Wednesday, November 1, 2017


The Friends of MPL's Fall, 2017 used book sale starts tomorrow. The Community Room is full of good books, both fiction and non-fiction, offered for sale to the public. And there's a section of collectible books, as well -- which serves as a reminder of Charlie Bullis and the contribution he made to the Bullis Collection.

The collection contains books acquired by a long line of Bullis family members, and reflects the interests of various family members: engineering, mathematics, law, medicine, religion, and horticulture. Charlie Bullis added valuable volumes to his family's library ... quite often by visiting local barn sales, where he purchased used books.

Which brings us to the present day and the Friends of MPL's current book sale. We can imagine Charlie Bullis being a regular customer of these sales, and carting off boxes of collectible books back to his home on Canandaigua Road.

We are indebted to Charlie Bullis for his love of books and for seeking out the used book sales of his day.  He added some valuable books to the collection.

And we are also indebted to the Friends of the library for their continued support of Macedon Public Library and its programs for the community.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Today is Friday and it's the 13th day of the month ... which means we will hear stories of scary occurrences on this particular combination of day of the week/date of the month.

And the perfect Bullis Collection book to accompany today's bad-luck stories is waiting for you in the Bullis Room:
Myths and Myth Makers: 
Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by
Comparative Mythology
By: John Fiske (1842-1901) 
Published by: Houghton Mifflin, Boston: 1885

There are chapters on: "The Origin of Folk Lore," "Werewolves and Swan-Maidens,"
"Light and Darkness,"  "Myths of the Barbaric World," and "The Primeval Ghost World."

So if you would like to learn more about the background of today's superstition, as well as other myths and superstitions,  well ... you know what to do!

And ... may your day be filled with good luck!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Today, September 29, is always Confucius Day.  An online search will suggest lots and lots of ways to celebrate the life of this great philosopher.   Bullis Room volunteers suggest that you stop by and take a look at some of the philosophy books in the collection. Here are two that we spent some time with:

The Story of Philosophy:
The Lives and Opinions of the Greater Philosophers
Author: Will Durant 
Publisher: Garden City Publishing Co., Garden City, NY, 1927


Introduction to the Study of Philosophy
Author: William Torrey Harris & Marietta Kies
Publisher: D. Appleton, New York, NY, 1873

Will Durant's book gives concise accounts of the lives and ideas of many great philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, and Nietzsche.

And Introduction to the Study of Philosophy addresses the subject of morals and moral sentiments, the classification of the sciences, and the philosophy of laws in general.

So ... when you're in the library today, we suggest you take a few minutes with one of these books or some of the many others on the shelves in the Bullis Room. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Within the last three weeks, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have resulted in destruction, injuries, and loss of life.  They have also resulted in many acts of heroic rescues.

The Bullis Collection has a number of books on heroes and rescues.  However, since there are so many children (from 1 to 100 years old) who are affected by these storms, we zeroed in on the one book age-appropriate that was for that group ... and here it is:

Arthur Mee's Hero Book;
A Companion Volume to Little Treasure Island
Author: Arthur Mee (1875-1943)
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton, London (1921)

This book includes stories of 12 heroes, including:
 Abraham Lincoln, Captain Cook, Robert Louis Stevenson, 
Benjamin Harrison and Ordinary folk

We especially enjoyed the chapter on the "ordinary" folk who made heroic rescues. And we highly recommend that section (as well as the whole book!) to you. 

So ... the next time you're in Macedon Public Library, we once again invite you to stop by and take a look at Arthur Mee's Hero Book and all the others on the shelves in the Bullis Room.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Due to 13-year-old Charlie Bullis's three entries in his diary for September 5, 1904, we know what the Bullis Family was doing on Labor Day 117 years ago:

"Clarence plowed for wheat and papa fixed the roof for sheet iron on the west side of the house. "

"The weather was nice."

"12 skelletins were dug out on emery bealses."

These entries tell us a number of things about the Bullises:

First, they were farmers and no matter what the holiday, they did the chores that needed to be taken care of on the farm.

Second, they maintained the condition of their houses and farm buildings "around the place" with routine upkeep.

Third, they maintained contact with their neighbors, and also appeared to take in stride the discovery of skeletons on the Beals' place.

Last ... Happy Labor Day, 2017!

(Oh -  by the way  -  if any of you have any information you want to share about the Emery Beals family and/or the identity of the skeletons found in 1904, we'd love to hear from you!)

Friday, August 4, 2017


Below are excerpts from young Charlie Bullis's diary, which he wrote on lined paper, when he was 13 years old.  His entries paint a picture of a busy household. We hope you enjoy reading them.

"Thursday   JUNE 16, 1904
Clarance cultivated corn and papa
surveyed the mill pond.  we had
letuce and we hoed in the
"Friday   JUNE 17
Clarance cultivated corn.
papa surveyed the mill pond
and went to Palmyra. 
we hoed in the garden  we had Littuce
"Saturday  June 18
Clarance cultivated potatoes and
Papa went to a law suit and papa and I
went to the other place and got a role of wire
The weather was fine  we had
some lettuce radish & onions and
we hoed in the garden. 

"Sunday  June 19 1904 
The weather was nice and papa put up
some boxes for books and we watched cows 

"Monday  June 20  1904 
In the forenoon papa clarance
nettie and I put up the wire fence
and took down the wire fence
between the cow pasture and the
oats  in the afternoon the
men fixed fence at the other
place and we had a hard thunger
storm.  we had Lettuce for dinner.
there was a rainbow

"Tuesday  JUNE 21, 1904
Papa went to the kent gravel pit. The
early potatoes blossomed and among them
was wonder queen.   we had the first
mills Earliest Lettuce along with other.
Grandma came up in the afternoon and
Brought 3 qts of straw berries and toward

Night we had the thunder storms.

"Wednesday  July 20 1904
Clarance and I finished drawing hay on this
place and cultivated potatoes in the fore noon
we had a nice mess of peas for dinner and
2 cucumbers.  The lima beans that I got Christmas
began blossoming.  papa and clarance
unloaded the hay and clarance brought
the binder from the other place and
we fixed it some.  Nettie was sick."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Pages 19-21, Susan Crowley's Document: Bullis House: Home of a Notable Family

The Restoration

     "The Town of Macedon could not use the Bullis House for offices so, in 1983, the house was acquired by the Landmark Society of Western New York. After the exterior of the house was restored, the society sold the house and its six acres to Thomas Klonick in 1984. He and his wife painstakingly restored the interior and replaced the rear wing with a modern kitchen and family room.

     "As much as could be was restored to its original condition. The fireplace mantels, doors, moldings, and floors were carefully refinished as was the simple  cherry staircase railing with newel post, a diamond shaped light wood inlaid in the post.   Although porcelain knobs adorn most of the doors, the original door hardware is on the door leading off the hall, an iron bar-release latch with a round brass knob.

     "With the exception of the completely modernized rear wing, the first floor of the Bullis House is authentically like it was originally. Nothing was added or taken away to mar the clean, simple lines of the original. A powder room, study, and small bedroom are located behind the living room, hall, and dining room. Upstairs behind the two large bedrooms, the corresponding small rear rooms were made into two walk through closets, a bathroom, and a nursery.
     "The Klonick's found the Bullis House interior in horrendous condition, cosmetically, but structurally very sound. Even with new plumbing, electrical and heating systems, the new owners made every effort to conceal their installations and even retained the old iron heat registers.  Much of the restoration work was done personally by the owners. The addition of stone walks, front steps, and a handsome brick patio adjacent to the rear wing not only beautified the house but made use of the piles of stones and bricks left over from the early construction of the house. The owners found these bricks and stones a short distance from the house covered with nearly a century and a half of dirt, poison ivy, and weeds. The walks, steps, and patio embellish the beautiful exterior.

     "The windows and doors were saved from the original wooden structure and used in the new rear wing. Some of the windows have panes of hand blown glass. "ARB" (Abraham R. Bullis) is scratched on one of the panes.

     "During the exterior restoration a small archaeological excavation was conducted at the Bullis House in an effort to establish a date of construction for the wooden rear wing. The study dated it sometime between 1835-1845.  Among the interesting fragments of glass, china, and wood were fragments of J&G Meakin ironstone china, a shard of c.1830 dark blue Staffordshire transfer printed ware, and a fragment of painted lath with evidence of a stenciled border on it. These fragments give an idea of what the original Bullis family used and liked in decorating. The small shell button, a slate pencil, and a hard rubber comb, uncovered in the excavation, help establish a connection with those who lived in the Bullis House when it was fresh and new.

     "In 1987 the house was sold again and the new owners, with permission from the Landmark Society, added an attractive herb garden behind the rear wing. They maintain the property with pristine care and enjoy the ambiance of the past but profess to have no ghosts.

     "The huge red pine tree, believed to have been planted when the house was built, stands as a silent sentinel over the place. The spring bulbs and oriental poppies remain in their proper placss surrounding the house. No Bullis' haunt the quiet scene but their stalwart spirit remains as a legacy to the town, beginning with Charles H. Bullis who opened the book of life for the Bullis family in Macedon and ending with Nettie Bullis who refused to close it."