April 14, 2017

Half-Shire Historical Society

April 14, 2017

The first meeting of the season was held on Saturday March 25th.   We had about twenty members and society officials present to review the winter’s progress in reports, as well as to look to the year ahead.  President Shawn Doyle went over the proposed 2017 capital projects proposed which were approved pending receipt of grants and private funding.   The current project underway to restore the main hall with work to the electrical, the east wall and the complete replacement of the drop ceiling was explained.   As of this writing the room is newly sheet rocked and taped, with sanding to be complete by April 14.   Painting, and installation of the new wainscoting and trim work will complete this room.  The north former boiler room is now completed with installation of a new stair and landing as well as a 72 box capacity elevated shelving system.  The secondary panel box was upgraded, the furnaces rewired and inspected.  They will be cleaned and serviced immediately after the painting to the hall is complete.

On April 6th two officials from ARISE did a formal inspection of the facility for ADA access compliance planning.   It was recommended that we plan for an elevator, and the detailed drawings to complete the accessibility to the restrooms were presented.   In a revision to our John Ben Snow grant application we merged the main hall, boiler room and restroom projects asking for a match to private contributions.  The restroom renovations are crucial to the USDA funding request for assistance with the roof replacement we have been working towards.  ARISE also identified our new front door handles are not correct, and new lever handers were immediately ordered with the locksmith.   We have also rekeyed the building doors in compliance with our insurance recommendations and our own master plans which call for every five years.

This work has been made possible through several successful and pending grant applications, as well as the generous contributions of some of our key members.   We expect to be back in shape and fully functioning by mid month, and will host screen free week activities on Wednesday April 19th, and a reception for the Pulaski Festivals committee on Thursday April 27.  Our next meeting will be on Saturday April 29.

On Wednesday April 12th members of the Shineman Foundation will tour Half-Shire.  This foundation was set up in Oswego three years ago and has been a major booster in community development and human needs in a four county area.   We are working on a proposal to the Shineman foundation to assist with our next round of capital projects.

As part of our renovations to the main hall we have added an additional line for a TV for use with power point demonstrations.   The upstairs TV will be relocated here, while a smaller unit will move to the SW classroom.   With two TVS in our main hall a larger group will be able to enjoy PowerPoint presentations from different angles of the room.

We have had several of the Pulaski area Chauffer license photos identified and will continue to circulate the scrapbook  All 290 images are on our web and facebook pages, and also printed out in an album at Half-Shire.   The Pulaski Democrat 1970s negative imaging project is on hold for a few weeks.  We have had our facebook page hacked, and later Facebook shut us down until we reopened under the name “Mary White” while we convert our page over to a different type.   Kevin Stewart has been working on this, as well as the main website, which is really drawing much more traffic with the introduction of our obituary index.

Half-Shire volunteers have worked to assemble the 2017 Pulaski Alumni Newsletter, led by Erma Schroeder.  We have been asked to work with Sandy Creek Alumni on their newsletter also which is going out at the same time.    We are working with the Pulaski Class of 1967 on their 50 year yearbook, and plan to print that in late June.  2017 is shaping up to be a very busy year!

We still have a small number of Oswego County Bicentennial books for sale.   $10.80 soft cover, $21.60 hard cover.  Add $3.50 for shipping.    It is expected these will all be gone in six months; there is no plan to reprint these.   These are also available at Designs of Elegance and Walkers Cleaners in Pulaski.  Dick Brennan’s autobiography is also still available, $16.20 with also $3.50 book rate shipping.   All prices include sales tax.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland NY 13144.  Our building is at 1100 County Rte. 48, and out website is www.halfshire.org.

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March 10, 2017

Half-Shire Historical Society
March 10, 2017

The winter work schedule at our Richland headquarters is in full swing, delayed for a time due to the excessive snow in January.

During the weekend of February 25-26 we were able to remove some sheet rock on our back wall that we have long desired to replace, adding some new electrical in the process.

We also worked that weekend to catch up on files and correspondence, as well as to sell many of the Richard Brennan autobiographies that we took on consignment.

As this goes to press, another work weekend March 4 and 5 continues the same degree of work with some additional preparation for the carpenter to begin work replacing sheet rock the following week.

Thanks to Debbie Butler for answering our call for information on the Greenfield family.

Debbie had several years back brought in a small file with names and dates, she has now added to this with some high-resolution scans of old photos of people and places tied with that family in the Orwell area.

We continue to update our database as the information comes in!

Another member, Debbie Pollic of Richland, brought in many items of interest that belonged to her mother in laws family the Mattisons of Albion and Richland.

Some great images of old logging operations in Redfield and clippings from Pulaski made this a nice donation we can use in research!

On February 27, Trustee Margret Kastler and I met with an area church council to discuss digitizing their records.

More on that as we hear.

The church we were at has detailed records that span 200 years.

Our IT specialist and deputy Richland historian Kevin Stewart has been working with Trustee Erma Schroeder and secretary Fay Colvin through the winter in indexing the George Widrig obituary collection, as well as more recent deaths.

Kevin also took the smaller birth and marriage collections and has compiled databases of each.

These tables, along with the obituaries are all available in index format at our website.

There are errors in exact dates for birth and marriages due to some occasions when the local newspaper announced a birth as “last week” or “recently.”

In his role as deputy town of Richland Historian, Kevin Stewart continues to lead the Pulaski Alumni biography project.

This project seeks to prepare biographical sketches of all Pulaski school graduates from 1854 forward.

This will assist researchers as well as the Pulaski Alumni Association.

Librarian Sharon Turo continues to scan from her home, and to assemble proper family books for the shelves.

When we have seen Sharon this winter, it has been to exchange half dozen boxes or more of work, for new material that needs her special touch and expertise.

Our other trustees all have similar projects ongoing, and we look forward to gathering everyone together for our first meeting of the season on March 25 at noon.

We continue to review and identify images from the Pulaski area Chauffer license photos scanned form original negatives.

Among the collection of 290 images is a little boy who was quickly identified as Fred Potter by his sisters.

In reviewing the negative strip, we found the photo immediately before it was of Fred’s father, Harry I. Potter (1912-67).

Erma Schroeder went home and located the original chauffer’s license photo that matched the image we had.

All 290 images are on our facebook page, and also printed out in an album at Half-Shire.

We still have a small number of Oswego County Bicentennial books for sale. $10.80 soft cover, $21.60 hard cover.

Add $3.50 for shipping.

It is expected these will all be gone in six months; there is no plan to reprint these.

Dick Brennan’s autobiography is also still available, $16.20 with also $3.50 book rate shipping.

All prices include sales tax.

Half-Shire can be reached at P.O. 73, Richland NY 13144.

Our building is at 1100 County Route 48 and out website is www.halfshire.org.

*Picture: Harry Isaac Potter, 1912-67 of Richland, one of the 290 images from the chauffeur license collection we have identified.*

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