Monday, July 28, 2014


Today in the Bullis Room, we were thinking about forty-five years ago,  on July 21, 1969,  when Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his feet on the moon.

Nettie Bullis was 76 years old at the time.  For most of her lifetime,  "space exploration" referred to the land out west. Six states were explored and officially became part of the United States during Nettie's lifetime: Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alabama, and Hawaii. The idea that the space to be explored was "out there in the heavens" was new to many of us who remember that time.

Whether the space is out west, around the world, or simply "out there," the Bullis collection has some interesting books about those places. In fact, there are LOTS of books on getting acquainted with this planet we live on. There is only one book that covers the  moon that Neil Armstrong walked on, and we think it's a very special book:

The Orbs Around Us: 
A Series of Familiar Essays on the Moon and Planets,
Meteors and Comets, the Sun and coloured pairs of suns.
By Richard A. Proctor, published by Green and Co. London, 1872

So again, we extend to you a special invitation to stop by the Bullis Room and let us show you (and show off!) these great classic books.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Would Nettie Bullis have been concerned about the issue of climate change? We think the answer to that question is a big YES.  Would she have taken the conservative position? the liberal position? or been more of a moderate on the subject?  Bottom line: We don't know.

However, we think she (and her brother Charlie, as well) would have attended an upcoming presentation the Friends of MPL are sponsoring:

by Kathryn Franz, Master Gardener

Monday, August 4, 2014, 1 PM
in Macedon Public Library's Community Room

Our Bullis volunteers are planning to attend this program to hear these specific issues addressed:
Basics of Climate Change
Climate Impacts on Your Garden
The Climate Conscious Gardener

So please consider this your official invitation to access useful information on what climate change is and how it may impact all of us. 

Some of our previous posts have focused on climate, as well.  You might want to review them before the August presentation. Here's a link to two of them:

Friday, July 4, 2014


Today, on the birthday of our country's Independence, we share with you this poem from the Bullis book The Liberty Bell, by Friends of Freedom, published in Boston by the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839-1858.


To the Friends of the Anti-Slavery Cause in America

By Bernard Barton

"Liberty's Bell" hath sounded its bold peal
where Man holds Man in Slavery!  at the sound --
Ye who are "faithful 'mid the faithless found!"
Answer its summons with unfaltering zeal.
Let Freedom's banner to the winds reveal
A Star more bright than all that yet have crowned
Your country's flag, for you to gather round
With higher, holier hopes for human weal!
Your Cause must triumph: is triumphant now,
In countless votaries, daily, hourly won
To swell your ranks! -- doubts and misgivings shun;
Lift up in hope, to heaven, an unbleached brow,
And utter in its face, your fearless vow,
That Liberty's behests shall all be done!

Woodbridge, Suffolk, England

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and we pause to quietly honor all those who were affected by this tragedy that continued for four years.

Countries and their citizens responded to this war in different ways. Belgium refused to let the German Kaiser go through their country in order to invade France. For that act of honor, Belgium suffered greatly, both civilians and military personnel.

This brave action by Belgium was recognized by the rest of the world, and distinguished people throughout the world wrote tributes to the Belgian king and his people. These tributes were collected into a volume titled:

King Albert's Book: Tribute to the Belgian King and People
from Representative Men and Women Throughout the World
published in New York: Hearst International Library, 1914.

There is a copy of this book in the Bullis Room. If you are interested in this period of history, you'll want to stop by and read the entries by such notables as: Winston Churchill, Claude Debussy, Gilbert Chesterton, John Galsworthy, The Aga Khan, Claude Monet, and the Vice Roy of India.

Please consider this your invitation to call us and make an appointment to stop by and look through this book (and others that may be of particular interest to you.) 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


In an October 9, 2008, we referenced the Bullis book, Wayne County Directory, 1867-8. This is another volume in the collection that is fun to look through because it lists shopkeepers, blacksmiths, farmers, and other business people in towns, villages and hamlets that existed in this county almost 150 years ago. In that post, we mentioned an entry in the directory of advertisers for Mrs. Bristol's Baby Soother (which sold for 25 cents a bottle).

Now, almost six years later, in this month's issue of the Newark Arcadia Historical Society and Museum (NAHSM) newsletter, we found more details about this product as well as a photo of "one of the oldest bottles known from Newark," an embossed Mrs. Bristol's Baby Soother, made of aqua glass, 5 inches high and 1 3/8" in diameter. The author of the article speculated that the bottle was blown at the Clyde Glass Works in Clyde, NY.

The article also states that this baby soother was stated to be "The Great Remedy for Children...It will absolutely afford immediate relief for sudden pains or will quickly cure griping in the bowels and wind colic...a dose given at bedtime will insure calm and pleasant sleep to both mother and child...for children teething nothing can equal it." All of this was part of the promotion for this product.

However, the author of the NAHSM newsletter also points out: "The problem was this medicine probably contained a high level of opium or morphine. Predating the 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act, it gradually became known that baby medicines did more harm than good, often resulting in death."

"Mrs. Bristol's Baby Soother was manufactured by Arbuckle & Co., owned by Joseph N. Arbuckle of Newark. The product was sold at D.C. Bristol's Drug Store, and possibly others."

So there you have it--an update.  And also a reminder that, although we sometimes become frustrated with current health and safety rules and regulations, they do protect us from products like the baby soother that was once thought to be "The Great Remedy for Children."

(And another reminder: You are invited to stop by the Bullis Room and look through the Wayne County Directory, 1867-8,  as well as other books in the collection. Just give us a call.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The Fault in our Stars is a current movie that is drawing huge audiences and generating lots of talk on the streets and in the press.

Is the title true? Do our "stars" influence us, for good or bad? This age-old question has been discussed without any conclusions, but we do have two Bullis books that claim to have some answers.

The Message of the Stars: An Esoteric Exposition of Medical and Natal Astrology
Explaining the arts of Prediction and Diagnosis of Disease 
by Max Heindel, published in Oceanside, California by the Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1918


The Influence of the Zodiac Upon Human Life
by Eleanor Kirk, published in Brooklyn, NY by The Idea Publishing Co. in 1894

We think it's interesting that these books were published on opposite sides of the country, 24 years apart, one 120 years ago, the other 96 years in the past.  And they came together in the Bullis Collection ... hmmm ,.. something else to wonder about. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Looking through more of the documents in this collection pertaining to John Lapham Bullis, we've noticed various words describing him.

To Nettie, of course, he was "Uncle John." And to other family members, he was referred to as "John" or "Johnny."

Records show that he was also known as "Thunderbolt" and "Whirlwind" by some of those who experienced his bravery on the battlefield. And to the people of Texas who presented him with a valuable sword to show their appreciation for protecting their homes and their lives, he was known as "Friend of the Frontier."

On a different level, to President Theodore Roosevelt who appointed him Brigadier General on May 24, 9104, he was courageous, brave and a true soldier.

So that's what's in a name ... John Lapham Bulllis, the man, the family member, the soldier who was greatly loved by his family and his country. And we are fortunate to be able to "know" him through the materials in the Bullis Room. You're invited to stop by and let us show you some of them.