January 13, 2010

Happy New Year to all of our readers in the tri-county region!

While our Richland facility is closed until April, the society is still active with Friday afternoon hours at the Barclay Court House in Pulaski (2nd floor over DMV, 2pm until 5) or by appointment. We got off to a rocky start following our move there with a semi-annual computer crash. We are fortunate to have invested in an off-line backup subscription, but meanwhile all of our main files are difficult to access, and photo scanning has come to a halt. We anticipate purchase of a new computer in the next couple of weeks.

One of our community service workers has been scanning and organizing the Giddings-Castor-Yerdon collection of photos that we had received last year. This six album collection is based on the collection of Lucy Joyner Castor Fry and her daughters, and we hope to have on full display at the 2010 county fair.

George Widrig has been working diligently at updating our obituary files, and works out of the Court House many mornings. One obituary of interest to us that has drawn questions is that of the late Lauretta Clute formally of Central Square who died on October 24, 2009 in Syracuse. Mrs. Clute appears in many of our first Half-Shire minutes as an early and active charter member. We had not heard from her in many years, and were unaware of her death until recently. Mrs. Clute was buried in Orwell’s Evergreen Cemetery. Anyone who remembers Lauretta’s interest in history and connections to the area families give George a call at 298-2986 so we can better document her in our files.

Many winter sports enthusiasts have been drawn to the Tug Hill region with the recent snow accumulation. The occasional appearances of the sun have also drawn a few of us to tour the winter highways taking photos and checking out natures wonders. On Saturday January 9, this writer and one of our regular volunteers began a planned drive around the circumference of the Half-Shire region. While in Boylston, we opted briefly to turn of North Church Rd. onto the Bargy Rd. I say briefly as once on the road we discovered that it was not plowed, but groomed for snowmobiles and skis. We were soon stuck, and efforts to dislodge the 4-wheel drive were fruitless. Cell service was bad, but text messages were able to be sent. We text-messaged member Margaret Sullivan in Parish who placed a call to Trustee Rita Rombach who lives on North Church Rd. and within minutes Rita’s husband Phil was on the scene and effortlessly dislodged our vehicle from the road edge. Our thanks go out to Phil once again for coming to the rescue!

Our friends at the Williamstown Historical Society have recently sent out a nice newsletter complete with a transcription of that town’s 1880 census. Copies can be obtained by getting in touch with the group at P.O. 54, Williamstown, NY 13493.

Half-Shire calendars for 2010 are not yet ready, an earlier plan to focus on the dairy industry has been set aside in favor of the theme “Our favorite photos” which covers the eleven township region.

Half-Shire can be reached at www.halfshire.com or halfshire@hotmail.com. Our mailing address is P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte 48, Richland, NY 13144

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