April 22, 2011

The Society held our first meeting on Saturday March 26th at our Richland headquarters. Lunch was served for about 30 members and guests, including several community service workers who spent the weekend cleaning up the lawns and building. A good meeting and work day was held, and thus a good start for the 2011 season. Our next meetings will be back to back, Saturday April 30, will be a regular meeting, and Saturday May 7, will be our annual Fair planning meeting. Both will begin with a noon lunch.

2011 should be a very busy year for the society. Our SW classroom is expected to be completed this summer with hardwood flooring going in soon. Items from George Widrig’s collection have been being sorted in that room lately, this will continue through the year.

The ATV Club will hold their June brunch meeting on Saturday June 19, at the building. The Pulaski Class of 1961 will hold their reunion breakfast at Half-Shire on Sunday June 26, The Grant family of Redfield will hold their bi-annual reunion the weekend of July 16-17, and will also camp on the grounds. Several other groups will use the facility in August including the town of Richland and the Redfield Alumni Society.

Family history research continues at a brisk pace. Recently we have been looking into the Campbell family that lived on Ridge Rd. north of Richland Hamlet, as well as the Jones family of Pulaski. Work on Port Ontario families continues, with special emphasis on the early settlers.

Richard Hofstead of Syracuse was able to complete a successful application to join the sons of the American Revolution based on documentation of his Chamberlain and Matteson families obtained from the Half-Shire collection. A researcher from the west will arrive in late June to work on the Bliss and Arnold family of Amboy that left for the Morman Trail. Our Library is becoming a destination for family history researchers, and is open by appointment, as well as each Friday from about 11 am till 4.

The Society learned that it will again be a site for an AmeriCorps worker this summer. Interviews will soon be conducted, and we are very excited at the prospect of revamping the old historic area walking tours as part of the 2011 program.

We recently received notice of an award of $1,600 in grant monies to conduct a few musical events at the facility in Richland. We may be able to start this program in late May, and will alternate months with an event that we hope to tie in with a Fire Department chicken Bar-b-que.

Volunteer Richard Cooper continues to assist us by searching the old newspapers for news and obituaries from the 1800s. We are indebted to Richard for the “gems” he has unearthed so far.

Half-Shire can be contacted at halfshire.com as well as our revised website at www.halfshire.com. Our address is PO 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144.

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