many of them were picked up in the field whither
they had been drawn with the muck and from piles of roots and stumps. The
tip of one of the tusks had a length of three feet seven and one-half inches,
and a diameter of six and one-half inches. The middle section of the other
tusk had a length of two feet, five inches and a diameter of seven and one-half
inches. Of the six teeth the length of the longer ones on the crown was seven
and one-half inches, weight of five and one-half pounds. The length of the
shorter teeth was four and one-half inches and a weight of two and one-half
pounds. Pieces of the scapula (shoulder blade) were from ten to thirteen
inches long, and four to seven wide. Sections of the ribs were twelve to
eighteen inches long. Also identified were the femur (thigh bone), vertebrae
of the neck and fragments of the Cranium (skull). Various other pieces were
not identified. This collection was presented by Mr. Hoyt to the Jamestown
Collegiate Institute and under the supervision of Professor Samuel Love encased
in glass and was deposited in the museum of that Institution.


LONG POINT ON CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Away back in the 1850’s before the Lake
was a resort, a remarkable wealthy character owned and lived at Long Point
with its wealth of woodland and unrealized facilities for hunting and fishing.
In those days, at certain seasons, pigeons and other wild fowl which were
then abundant, in passing up and down the lake, passed directly across Long
Point, and any hunter had only to station himself on the needle-like point

projecting into the lake to take them on the wing and bag them by the hundreds.

Robert Charles Johnson - that was the name of the recluse who then owned
Long Point - had one room in his house fitted up almost entirely with buck-horn
furniture. Pictures were framed with it, chairs and tables were largely composed
of it; in fact, wherever buckhorn could be employed in the furniture of that
room, it was used and the effect was unique. One side of the room was almost
entirely taken up by a large French window, commanding a fine view of the
lake, and a large telescope was arranged to suit the view which besides aesthetic
uses, also gave timely warnings of the approach of poachers, for Johnson
did not keep open grounds to everybody, and often stood with cocked fowling
piece to warn off intruders.

Reference: Old Jamestown newspaper.


SOURCE: Loraine Smith, 2003