Memories of a proud day in Onondaga Hollow near the end of America’s second War for independence are recorded in this final scene of George Kasson Knapp’s “Pioneers of Onondaga.” Col. Comfort Tyler, after sevice as assistant commissary general in the northern army, characteristically stands with axe in hand, looking out over the community that has grown up around the fields he and Asa Danforth first cleared in the wilderness onlyy a quarter century ago.
Tyler’s tavern now is kept by his son-in-law, Cornelius Longstreet. It has been a trying year for the pioneers at Onondaga and others on the frontier. December brought word that Buffalo and all the other settlements along the Niagara River had been overrun and burned. In June, news of the defeat and exile of Napolean brought fears that the British armies engaged in the European war wsould be transported to America.
Job Tyler’s house on the north side of the turnpike will survive all the changes and hazards of coming decades and stand to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Nation.
No one was thinking in the mid-1800s of the preservation of historical sites. The deteriorating stone building served as a hay barn until the 1880s, when its roof was blown away. In 1894, proposals were made to acquire the Arsenal and restore it as the community’s only military vestige of the past.