April 21, 2017

Half-Shire Historical Society

April 21, 2017

It is both exciting and daunting to think that in a week when this column is printed, our current round of renovations will be at an end, and the main hall should be all painted and cleaned.  At this writing, the primer coat of paint is being applied, and a thick layer of dust and plaster covers the floors.  We will be working through the Easter weekend with a large number of community service workers and volunteers to clean the first floor.  Our contractors from Pinnacle builders will have painted on Saturday and Easter Monday things should be completed and ready for the electrician to finish the electrical installation.  Two Heathway’s air purifiers will be running full time to clear the air of dust particles.

We plan to be ready for screen free day on Wednesday the 19th, and we expect to be ready on Thursday April 27th for a scheduled event.

This current round of work completely renovated our main hall, finished the former boiler room and saw the beginning of the restroom work that we expect to do later in the year.  As soon as we hear on additional funding through grants and donations, we will resume work in making the two restrooms handicapped accessible, and in “swapping them out” so the women’s room will be in what is now the men’s room, a room that needs 100% renovations.   We consulted with officials from ARISE on how best to make these changes, and will be following their plans.  Additionally, we had ARISE do on assessment for an elevator to get to the second floor, and once their recommendations arrive we will send them to Crawford & Stearns to complete plans and look for prices which we will then solicit foundation support for.

On Wednesday April 12, we hosted Karen Goetz and Penny Halstead from the Shineman Foundation in Oswego.  We laid out our accessibility goals to them, as well as showing the needs to access the second floor for all.   We were very proud to show them the work that has been accomplished on our own so far, with over $12,000 in private contributions from four of our members. The accessibility phase of the next plan of work is a requirement for USDA whom we are still working with to finance a new room in the near future.

Meanwhile while all the dust and noise has kept the main floor out of use, we have been working steadily on projects from the second floor rooms.  Erma Schroeder has been at the building most days working on the Pulaski Alumni Newsletter, as well as general copy work and straightening out of files.  Stephanie Pierce, Keven Stewart, Fay Colvin, Charlotte Deagatano, Shawn Doyle, Greg Monette and a few community service workers from the school have also assisted in the past few weeks.  The Allison Balcom memorial room has been the location of much of the activity.

Cheryl House from Hastings spent a day with us scanning 99 pages of deeds from her mother’s family farm that stretched back to 1797 and ownership by then New York Governor John Jay.  Governor Jay was one of the early American patriot leaders, served as an ambassador in Europe, and later was the first chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.  Jay’s holdings in Oswego County real estate were speculative, and he never lived here, however the records that we were able to gain copies of provide an interesting connection of the celebrated patriot to our region.

On Thursday April 27th, the society will host a private party to raise funds for the Pulaski Community Festivals.  The Winter Fest, Salmon Fest and Old Home Days are all in need of monies to continue in 2017 and 18.   Robin Phillips, Tiffany Craig, Elaine Smith, Shawn Doyle, Shelly Joss and others will be hosting this event at $25 a ticket to raise funds for the festivals.   Tickets are available at Designs of Elegance, A Cut Above Salon, Salmon River Wine and Spirits or from any of the above organizers.   We are excited to host this event to show off our renovations!

The next meeting of the society will be on Saturday April 29th.  Lunch at noon followed by a short meeting.    Our next big event will be the May 20th dinner dance featuring “Still Kickin”.  This annual event is free and open to the public from 5pm- midnight.   Earlier on May 20 we will hold our monthly meeting.   On Sunday May 28th we will be hosting a bus tour of Redfield, Williamstown and Orwell led by President Shawn Doyle.   Oswego Expeditions will be selling tickets for the day excursion that will include stops at Salmon River Falls, the Redfield Cemetery, Otto Mills, and Half-Shire where a full lunch will be served.   Contact Jennifer Mays (561-0223) or Oswego County Tourism for more information and pricing.

Half-Shire continues to have some trouble with our Facebook account, which is listed now as Mary White.   Our website is fully functional and greatly enhanced with Facebook links as well as inventories and indexes online from our collections.    Www.halfshire.org.   We still have Oswego County History books from $10.80 incl. tax, and $3 postage.    These books will soon sell out.   We are located at 1100 County Rte. 48 in Richland, NY 13144 (PO Box 73) Our number is 315.298-2986.    Our summer hours have begun, and we are open from 10-2 most days Monday through Saturday, or by appointment.

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