From our Archives - Valley Bands


Do you know anyone who doesn’t like music? I think it would be rare. I have to say I was very surprised to find out how many bands were around in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Apparently many people enjoyed music then as now! There were so many, I had a hard time choosing which ones to feature! I’m starting with the Cayuta Hose Company Band from Waverly, NY. Information on the band came from Robert Drugan of Sayre and the picture was presented by Joseph Peckally of Waverly, according to the piece in our archives. This was the first boys’ band in this section of the country. Rehearsals were held in the ground floor of the original two story Cayuta Hose Company building on the southeast corner of Cayuta Ave. and Ithaca St. The man in the back row, second from left is James Smith, father of Ray Smith, one of the band members and secretary of Cayuta Hose Co. in 1902. He was also band secretary. Mr. Smith was the D.L.&W. Railroad Co. freight agent in Waverly. The name of the band was later changed to Waverly Boys Band and remained in existence until about 1909. Most of the boys then continued their music careers in adult bands. The Athens Boys Band was organized in 1925. This picture was taken in front of the Bonney Hotel on S. Main St. in Athens. In 1925, Frank Terry was manager, Mrs. E.O. Franks was secretary and Mr. Stolz was first instructor and leader. He was succeeded by Mr. W. L. Taylor of Sayre. The band was in existence about four years and took part in local parades and celebrations. Most of the instruments were owned by the boys in the band. Equipment owned by the band was given to Athens schools when the organization was disbanded. The picture was presented to the Tioga Point Museum by Julia Lunger in 1971. The Ralph Bartlett Accordian Band was organized in 1937 by Ralph Bartlett, who was the instructor and director. In 1945, E.M. Alliger became a partner in their music business and directed the band for several years until he retired. This picture was presented to Tioga Point Museum in 1972 by Ralph H. Bartlett. Front Row L to R: Eleanor Latini, Jolley, Anna Frances Payne, Elaine VanHorn Forkan, Erma Merrill Horton and Norma Graham Sickler Back Row L to R: Ralph Bartlett, Roy Bowen, Grace Lent, Raymond Moses and Ralph Catlin The picture of the Bartlett-Alliger band on the float was in the Waverly Centennial Celebration Parade in 1954 and was awarded second prize. On a farm located a few miles north of Waverly, NY off NYS Route 34, was where the Col. Jim Eskew’s Rodeo Band was headquartered,from 1939 to 1956. That is where this picture was taken. The band for that season consisted mostly of local musicians. The Rodeo gave performances in New York and Pennsylvania cities, from Buffalo, NY to Danville, Pa. From L to R standing: Dante Cossagnia, clarinet- Richard Swetland, trumpet-E.M. Alliger, trumpet-Nick Fiora, trumpet-Leon Hawthorn, bass-Ralph Bartlett, tenor saxophone-Fred Ennis, trombone-and S. Larson, trombone Kneeling: Edward Ashworth-drums and Alton Lay, baritone and leader of the band. You may have noticed some of the names appear in more than one band, obviously music lovers! To learn more about the bands of the valley, see our archives! The Tioga Point Museum is opened. Tuesday and Thursday noon till 8pm. Looking forward to reopening and having you come and explore.


Shared by Sandy Chamberlain


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