Biography of Christopher R. Fay
Franklin County, NY Biographies





Christopher R. Fay, born in County Antrim, Ireland, February 17, 1838, came to Canada with his parents as a boy, and then to Fort Covington about 1852. As a youth he learned the trade of boot and shoemaker, but never found the work attractive or satisfying. All of his inclinations were to art, and before long he began to do portrait work, obtaining his paints and oils at a carriage paint shop. Even with such crude material he managed occasionally to turn out a piece of work that brought him a bit of money upon which to live. Then he took to the camera, and made the old style tintypes and daguerreotypes of sixty years ago, apropos of which I recall that he used to insist that T. B.. Cushman of Malone, a maker of matches in his final years, and once a local preacher, was undoubtedly the inventor of the tintype. Mr. Fay came to Malone shortly before the outbreak of the civil war, and made pictures with Seymour E. Buttolph. During the war he and Mr. Buttolph were with the army of the Potomac for most of the time, engaged in the same work and in photography. He returned to Malone, which he continued to make his home, except for a short time that he followed his profession in Syracuse. He was in partnership here at various times with Charles Ferris, Captain William H. Barney, George Farmer, M. C. Goodell, and perhaps others. He had a fine artistic sense, and for years his work was the best produced by any gallery in Northern New York. His crayon portraits in particular were of the best, and brought him much outside business as well as alluring offers to attach himself to city establishments. He died July 25, 1916.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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