November 26, 2010

The Society will hold its November meeting on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the H. Douglas Barclay Court House in Pulaski at noon. Following a light lunch and brief meeting we anticipate some musical selections to open up the Christmas season. As of this writing we have not yet confirmed the entertainment. Holiday goodies will be served as always regardless, and the 2011 schedule of meetings and events will be available.

On Friday November 12, the arts communities across central New York lost a very dear friend and advocate with the sudden death of Mark Wright, head of the CNY Cultural Resources Council. Mark had struggled with health issues for the past few years but his death at age 50 was still quite a shock to us all. A native of Massachusetts, Mark had moved to the Syracuse area as a youth and fell in love with the region. Mark was an especially good friend to small arts and cultural agencies in Oswego County, and came to our meeting at Half-Shire in August. A strong advocate in the regions arts community has now left us for another world, a great loss to us all.

Last week I mistakenly identified visitors to Half-Shire as coming from Montana. In fact, Mr. & Mrs. Lee were here from Michigan. We received a very nice ancestor packet on the Walworth family who came through eastern Oswego County in the mail on Thursday last week. The well-researched packet is already a great assistance as it has tied in many families in the region in the early nineteenth century. Our thanks also go out to Mrs. Sara Barclay who sent along some information on the Walworths from the Price-Douglas Diaries that she has transcribed.

As November draws to a close we are closing up Half-Shire for the season. We will begin Friday hours at the Barclay Court House 2nd floor office (new section) on Friday the 26th, and continue through spring. Hours planned are from 12-5pm, and are subject to change. Closing the Richland facility a few months will help us to save on fuel and have more monies available for capital projects in 2011. Community service worker Ian Lowery will continue to assist in the movement of files to the Court House.

Richland Deputy Historian Erin Bacon Klarner and husband Kris will be visiting for a week on break from Notre Dame. Mrs. Klarner has a particular glow about her we understand and look forward to catching up.

Half-Shire can be contacted at P.O. Box 73, 1100 County Rte. 48 Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at

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November 19, 2010

The Silent Auction and sale of the works of the late George Widrig was held Saturday November 6th at the Richland headquarters. The event was attended by over 50 people and was a great success. We had a lot of laughs over a few of the items and the various bid competitors as they engaged in friendly competition. Thanks to Erma Schroeder and Kathy Watson for again staffing the kitchen to meet our hospitality needs. Ian Lowery, a senior at Pulaski High School also assisted in preparation and through the evening.

On Friday November 12, the society hosted a private retirement party for David Petrie of Camden. Over 100 people enjoyed a meal and entertainment by “Still Kickin” an acclaimed country band in our region. Society members Richard Telian, Margaret Sullivan, Celia Potter, Mark Wallace and others were key in putting this event together. This was our last event to be held in Richland for the season, and soon the building will be closed up for three months.

On Sunday November 14, our neighbor Alaina Bacon (age 7) came over to assist us in the planting of over 1,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs, along with a few hyacinths. All of these bulbs were removed this past spring after five years of sustained growth. They were separated and replanted on Sunday in freshly fertilized soil. Alaina is a very efficient and careful young gardener and was completely up to the task. Alaina’s older sister Erin is a member and our summer 2010 AmeriCorps worker, now away at graduate school at Notre Dame in Indiana.

On Saturday November 12 we had some visitors in from Montana researching some early Richland families, principally the Walworth family who were early settlers along the lake. The couple had obtained records from the town Clerk in Richland and was looking for more information in the local cemeteries. We had only a few extra pages of information to offer them and would welcome more information on the Walworth family if anyone has some.

The new book on Williamstown Veterans is now available. This book covers the period from the Vietnam War to present, and is available for $40 plus postage. We are expecting to receive a consignment of them soon at Half-Shire. The book is as always well researched by the team that includes Anne LaDuke, Roberta Cleveland, Glenna Gorski, Florence Gardner and Willard Loomis.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. Box 73, 1100 County Rt. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at or

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November 5, 2010

The monthly meeting of the society was held on Saturday October 23rd and was well attended by both members and guests. A beef stroganoff dinner was served, along with all the fixings. The 2011 budget was presented and approved, along with past minutes.
This was the last meeting at the Richland headquarters until March 2011. Our November meeting will be held at the H. Douglas Barclay Court House on Saturday November 27.

On Saturday November 6, Half-Shire will host a reception and silent auction of arts works of the late George Widrig, one of our founders. George was a multi-talented artist, and many of his oils, watercolors and pen and ink sketches will be on display and open for bid. The reception will begin at 5pm and run through 8pm. Refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served. We anticipate having some piano music in the background by various artists. This event is open to the public and we are hoping for a good turnout to honor George.

Research continues on at a brisk pace, the last week of October we had two guests in from Utah researching the Bohannan family who were early Richland settlers. We have had several inquires regarding Redfield and Osceola families also. We will continue to open up on Tuesdays and Fridays through November until we move down to the courthouse for winter hours.

The passing of Pauline Tanner on October 18, 2010 was a milestone in the history of Lacona Village. Pauline had spent her life in that community and was long identified with its social and community affairs. Her death at her daughters’ in Peoria, Illinois was a shock to her friends here who all anticipated her 100th birthday this month.

This writer had known Pauline for over 40 years, and remains grateful for a 1978 lunch with the late Harold Samson that was arranged by Pauline at Seeley’s Restaurant. I was only 12, but just as interested in history as I am now, and Pauline had told me about Harold Samson and his then current book “The Other Side of the Hill” about Tug Hill. Pauline arranged the lunch at my grandmother’s restaurant and I received a signed book from Mr. Samson that is a cherished part of my library today. Pauline continued to support historical research in her village and town, and was a patron of the Sandy Creek Records Center.

Another friend of Half-Shire and volunteer at Sandy Creek, Betty Otis Monson Atkinson is on the sick list of late. She has been a patient at a Syracuse hospital recently, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her as well as her grandson and his family who have been her caregivers.

On October 19, Author Doris Brown Allen and Oswego members Barb and Travor Knight joined Secretary Fay Colvin and Marie Lambie for a dinner at my home. The conversation revolved around Redfield history and the Donahue families. Doris is a graduate of the former Redfield Union School and served as the first alderwoman in Oswego City. She is a fascinating conversationalist and we were so pleased to have her there for an afternoon. This was the first official dinner around my “new to me” table imported from Osceola, for which I owe Marie a debt of gratitude and more.

Half-Shire can be reached at or at our mailing address P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144

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