Another summer day, another mini road trip, another elegant courthouse full of spidery handwritten records - Belmont this time, in neighbouring Allegany County.
Interestingly, the handwriting in the old records gets worse too, as the years progress.
These old western New York towns and villages are full of what must once have been trophy houses in the days when people grew rich on things like agriculture and oil.
And then on to Angelica. I hadn't been here for a few years and happily it seems to look perkier now and to be consolidating its role as a centre of local history - it was first settled in 1802. That's history. And maybe getting people to buy some houses in the process.
But no, Google Knows All - as hubby says - and it was in fact the local poorhouse, unused since the 1960s and by all accounts a place of revolting Dickensian conditions and not romantic at all. It was rebuilt after a tragic fire in the 1920s that did for some of the unfortunate residents. Strange to find something like that in the depths of the American countryside, where, before the poorhouse era, the poor were sometimes auctioned off and sent to work, not in factories but on farms.
All this history in one tiny rural spot.
to be continued.