Weekly Feature



2016-10-06 / Front Page

Hamlet of Blossom to receive historical marker

Dedication ceremony set for 1 p.m. Saturday
by KAITLIN LINDAHL
Editor


The hamlet of Blossom in Elma will be recognized with a historical marker. The marker will be installed during a ceremony on Oct. 8 at the three-quarters turn in Blossom. 
Photo courtesy of the Elma Historical Society The hamlet of Blossom in Elma will be recognized with a historical marker. The marker will be installed during a ceremony on Oct. 8 at the three-quarters turn in Blossom. Photo courtesy of the Elma Historical Society The known history of the small hamlet of Blossom in the Town of Elma is not extensive. Though there is some record of the hamlet, it’s not readily known when it was named Blossom, or even how it got that name.

“Nobody knows. They believe that it came from the fact that there were a lot of apple blossoms there in the spring. One lady ... said that it was always springtime where she lived because she lived in Blossom,” said Marlene Baumgartner, president of the Elma Historical Society. “They don’t even have an exact date when it was changed to Blossom.”

But despite that, its history reaches back into the depths of Elma’s past, and to commemorate and recognize the hamlet, the Elma Historical Society will dedicate a historic marker at 410 Main St., Elma. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday and will include various talks about the hamlet.

“It was always part of Elma,” Baumgartner said of Blossom.

Baumgartner said the hamlet butts up against West Seneca and that it was settled by the Ebenezer Society, a German religious group. According to records from the Elma Historical Society, in 1844 the society purchased 5,000 acres of land from Native Americans. The society began settling the land in 1849 and named it Upper Ebenezer, the record states.

According to Baumgartner, the society flourished in the area, building two churches, houses and various other buildings.

“That was a very thriving little community, with a schoolhouse and a hotel, a blacksmith shop and the gristmill and the sawmill,” she said. “Very busy little place ... I think people should be made aware of the fact that Elma has a lot of history. Little pockets of history.”

Additionally, Baumgartner said Elma’s oldest fire company, Blossom, was formed in 1872. She said it used to operate out of one of the two churches in the hamlet, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, which still operates today.

“The Blossom Fire Company, they’re going to talk [at the ceremony] a little about the history of the fire company when they were there,” she said of when the company was located at the church. “They kept their fire truck there. ... Then they built a small fire company down the road.”

Baumgartner said the historic marker was made possible through a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and that she hopes the Historical Society will be able to get another marker in the future. If it is successful, the Historic Society will place the marker in an even lesser known spot in Elma: Frog Pond.

“Creek Road and Jamison. There was a little school there,” she said. “And that was the hamlet of East Elma, and they called it Frog Pond.”

Baumgartner said she encourages the community to attend the dedication and learn a little more about the place they call home.

“There’s more to Elma than Elma Center,” she said. “Most of the people that have lived here from other towns, they don’t know about that little hamlet, so we’re tooting it this year and letting people know there’s a lot of history over there even though we don’t have all that history [documented].

“It’s [a] part of Elma that’s old. ... It’s the oldest settlement in Elma,” she said of Blossom.

Refreshments will follow the dedication.

email: klindahl@beenews.com

Return to top