August 3, 2007

Half-Shire Historical Society
August 3, 2007

On Saturday July 28, Half-Shire held the annual July picnic meeting. Twenty-five members attended and enjoyed a picnic lunch and dessert. Thanks go to Erma Schroeder of Richland and Greg Monett of Oswego for their key assistance in getting the meal out on time. Trustees Rita Rombach, Mary Munz and Margaret Kastler were also key components of the kitchen team.
Following lunch a brief meeting was held. Reports were given on the Society’s finances, building work, publications and other items of interest. Grant monies received from Entergy Corporation and The Pulaski Community Fund has greatly enhanced our ability to work on building repairs as well as our continued photo digitalization. Paid memberships have now surpassed 200, and this milestone is of great importance not only to our finances but our outreach and presence in the region and state. The meeting was adjourned before 2 p.m. with the next meeting planned for Saturday August 25 at the Richland facility. Lunch will be served at noon, followed by another quick meeting and program.
During this last meeting Leah Munz worked on scanning and storing images for our collection from Osceola. Leah will be working with her grandmother for the remainder of the summer on the Osceola Cemetery photo project that they began last summer, a copy of which is held at Half-Shire
We received a phone call last week from Ed & Rhea (Noble) Roche of Wooster, Ohio. The Roche’s called to order copies of the photo of 1957 Oswego County Fair officers that ran in our last newsletter. Rhea was friends throughout her youth with the late Paul Woodard’s daughters, and wanted to get them copies. Paul was the President of the Fair Association for the centennial fair. Congratulations also go out to the Roche’s on the milestone of their 60th wedding anniversary, which was marked on Sunday July 22, in Pulaski by a renewal of their vows at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church where they were first married in 1947.
In other member news, Esther Rancier of Carson City California has been assisting us with research on various families for several years. Esther has recently taken up the task of editing our veterans list by cross referencing the names we have with her extensive files. Esther has sent us data on one of her Revolutionary War ancestors, David Soule, who lived and died in the town of Richland. Esther continues to gather proof of David’s service in the Rhode Island Militia, and with what she has sent we are confident enough to count David as number 35 in our biographies of Veterans from The Revolution who will be featured in our new book due out by years end.
On Saturday August 11, Half-Shire will host the 24th annual lunch for Alumni of Redfield School. This group was started by Meda (Perry) Yerdon and Florence (Adsit) McCaw in 1983, and each year former graduates and students who attended any of the rural schools of the Town of Redfield have gathered for an afternoon of reminiscing. A Chicken and Biscuit lunch will be served at noon, and the remainder of the afternoon will be devoted to catching up. Half-Shire is a perfect backdrop for an affair such as this, with the wealth of research materials and photos on display and file in the hall. Anyone who attended Redfield Schools is invited to attend, contact Shawn Doyle at 298-3620 or to reserve a spot for lunch. A $5 donation is asked for lunch.
Half-Shire is open to the public each Friday from noon-4 p.m. or by appointment. We can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at

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Half-Shire Historical Society
July 13, 2007

The numbers are in for the 2007 Oswego County Fair, and over 30,900 people came through the gates.
We do not have numbers for 2006, but in 2005 there were only 15,000 attendees. So it is very apparent we are getting more visitors, and often repeat fairgoers. The ribbon cutting on the new Cattle barn took place beneath a cloudless sky on Friday June 30. Senator James Wright, the honoree, was flanked by fair officials and members of town and county government as he cut the ribbon. Half of the ribbon is preserved in Fair records at Half-Shire, the other half was given to Charlene Cole for the Sandy Creek Historians’ collection.
The Heritage building was as usual one of the busiest on the grounds. We had many people come from a distance to do research and meet with other researchers. One lady, Marian Steward from Georgia spent a considerable amount of time in the building meeting with people she has written back and forth with for a long time. Marian is researching several different families, including the Ackleys of eastern Oswego County.
The Half-Shire newsletter went out late, after the fair as we were unable to print our mailing labels do to a computer glitch. The next newsletter will be coming out in August, to “catch up”.
Thanks go out to several people for work on display panels that commemorated the Fair’s 15oth year and were scattered around the grounds: George Widrig, Charlotte DeGaetano, Julie Lattimer, Mary Hicks, Glen Hall and others from the local scrap booking club. Thanks go out to Dee Dee Barclay for donating many older fair related photos that we utilized in the barns.
The Central New York Genealogical Society provided much needed assistance with our sales table this year. CNYGS officers were a great addition to our building and we are gratified by their joining our building.
Winners of the highly competitive room display competition were: 1st place, Mexico Historical Society witrh “The Wedding”; 2nd place, New Haven Historical with a display on the Hamlet of Dempster in its railroad hay-day. Third place went to Pulaski Historical with their restaurant display. Special notice and appreciation goes out to West Monroe Historical for their kitchen and Amboy Historical for their “attic” both groups which are normally in the placing did not have their forms filled out and in to the office before the fair.
Special thanks go out to Trustee Mary Lou Guindon of Parish for her three batches of cookies and her time spent volunteering at the Fair during crucial times. Also to be lauded was Osceola historian Mary Munz and her granddaughter Leah Munz. Mary did a lot of work on filling scrapbooks, while Leah spent three days scanning photos into our database. Leah’s work was crucial as we have fallen behind since our snow scholars graduated from the program.
On Friday July 6, we completed the take-down and cleanup of the building. We also began our new Friday hours at Half-Shire. Phil & Rita Rombach and Polly Carner joined Shawn Doyle in re-shelving items and greeting researchers (2). We will continue these 12-4 p.m. hours through the summer and autumn months.
The Town of Richland has assumed maintenance responsibilities for Ferguson –Blue Spring Cemetery on Stowell Drive east of Richland Hamlet. John Fox’s crew trimmed the three trees on the grounds and did a great job with the edging. The Town of Richland sees to the mowing of Brown’s Landing Cemetery on Rte. 5, McClelland on Tinker’s Tavern Rd., and Riverside on State Rte. 13 in Pulaski. Thanks go out to Richland Supervisor James Atkinson and Highway Superintendent John Fox for helping to keep these hallowed grounds trim.
We are not sure what happened to our last column, but the most important item that needs to be conveyed is a sincere and grateful thank you to Phil & Rita Rombach for purchasing a new sign for our headquarters lawn. The Rombachs are tremendous supporters of our continuing efforts to renovate our building. Phil chairs our building committee and has recently overseen the successful roof replacement of our back entry.
Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. Box 73, Richland, NY 13144; or our blog at call 298-3620 for more information on hours, or for an appointment.

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