Category Archives: 2008

Posts from 2008

June 12, 2008

Preparations are moving along for the 152nd Oswego County Fair in Sandy Creek.. President Carol Sweeny along with the officers and Department Superintendents have been busy with planning and set up since the snow cleared. The Fair runs July 1-5 with “Special Times for Special People” on June 30. The annual parade will be the first night, Wednesday July 1. For more information check out the detailed schedule on the web site
The Heritage Hall Committee will meet on Saturday June 13 to review the plans for set up and sales. Our building has been cleared and cleaned and will be ready for set up that day. Several interesting historical “roundtables” are planned for fair week, and many new items of interest have been added to our family files that will be available for review. A brief Half-Shire meeting will take place at noon on the 13th to review affairs as well as a report on the building work in Richland.
The Pulaski Farmer’s Market kicked off its season on Friday June 3, with the 10th Mountain Division Dixieland band. The South Park was filled with people from 4-7 to partake of the first of the weekly events under cloudless skies. Half-Shire had tables set up just north of the bandstand, and assisted in feeding the band members and their families. Each week we will try to have rotating displays from across the coverage region, on June 12, the exhibit will feature railroad information.
The new book on World War I & II Veterans from the Williamstown region is available for $40, or $43 by mail. The Williamstown group has done a remarkable job with this edition, and are due praise. Editors Ann LaDuke, Glenna Gorski and Roberta Cleveland have printed a limited supply of these books which we have available for sale along with the earlier book on Revolution to War of 1898.
The Pulaski community lost a dear friend with the death of Judy Franklin Miller on June 3, after a very short illness. Judy will be remembered for her years of dedication to the beautification of her home village. For many years she quietly organized the planting and maintenance of the flowers in our village parks. Judy was a summer resident of the Elms, on Sandy Pond and was equally well known to the summer community of the lake shore.
The eastern shore lost its eldest resident on June 2, with the death of Perry Hastings. Perry would have been 106 this summer, and had lived at home until just a couple years back. Perry was an avid student of history, and assisted the Pulaski Historical Society in the compilation of its Salmon River Odyssey a few years back. Perry also worked with Half-Shire in the identification of many photos from our collection two years ago.
Both the Hastings and Miller families have our sincere condolences.
Half-Shire is now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 9am-1 pm. Friday afternoons often go longer, and we can make other arrangements with notice. We can be reached at or on our web site or by calling 298-3620

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December 19, 2008

The annual Christmas harp recital at the H. Douglas Barclay court house in Pulaski featuring Osceola’s Kelsey Munz was rescheduled from December 7th to the 14th due to weather. Seventeen people enjoyed the program on the 14th that varied from Christmas favorites to patriotic music. Kelsey had set the program up to honor world war II era veterans and families for the 7th, and explained the period significance of each song.
The program began with all standing and singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and ended with God Bless America. A set of five religious carols was also played with audience accompaniment. This was a very nice concert enjoyed by all, and like last year there were many remarks about how well suited the historic court room is to harp music. One young couple present asked Kelsey to play at their wedding next year.

The Half-Shire weekly hours continue each Friday at the court house office of the Richland historian.
Last week Richard Cooper spent considerable time with us examining his family tree. Richard is a fifth great-grandson of two area revolutionary war vets, Simeon Trumbull and James Campbell. We are indebted to Millie Reid for working with us last week over the phone to tie in some missing links on Cooper’s Campbell family line. Marie Parsons also worked with us from Florida via the internet.

Completion of the 2009 calendar has been a top priority. It is expected to be done by Christmas and can be delivered by Shawn Doyle within the area by placing a call. The 13-month calendar features bridges of the Half-Shire region and is available for $7 in person or $9 by mail. The Half-Shire newsletter is running very late, and is nearly ready to go out with raffle tickets that are due by February.

Over a week ago we learned of the sudden passing of longtime member and friend Pauline “Polly” Carner from Boylston. Polly was the mother of trustee Rita Rombach and member Patricia Eberle of Camillus. Born October 2, 1917 in Clayton, NY the daughter of George & Laura (Elliot) Plato, she had lived in Boylston over 50 years. Polly was a delightful woman, who attended most all of our meetings, and during research days could be found quietly crocheting in the sitting area. Our sincere condolences go out to her family.

We have just received a new shipment of Richland Cemeteries Volume II books from Julie Litts Robst. This book is the volume that details South Richland Cemetery internments. Obituaries are included for most all people, which in itself was an amazing feat. The nearly 400 page book sells fro $40 or $3 by mail and is still a bargain for its content.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland, NY 13144. Our web site is found at
Our winter quarters are located at the H. Barclay Court House in Pulaski where we keep hours in the 2nd floor annex from 12-4pm on Fridays.

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November 21, 2008

On Saturday November 15, the society held its final lunch meeting of the year. Twenty-one members and friends gathered for the lunch and meeting that followed, coinciding with the 36th anniversary of the groups founding. A round of applause was offered to George Widrig as one of the six founders who formed the group in 1972. Thanks were also given to Erma Schroeder for the terrific meals prepared during the year for each meeting.

The society family files and selected materials are in the process of being relocated to the Richland Historians office on the 2nd floor of the Barclay Court House in Pulaski. Friday hours will be maintained there by Shawn Doyle and/or Greg Monette each week from noon until 4 pm. Members Pam Kellogg of North Carolina and Luella Long of Tennessee have each taken out some material to transcribe during the winter months. Both of these ladies are responsible for a large amount of the indexing and fresh-typed transcriptions that are available in our research shelves. While the Richland building sits silent throught he winter months, the work goes on.

The fresh snow that much of the Half-Shire region has ended our pleasantly long Indian summer season. Trustee Mary Munz of Osceola has already reported that she is “snowed in but good” while the rest of us in the flatter lands deal with lesser amounts. The snow postponed the placement of three new Revolutionary War markers received in Richland Township until spring.

Our annual Christmas harp recital at the Barclay Court House in Pulaski is going to be held on Sunday December 7, from 2-4 pm. Christmas cookies, punch and coffee will be available at this free event. If you weren’t able to attend last year to hear Kelsey Munz play the Court House you may want to try to make it this year. The acoustics are terrific for that instrument in the two hundred year old court room. The event is held in conjunction with the light up Pulaski events offered throughout the community on December 7.

The society extends its sympathy to former trustee Barb Ceterski on the death of her daughter Emily. Emily’s son Oren was once a regular visitor of ours at Half-Shire and the fair as he accompanied his grandmother about.

Half-shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or online at

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November 14, 2008

On October 31, Mr. & Mrs. Steve Behunin of Utah (left)visited the town of Richland. This was significant for us as Steve is a direct descendant of one of out three first settlers who arrived in 1801, Albert Bohannin. Steve’s branch of the family changed the spelling of the name, the origin of which is still being investigated. Albert settled at the mouth of Snake Creek, which can be accessed by South Ramona Beach Road. This writer took the Behunins to this location, as well as Sand Hill-Daysville Cemetery where several of his kinsmen are buried. Steve was very moved to be on the actual land that his family had settled, and they took home lakeshore cobbles as souvenirs.

We recently provided another friend of the society with two reproduction maps of the Town of Florence that showed the names of the landowners in 1874 and 1906. She was very excited to find the names of her ancestors on these old plats. Half-Shire has copies of these color maps, along with Osceola and Camden Township available for $10 each. All Oswego County townships are on black and white paper from the 1867 atlas and are $5 by mail.

On November 7, the Society kitchen staff served 55 meals for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust annual dinner. The hall looked wonderful with our candlelit tables covered in white tablecloths. Great thanks go out to George Widrig, Sharon Robarge, Shirley Rice, Erma Schroeder and Ian Lowery for heading up the kitchen and serving dinner. Margaret Kastler and Donna Bacon took charge of cleanup. The organization was pleased with our efforts and very complimentary.

On Saturday the 8th this writer and Margaret Kastler catered the quarterly lunch meeting of the Syracuse chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in Pulaski. The event was held in the historic H. Douglas Barclay Court room. The Court House namesake himself joined the handful of members in attendance and spoke after lunch on his experiences in El Salvador as US Ambassador. This writer and Margaret Kastler also reported on Revolutionary War grave re-marking efforts underway in both Richland and Sandy Creek (Historian Charlene Cole).

On Saturday November 15, the society will hold the final dinner of the season in Richland. Erma is planning a bean and frank main dish with side fixings. All are welcome and the heat will be on so don’t worry about the cold! Later in the week we will be draining the pipes and closing the building for three months to conserve on fuel. Friday hours will officially begin at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, 2nd floor office in the west wing over DMV. Fresh coffee will be on each Friday from 12-4 with the Half-Shire family files relocated for the season for researchers ease.

Half-Shire has obtained copies of the newly reprinted Tug Hill Field Guide from Tug Hill Tomorrow. The 1998 classic handbook has been updated and reissued, and is available for $25 or $27 by mail. This book is a must for those who want to know what is growing or living in the fields and streams of Tug Hill. Bob McNamara, the noted wild life artist from Cleveland, amply illustrates the book. Sympathy is extended to Thelma Ehresman Snyder of Fulton on the untimely loss of her son Scott. Our member Gerald “Jerry” Griffith also passed away on October 31, in his 91st year. Jerry’s wife Betty is a regular attendee at meeting and has our sincere sympathy. Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland NY 13144 or on the web at Our website is at

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October 27, 2008

The October meeting of the Society was held on Saturday October 18, with over 35 members and friends present. Kelsey Munz of Osceola entertained all with selections on her concert harp during lunch. Lunch served up by Erma Schroeder featured a selection of three different noodle dishes, mixed vegetables and German chocolate and spice cakes.

Business of the day was taken care of in a brief meeting that went over the recent renovations outside to the fascia, chimney and the entryway. Thanks were extended to Phil and Rita Rombach for their generous assistance and for Phil superintending the work. Former Librarian Pam Kellogg was thanked for her past efforts and wished well in her new South Carolina home.

It was decided that October 24, 31 and November 7 & 14 would be the last research days of the season in Richland. Beginning Friday November 21, research hours will be moved to the 2nd floor office of the Richland Historian in the Barclay Court House. This office will have hot coffee and tea and be equipped with the main census and family file books thought the winter months.

Greg Monette reported on the two seminars that he and Rhonda Nipper attended in Potsdam that helped educate them on proper scanning techniques. Shawn introduced the new cemetery book on South Richland cemetery that has been compiled by Julie Litts Robst. The book is a comprehensive listing complete with all available obituaries. At 380 pages it really is a bargain at $40, many of the death notices are here seen for the first time in over 100 years. Half-Shire has a limited number of these books available.

Julie brought in four albums for scanning that had been found in her fathers attic. These albums are from the Litts and Tollerton families, and include rare photos of Daysville Church including a 1903 play that was cast at the church. Four of these photos have been taken by Willard Loomis to try to restore the clarity of them. The Daysville church was taken down in 1942 and little is left of the former hamlet.

Correspondence with members of Richlands Hubbell and McCHesney families has proven very beneficial to the Revolutionary War book project. Bonnie Waters and Diane Parks have been assisting us in our research on their progenitors. Both ladies are friends and active in historical endeavors in the greater Rochester area.

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

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