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Half-Shire Historical Society

The 151st Oswego Count y Fair was a huge success.   A Crowd estimated to be record breaking filled the grounds to capacity on Friday night to enjoy 4th of July fireworks and a truck pull that lasted into the early hours of the 5th.   The Fair officers and volunteers are very pleased with the successful week, marred only by a light shower on the 3rd.

In Heritage hall we too were very pleased.   Besides many visitors and healthy book sales, we took in many new artifacts and scanned 100s of photos.  Bob Wart, Marie Parsons, Marie Lambie, Melody Rudd and Larry Porter were among the members of half-Shire who took advantage of our on-site scanning and copy services through the week.   Larry brought in never before sorted photos that his grandmother had passed on to him.    Many of these photos go back into the mid-late 1800s and cover families that lived in Orwell, Richland and Sandy Creek.

Among the photos that Marie Lambie brought in were scores of old photos loaned to her by a nephew, Tim Adams.  These photos pertain to families in Boylston, Osceola, Redfield and Williamstown.   One photo that captured our interest was a Christmas 1901 photo of an aged Zebulon Bidwell and wife from Boylston addressed to their granddaughter Josephine Valentine Hanrahan.   Former County historian Barbara Dix is also a direct descendant of Bidwell, and expressed interest in this previously unknown photo.

Throughout the week we tried to stage roundtable discussion groups, Keith Willis facilitated a successful one on July 3, while the Williamstown girls enjoyed an impromptu one on Saturday the 5th.  Many one on one projects were worked on by Heritage Hall staff to assist members of the public as well as Half-Shire members.

Congratulations to Pulaski’s Ellie Spicer for retaining the title of “Best Speller” for a second year in a row.   Former Vice-President Keith Willis again failed to place in ribbon contention, but was in good company as the “Sage of Howardville”; Roy Weldon also was eliminated early.   Anne Gibbs did a wonderful job with the bee, as well as other games of interest on Senior Day.

Among the many Half-Shire members who stopped by to chat was Maynard Lohnas of Phoenix who has attended most every fair of his life.   Member Mildred Olmstead Drake stopped in for an afternoon to visit and talk about her anticipated 100th birthday that will occur in less than six months.  Barb Slivinski came in to update our Brown family genealogy, and tell us that her Mom Betty Brown Goal is still well.    Mary Carnrite Mason of Auburn spent the week in Sandy Creek and assisted us, as well as the Domestic Arts staff.

A complete list of the volunteers who made Heritage Hall come alive will be run in our next newsletter.   The number of people who assisted is truly diverse and impressive. Towns of Albion, Amboy, Boylston, Orwell, Osceola, Parish, Redfield, Richland, Sandy Creek, Schroeppel, Volney, New Haven, Mexico, Granby, West Monroe, Williamstown and the Villages of Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Lacona, Altmar, Parish and Phoenix were all represented through the week.  All but one of the 15 Half-Shire officers worked the event—an incredible feat for any organization to boast!  This Writer is truly proud of the Half-Shire officers and members for “stepping up” and sharing time during the Fair week.

In other news, half-Shire will be working from the Pulaski Court House 2nd floor Historians office on Friday July 18, as the Grant family reunion will be taking place at our Richland home.   Members of the Theo & Agnes (Duane) Grant family will be camped out in Richland for a weekend of events for this bi-annual event.

On Friday July 25, we will be back in Richland for our regular hours of 12-4 pm., and on Saturday July 25 we will hold our monthly meeting from 12-2.pm followed by a spaghetti dinner theater event in the evening put on by Pulaski Alumni students from recent years.  The theatre piece is a central European short work recently translated from Latin by Erin Bacon.  This event will be the first time it will be performed in English on any stage.   For more information contact Shawn Doyle at 298-3620, cost of the dinner will be minimal, refreshments and desserts will also be available.

Our last newsletter was well received, and we are pleased with the number of membership renewals that have come in.   Our thanks go out to our readership for support during these difficult times.

Half-Shire can be contacted at PO Box 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144. or on the web at [email protected].  Check out our new web site at www.halfshire.com.   Research hours are conducted Fridays from 12-4 or by appointment.  Call Shawn at 298-3620.

</p>Here, Osceola Supervisor Julie Painter demonstrates wool spinning to a young girl while former Bundeyville residents Traver and Barb Knight look on.