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A Century of Local Scouting 1919-2019

Historical Timeline

As you look through cabin it is impossible to ignore the feeling that Tay House is rich with history, tradition and good times. Troop 19 was first chartered in 1919 at Brighton Presbyterian Church. In 1925, the Troop moved to School #1 and was sponsored by the PTA. Construction of the Tay House Cabin, in 1931, came largely through the efforts of J. Taylor Howard, or "Uncle Tay," who was tremendously active with the troop from its chartering until his death. From these early beginnings until the present, Tay House has contributed to the experiences of thousands of scouts and has awarded more than 350 Eagles. This long history has lead to a unique philosophy of scouting and a number of traditions that are carried on in the troop today.

Below are some of Tay House's most memorable events:


  • The Troop began at the Brighton Presbyterian Church. The philosophy behind the Troop was a scouting organization of boys, run by the boys and for the boys.


  • The Troop was known as the "hiking" Troop. The hikes ranged up and down the whole Irondequoit Valley. At the time, what is now Ellison Park was a farm. The farmer did not let any campers or hikers use the property. While on a hike nearby the Troop helped the farmer retrieve some of his cows that had gotten loose. From that point on, the farmer gave the Troop exclusive rights to camp on his land. The Troop used this property for many years. They called it Camp Tyron.


  • The first Eagle is awarded to Harold Dye.
  • The Troop started a Cub Pack, the first in Rochester. The Troop had to get badges and manuals from Canada, because of the absolute refusal of the Boy Scouts of America to consider Cub Scouting in the Boy Scout movement, it took five years before they would even think about the possibility of Cub Scouting.


  • The first Pine Tree Patrol in Rochester was started. This was an older Scout group and they went on longer hikes and campouts.


  • The Troop moves to School #1 and is sponsored by the P.T.A.


  • In the fall, the Troop moved to it's current home, the Tay House Cabin.


  • The Cabin is dedicated and named Tay House after J. Taylor Howard the guiding force behind the Troop and construction of the cabin. J. Taylor Howard spent over 35 years with the Troop.
  • The Mother's Day Roses tradition began. Scouts deliver a rose and a card to each mother of current scouts and to mothers of past Tay house Eagles.


  • Jack Stern becomes Scoutmaster in December. Jack will go on to volunteer 35 years to the Troop and had a lasting influence on the troop.


  • Bill Maxion writes the Troop song "We're from Tay House"
  • Jack Stern forms the Mother's Auxiliary.
  • A furnace room, upstairs patrol rooms and leaders room is added to the cabin. The enlargement project ended in 1937.


  • The Troop had 125 scouts. Jack Stern as Scoutmaster, split the Troop into three sections; Red, White, and Blue, each with it's own scoutmaster and leader staff.
  • The Troop began holding an annual "Biggest Little Dance in Town" which continued into the 50's except for the war years.


  • The 50th Eagle is awarded.
  • A fund raising Spring Carnival begins. The carnival was an annual event until 1968.


  • The Troop begins an annual summer canoe trip for older boys to Algonquin Park in Canada.


  • The Troop returns to one section, and the Sea Scout Ship is formed.


  • The War Years 52 Scouts served in the Armed Forces during the war. Bob Berggren is scoutmaster.


  • The Troop fundraising consists of collecting metal coat hangers and newspapers, selling T-shirts and painting house numbers on curbstones.


  • The Troop began an Explorer Post. This lasted for 2 years.


  • The 100th Eagle is awarded.


  • The Annual Christmas Tree Sale begins. For over 50 years this was the troop's only fundraiser.
  • Otetiana Council opens a summer camp in the Adirondacks. The Troop begins a summer camping program at Camp Massawepie.


  • The 150th Eagle is awarded.


  • A fire damages the cabin. The Troop meets at School #1 while repairs are made.


  • A dinner was held in Jack Stern's honor. The proceeds from the dinner helped establish the Jack Stern Memorial Sailing Base at the Boy Scout Camp Massawepie in the Adirondack Mountains. The Troop has assumed an ongoing responsibility to maintain the Sailing Base.


  • The 200th Eagle is awarded.
  • The Troop celebrates its 50th anniversary.


  • The 250th Eagle is awarded.


  • The Troop celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • The Troop and Towner's Bike Shop establish the Mountain Bike program at the Massawepie Adirondack Scout Camp.


  • Tom Hanley joins Jack Stern as the second person to have over 30 years on the Troop staff.


  • The 300th Eagle is awarded Feb. 11th.


  • The Robert "Blackie" Wilson Compass Award is introduced, honoring outstanding adult service to Tay House.
  • The troop loses access to the location of its Christmas tree lot and is forced to cancel the tree sale. In its place the troop holds a highly successful wreath sale.


  • The troop recharters with Asbury First United Methodist Church as its sponsoring organization.
  • The Christmas tree sale returns at its new location on the Asbury campus on East Avenue.


  • Tay House organizes its first ever "Super Western Adventure Trip," featuring visits to Mount Rushmore and Badlands national parks, a Major League baseball game in Denver, whitewater rafting in Colorado, mountain biking down Pike's Peak, and a tour of Ellsworth Air Force Base.


  • The second iteration of the "Super Western Adventure Trip," this time to Moab, Utah, occurs over spring break, featuring visits to Canyonlands and Arches national parks, mountain biking in Moab, and rock climbing, repelling, and zip lining at Entrada High Adventure Camp (now Moab Base Camp).


  • The troop's third Super Trip, this time to Maine's Arcadia National Park, features ocean kayaking, kayak island camping, whitewater rafing, and rock climbing over the ocean.


  • The 350th Eagle is awarded.


  • The troop relocates to Lake Riley Lodge for the spring as a new roof and other repairs are made to the cabin. The troop returns to the Tay House cabin in September.


  • The troop celebrates its centennial with a reprise of the troop carnival and a gala dinner gathering.
  • The fourth Super Trip, this time dubbed the Centennial Western Adventure Trip, takes the troop to Hurricane, Utah for visits to Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks, as well as mountain biking, rock climbing, and canyoneering.
  • The troop recognizes Tom Hanley for 50 years of service as an active member of the staff and names the cabin's leaders' room in his honor.


  • The COVID-19 global pandemic forces the troop to suspend in-person activities in order to prevent virus transmission. The troop stays active, continuing to meet through video conferences.
  • Unable to deliver roses, the troop mails photos of a red rose along with the traditional Mother's Day cards to the mothers of all current and Eagle scouts.


  • The troop moves it's sponsorship to the Brighton Fire Department. The troop maintains a strategic relationship with Asbury First, and continues to use the Asbury campus for the Christmas tree sale and other activities.

The prestigious Silver Beaver Award has been awarded to 25 Tay House men and the Silver Fawn Award to Arlene Hanley.

The Tay House Timeline was originally compiled by Jeff Kenyon and Bob Lewis and has been updated by the Tay House Centennial Committee.