March 13 – Happy Birthday James Henry Martineau

Martineau-James-HToday’s Amsterdam Birthday Blog celebrant is certainly one of the more interesting native Amsterdamians I’ve come across. His name was James Henry Martineau, the son of a highly respected civil engineer, who, according to his son, invented the turbine powered water wheel for industrial application. Since the family settled for a while in Amsterdam, NY, I wonder if it was not a new grist or lumber mill locating along the mighty Chuctanunda that attracted the elder Martineau and his water wheel expertise to this area. Or perhaps the move here was related to the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. In any event, his son James was born in Amsterdam on this date in 1828. The father died ten years later, after the family had moved west to Elbridge, NY.  It appears James might have been a bit of a momma’s boy because he was on the threshold of joining both the Navy and the Army but changed his mind each time because of his mother’s hysterical protestations…

You can read the rest of my story about this very interesting one-time Amsterdam resident in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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