Introduction to the Old Mattydale Site

                                                                                Revised: May 25, 2013

 

 

 

This web site has been constructed in an attempt to gather together whatever Mattydale history can still be found - before it disappears forever. Although the name Mattydale didn’t appear until 1923, this label will be used through out to refer to that piece of land on the Cicero Plank road just a mile or two past the city line.

 

I lived in Mattydale from 1949 until 1971. While attending sixth grade at St. Margaret’s School, I received a set of mimeographed papers on the history of Mattydale. It was very interesting but far from complete. As I grew up there were stories, legends and rumors - some of these turned out to be true.

 

The only real attempt at recording the history of Mattydale was the little red paperback by the late Helen Burnham. Titled “Trolley Stops Two, Three & Four,” it was self published in 1994. While doing research for a paper on Mattydale in 1997, I discovered the existence of this book as the result of an Internet search. I recognized the name since Helen had been a long time Mattydale resident and took over her husband’s office as Justice of the Peace after his accidental death in 1971. In addition to attending high school with her sons, at various times I delivered their newspaper and one summer, while working for the Post Office, I was their mailman for a couple weeks. I looked up Helen’s phone number and called her about getting a copy of her book. She sent the book and I sent the check and within a week I became her first Internet sale - strictly, an Internet facilitated sale. Unfortunately, I was also her only Internet sale. Helen Burnham passed away in January 1998. However, she has left us a wonderful little book that hopefully will be reprinted at some point.

 

The plan is to set up the basic structure of the site and fill it with the material that is available now and to add more material as it becomes available later. The timeline for material on this site starts back in the 1850s and ends in the 1970s.

 

In the course of gathering material for this site I was able to reanimate events that had been long forgotten. Various maps, census and land records and historic aerial photos have been used to locate physical sites whose exact locations had disappeared from common memory. The 25 million newspaper pages found on the Old Fulton Post Card web site have allowed these dry historic facts to come alive once again.