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Submitted by Bonnie Hays-

Palmyra, N.Y.- Historically speaking is talking about Pirates, again at the Historic Palmyra museums on August 7th and 8th from 11 to 4 p.m. It’s that time of year when Bloody Mary and the Erie Canal Pirates arrive on scene to plunder and pillage in the Village with all types of events and happenings. The Pirates have already landed at the Palmyra Historical Museum. They are pillaging and plundering with no mercy. We are looking for all ye friendly pirates to help take back the museums when you hear the stories and receive the prizes on the treasure hunt.

Stories written by Bloody Mary herself using characters from the audience followed by a scavenger hunt of historic proportion; twice on Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. and once on Sunday at 3 p.m. Many scallywags are needed to tell the stories only the way a pirate could at the Historical Museum 132 Market Street. The Historic Palmyra scavenger hunt will be held on Saturday 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The History Treasure hunt will fill ye with lots of knowledge and treasure maps. Everyone wins when they hunt for treasure at Historic Palmyra.

Take your tours through Pirate Whitley’s den and visit all the sea farers at the museums. Visit the Phelps and the Print Shop and make a note card or book mark. Discounted prices for the museums are happening this weekend at one price for all ages 12 and up $1.50 per museum per person and $3 per person for trail pass. Under the age of 12 is no charge but a pirate may make ye swab the decks. Call for information at (315) 597-6981. The four museums of Historic Palmyra are self-supporting and the center of history in Palmyra.

Who is Pirate Whitley you might ask. He is a real Pirate that lived in Palmyra and built a great building on Market Street in 1820. No one knew that Mr. Whitley was a pirate and General Thomas Rogers sold him the land. Mr. Whitley hired many of the finest contractors sparing no expense for the project.

The large “tenant” house was almost complete and a man came to town from the north looking for Mr. Whitley. Finding him he spoke to him seriously and the next day Mr. Whitley sold his property to General Thomas Rogers at one-third the price it cost to build. As quickly as he came into town Mr. Whitley left.

Everyone had their money and no one questioned the event. Two weeks later some serious looking gentlemen came to town inquiring about the whereabouts of Mr. Whitley. Hearing that he had left town for parts unknown, these two law men confessed that Mr. Whitley was not a Mr. at all but a Pirate Whitley of the most treacherous kind. He had brought his treasure and was planning to live a quiet life on all the jewels and gold doubloons he had taken during his adventures on the high seas. General Thomas Rogers found many tunnels under the building with several secret hiding places, just the right size for a pirate treasure. Pirate Whitley escaped with all his treasure in tack and was not seen again.

The building built by Pirate Whitley stood on Market Street until 1938 when it was finally torn down. Palmyra really did have its very own pirate and that is why we have Pirates in Palmyra. See you there matey.


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