August 20, 2010

The next meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday August 28, beginning with a noon lunch. On the 21st the annual Redfield School Reunion will be held under the direction of Alumni President Fay Ann Colvin. Anyone who ever attended a school in the town of Redfield is welcome and encouraged to attend the noon event.

Our summer AmeriCorps intern Erin Bacon Klarner has gone back to college. Erin will begin graduate work at Notre Dame University in Indiana. We wish her the best in first year of studies there.

An art auction of the works of the late George Widrig will be conducted at Half-Shire in the next few weeks. It is expected that a show and sale will be held on either a Saturday or Sunday soon, we hope to have timely announcements in all of our papers. George was an accomplished artist in pen and ink, charcoal, oils and watercolors and his massive collection was recently moved to Half-Shire in anticipation of its show and sale. Many of George’s “doodles” and sketches will also be offered to those who appreciate talent of this kind. Looking through this massive catalog of work that stretches back to his teen years is truly impressive!

The recent auction sales of household items from George’s estate as well as the Lattimer family estate in Orwell is a painful reminder of how the possessions of our oldest families are leaving the area. The Lattimer auction was attended by a couple of Half-Shire members that graciously purchased some items on behalf of the society, which on our own we cannot afford. We are in great debt to our friends of better means who have assisted our growing collections, and saved history from being lost to future generations.

This being said, the executors of the George Widrig estate have taken great pains to ensure that most of the items of historical note and value have been saved for the society. We have taken over 65 boxes of material in that will be sorted and cataloged in time. We appreciate the concern and care taken here to protect what was important to George. Dr. Jay Sullivan deserves the hearty thanks of all for the lead in this.

Similarly, Sharon Turo of New Canaan Connecticut, daughter of the late Sally Turo, and her brother George deserve an equal measure of thanks for the items they have presented to both Half-Shire and the Sandy Creek Historian’s collection. Sally and Paul Turo were early enthusiasts of regional history and preserved an incredible amount of family materials and local history during their lives. The Turo collection at Half-Shire has been lovingly sorted and boxed by Sharon with the care of a trained archivist. Sharon holds a position in the New Canaan historical community and her work in their library and historical archives guided her sorting and documentation of this rich family legacy. We are very grateful to the Turo family for all they have given our repositories.

As summer wends its way to a close I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the good clear days to take a drive through the hills “east of 81” and view the picturesque landscape that is such an important part of our heritage. Recently this writer has taken a couple such day trips, and no better day can be spent.

Crossing the Redfield Reservoir I am always amazed at how that body of water attracts such a number of swimmers and boaters like. On a recent summers eve I was joined by four other friends for a moonlight swim in these waters that six generations of my own family have enjoyed. Last weekend a trip to Osceola to attend the Josh Waggoner fundraiser included a stop at Dick Himes’ place nearby. Dick had spent a considerable amount of time and effort to restore the old Card-Baker graveyard in back of his home. Dick, Erma Schroeder and Earl and Nancy Meeks took time out of recent gathering there to survey the lots out and restore the markings.

Coming off the hill and returning to Pulaski and Sandy Creek offers breathtaking views of the Lake Ontario shoreline. The winding well-paved roads are a vast improvement over the rock laden pathways our forefathers travelled, yet the scenic vista remains the same.

Half-Shire is open on Friday afternoons or by appointment. We are located at 1100 County Rte. 48 in Richland and our mailing address is P.O. Box 73, Richland, NY 13144. Visit our web site at www.halfshire.com and check out our new photos under the different tabs.

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