Marion Arline Erbland nee Brown

Donald Erbland - Husband of Marion

Versailles Area
Cattaraugus & Southwestern Erie Counties, NY

A Photographic Scrapbook Of Our Family History

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Stephen Jeffrey
Eliza Brown nee Hills

(Page Last Updated:  2006-10-06 )

Versailles Area Scenes
(Including Some Related Locations in Southern Erie County)

Index:   (Click on photo for larger size image.)

  1. Bridge over Cattaraugus River - 1908
  2. Versailles Bridge, including a color-tinted image
  3. Cattaraugus Bluff, c. 1900
  4. Corner of Main and Front Sts. - (Circa 1970s?)
  5. "Grandma Brown's" House circa 1900
  6. Bird's Eye View of Versailles from Bush Road
  7. The 'Old Chimney' at Versailles
  8. Harvest Time
  9. Library
  10. Main Street Approx 1907
  11. Main Street - Looking East Down Main St. Hill Toward River
  12. Palmer's Store circa 1910-20?
  13. Schoolhouse
  14. Store Approx 1894 Owned by Will L. Brown
  15. Store June 1901 Owned by W.L. Brown
  16. Store (circa 1930s?) - Formerly owned by W.L. Brown
  17. Whitehorse Inn - Cor. Main St. & Water St.
  18. The D. Parker House, Versailles
  19. Chapman Monument
  20. Lawton Station on the Erie R.R.
  21. Students at Versailles School, Abt. 1906.
  22. Quaker Meeting Houses at North Collins

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Bridge over the Cattaraugus Creek at Versailles, NY. This postcard is postmarked Oct 20, 1908. It was sent to "Mr. Terry Brown, New Berlin, Ohio." The writing on the card says, "Hello, Does this bridge look natural. R.F.D. #2". The image printed on the card seems to be a mirror image as noted by the fact that the faint printing at the bottom of the image says "Versailles" but in mirrored letters. Maybe this is why the sender asks if it looks natural?
Bridge over the Cattaraugus River at Versailles 1908

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The same Versailles Bridge as seen above is shown here in three additional pictures. On the top left is a tinted image, published by V. C. Armes. The image on the top right appears to be the identical photo, only it is not colorized. Given the similarity of the background tree-line in these images to the tree-line seen in the postcard above, these images all appear to be from the same era, that is c.1908 or earlier. The image to the lower left shows some people swimming in the Creek and it also bears the "ARMES" name. The image on the lower right is taken from a scan of a 5"x7" glass plate negative of a photograph taken c.1900, by  Winfield Scott Thrasher, a prominent lawyer and Cattaraugus County judge. Thanks" to Mr. Phil Palen of Gowanda for supplying these images and for allowing them to be displayed on this web site.
Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek at Versailles, NY Black and White Photo of the Versailles Bridge over Cattaraugus Creek.
Swimming in Cattaraugus Creek near the Versailles Bridge The Bridge Voer Cattaraugus Creek, Circa 1900
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"Cattaraugus Bluff at Versailles"  is the label used to describe the two 5"x7" glass plate negatives from which these images were taken.  The photographer was Winfield Scott Thrasher, a prominent lawyer and Cattaraugus County judge. These images are from scans of the glass plates done by Mr. Phil Palen and shared on this website with his permission. The images are circa 1900.
Cattaraugus Bluff at Versailles, c. 1900 Cattaraugus Bluff at Versailles, c. 1900
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Corner of Main and Front Sts., looking North up Front St.  Date is unknown but believed to be circa 1970s. Another blurry image taken from the same spot at the same time is looking Northwest from the same spot.
Corner of Main and Front Sts. Versailles, c1970s

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"Grandma Brown's" House circa 1900. - This is a picture of the house lived in by the person that Marion Arline Erbland (nee Brown) called "Grandma Brown". This would have been Marion Eliza Hills, wife of Elisha Brown.  Marion's daughter, Marsha Smaith (nee Erbland) believes that Grandma Brown was the town milliner, undertaker, coffin maker, etc.  Marion always said that Grandma Brown was "quite the lady".

Marsha Smith believes that the darker house behind the Brown's house is where Nina Morehead (nee Hayward) lived. The houses were not attached, even though they appear so in the picture.  Nina and her family eventually moved to the North Canton, Ohio, area, as did W.L. Brown's family.
The Brown House Grandma Brown's" House circa 1900
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Bird's Eye View of Versailles.  This photo was taken from a point on Bush Rd., in Erie County, while looking across the Cattaraugus Creek, into Versailles. "Grandma Brown's house" (see above) is located in the center-right of this image. Many "Thanks" to Mr. Phil Palen of Gowanda for sharing this photo and allowing it to be displayed on this web site.
A Bird's Eye View of Versailles, taken from Bush Road in Erie County, and looking across the Cattaraugus Creek into Versailles.
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The 'Old Chimney' at Versailles is shown in this photo.  This chimney was obviously located on the banks of Cattaraugus Creek and it is thought to have been located near the foot of Main Street.  Again, our "Thanks" to Mr. Phil Palen of Gowanda for sharing this photo and allowing it to be displayed on this web site.
The 'Old Chimney' at Versailles
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Harvest Time - The reverse of this photo is marked simply, "Harvest Time, Cattaraugus County, New York State".   Because the detail is so interesting, you may want to not only click on the image below but also look at larger views of the lower left and lower right of this image. 
Harvest Time, Cattaraugus County
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"FREE LIBRARY" are the words on the middle of the sign to the left of the photo. The line above that is difficult to make out but it seems to read "S. MARY C. P. CHAPMAN". There is no date on this picture. On the back of the photograph it reads "INDIAN NAME OF TOWN GUSTANGO N.Y."  The building in the center of the picture is the same building as Marion Brown's old school house shown later on this page.
FREE LIBRARY
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Main St. looking east toward Cattaraugus Creek, c. 1907.  The southwest corner of the former W. L. Brown store can be seen at the foot of the hill, behind the horse at the center-left of this image.  The Whitehorse Inn is the white building near the center of the image. A sign with a white horses head painted on it can just be distinguished hanging from the top-left front corner of the building. This image is on a postcard sent by Adele Hare to Mrs. W. Brown (Maude) after Maude moved from Versailles to New Berlin (North Canton) Ohio in 1906. It is believed that the picture was probably taken around 1907. The photographer was "Ethie". The address side of the postcard reads "This is so pretty. I want you to have it. Ethie took it. Hope you are all well. Do you like Ohio as well as N.Y. Yours friendly Adele Hare." and it is addressed to "Mrs. W. Brown, New Berlin, Ohio." there is a one cent stamp but no postmark. The "Divided Back" on the postcard reinforces the date as no earlier than 1907 and no later than 1915.
Main St., Versailles, NY, looking east, c. 1907.
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Looking down the hill toward Cattaraugus Creek. The store formerly run by Will L. Brown is seen at the bottom of the hill.  Early 20th century photo.
Looking down the hill toward Cattaraugus Creek, early 20th century

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Palmers Store. Probably circa 1910-20?  In 2003, this store is operated as Sprague's General Store, at the corner of Main and Water Streets. The left image is of a 'postcard' (never mailed) written by Marion Arline Brown, who was living in Ohio after leaving Versailles in 1906.  The card reads, "The Will L. Brown home was between Merrils' house and the store.  Large front yard With trees.  The addition to the store was added in later years  Grandma Brown's home was across the street from Will's house   In 1906 when W.L. Brown family left Versailles this was Rush Palmer's store.  Alva Merril house to left".  The image on the right is from another postcard that contains no stamp nor postmark. The reverse side is addressed to Cora Longfinger, Tunesassa, NY. Tunesassa was inundated by the Allegheny Reservoir when Kinzua Dam was built in the 1960s. Once again, our "Thanks" go out to Mr. Phil Palen of Gowanda for sharing the photo on the right and allowing it to be displayed on this web site.
Palmers Store. Probably circa 1910-20 Palmers Store (1906) and Sprague's General Store 92003)
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Schoolhouse - The reverse of this photograph is marked "MARION BROWN'S SCHOOL IN VERSAILLES NEW YORK". No year is given.
MARION BROWN'S SCHOOL IN VERSAILLES

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This picture was taken in approximately 1894.  It  is the store formerly owned by Elisha Brown and bought by his son, Will Lincoln Brown, in 1893.  Because the original photograph is a tintype it appears backwards; as do all tintypes. The image shown here has been 'corrected' to make the scene appear as it would have looked to the photographer. Will's daughter (Marion) had told me ( her son - Mardon Erbland) that the original picture was printed backwards and I've since verified this by observing that the lettering on the small sign near the centre of the picture appears as a mirror image in the original.  Marion also said that the people at the top of the stairs are her mother, Maude Belle Brown (nee Jeffrey) and Maude's niece, Jessie Hawley (later Jessie West.)  The men standing in from of the store are not identified.
Store formerly owned by Elisha Brown and bought by his son, Will Lincoln Brown, in 1893

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This picture was taken in June 1901.  It is the store owned by Will Lincoln Brown.  The reverse of the original photo says that the people in the photo are "Papa [ W/L/ Brown] 37 years, Terry Brown 6 years and Marion A. Brown 2 years.
Will Lincoln Brown's store, Versailles, June 1901
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Store - Probably circa 1930s? Notice how the roof on "Palmer's Store" had been extended over the porch as compared to the earlier picture (circa 1910-20). There is also a wire visible crossing the road that does not seem to exist in the earlier photo.  This store was formerly owned by Elisha Brown and then by W.L. Brown until he left Versailles to go to Ohio in 1906. This store is on the east side of Water St. at the foot of Main St.
Former Will Brown's Store - Probably circa 1930s
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The Whitehorse Inn, circa 1900, was located at the SW corner of Main St. and Water St. It later burned down.  This photograph is on a 'penny postcard' that is postmarked "SEP 1903"; the day is illegible.  The postcard was addressed to "Mrs. W. Brown, New Berlin, Ohio" and reads as follows, "This I think is rather good of the hotel but a little dark, See Putney is the Artist - he also is the teacher here.  This week will be lively I suppose Fair week. Regards to all, A. S. Hare."  Marion Erbland (nee Brown) said that people used to come to Versailles for the summer and "want the room that looked over the beautiful solarium of Grandma Brown's house" which was located  next door. Grandma Brown's house (that is, Marion Eliza Hills house) was on Main St., directly west of the Whitehorse Inn.
Whitehorse Inn, circa 1900

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"D. M. Parker's House at Versailles" is marked on the source photo, which is a 5"x7" glass plate negative. (It may read "D. N." rather than "D. M." the writing is difficult to decipher. "D.N. Parker" is mentioned on page 243 of Everts History of Cattaraugus County as operating the store that was later operated by Elisha Brown )  This image is from a jpeg file emailed to JustUs by Phil Palen and it is displayed with his permission. Our "Thanks" go out to Mr. Palen for sharing this bit of Versailles history. The porch image on the right below is just an enlargement of the porch section of the larger house image on the left. It is thought that Winfield Scott Thrasher was the photographer. 
D. M. Parker's House at Versailles, NY An enlargement of the porch portion of D. M. Parker's House at Versailles, NY
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The Chapman Monument is shown in this photo.  This is the spot where 'Grandma Brown' (Marion Eliza Brown, nee Hills) used to go with her granddaughter, Marion Arline Brown. The reverse side of the source photograph contains words, made in the handwriting of Marion A. Brown, about the visits that she used to make to this site with her Grandma Brown.  It reads as follows: "This I think, is the Remington Monument.  It is in Versailles, New York.  Grandma Brown used to walk up here and take me with her, I must have been 4 years old.  She would sit there and think while I played with the squirrels, birds and flowers, on the monument.  I loved the "log" cabin.  Grandma Brown was Marion Eliza Hill Brown".  It is not clear why Marion Brown referred to this monument in her note as "the Remington Monument" when the inscription on the concrete clearly says "Chapman".  Maria Helen Chapman (nee Parker) and Hiram Chapman are the people whose births and deaths are recorded on the concrete.
Remington Monument, Versailles, NY

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Lawton Station is where the Will L. Brown family boarded the train for their move to Ohio in 1906.  Lawton Station was on the Erie R.R. in North Collins Twp. as shown on "Tunison's 1898 railroad map".  The photo on the left was taken in August 1941 during a family trip that Marion Erbland's (nee Brown) family took to NY.  The photo on the right was taken in May, 2003. Notice that the hotel building still exists, although it is no longer used as a hotel.
Lawton Station on the Erie Railroad Lawton Station, Erie County, NY - May 2003
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The students at Versailles School posed for this photograph abt. 1906.

Students at Versailles School, abt. 1906.

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The Hicksite Quaker Meeting House and Burying Ground at North Collins, Erie County, New York, is shown on the left. Levi Brown (Elisha Brown's brother) is buried here.  Levi may have been active in this Quaker Meeting around the time that this meeting house was built, in1851. It replaced an earlier log building which was located at a site 1.7 miles to the Southeast. Notice the two entrances; one for the women's meeting and one for the men's meeting.  This building is located at coordinates N42 34.616 W078 56.375 (WGS84).  The previous log meeting house was located at coordinates N42 33.522' W078 54.959 (WGS84).  There is also an Orthodox Quaker Burying Ground adjacent to the old Orthodox Meeting House site but as of May 2003 that Burying Ground is in a sad state of disrepair.  Some foundation stones from the old log meeting house are visible in the center image and some grave markers at the old Burying Ground can be seen in the image on the right. It is thought to be unlikely that any of Elisha Brown's family is buried at the old Orthodox Burying Grounds because the Brown's had followed the Hicksite faction after the split. It is known that besides Levi, Elisha's brother Simeon Brown and Simeon's wife, Arminda, were Quakers and living in the Collins/Brant/Evans area of Erie County in the mid-1800s. All of these images are from photos taken in May 2003.
Hicksite Quaker Meeting House at North Collins, Erie County, NY Foundation Stones On the Site of the Old (Log) Quaker Meeting House The Old Quaker Burying Ground in North Collins, NY

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In order to discourage misuse or abuse of the photographs presented herein, all of the photographs and original text on this web site are copyrighted by Mardon Erbland.  My sister and I will be pleased to share copies of these photos with interested parties upon request.  Please see our Copyright Page for a full explanation and for a statement of our commitment to avoiding infringement of copyrights held by others.  1999-2003 by Mardon Erbland

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Although the information presented on this web site is accurate to the best of our knowledge, we have made no attempt to meet the rigorous standards of proof required to document lineage for genealogical purposes.  That is why we describe our site as "A Photographic Scrapbook".  See the article, "Computerized Trolling" by Richard A. Pence, for some interesting comments on Web sites vis--vis genealogical standards.

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Because this site contains lots of  images, the pages may be slow to load.  'Thumbnail' images are used to provide an initial view of each image.  Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image.  Because of the increasing availability of High Speed access (via ADSL or cable connections) this site has been designed for high speed connections.  If you are using a telephone modem please be patient. I hope that you can get a DSL or cable modem soon!  Thanks, Mardon)