History from 1861-1946

After the secession, Town Line quietly settled into the background of Western New York history. The hamlet, which occupies one intersection between the towns of Lancaster and Alden, was largely ignored (or perhaps forgotten), and its residents enjoyed their pseudo-independent status. It wasn’t until Stephen Feeley of the Buffalo Courier Express stumbled upon the town and its strange history that anyone really questioned its loyalties. Town Line did not exactly reap the benefits of an independent nation since its inhabitants continued to send soldiers to the Union (and supposedly the Confederacy, according to the primary sources found at Blair’s Hardware and the Alden Historical Society) and fulfill other duties characteristic of American citizens. Other journalists who had caught wind of the story were politely turned aside by town residents, but Feeley arrived closer at what might be called the truth, and others followed in his stride. (1)

The following slider includes images of three newspaper articles regarding the secession from 1933-1946. The dates were supplied by a document in Blair’s Hardware and the articles themselves were accessed via microfilm from the New York State Library. Of the seven total articles we acquired, the ones below represent the discovery of the story and reporting of the subsequent steps to rejoining.

  • The earliest piece we found on the secession which attempts to explain the situation in the town at the time of secession in 1861, from the Buffalo Courier Express, September 3rd 1933.

Click through to the next page to learn more about Town Line’s return to the Union.

(1) PowerPoint prepared by Lisa Blair. Found at Blair’s Hardware in Town Line, NY on Oct. 19, 2018.

Slider: Microfilm from the New York State Library. “Recalls secession of Town Line during ’60s,”Buffalo Courier Express, Sept. 3, 1933, page 2-W; “Hamlet minus country, that’s Town Line now,”Buffalo Courier Express, Oct. 28, 1945, section 5-B, page 1-B and 9-B; “Movie premiere will escort Town Line back into Union,” Buffalo Evening News, Jan. 25, 1946.

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