October 1, 2010

The Society conducted its 38th annual meeting on Saturday September 25, at the old Richland School headquarters. Approximately 25 members and friends enjoyed a soup & stew lunch served up by Trustee Erma Schroeder at noon.

Elections were held with the following new and returning officers: President, Shawn Doyle; Vice President, Greg Monette; Secretary, Fay Ann Colvin; Treasurer, Anne LaDuke. Trustees that were reelected for three year terms were: Liz Grant, Redfield; Erma Schroeder, Richland; Margaret Kastler, Sandy Creek and Glenna Gorski, Williamstown. Charlene Cole was reelected as Trustee at large for a one year term.

President Doyle welcomed the new and returning officers, and noted the departure of Treasurer Mary Yerdon, citing her years of dedication and effort. Anne LaDuke will be the 4th trustee in the organizations history, and has been an active member for several years. Doyle gave a detailed report on the past twelve months progress and handed out a preliminary list of goals for the next few years.

In other business the installation of the hardwood flooring in the southwest classroom was delayed pending receipt of grant monies. The handicapped entry to the main hall has been prioritized also for the end of the year work. Doyle reported that on August 29th Carson Balcom, Kyle Halstead and Sam Washburn assisted in applying sealer to the main roof. The boys did an excellent job and Doyle is confident the roof will be leak-proof for the winter and beyond. The next meeting will be October 23rd in Richland.

Nancy Smith, who serves as the appointed corresponding Secretary has begun holding public hours on Tuesdays from noon until 4pm at Richland. Along with our Friday hours with Erma Schroeder and our other days we “set the flag out” we have seen increased numbers of guests this year. The expanded research files, especially the Widrig obituary files have assisted many people with finding what they need. A few weeks back one out of town guest was so pleased with the speed and ease in which we found material on his families that he wrote us a $100 check on the spot to join and assist.

We continue to struggle with “important clutter” as we sort things from the Widrig estate, but the hall for the most part is well organized.

Among research topics lately we have had inquiries on the McCollom family of Redfield, the Allen family of Albion and Pulaski, the Baker and Weed families of Richland and Sandy Creek and the Chamberlains and Mattesons of Pulaski and Adams.

We have received valuable donations of research materials from Charlene Weed of Cleveland on the Weed families, and miscellaneous records of South Granby families form John Snow of Granby. A member from Victor, Gloria Cronk White sent some extensive files also on the Cronk and Coe families of the region. All of this material has been added to our growing database and file system, helping others who come in later on.

Half-Shire can be contacted at P.O. Box 73, Richland NY 13144 or by email halfshire@hotmail.com. Our website is being updated again at www.halfshire.com

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September 17, 2010

Half-Shire will have a small exhibit in the foyer of the H. Douglas Barclay Court House in Pulaski on Saturday September 18, as part of Salmon River Festival. The exhibit will be open from noon until 5 pm and the public is welcome. Selected scrapbooks from the George Widrig Collection as well as general works on local history will be out for review.

The Society will hold its annual meeting on Saturday September 25, 2010 at 1 pm, following a luncheon served at noon at the Richland headquarters. All members and friends are invited. Election of officers including four trustee seats will occur as part of the meeting.

August was a particularly busy month for the society. We continued to sort and organize material received from the estates of the late George Widrig and Sally Turo. Particular attention has been given to the paintings of George Widrig which have been moved to our building in preparation for a late October art show and sale. (Date to be announced soon).

At this time I’d like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Christine Drew, formally of Redfield, who carefully sorted and transported so many of George’s items over to Half-Shire. Christine took on the task of cleaning and sorting the Widrig home, and has done am amazing job. As we learned several years ago when some Half-Shire members were involved in the breakup of the Ellen Wild estate, great care needs to be taken in sorting the papers and books of deceased historians and researchers. Chrissy took the time and extraordinary care in all of the sorting. She has done a first class job that George would be proud of, and is highly recommended by this writer for any similar jobs.

With the accessions from the estate of Sally Turo we were very fortunate to have Sally’s daughter Sharon preparing the boxes. Sharon is a librarian and skilled archivist who works in New Caanan, Connecticut. The boxes we received from the Turo estate were not only lovingly packed, but archivally so. Our thanks go out to the entire Turo family for putting many of their family heirlooms into our care.

Research hours were expanded at the society beginning Tuesday September 14. Corresponding Secretary Nancy Smith will be available Tuesday afternoons until December to work with researchers and members of the public at our Richland facility. Besides Nancy, our Richland trustee Erma Schroeder continues to work with the public each Friday and by appointment. Look for the bright “open” flag out front each Tuesday and Friday when one or both of our ladies are their.

As autumn arrives and school has started we are meeting with members of the Pulaski Senior Class of 2011 to guide students in community service projects as well as approved Snow scholarship projects. Many of our expected projects this coming term will revolve around digitalization of photos as we have taken in an incredible amount this year that needs to be scanned and sorted, as well as linked to various family and community files.

On September 4, 2010 Shawn Doyle, Liz Grant and a community service worker staffed our shed at the Redfield Old Home Days. Poor weather prevented a return on Sunday the 5th. Our thanks go out to all of our visitors and friends in Redfield. Our thanks also go out to our members Milferd Potter and Roger Pape who each purchased some valuable historical materials at the Lattimer auction in Orwell and donated them to Half-Shire. Roger brought his treasures to Redfield, which include a very early autograph book from the 1840s.

On September 11, 2010 Half-Shire loaned our tables and chairs out to the Barclay family to help them with an afternoon picnic for Special Children and their families. The event was graced by near perfect weather and went off without a hitch on the historic grounds of Douglaston Manor. Our thanks to Milferd Potter for assisting us with transport of tables and chairs on this day, as well as so many others this summer.

On the research end of the society, some of our members have been looking into The Chamberlain family of Pulaski, the Enos family of Redfield and the Jay Adams family of Redfield. Updating is in progress on our Yerdon and Castor databases. Half-Shire maintains computer databases on numerous families from our region, the Yerdon-Castor file is one of our largest.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at www.halfshire.com

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