Friday, May 28, 2021

Earthquake near Mount Morris Shakes Up area, felt at Silver Lake, Warsaw

Residents from Perry to Avon reported homes shaking, dishes rattling and large booms across the region Thursday night following an earthquake that had its epicenter in Livingston County.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a 2.4 magnitude earthquake occurred about 8:40 p.m. about 2 kilometers, or 1.2 miles north-northeast of the hamlet of Tuscarora in Mount Morris. The location along Gulley Road is east of Letchworth State Park.

The epicenter was 3.7 kilometers, or 2.3 miles from the surface, according to USGS.

“It was nuts. A huge boom and shaking,” Angela Nacol Purcell wrote on the Livingston County News Facebook page. Purcell identified her location as Tuscarora/Mount Morris.

Added Lisa Marie Ann of Mount Morris: “My porch floor shook quickly and vigorously.”

Many area residents felt something. Jenny Jacobs of Springwater, in a post on the Livingston County News Facebook page, described the sensation as “more like a shockwave.”

“Windows moved and felt a shake in the floor,” she wrote.

Abbey Irene in Avon wrote that the house shook and her family thought their barn had collapsed. Others who heard the loud noise thought a tree had fallen, or a car crashing into a residence.

Brenda R. Weaver heard the rumbling and thought it was a big truck going by. Her granddaughter, an Earth Science major, said she thought it was an earthquake.

“She was right! Give that girl an A1,” Weaver said.

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty said in a tweet that the Sheriff’s Office was “fielding a lot of calls about a loud noise and a shake to the ground.”

Dougherty said Thursday night the Sheriff’s Office was continuing to investigate, but preliminary reports pointed to the earthquake.

“Please know there is no cause for alarm and we are continuing to verify the event as such,” he said in the tweet.

Witness reports posted on the USGS and other earthquake sites reported that shaking lasted as little as 1 to 2 seconds to as long as 15 seconds.

Readers writing on the Livingston County News Facebook page indicated they felt the quake in locations such as Silver Lake, Geneseo, Groveland Hill, Nunda, Scottsburg, Sparta, Springwater, Warsaw, Perry and Wyoming.

Jason Smith said in Dansville “it shook the whole house. Windows rattling & all.”

While Kathy Mannix in South Avon thought a tree had fallen on the roof of her home.

In Groveland, Linda Sinatra VanderMallie said she “didn’t know if it was an explosion or an earthquake.”

But at the same time, other residents in those communities indicated that they felt nothing.

A possible explanation may be found in a May 23, 2013, story in the Livingston County News – in which residents shared their experiences following an earthquake with an epicenter near the Ontario-Quebec border that was felt some 325 miles away in Livingston County. In the story, Dr. Richard Young, a Distinguished Service Professor of Geological Sciences at SUNY Geneseo, said location is a primary factor in who might experience earthquake tremors from hundreds of miles away. Those in the valleys of Livingston County – which have more sediment than bedrock – are more likely than those in other areas to experience a shake or rumble from an earthquake.

“So when the ground shakes, it’s more like Jell-O. Rocks are rigid, sediment is not,” Young explained in the story.

Western New York is not immune to seismic activity, though quakes felt in the region are, for the most part, a curiosity.

But for scientists, data from the quakes – including who didn’t feel it – can be used to improve seismic maps. Such maps indicate that Western New York is known to be an active area, but the earthquakes are not a high problem.

Livingston County is east of the Clarendon-Linden fault line and in recent years felt quakes with epicenter’s in Shawville, Quebec; Louisa, Va., and near Ottawa, Ontario.

The most recent earthquake with an epicenter in the region was a 1.9 magnitude temblor about 6 kilometers, or 3.7 miles, west of Bergen on Feb. 9.

Other notable quakes in the region include a 2.6 magnitude tremor on March 29, 2020, north of the Lake Ontario shoreline, about seven miles north of the town of Yates; and a 2.9 magnitude quake on June 6, 2009, with an epicenter 3 miles south-southeast of Attica, and 5 miles south of Alexander.

USGS data list three other quakes in Livingston County, all in the vicinity of Mount Morris: a 2.0 magnitude quake on March 23, 2012, near Perry and Dutch Corners roads; a 2.5 magnitude quake near Mount Morris Geneseo Road on Jan. 25, 1991; and a 3.6 magnitude event March 12, 1994, that was originally thought to be an earthquake but was later determined to be the result of a “rock burst,” or collapse, at the former Akzo Noble Salt Mine in Retsof.

A significant quake in Attica on Aug. 12, 1929, measured about 5.6 on the Richter Scale and remains the largest record in Western New York, according to USGS historical data.

About 250 chimneys and several buildings were heavily damaged, according to reports at the time. Many cemetery monuments fell or where twisted. Dishes fell from shelves; pictures and mirrors fell from walls and clocks stopped. An increased flow at the Attica reservoir was also noted for several days following the quake, and damage was reported in Batavia. The 1929 earthquake was felt throughout most of New York and the New England states, northeastern Ohio, northern Pennsylvania and southern Ontario.


For the U.S. Geological Survey interactive map of earthquakes in New York State, go to

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Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

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