Half-Shire was founded on November 15, 1972, by six residents of northern Oswego County. They sought to form an organization that better represented the unique history of the northern section of the region. (The name Half-Shire refers to the founding of the country in 1816, settling a regional/political split by which the duel county seats were created: one at Oswego and the other at Pulaski.) In 1975, the Half-Shire Historical Society received its provisional charter. In 1978, the Society was permanently chartered by the New York State Education Department.
Since 1973, the group has used the former Hamlet of Richland school building as its headquarters. During the 1970s and 1980s the second floor housed many historic exhibits. During this time the building was not heated, and the structure deteriorated. In the 1990s, renovation began on the entire building. The first floor received new sheetrock and new concrete floors were poured.
Beginning in 2000, the second floor has been worked on one room at a time. Two of the four large classrooms were renovated and two more are under renovation. Two smaller second floor rooms are also undergoing repairs.
Meetings are held ten months of the year, March through December. Programs are conducted in Richland and at various locations, including the Oswego County Fairgrounds in Sandy Creek where Half-Shire has had charge of the Heritage Hall since the early 1990s.
Half-Shire produces a twelve-page, quarterly newsletter, and in partnership with the Historical Association of South Jefferson a quarterly supplement, “The Tug Hill Literacy Review”. The Society has also published four volumes in a “History of the Town of Redfield” series, a pictorial Arcadia Images of America series book, “Northern Oswego County”, and many small historical town profiles.
Half-Shire’s mission is to “Preserve, protect and promote the history and genealogy of the the twelve towns of northern Oswego County along with the Lewis County Town of Osceola and the Oneida County Town of Florence”. membership is $12 per year, $25 for supporting membership and $250 for lifetime. Tax-deductible donations are gratefully accepted.
Friday Noon – 4pm or by appointment
Closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday however, appointments may be available upon request for these days.
Contact Shawn Doyle at (315) 298-3620 or (315) 532-5919 for an appointment
P.O. 73; 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144-0073
Founded on November 15, 1972; NYSED charter: Provisional-Dec. 1973; Permanent-Feb. 1978
Officers (2017-2020) with terms of office expiration
Board of Trustees (2017-2020) with terms of office expiration
Osceola/Florence (2018) Doreen Tilton, 12334 Florence-Redfield Rd. Camden, NY 13316 315-245-2760
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