Jacob "The Blind Miller" Bishop & his wife Ernestine

Blinded from smallpox at four, Jacob Bishop "the blind miller" became a local legendary character. He was said to know the color of a horse by touch and his customers by the sound of their voice. He and his wife Ernestine had 11 sons and 1 daughter (scroll down...).

Jacob (standing between the horse and building on right) with customers.

One of Jacob's eleven sons, my great grandfather Ephraim Bishop, is pictured here with his wife Eliza Ann Woods, and my grandmother, Bessie Bishop, who was born here in 1877. Their home was one of the first to be condemned in order to build the Ashokan Reservoir. Soon after this picture was taken, they were forced to leave.

NYC Watershed Retrospective