Descendants of the Townsend family of Lewiston recently donated an original 1815 Village of Lewiston map to the Historical Association of Lewiston. It is the oldest original map now at the Lewiston Museum.
In addition to the map, the Townsend family allowed the Historical Association to reproduce private family documents and letters pertaining to the War of 1812.
In appreciation for the donation of the map, the HAL dealt with Biel's Document Management (biels.com) in West Seneca to provide the Townsend family with a high-quality reproduction of the map.
Jacob Townsend came to Lewiston from Connecticut in 1810. Being tired of the trade issues involving Great Britain and France on the Atlantic Ocean, he and his partners, including the first mayor of Buffalo, Sheldon Thompson, formed Townsend, Bronson, and Co., a portage company operating from Oswego, Lewiston and Black Rock. The U.S. government appropriated two of their ships for the Navy during the War of 1812. One, the Charles and Ann, was renamed the Governor Tompkins. She was sold back to Jacob after the war. The other, Catherine, was renamed USS Somers and was captured by the British on Lake Erie.
Stephen and Barbara Townsend of Buffalo presented the map to HAL in December.
Pictured are Victoria Kazz, Biel's marketing coordinator; Pamela Hauth, HAL executive director; Stephen Townsend; Brian Beebe, HAL trustee; and Michael Palmer, Biel's area manager.