Graveside Letter Reading

Rochester Mayor Connects with a 19th Century Correspondent

On May 28, 1873, 70-year-old Edwin Scrantom placed a three-page letter into the copper box that was to be sealed beneath the cornerstone of the then-new City Hall building at Broad Street and Fitzhugh. Scrantom had arrived in Rochester by ox cart with his family at age nine and had grown up to be a many faceted citizen of the thriving city on the Genessee. His letter is addressed "To the Mayor or Rochester that will be when this cornerstone is opened in the twentieth century." Scrantom asked that the Mayor of the future read the letter at his burial place in Mt. Hope Cemetery (pictured). On September 28, 2000, a splendid autumn afternoon, Mayor William A. Johnson honored Mr. Scrantom's wish.

Introduction to event and background on Edwin Scrantom, who wrote the letter addressed to the present-day mayor.

Stephanie Gradinger Director of Cultural Affairs, City of Rochester