September 16 1833 a Presbyterian Church was organized in Pleasant Valley now Uniondale with 31 members from the church in Pleasant Mount and 12 from Dundaff of whom Sally Hubbell then a widow and her son Samuel were charter members. May 7 1836 Samuel Burritt was elected an elder of the church and January 30 1843 he was elected clerk of the church session serving in both offices until June 20 1863 the date of his death. He organized Sunday schools in near by school houses where he was superintendent going on foot usually and often he kept up a weekly prayer meeting in the school house on a different evening from the prayer meeting in his own church which he always attended. This was following a hard day's work in the harvest haying field or possibly clearing land. Now as I think of it I cannot help wishing that he had remained more at home for the rest and quiet he needed. I ask myself if it was right for him to do so much when he was not strong, physically strong and might not so much work have in a measure hastened his death which seemed untimely while he was in the full flower of manhood only 56 years old and the world needed just such good men with unspotted honor and useful citizens. It was not in religion alone that he was a worker. He always subscribed for and carefully read the New York Tribune and was an eager advocate of the political affairs of the nation especially was he interested in the anti slavery movement. Still he did not live to see the day he longed to see when the slaves were freed. I have been told that there was no work ever done on his farm on the Sabbath and that no hay or grain was ever injured from the weather and that his farm was the only one in the vicinity on which no work on the Sabbath was ever done and the only one on which no hay or grain was ever lost or injured by the weather. When Samuel Burritt was clearing his land on the side of Elk Hill one day he saw a large bear sitting on a lower branch of a big tree. Above her on higher branches were two cubs. He had nothing but his ax for chopping with him and went back to the nearest house, that of Mr Burns. The men of the family were hunters and provided with guns and dogs. At the first shot the bear threw her right paw over her left shoulder and fell to the ground but scrambled to her feet and disappeared in the bushes. She could never be found or any trace of her discovered. The next shot brought down one of the cubs dead. Then after consultation it was decided to save the other cub and tame it so the tree was felled the cub caught a rope fastened to it and taken to the Burns yard where the rope was attached to a post. The men women boys girls and dogs stood back as the cub ran from one length of the rope, fell over on its head, sprang to its feet, ran the length of the rope to the other end, fell over on its head and continued going from one end of the rope to the other. The men said "It will soon be tired of that." The news that Burns was taming a bear cub flew over the settlement and others came, men women boys girls and dogs. The cub noticed none of them but kept on its headlong plunge. One boy who stood at a safe distance asked it to come and play with them. One little girl in heavy woolen dress held out an apple toward it. Then it did not get up. A man went to it and touched it with the toe of his boot, no movement. Then he kicked it and turned it over. It was tamed dead. One picture comes to mind of the past. The father and brothers were boiling sap in the sugar works not far from the house where the hours passed slowly for the little girl alone with the mother and baby. She was bundled up warmly and told not to step outside the tracks in the snow made by the father and brothers. It was delightful in the air. The sunlight sparkled like crystals on the snow and her footsteps creaked in the big tracks she tried to follow. Then she came to a big drift where she could not begin to step from one track to the next and as she tried to do so she sank down in the snow. All of her efforts to get free only made her sink deeper and deeper until she was nearly buried. She cried and tried to call but her voice did not seem to reach the top of the drift. Some time passed she was growing warm and comfortable when the three brothers came on a run. They stamped the snow down around her and all took hold of her trying to pull her out but could not move her. They then took great pieces of snow away with their mittened ands stamped more and after several efforts she was free.
At the sugar works it was glorious something to remember a lifetime. A large kettle set in an arch of stones and under it such a big fire as she had never imagined. The brothers threw large logs of wood and bark and branches from fallen trees in the fire that roared and glowed and sparkled more and more and threw long slim flames like angry arms of fire toward them and then fell in showers of sparks on the snow. The stately trees standing near caught the enthusiasm and glowed with red reflected light on their rugged trunks and on the bare branches lifted against the grey sky. The father came with two buckets of sap that he had collected in going from tree to tree and that he carried suspended from a neck yoke over his shoulders. Many years passed and the little girl only grown large was in a Chinese Joss House on the occasion of some festival. She looked in amazement on the unpleasant looking image on a platform while men came and placed dishes of many sizes and shapes on the floor before it with food cooked and uncooked and bits of bright colored paper in the food. It was said that these papers contained messages to departed friends. One Chinaman stood facing the image reading from a book. Other men were coming and going continually moving about, some stopping to look over the reader's shoulder on the book for a time. As she turned quickly from this strange scene she was startled by a vivid life like picture on the wall. At the bottom of the picture was a large kettle filled and surrounded with flames, red hot angry looking flames. In front two or three men or demons with clubs in their hands were jumping before the kettle. A head raised up from the flames and a hand seemed groping to reach the rim of the kettle and the clubs were ready to fall on them and crowd them back in the bright flames. At the top of the picture were more demons struggling with a man trying to force him on a smooth surface that ended in the kettle and flames. Half way down was another man trying to grasp something when there was nothing to grasp or stop him in the fall. The expression on the faces of the men and all of the picture was indescribably awful. Still it carried the mind back to the peaceful happy scene in the sugar works of youth from the great contrast possibly. Contrasting the extremes of civilization, the two worlds, the Christian and the barbarian.
Samuel Burritt and Amanda Nichols were married at the home of her mother in the morning September 10 1836 by the Rev A McRaynolds. Their wedding trip was made in a wagon to Samuel Burritt's birthplace in Upper White Hills Ct and to visit his relatives the Hubbells Booths and Buckinghams who resided there as well as the relatives of Mrs Burritt in Trumbull and Tashua, the Nichols, Brinsmades and Mallets. Sixty years after this event Mr Martial Otis Dimmick told the writer about standing in the harvest field and watching the wedding party as it took the way up the mountain side. The bride and groom in one wagon and Rufus Burritt with Ann Miranda Lewis in another wagon accompanied the happy couple to the first stopping place on the mountain where they all took luncheon together. Mr Dimmick said sometimes there would be a turn in the road or some trees would obstruct his view of the party then he would catch sight of them higher up the side of the mountain. Huge stumps partly filled the rough road around which the wagons passed in other places deep gullies caused by the heavy rains forming rapid streams that had washed the earth away leaving stones and making the passing of wagons difficult. Still they were much improved from the time when the pioneers went that way with Samuel in his mother's arms. Ann Miranda told Martial Otis afterwards that the roads were so rough that she was afraid the wagon would upset and at one place she was so frightened she jumped out and was sure that she went right over Rufus Burritt's head. While in Connecticut they made their home with a cousin of Samuel's in a house that was standing and in good preservation four years ago. A woman lived in it who remembered the young bride and groom coming to their home from the far away Pennsylvania when she was a child and delighted to tell incidents of their visit and of their personal appearance at that time. She was born in the house and lived in it until her death a few years ago. When Samuel Burritt married he owned and was clearing a tract of land on the side of Elk Hill. It was two or three miles from his home in Clifford but a long weary distance from the home of his wife in Uniondale with the church school and its social life so the woodland was sold and he purchased land adjoining the land of his wife's mother. Here he built a house that after many changes and alterations is standing. Here died June 20 1863 and his widow January 12 1903. Five sons and three daughters were born to them. Here lived and worked until they grew to manhood and they went away to school to teach or into active life from time to time to take up their old life. On President Lincoln's call for volunteers three of them entered military service in the army and another went into the Commissary Department of the Army. They all returned with uniforms but impaired health. Now four of the sons pride and joy of their parents hearts occupy graves separated from their childhood home and from each. The distance can be spanned by a few hours or in one case a few days travel but no imagination of their youth could have spanned the differences in the surroundings or conjured of the then unknown people now and for all time about. Samuel Burritt had planned to build a new house before death. The plans had been selected and large piles of material boards shingles that was necessary was in but the specter Death called him before it could be. Now to the imagination he watches at the door his falls across the floor but our eyes are dim with tears so cannot see the outstretched hand. The memory of the voice of the mother is like the echo of sweet music among the plants and flowers she loved so well and abides the sitting room where she was always so pleased to see friends (Th family of Blackleach Burritt Jr.).