We had a late start to our annual winter building remodeling work. However, the work is continuing at a brisk pace and we expect to be back in full operation by mid-April.
Each year we normally choose a project in December and utilizing the Oswego County Sheriff’s work release program, as well as our own volunteers, focus for six or seven weeks.
Due to the refueling outage at the FitzPatrick plant in Scriba during January and February, our normal contingent of Entergy volunteers was curtailed in their contributions to this effort.
Since then through March we have made up for lost time, and we are confident that the improvements being made to the main hall and adjoining rooms will make our operation much more efficient as well as pleasing to the eye.
Jake Mulcahey of Pinnacle Construction out of Oswego (son of Minetto Historian Kathy Mulcahey) is the lead contractor for some sheetrock work and installation of more wainscoting in the main hall.
John Gosek of Gosek Electrical in Oswego is installing new energy efficient lighting and checking over our electrical service.
We are pleased with the work of these gentlemen and their crews, and we highly recommend them.
We have applied to the john Ben Snow Foundation for additional support as we move through the year with these projects.
The current scope of work is being funded from our general funds, as well as the generosity of some of our officers, trustees and solid supporters.
We are always grateful and continually amazed at the generosity from within our organization.
Volunteer grants from Entergy corporation will also be utilized for some additional purchases to finish the rooms, as well as to purchase more supplies for the ongoing expansion of the genealogy collection.
Our first meeting of the year was held in March and we learned of the significant work being undertaken by several of our officers and trustees throughout the winter months.
Great credit goes to Richland Trustee and curator Erma Schroeder, who checked the building daily, processed the mail and handled all correspondence.
Erma also continued to work on good days with secretary Fay Ann Colvin and webmaster Kevin Stewart in updating the obituary collection.
Kevin and Erma also worked on family trees and other additions to the collection.
Stephanie Pierce assisted with day to day work and took on some research concerning residents of the Poor House and some other projects as needed.
At her home in Sandy Creek, Librarian Sharon Turo continued to scan photos and documents assisted by companion Will Gonzalez and her cousin Linda Remmilard.
Sharon and Linda also continued on their Hollis family research as well as the Pulaski Masons biography collection.
President Doyle worked at family files and scanning of negatives and church records from his home.
In Florida, Julie Litts Robst continued to work on the master collection of newspaper vital records and the Pulaski cemetery book.
Other trustees such as Florence Gardner, Glenna Gorski, Venita Ackely, Barb Monnet, Becky Kennedy, Margaret Kastler, Marcy Newman and Treasurer Ann LaDuke all worked at their own family file research which will be added to our research room.
Vice President Greg Monnet and Kevin Stewart collaborated to upload detailed inventories to the website, Greg having spent the previous summer on a painstaking (and sometimes painful) effort to inventory the two upstairs libraries, this is now all to be viewed on the website with more to come this year as the family town and subject files are inventoried.
We have a top-notch group of dedicated professionals at Half-Shire, and once the building is repainted and thoroughly cleaned we will be holding a public open house to showcase all of this work these folks have done, as well as an updated facility.
Half-Shire is about the last organization left to have copies of the soft cover History of Oswego County written and published last year.
The amazing book will be sold out for good by year’s end and the limited quantities are available for $10.80 including tax, and can be mailed for an additional $3.20.
Half-Shire can be reached on facebook under the title of “Mary White” temporarily as we reconfigure that site.
Our main website also links with facebook and that is found at www.halfshire.org.
Our address is PO Box 73, 1100 County Route 48, Richland, NY 13144.
Our phone is 315-298-2986.
Our next lunch meeting will be April 29 at noon; our next dinner dance will by May 20 from 5 p.m. until midnight featuring “Still Kickin.”