September 28, 2012

The leaves are turning on the trees across the eastern shore region, and our rural roads and communities are drawing an increasing number of weekend tourists. The Salmon have come up the Salmon River and other area stream in great number, and despite lower water are making it upstream. Our facility continues with open hours Wednesday-Sunday 11-3 or by appointment. On weekends we have hosted workers from the Oswego County corrections weekend program, and a good deal of cleaning and lawn work has been caught up thanks to these workers. We should have the “weekenders” through the autumn, and have trained some at copying, sorting material and working with our mailings. Our continued thanks go out to Sherriff Todd and his staff. On Saturday September 22, Shawn Doyle and Chris Sheldon who also are officers of the local Sons of the American Revolution Chapter, spent nine hours pouring over applications and assorted documents. Two of the new applicants have deep roots in our region, and so the Half-Shire Library came in handy. Sgt. Increase Rudd who died in Vermont was the patriarch of the Boylston Rudd family who are quite numerous, and his descendant Randy Rudd who lives in England is seeking to prove this line. On Sunday September 23, while a crew worked at Half-Shire President Doyle, his mother Patsy and Gloria Craig of Pulaski all headed east to attend the annual mass at St. Mary’s Church in Florence conducted by Bishop Thomas Costello. The event was well attended in the historic old Catholic Church that has been lovingly restored; over 100 people filled the sanctuary. Several Half-Shire members were present, including Michael, Martin and Matthew Clark, Thomas and Ann Clark, Amolia Grossman, Dorothy Fey, Stedman and Mary Lou Twiss and I expect a few whom I did not see. This is noteworthy as Half-Shire assisted in getting the word out about the need in 2005, and many of our members stepped up to help save this important historic structure from ruin. It was so nice to see eight stained glass windows fully restored and shining so bright in the passing sunlight. Following mass, many adjourned to the Florence Hotel for a fine chicken and biscuit dinner. Our car also did some leaf-watching, and toured a couple of side roads to view the Graves cemetery keystone bridge, and some areas of Redfield that Gloria had not seen. A good day trip for autumn can be enjoyed in the tri-county region of Oneida, Lewis and Oswego Counties. Over in Osceola, one more weekend of the Fiddler’s picnics will sound melodious tunes across the hills, this past weekend Trustee Erma Schroeder was there in attendance. On Monday September 24, Sharon Turo hosted the Sandy Creek based Outlook Club for tea and a tour of Half-Shire. We were pleased to have these ladies come and spend time at the facility. We learned with sadness of the passing of a former member and friend Jim Barnard last week. Jim was best known as a longtime employee of Niagara Mohawk in our region. Jim’s grandfather invented a “Pinking machine” and manufactured these dressmaker’s aids south of Pulaski on US Rte. 11. Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland, NY 13144 or Our website is and our very popular facebook page can be found under “Half Shire” Our house phone is 298-2986, and internet

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September 14, 2012

On Monday September 17 the Society will host an open house reception put on by the Pulaski Lions Club to mark their 50th anniversary. The group, formed in 1961, has been headquartered at Half-Shire on the second floor since 2001. The President of The lions at the time, Cliff Hilton, Sr. had made the arrangements with Half-Shire President Doyle and then Vice President Bill Brosnan. Brosnan and Hilton collaborated in the renovation of the northwest classroom which has now been home to the Lions for eleven years. We work very cooperatively with this group of civic minded men and women and hope to see them thrive another 50 years! On Satruday September 15th our 40th annual meeting will commence at 1pm following a noon lunch. All four officers are up for balloting as well as Trustees from Osceola/Florence, Orwell and Parish. A trustee at large will be selected also. The slate was presented in August and appears to be composed of those seeking reelection with the exception of the Osceol/Florence seat being vacated by Mary Munz. Doreen Tilton of Florence has accepted the nomination and will join the others on the slate presented by the nominating committee for consideration. All paid members are eligible to vote. On September 9, a group of six workers from the Oswego County jail weekend program spent the day at Half-Shire doing some cleanup work. The lawns had some extra attention and many items inside were rearranged. Thanks to Sheriff Todd and Undersheriff Sullivan for overseeing this very helpful program! Our Secretary Fay Ann Colvin, and Trustee Rita Rombach have both been on the sick list. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both of these valuable officers as they continue on the mend. Fay Ann and her sister Paulette were in town on Sunday to look over work at the building and catch up on affairs. Our Librarian Sharon Turo had been extremely busy learning the intricacies of the Picasa photo program on our computer. The abilities to sort and enhance our enormous collection of images seems only limited by the time our volunteers seem to have! Sharon is available normally on Thursdays and Saturdays from 11-3 and leads our scanning and imaging program. Thanks go out to Tina Noble Plumley of Redfield for the donation of a fine 1909 framed photo of Cora Carr Walker and her three eldest sons. The glass was cleaned up and the frame restored and Cora now graces our entryway at the top of the stairs. Photos can be found on our facebook page. Plumley and her sister Amy Blue have loaned us the extensive collection of their parents photos which have all been scanned and are yet still being sorted. Some of the more interesting shots show “Mac” and Joan Noble on early snow mobiles in Redfield. We are trying to get a newsletter completed and out by months end. An additional mailing will also solicit recipes for our family cookbook as well as member biographies for our member directory planned to be done in 2013. With over 500 paid members we are now the largest Historical Society in Oswego County, and for a large part of the region. Our focus on family research has driven numbers higher as well as our friendly research atmosphere. All credit goes to our volunteers who now staff the building everyday but Monday and Tuesday—and even then appointments can be made! Erma Schroeder of Richland heads the volunteer staff. Some remaining dust and “disorder” reigns in the backrooms as we struggle to sort an overwhelming amount of backlogged accessions from the past couple years, as well as we move forward with piecemeal renovations. Only one room remains in the first floor to be completed, with some work to be done in the main room beginning the last week of September. As this goes to press, we are scheduled to receive the moving exhibit on the Medal of honor recipients from our region. This panel was assembled by Senator Patti Ritchie’s staff under the direction of her “historian in residence” Jim Reagan. Thanks to the Senator and Jim for this work, as well as the Civil War website that has also gained great praise. Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland, NY 13144 or Our website is and our very popular facebook page can be found under “Half Shire” Our house phone is 298-2986, and internet covers our building for wireles

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