“Factory Gulf” by Weston
Sixth plate daguerreotype of a New York farm scene.
On the back is inscribed “D. W. Weston, Artist, at Factory Gulf, August 4, 1854.” Sotheby’s described its maker as an “Anonymous American Photographer.” It took a little bit of searching, but I’ve identified the location as “Factory Gulf” near Skaneateles, New York. There’s a historical marker at the site which reads – “Factory Gulf” Founded by Amos Miner Circa 1805, Carding and Fulling Factory, Woolen and Clothing Works, “Accelerated Wheel Heads” William C. Pomeroy Foundation.
A brief description of what was there I found at New York Historic – A small but wide ravine on the east shore of Skaneateles Lake where Amos Miner built a factory around 1805 and manufactured wooden wheel heads (for yarn-producing spinners) among other wooden products. The factory was built on the west side of what is now East Lake Road. The gulf was dammed upstream and a large pool fed water down a mill race on the northern bank of the gulf. Around 1814, Oliver Hyde, Revolutionary War veteran, built a sawmill above Miner’s mill pond. Around 1817, William Patten of Oneida, and Elijah Manley built a clothing works in the gulf. Manley’s share of “Clothing, Fulling and Carding Works” was then purchased by Edmund C. Weston.
It’s the Edmund C. Weston which is the real identification clincher. The “Mortuary records with genealogical notes of the town of Spafford, Onondaga County, New York” contain a genealogical biography of Edmund C. Weston in which it discusses his Factory Gulf financial interest. It details all of his children, the last of which was Daniel W. Weston, born February 10, 1834. This would make Daniel 20 years old when he made this image. I have more research to do, but this may be the same Daniel Weston noted in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as a photographer in Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1860. There is much more historical information on “Factory Gulf.”