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.
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.
Franklin County, NY
Names A to L
Names M to Z
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