Sunday, November 8, 2015


This coming Wednesday, we have another opportunity to honor those who served in our military.  In order to get more familiar with this observance,  we suggest you revisit two Bullis Book Chronicles from previous years.

"HONORING VETERANS" (November 5, 2011)

This post relates some of the history of this observance,  originally designated as "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace ...."


"FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY," November 11, 2014

The title of this post refers to a contemporary book, For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice, by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
How does this book connect to the Bullises?  The Bullis family  has a long and distinguished history of serving their country's military. Beginning with Philip Bullis, who served in Major Savage's Company during King Philip's War in 1675-1676; continuing with Charles Bullis who served in the Revolutionary War in the Vermont Militia; John Lapham Bullis, whose lengthy military career spanned the Civil War, Indian Wars, and Spanish-American War; and Charlie Bullis, who served in World War I. 

And now, a question for you: How can we show our appreciation to our Veterans? Here're a few suggestions:  Attend a Veterans Day event, fly a flag, write a card or email to some veterans thanking them for their service, or sit down with a veteran and listen to that person tell about his/her experiences.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


This is the fourth day follow, even though our bodies may still be "running" on Daylight Savings. (That's another subject.)

Anyway ... being that "time" is on our minds, we searched for Bullis books about clocks. Only one on antiques popped up, one that we posted a couple years ago, titled:
The Lure of the Antique
by Walter A. Dyer (1878-1943)
Published in New York by The Century Company, 1921

FYI, here's the link to that post:

If you're interested in antique clocks, this book has several pages of information on grandfather clocks and shelf clocks, as well as nine illustrations.

So if you have time on your hands (as well as your mind), you're invited to stop by the Bullis Room and spend some of it with this book.

PS: This book also contains "a handy guide for the determination of age, style, maker, genuineness, and value" of a wide variety of antiques.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


A local news item this morning informed us that the removal of the Canandaigua Road bridge will be finalized today.  Sections of the bridge will be placed on a barge and floated away on the Erie Canal.

Nettie Bullis was 21 when this bridge was opened to horse-drawn and pedestrian traffic, and her brother Charlie was 23.  We can imagine both of them watching the construction and  marveling at the completed structure. If she were present at today's final removal, we imagine that Nettie might discreetly wipe a tear or two from her eyes and then look forward to the construction of the new, safer bridge.

Here's the rest of Longfellow's poem. Enjoy!

The Bridge
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How often, O, how often
In the days that had gone by
I had stood on the bridge at midnight
And gaped on that wave and sky.

How often,  O, how often
I had wished that the ebbing tide
Would bear me away on its bosom
O’er the ocean wild and wide.

For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care,
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.

But now it has fallen from me
It is buried in the sea.
And only the sorrow of others
Throws its shadow over me.

Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers,
Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thoughts of other years.

And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men
Each bearing his burden of sorrow
Have crossed the bridge since then.

I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
The young heart hot and restless
And the old subdued and slow.

And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows
As long as the heart has passion
As long as life has woes;

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear
As the symbols of love in heaven
And its wavering images here.

Friday, October 9, 2015


The bridge over the Erie Canal on Canandaigua Road (built in 1912) is being removed this week.  After a century of connecting local drivers with Route 31 and  Macedon Center Road, it's time for a new bridge to be in place to transport us safely over the canal waters.

Is it coincidence that just a week or so ago we found a poem among some Bullis documents that had recently been forwarded to the Bullis Room? And that it's a copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Bridge?  The cursive looks similar to Nettie Bullis's handwriting, so we're also wondering if she's the scribe. If she was the copyist, was she thinking of the bridge within sight of her family home on Canandaigua Road? (We like to "suppose" so.)

Anyway, here's the first half of the poem. We'll post the remainder next week.

The Bridge
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o'er the city, 
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection,
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling,
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lonely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

Among the long black rafters
The wavering shadows lay,
And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away.

As, sweeping and eddying through them,
Rose the belated tide,
And streaming into the moonlight,
The seaweed floated wide.

And like these waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,
A flood of thoughts came o'er me
And filled my eyes with tears.

Friday, September 25, 2015


There is so much interest in Pope Francis's visit that we looked through the Bullis stacks for books about previous popes. And we found these two:

The History of the Popes During the Last Four Centuries
by Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)
Published by G.Bell & Sons Ltd., London, 1906


The Pope and the Council
by Johann Joseph Ignaz von Dollinger (1799-1890)
Published by Roberts Brothers, Boston, 1870

These books cover a variety of topics such as:
Theory of Ecclesiastical Policy
Conflicts of Opinions
Latter Times of Sixtus V
Election and Character of Clement VIII
Jesuit Programme for the Council
Modern Civilisation and Constitutionalism Condemned 
Personal Attitude of the Popes
The "Curia"
Trials for Witchcraft

... and lots more!

Stop by and spend some time with these more-than-a-century old books. It'll be worth your while.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Subtitle: Some answers to the posts "LOOK WHAT WE FOUND!" and "WHAT'S IN A NAME?"

A member of the Bullis Committee did some more "digging" and found information that points to the identity of the baby girl whose birth announcement is shown in our August 26 post.

From the information we now have, it seems that Dorothy Josephine Knapp's family was living on Main Street in Macedon at the time of her birth, and her Grandmother Knapp lived close by on Bickford Street.

And ... here's the really big scoop: There is a family connection with the Nettie and Charlie Bullis.

That's all for now. We'll let you know more later ... honestly, we will!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The birth announcement shown in our last post has generated several questions. Among them is the significance of the baby's given names--Dorothy and Josephine--and the year of birth.

Nettie and Charlie's mother was named Josephine, so it's possible that is the source of the baby girl's middle name. But what about that first name?  We have not found any Dorothy's in the immediate Bullis family tree.

Could the Knapps have been influenced by L. Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?  It was published in 1900, and the movie version premiered in 1939. According to the official website of the Social Security Administration, Dorothy was the second most popular baby girl's name in 1920 and the third most popular in 1930.

So, if the Knapps followed the "naming trend" of their time, was Dorothy Josephine born between 1900 and 1930? Perhaps ... but honestly, we can't say for sure.

And then there's that movie star, Dorothy Lamour, who was popular in the late 1930s through the 1950s. Hmmm - oh well.

It's fun to think about and to do some "what ifs,"  but when all's said and done, we have to return to our original premise: we do not know. However, this is the kind of thing that keeps us volunteers fascinated with the history of the Bullis family. So we'll keep on with our speculating and let you know when we come up with some answers.