Historic Marker Dedicated on Oct. 25th for Brighton War Hero and Famous Fictional Protagonist

photo of historical marker, at time of dedication, Oct 2020, for Edward Crone's boyhood home site in Brighton, NY

L-R: Grant Holcomb, former Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, Historic Brighton President Matt Bashore, Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle

On on Sunday, October 25th, Historic Brighton dedicated a historical marker commemorating Edward Crone and his inspiration for Vonnegut’s character, at the site of Edward Crone’s boyhood home at 1627 Monroe Ave. (now M&T Bank). The marker was made possible thanks to grant from Bruce and Dana Gianniny, and with the cooperation and support of M&T Bank and Royal Oak Realty.

photo of author Kurt Vonnegut, hisnovel Slaughterhouse Five cover, photo of Edward R. Crone, Jr.

Slaughterhouse-Five is a 1969 novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. One of his most popular works and widely regarded as an American classic, it combines science fiction elements with an analysis of the human condition from an uncommon perspective, using time travel as a plot device and the 1945 fire-bombing of the city of Dresden, which Vonnegut witnessed, as a starting point.

Billy Pilgrim is the novel’s chief protagonist. Billy Pilgrim randomly travels through time and is abducted by the “four-dimensional” aliens known as the Tralfamadorians. He is also a prisoner of war in Dresden during World War II, and his later life is greatly influenced by what he saw during the war. He travels between parts of his life repeatedly and randomly, meaning he’s literally lived through the events more than once. He travels back and forth so often that he develops a sense of fatalism about his life because he knows how he is going to die and how his life is going to work out. Vonnegut identified the inspiration for his character as fellow infantryman and prisoner-of-war Edward R. Crone. Crone lived in Brighton, graduated from Brighton High School, and attended Hobart College; he died of malnutrition in German custody a month before the end of the war in Europe.

Crone, an innocent gentle everyman, who died sharing his meager rations with his comrades, inspired writer Kurt Vonnegut who admitted in 1995 to a Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reporter that Edward “Joe” Crone was Billy Pilgrim. A few years before his death, Vonnegut visited Crone’s grave site at Mount Hope Cemetery, and the cynical author visibly wept, saying the visit “finally closed out the Second World War for me.”

As part of the commemoration, Historic Brighton has partnered with the Brighton Memorial Library to produce an online program by Grant Holcomb. The former Executive Director of the Memorial Art Gallery and historian will present the short life of Edward Crone, and his connection to Kurt Vonnegut in a 30 minute pre-recorded lecture that is accessible here.

In addition, Brighton Memorial Library has chosen Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five for a “All Brighton Reads” title that includes an online book discussion, trivia contest, book give-a-ways, social-media postings and more in celebration of this landmark work of American literature and its local connection.

Contact Matthew Bashore, Historic Brighton President at (585) 784-5347 or you can email us with questions or for more information.

A message to our members during these difficult times

Like all non-profit institutions, Historic Brighton has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing self-quarantine. We have suspended many of our planned events for the foreseeable future. This is disheartening, as in-person education is an integral part of our mission. However, we find these challenging times an opportunity to improve our online digital presence,and concentrate more of the quality of our quarterly newsletter journal. Our members are using their time at home to research and write about our town’s rich and diverse history, and explore ways we can continue to educate each other without gathering together.

cover image, Historic Brighton Newsletter, Vol. 21 #4

If history has taught us anything, it is that Brighton and its citizens are strong and resilient. We have courageously faced wars, disasters, economic setbacks, and many similar epidemics in our 200 year history. So too will we emerge from this crisis, a stronger, better, tighter-knit community, a wonderful place to dwell, work, worship, and raise a family.

Due to our current inability to properly distribute the most recent newsletter to the public we have made it available online for your convenience and enjoyment.

Stay Safe,
Matt Bashore, president

A Celebration of History

By Arlene Vanderlinde

It is hard to believe that Historic Brighton is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2019! HB was founded in 1999 by a small group of Brighton citizens who sought to know more about their community’s past and share it with all who wanted to learn. This group was aware that communities that have embraced their local history enjoyed enhanced economic stability and a stronger sense of place among its population.

Historic Brighton was established as a 501(c)3, not-for-profit cultural organization with the help of the Landmark Society of Western New York. The Brighton Historical Society had ceased operation at this time and their remaining members joined as Charter Members of Historic Brighton. HB received its Permanent Charter from the State of New York Education Department in 2009. All work is carried out by its talented and hard-working Trustees and community members. All membership dollars are applied directly toward our mission.

No one could possibly imagine the depth and breadth of history that would be presented through its quarterly Newsletter/Journal and public programming. Thus far, Historic Brighton has presented over 80 public programs and 79 Newsletters encompassing all aspects of the Town’s history and beyond. Most of these are offered free to the community through the generosity of our loyal membership. Our first speaker was former Congressman Barber B. Conable, followed by many notable authors, community leaders and historians. Subjects included: the Seneca Indians, our neighborhoods and sites, local cultural and religious institutions, historic personages, architectural history, historic preservation and so many more. I hope you will visit our Newsletter page to read some of the Newsletters. The new comprehensive index will help you find specific information. During our anniversary year, Historic Brighton will be revamping its website so we can be more visible in the community and be an even better resource.

Historic Brighton has proudly published books and booklets with the help of community grants and contributions to our Publishing Fund. These include East Avenue Memories, by Elizabeth Brayer; three Salon Booklets, highlighting the work of several well-known local architects, and Brighton Brick, by Leo Dodd, a delightful illustrated history of Brighton’s early brick industry.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our first twenty years. Our hope continues to be that all members of this community with a love for history and pride in this town will join Historic Brighton and keep the celebration going.

Some Popular Sections

Brighton Brick

Architecture

Brighton Farms

About Us

Historic Marker Dedicated on Oct. 25th for Brighton War Hero and Famous Fictional Protagonist

photo of historical marker, at time of dedication, Oct 2020, for Edward Crone's boyhood home site in Brighton, NY

L-R: Grant Holcomb, former Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, Historic Brighton President Matt Bashore, Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle

On on Sunday, October 25th, Historic Brighton dedicated a historical marker commemorating Edward Crone and his inspiration for Vonnegut’s character, at the site of Edward Crone’s boyhood home at 1627 Monroe Ave. (now M&T Bank). The marker was made possible thanks to grant from Bruce and Dana Gianniny, and with the cooperation and support of M&T Bank and Royal Oak Realty.

photo of author Kurt Vonnegut, hisnovel Slaughterhouse Five cover, photo of Edward R. Crone, Jr.

Slaughterhouse-Five is a 1969 novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. One of his most popular works and widely regarded as an American classic, it combines science fiction elements with an analysis of the human condition from an uncommon perspective, using time travel as a plot device and the 1945 fire-bombing of the city of Dresden, which Vonnegut witnessed, as a starting point.

Billy Pilgrim is the novel’s chief protagonist. Billy Pilgrim randomly travels through time and is abducted by the “four-dimensional” aliens known as the Tralfamadorians. He is also a prisoner of war in Dresden during World War II, and his later life is greatly influenced by what he saw during the war. He travels between parts of his life repeatedly and randomly, meaning he’s literally lived through the events more than once. He travels back and forth so often that he develops a sense of fatalism about his life because he knows how he is going to die and how his life is going to work out. Vonnegut identified the inspiration for his character as fellow infantryman and prisoner-of-war Edward R. Crone. Crone lived in Brighton, graduated from Brighton High School, and attended Hobart College; he died of malnutrition in German custody a month before the end of the war in Europe.

Crone, an innocent gentle everyman, who died sharing his meager rations with his comrades, inspired writer Kurt Vonnegut who admitted in 1995 to a Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reporter that Edward “Joe” Crone was Billy Pilgrim. A few years before his death, Vonnegut visited Crone’s grave site at Mount Hope Cemetery, and the cynical author visibly wept, saying the visit “finally closed out the Second World War for me.”

As part of the commemoration, Historic Brighton has partnered with the Brighton Memorial Library to produce an online program by Grant Holcomb. The former Executive Director of the Memorial Art Gallery and historian will present the short life of Edward Crone, and his connection to Kurt Vonnegut in a 30 minute pre-recorded lecture that is accessible here.

In addition, Brighton Memorial Library has chosen Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five for a “All Brighton Reads” title that includes an online book discussion, trivia contest, book give-a-ways, social-media postings and more in celebration of this landmark work of American literature and its local connection.

Contact Matthew Bashore, Historic Brighton President at (585) 784-5347 or you can email us with questions or for more information.

A message to our members during these difficult times

Like all non-profit institutions, Historic Brighton has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing self-quarantine. We have suspended many of our planned events for the foreseeable future. This is disheartening, as in-person education is an integral part of our mission. However, we find these challenging times an opportunity to improve our online digital presence,and concentrate more of the quality of our quarterly newsletter journal. Our members are using their time at home to research and write about our town’s rich and diverse history, and explore ways we can continue to educate each other without gathering together.

If history has taught us anything, it is that Brighton and its citizens are strong and resilient. We have courageously faced wars, disasters, economic setbacks, and many similar epidemics in our 200 year history. So too will we emerge from this crisis, a stronger, better, tighter-knit community, a wonderful place to dwell, work, worship, and raise a family.

Due to our current inability to properly distribute the most recent newsletter to the public we have made it available online – below – for your convenience and enjoyment.

Stay Safe,
Matt Bashore, president

cover image, Historic Brighton Newsletter, Vol. 21 #4

A Celebration of History

By Arlene Wright Vanderlinde

It is hard to believe that Historic Brighton is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2019! HB was founded in 1999 by a small group of Brighton citizens who sought to know more about their community’s past and share it with all who wanted to learn. This group was aware that communities that have embraced their local history enjoyed enhanced economic stability and a stronger sense of place among its population.

Historic Brighton was established as a 501(c)3, not-for-profit cultural organization with the help of the Landmark Society of Western New York. The Brighton Historical Society had ceased operation at this time and their remaining members joined as Charter Members of Historic Brighton. HB received its Permanent Charter from the State of New York Education Department in 2009. All work is carried out by its talented and hard-working Trustees and community members. All membership dollars are applied directly toward our mission.

No one could possibly imagine the depth and breadth of history that would be presented through its quarterly Newsletter/Journal and public programming. Thus far, Historic Brighton has presented over 80 public programs and 79 Newsletters encompassing all aspects of the Town’s history and beyond. Most of these are offered free to the community through the generosity of our loyal membership. Our first speaker was former Congressman Barber B. Conable, followed by many notable authors, community leaders and historians. Subjects included: the Seneca Indians, our neighborhoods and sites, local cultural and religious institutions, historic personages, architectural history, historic preservation and so many more. I hope you will visit our Newsletter page to read some of the Newsletters. The new comprehensive index will help you find specific information. During our anniversary year, Historic Brighton will be revamping its website so we can be more visible in the community and be an even better resource.

Historic Brighton has proudly published books and booklets with the help of community grants and contributions to our Publishing Fund. These include East Avenue Memories, by Elizabeth Brayer; three Salon Booklets, highlighting the work of several well-known local architects, and Brighton Brick, by Leo Dodd, a delightful illustrated history of Brighton’s early brick industry.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our first twenty years. Our hope continues to be that all members of this community with a love for history and pride in this town will join Historic Brighton and keep the celebration going.

Some Popular Sections

Brighton Brick

Architecture

Brighton Farms

About Us

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