July 2, 2010

Half-Shire hosted Pulaski’s Class of 1960 for a breakfast on Sunday June 27th. Four members of the class had attended the Richland school and found the visit quite interesting. The Class donated an oversized photo of themselves on their class trip, as well as a booklet of biographies.

Over reunion weekend we assisted many Pulaski and Sandy Creek Alumni with research. We were very pleased to visit with Alice Carnright formally of Sandy Creek who stopped by on Saturday. Alice has been an active member of the DAR for many years, and is quite knowledgeable on Revolutionary War research.

As this article goes to press the Oswego County Fair should be in full swing. As we write we have gotten the building into good order and even moved our collection of 1,050 family files and books up for the week. It seems like only yesterday that our family files all fit into a milk crate, now they encompass two four-drawer file cabinets and a set of book shelves.

The fair has a lot to offer young and old alike, this year President Carol Sweeney is pleased to announce we have some additional food venders so we no run the gamut from hot dogs and Hamburg’s to frog legs and scallops. The list of entertainment booked in the entertainment building is truly impressive, and that building should be busy everyday now.

The Heritage building staff is energized and ready to assist researchers, please stop by and see your local historians and say hello.

Half-Shire can be reached at the fair at 532 5919 through the week, and by email at yhalfshire@hotmail.com

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June 25, 2010

The 153rd Oswego County Fair will open to the public on Thursday morning July 1st at 9 am. Our Heritage Hall on the eastern end of the grounds will open on Wednesday evening June 30th for a 6 pm reception, followed by tours of the various exhibits until 9 pm. The fair runs July 1-5 this year.

We will be relocating our 1,050 family files, a growing collection that has doubled since last year—to assist with onsite research. We have arranged the building for comfort and ease of research again this year. On Saturday June 19, Vice President Greg Monette conducted a set up meeting on the site, and as of this writing most things are shaping up well!

The theme days reflect the collections of towns and villages that make up Oswego County. On Saturday July 3, we will mark Half-Shire day, which celebrates the history of the nine northern townships. For more detailed information see the fair website at www.oswegocountyfair.com

There will be a special postal stamp cancellation on Saturday july 3, from noon until 3pm. Heather Sweeting of Fair haven has again designed a nice cancellation in honor of the theme of autumn.

On Saturday June 19th our long time volunteer and 2010 AmeriCorps worker Erin Bacon was united in marriage with William Christian Klarner of Baltimore, Maryland at a service held in the historic St. Mary’s Church in Florence. Following the beautiful ceremony the entourage returned to Richland where a reception was held at Half-Shire. Our building and grounds were in nice order and cleanliness for the day, and the decorated hall looked amazing. Thanks go out to our Trustee and kitchen coordinator Erma Schroeder, as well as a support team of Kathy Watson, Debbie Potter, Shirley Purvis, Shirley Purvis, Margaret Kastler and Shirley Rice. Several others were in and out of the kitchen through the day lending help. Our best wishes for a lifetime of happiness go out to Kris and Erin.

Half-Shire can be reached at halfshire@hotmail.com or by mail at PO 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144. Our facility is open Fridays and by appointment.

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June 19, 2010

The Pulaski Farmer’s Market opened for the season on Friday June 4. Half-Shire will have a table most weeks on the northwest corner of the center square. On June 4th and 11th we saw many friends and members as we offered our books and afghan raffles to the public. A notebook with sheets on the downtown Pulaski historic district will be on display each week for people to look over and write in comments about what businesses they remember in the old downtown building. Please stop by and jot down your memories.

At our Richland headquarters renovations continue at a pace. A new drop ceiling is slated to be installed June 14 & 15 in the SW classroom. Painting was completed in that room the week of June 7th. Hardwood flooring should be installed during the last days of June to complete the work in this room. Downstairs, the main hall has had a fresh coat of floor paint applied, and the entry way spruced up some.

Work on our front gardens also continues, mulch was delivered on June 12th and is expected to be applied to the gardens through the next few weeks. The heavy rains of the past week have prevented some work from getting done outside. On June 20 we will host the wedding reception for Erin bacon and Kris Klarner, and we anticipate most of this work being done.

On June 12th we had a full day of work taking in materials from the late George Widrig. Rick Telian and friend Katie assisted until the late hours of the night as materials were sorted and consigned to storage boxes for later accessioning. Some interesting scrapbooks and many valuable family files and local histories are part of this collection. We have found many times in recent weeks where we miss being able to ring George up on a particular question of history. His legacy will live on for many years in his extensive research complied and left to our organization.

Late on June 12th we lost one of our other long-time members when Vernon V. Randall of Redfield passed away. Born March 24, 1917 the son of Marvin and Beulah (Munger) Randall, Vernon lived out his life on the Greenboro family farm which had been first inhabited by Benjamin Randall in 1803. Vernon worked for the Town of Redfield and Sandy Creek Schools until his retirement in 1979. At that time he was elected to the Oswego County legislature and served his community for fifteen years. Vernon was known to this writer as “Uncle Bill”, through his first marriage to the late Evelyn Ballou, by whom he has two daughters Lowana Davenport and Judith Huyck who survive along with 4 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

“Bill” was an expert on the history of Redfield and particularly the “north end”, and enjoyed talking about the families and the farms of that community’s
past. Each year at the County fair “Bill” would spend considerable time in the heritage building reminiscing about people and places. He was a regular attendee of the Fair, and was made a life member of the association along with his wife Marie several years ago. He will be sorely missed by those who cared for him and enjoyed his company.

“Bill” took time to write many of his memories down in a set of memoirs, and we look forward to having the opportunity to read these pages that have brought such comfort to his family in his last days when they were able to read them.

Half-Shire can be reached at www.halfshire.com or P.O. 73, Richland, NY 13144 Our facility is open Fridays from noon till 4pm or by appointment. 298-3620 for more information.

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May 29, 2010

The annual Oswego County Fair, heritage hall planning session was held as part of our monthly lunch meeting on Saturday May 22, 2010. Approximately 35 people attended. A surprise guest that day was Mark Wright of the Central New York Cultural Resources Council. Mark administers grants given out by this organization which took over the old Arts & Culture group that many of us once knew. Mark was complimentary of Half-Shire’s facility, and had the opportunity to talk to a cross section of the county from Granby to Boylston about the upcoming round of grants available.

Officials of the Oswego County Fair also joined us for lunch and spoke about the upcoming event. President Carol Sweeney addressed the heritage hall parking and again reinforced that we need to keep the back gate moving freely, and ensure heritage workers are on the daily list.

In other Half-Shire motions, monies were approved for hardwood flooring in the SW classroom as well as a new drop ceiling and insulation there. This will pretty much complete this room when done in early June.

The first meeting of the Friends of the Agricultural Society of Oswego County was held immediately following the Half-Shire meeting. The following five trustees were elected, to the following offices: Milferd Potter, President; Kathy Mulcahey, Vice President; Shawn Doyle, Secretary; Greg Monette, Treasurer. Margaret Kastler also will serve as a Trustee without additional office. Terms were set at staggered rates with Doyle serving 1 year, and on through alphabetically for growing terms. As time passes each trustee will be elected to a five year term. This group was formed in order to apply for 501 © 3 status to assist the Fair Association. There were 35 present to form the group, with the next meeting set for Friday July 3, at the Fair at a time to be announced.

On Sunday May 23, a work day was held at Half-Shire with Kris Klarner, Erin Bacon, Ken Bacon, Andrew Balcom and Shawn Doyle working variously for upwards to twelve hours. A community service worker also joined the group. A significant amount of filing was accomplished inside, with most of our daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs dug up for separation and storage. The original bulbs, donated by June Walker, were planted three years ago and they have spread well.

At the May 23, meeting solicitation for rose bushes was made for a memorial rose garden to be set out on the front lawn in place of the current crescent perennial garden. The garden is to be set out in the next few weeks. Thanks go out to Nancy Smith and daughter Lisa Yesenky for their gracious donation of annual plants in our barrels and urns out front. They were planted before our meeting and commented on by many. Nancy said the donation was in memory of George Widrig.

Erin Bacon, our AmeriCorps worker for the summer has hit the ground running with students from the Pulaski History Club assisting her in various projects. The key project to be completed will be the digitalization of Brookside cemetery in Richland with the resulting photos set out in scrapbooks for the public to utilize. If this is completed in a timely manner, Riverside cemetery in Pulaski is next. The students also will participate in some painting of the SW classroom and the main hall under Bacon’s direction.

Our volunteer Richard Cooper brought in a gem of news clipping on Saturday. He located the obituary of Judge William Hale, who was a Judge and early Oswego County Sheriff. The 1859 obituary said Hale had relocated to Peoria, Illinois in 1835 and with his brother Asahel made a small fortune in lumber mills. Hale was the son of Revolutionary War soldier Gersham Hale, and was born in Pawlet, VT in 1795.

Half-Shire can be reached at halfshire@hotmail.com or at 1100 County Rte. 48, P.O.73, Richland, NY 13144. We shall soon resume weekday hours, but for the time being are open Fridays and Saturdays from 9-4.

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