During the mid-nineteenth century, farmers spent almost every Sunday in church. Many farmers recorded attending church on a weekly basis in their diaries. In 1855, John B. Weeks frequently attended church with family and friends. His diary reveals that the pastor’s sermons were an important part of the service.
Sun 21st Went to Jones Ville Church, Rev Benedict preached from Numbers 32 Chap 6 Verse. We had a verry good discourse the Funeral of Peter H Banta was given out to day 2 o clock at the church. Came home & took a lunch and went back to the Ville to the Funeral Rev Sanford preached from Thes 4 Chap 14th Verse, there were a great many people at the Funeral; Banta left a wife & some young children
The general store not only sold food and household goods, but also acted as a post office, a source of news, and a meeting place. Men would play checkers and discuss the news, while other customers purchased what they needed. This painting shows the variety of things available and the variety of people that frequented the general store.
Taverns were meeting places for the men of the village. They would discuss local politics, as well as find out about news from afar through travelers and the newspaper. The tavern was often filled with conversation and sometimes, heated arguments.
The church bell called the community together for worship and marked events taking place at the church, including weddings and funerals. Everyone in the community, whether they attended church or not, heard the bell at least once per week. When someone died, the bell rang once for each year of the person’s life. Life-cycle and family events in rural New York, concerned not only an immediate family, but the entire community.