November 21, 2008

On Saturday November 15, the society held its final lunch meeting of the year. Twenty-one members and friends gathered for the lunch and meeting that followed, coinciding with the 36th anniversary of the groups founding. A round of applause was offered to George Widrig as one of the six founders who formed the group in 1972. Thanks were also given to Erma Schroeder for the terrific meals prepared during the year for each meeting.

The society family files and selected materials are in the process of being relocated to the Richland Historians office on the 2nd floor of the Barclay Court House in Pulaski. Friday hours will be maintained there by Shawn Doyle and/or Greg Monette each week from noon until 4 pm. Members Pam Kellogg of North Carolina and Luella Long of Tennessee have each taken out some material to transcribe during the winter months. Both of these ladies are responsible for a large amount of the indexing and fresh-typed transcriptions that are available in our research shelves. While the Richland building sits silent throught he winter months, the work goes on.

The fresh snow that much of the Half-Shire region has ended our pleasantly long Indian summer season. Trustee Mary Munz of Osceola has already reported that she is “snowed in but good” while the rest of us in the flatter lands deal with lesser amounts. The snow postponed the placement of three new Revolutionary War markers received in Richland Township until spring.

Our annual Christmas harp recital at the Barclay Court House in Pulaski is going to be held on Sunday December 7, from 2-4 pm. Christmas cookies, punch and coffee will be available at this free event. If you weren’t able to attend last year to hear Kelsey Munz play the Court House you may want to try to make it this year. The acoustics are terrific for that instrument in the two hundred year old court room. The event is held in conjunction with the light up Pulaski events offered throughout the community on December 7.

The society extends its sympathy to former trustee Barb Ceterski on the death of her daughter Emily. Emily’s son Oren was once a regular visitor of ours at Half-Shire and the fair as he accompanied his grandmother about.

Half-shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or online at

1,265 total views, no views today

November 14, 2008

On October 31, Mr. & Mrs. Steve Behunin of Utah (left)visited the town of Richland. This was significant for us as Steve is a direct descendant of one of out three first settlers who arrived in 1801, Albert Bohannin. Steve’s branch of the family changed the spelling of the name, the origin of which is still being investigated. Albert settled at the mouth of Snake Creek, which can be accessed by South Ramona Beach Road. This writer took the Behunins to this location, as well as Sand Hill-Daysville Cemetery where several of his kinsmen are buried. Steve was very moved to be on the actual land that his family had settled, and they took home lakeshore cobbles as souvenirs.

We recently provided another friend of the society with two reproduction maps of the Town of Florence that showed the names of the landowners in 1874 and 1906. She was very excited to find the names of her ancestors on these old plats. Half-Shire has copies of these color maps, along with Osceola and Camden Township available for $10 each. All Oswego County townships are on black and white paper from the 1867 atlas and are $5 by mail.

On November 7, the Society kitchen staff served 55 meals for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust annual dinner. The hall looked wonderful with our candlelit tables covered in white tablecloths. Great thanks go out to George Widrig, Sharon Robarge, Shirley Rice, Erma Schroeder and Ian Lowery for heading up the kitchen and serving dinner. Margaret Kastler and Donna Bacon took charge of cleanup. The organization was pleased with our efforts and very complimentary.

On Saturday the 8th this writer and Margaret Kastler catered the quarterly lunch meeting of the Syracuse chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Pulaski. The event was held in the historic H. Douglas Barclay Court room. The Court House namesake himself joined the handful of members in attendance and spoke after lunch on his experiences in El Salvador as US Ambassador. This writer and Margaret Kastler also reported on Revolutionary War grave re-marking efforts underway in both Richland and Sandy Creek (Historian Charlene Cole).

On Saturday November 15, the society will hold the final dinner of the season in Richland. Erma is planning a bean and frank main dish with side fixings. All are welcome and the heat will be on so don’t worry about the cold! Later in the week we will be draining the pipes and closing the building for three months to conserve on fuel. Friday hours will officially begin at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, 2nd floor office in the west wing over DMV. Fresh coffee will be on each Friday from 12-4 with the Half-Shire family files relocated for the season for researchers ease.

Half-Shire has obtained copies of the newly reprinted Tug Hill Field Guide from Tug Hill Tomorrow. The 1998 classic handbook has been updated and reissued, and is available for $25 or $27 by mail. This book is a must for those who want to know what is growing or living in the fields and streams of Tug Hill. Bob McNamara, the noted wild life artist from Cleveland, amply illustrates the book. Sympathy is extended to Thelma Ehresman Snyder of Fulton on the untimely loss of her son Scott. Our member Gerald “Jerry” Griffith also passed away on October 31, in his 91st year. Jerry’s wife Betty is a regular attendee at meeting and has our sincere sympathy. Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland NY 13144 or on the web at Our website is at

817 total views, no views today