On Friday May 18, Jonathan Snow, Dr. Ann Scanlon and three other members of the Board of Directors of the John Ben Snow Foundation stopped by for a tour of our facility in Richland. They were greeted by the smell of fresh baked goods coming from our kitchen, courtesy of Erma Schroeder, as well as the pleasant surprise of our new entryway. While our handicapped lift is still on order, the $10,000 in other renovations including solid ash flooring and stairs, as well as freshly painted walls, fresh plants and freshened photo displays, are a stark difference from the former first impression one would get of entry to our building. Our guests stayed an hour and a half and spent time going through our storage room examining accessions, as well as looking over the last nine windows that we hope to replace and finish the walls off around with Snow monies applied for. We hope to see these folks again in the near future, and appreciate the interest and past support. Inventories continue to be done throughout the building led by President Doyle and Librarian Sharon Turo. 512 research volumes were noted to stand on the back wall in the main hall, in addition to nearly 2,000 family files from one page to three volumes. The Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Mexico and APW yearbook collection is growing nicely, with concern for missing issues in the 1990s still being worked on. A nice collection of Civil War reference materials is shaping up in the second floor SW classroom, accompanied by scores of genealogical research journals gifted to us by the now defunct Oswego County Genealogical Society. The Spring 2012 newsletter is coming together well, and hopes are to have it out by June 1. Work on the 2012 Fair Association premium book and newsletter has slowed progress on the society letter. Research days are conducted Thursday through Saturday from roughly 11am till 3pm with other days or additional hours available on request. Contact Shawn Doyle at 298-3620 or SPDinPUL@hotmail.com to set up an appointment. Work on the grounds has been nearly finished; a crew was present on May 13 to finish most of the mulching and trim work. On May 17, Nancy Smith and daughter Lisa from Greenhouse Effect Gardens finished our four whiskey barrel planters off nicely. We need to move one of our perennial beds and deadhead the spring bulbs to have the rest of the gardens completed by Memorial Day. Mary Hicks of Mary’s Needle Art has been doing some re-framing of several valued photos for us. Mary has agreed to take on a large framing project for us as well as new area resident Richard Koch, who has purchased the old Ski complex at Noble Shores. Mr. Koch, a new life member of ours has graciously offered to frame and matte all of our principal collection of River related maps in return for copies of the same. Our member Roger Pape had previously made a set of these maps that Mr. Koch was greatly interested in. The work will be done this summer, and will be set out on our back wall in the main hall, replacing the old 1999 exhibit on windows of the past that we are going to retire to an upper classroom. On May 19 we hosted over 60 members of the Oswego County ATV club for a lunch and meeting. The group meet annually at our facility, and left us a good donation. Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. Box 73 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at www.halfshire.com firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook at “Half Shire”
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A fresh batch of Julie Litts Robsts cemetery books of the Town of Richland have arrived and are for sale. These books cover Daysville on Rt. 3 and South Richland on Old Mexico Rd., along with some of the smaller burial grounds. They will be available at Half-Shire or by mail. Julie is working on the Riverside Cemetery on Rt 13 and the Brookside cemetery in Richland Hamlet. She is researching the families in each location and working very closely with Half-Shire. The cool weather has kept of visitors down at Half-Shire, as well as volunteers. We are open Thursdays through Saturday each week between 11am and 3 pm. If there is not a pot of coffee made we have a new K-cup machine that is sure to please! Stop in and check out our renovations as well as our expanded research area. On May 12 we will be open all day until midnight. Our regular lunch meeting will be held 12-2pm, followed by a day long open house and from 7-midnight musical entertainment by the Camden area band “Still Kickin’”. The evening concert is free admission and is sponsored by the CNY Cultural Resources Council grant we obtained in 2011. Over the past month we have lost some members and friends. Norma Coffin was a long-time member and frequent gust for luncheons and other events. Norma bought most every publication we had, and was an avid researcher as well as reader. Her family generously has had donations made in her name, and we will use these funds to further expand our research materials in her honor. Jerry Pflueger who passed away on April 30, was a recent member but longtime friend. Jerry was known to many in the area for the time he owned and operated the “Corners” at Sandy Pond. A member of Pulaski’s Class of 1961, Jerry was popular among his classmates as was evident by those seen at his services. RIP. Other members we have lost over the winter will be noted in our newsletter which we hope to send out in late May. Lynn Loomis, widow of our departed member and long time photo restoration expert Willard Loomis, has donated a scanner and several items of interest to the Society. We are very appreciative for Lynn’s thoughtfulness, and we join her in the mourning of her dear husband who was such a key member of ours over the years. The Alumni shelves in the SW classroom have been “restocked” and inventoried by Sharon Turo and Shawn Doyle. Nice collections of yearbooks and photos from four of our area school districts are shelved here. Yearbooks from Pulaski, Mexico, APW and Sandy Creek Schools are available for reference use. A collection of Pulaski clippings, as well as four boxes of “raw” photos covering the 1970s and 80s in Pulaski school are also located here. We are still missing many yearbooks from the area schools, and gladly accept any donations! We are looking for a volunteer or volunteers to work at copying and sorting clippings from area newspapers. This is a tedious task, but very rewarding work for researchers! Our goal is to reproduce the Widrig obituary collection and merge it with two others in a master obituary notebook collection that will be shelved with our research. We have 20 years plus of Queen Central News, Salmon River News and Pulaski Democrats to fill in the missing notices. Contact Shawn Doyle for more information 298-3620 Julie Litts Robst has sent us a nicely done 255 page family history of the area Manwaring family that will be added to our shelves this week. We welcome copies of any family history that might be shared. Half-Shire can be reached at halfshire.com or 315-298-3620. our website is www.halfshire.com
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On Saturday May 12, the Society will be open all day. At noon our monthly lunch meeting will take place, discussion will center on the 2012 Oswego County Fair set up and Heritage Building activities. Following this meeting from 2-6 there will be a special research afternoon with area historians and volunteers on hand to assist patrons with family tree research. Along with our “great wall of Research” which includes over 2,000 individual family files, Half-Shire has wifi internet and accounts with ancestry.com and fold 3 to better assist researchers. Beginning at 7pm live entertainment with the popular band “Still Kickin” will be available to the public free of charge. This evening of good old fashioned country music is brought to you as part of our 2011 arts grant from the Central New York Arts council. “Still Kickin” is a Camden area band with a large following that mixes traditional country with some popular tunes of today. Don’t miss this evening of good music and good times! Refreshments will be available. On April 21, the society held its first meeting of the year. Our guests and officers all were pleased with the new entryway which includes a solid ash floor and molding going to the lower level. Our new victory lift is going to be installed in May; final dimensions were taken on April 21 along with a delivery of brochures and a short talk by a company representative. Work continues on some sheetrock around the upper stairs along with some molding there. Some additional painting will also be going on in the next month as we touch up our work. The grounds look really well, and we are again indebted to June Walker of Chaumont for the wonderful spring bulbs. Half-Shire can be reached at email@example.com. Check out our website at www.halfshire.com, note there is a new link to maps there that has been added by member Roger Pape of Redfield. Our phone in Richland is 298-2986 and we are open Thursdays through Saturdays each week 11-3.
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