Noted historian J. Sheldon Fisher, 95, of Fisher's, near Victor, N.Y.,
died Dec. 21,2002, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The longtime
historian and Valentown Museum founder was well known for his preservation
efforts and for his writings.
The imposing museum building, built in 1879 was the first shopping center
in the U.S. and after 30 years use became a ghost town. Ironically, today,
it is almost completely surrounded by shopping malls and plazas. It was
originally intended to have been a major stop on the Pittsburgh, Shaumut &
Northern Railroad, but the line was never built north of Wayland.
Mr. Fisher was a self-trained historian and archeologist, whose ancestors
settled the area in the early 19th century. He led untold numbers of tours
for people of all agess through the 300-year history of the region. The
Town-Valentine family constructed buildings from 1811 to 1879.
He also was very interested in the Mormon traditions of the Mendon area
where Brigham Young and other early Latter-Day Saint leaders once resided.
His Mormon collection contained what he said were Brigham Young's turning
lathe, his chairs made on it, relics dug from his local combination house
and mill site, and related artifacts. Fisher published two books: The Fish
and "The Groaning Tree and Other Stories of Country Folk Life. Experienced
and Recorded in Fishers, New York".
Mr. Fisher was a member of the Society of the Genesee, Rochester and
Victor historical societies and numerous other related organizations.
Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Lillian; three sons, Lewis of San
Antonio, Texas, Douglas of Rochester and Warner of Victor; six
grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and two sisters, Helen (Mrs. James)
Bush and Mary (Mrs. Willis) Bealboth of Victor. He was predeceased by a
Funeral services were private, with burial in Boughton Hill Cemetery in
Victor. A memorial service celebrating his life was held Dec. 28 at Asbury
Methodist Church, Rochester. Donations in his memory maybe directed to,
Valentown Hall RestorationFund of the Victor Historical Society, or the J.
Sheldon Fisher Memorial Fund of the Friends of Ganondagan State Historic
Parkin Victor. Arrangements were by the Lucey-Van Voorhis Funeral Home,
Obituary by Richard Palmer
posted with permission
Eagles Byte Historical Research
Pittsford, New York
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