Half-Shire Historical Society News

Submitted by Shawn DoyleThe Hamlet of Richland is holding a village wide garage sale on Saturday May 31, 2008. Half-Shire will be open, and there will be free coffee and some lunch items available. The Richland firemen will also being doing a chicken bar-b-que down the street. All are welcome to stop by and see our exhibits and research materials!


Julie Litts Robst, formally of the lakeshore region of Richland Township has been visiting from Florida in recent days. Julie is the author of our newest book on sale “Richland Town Cemeteries, Volume I” which covers Daysville, McClelland, Holmes Family and Brown’s Landing cemeteries. We quickly sold out of our first allotment from Julie, and we are currently taking orders in anticipation of the next shipment. The books sell for $25 in person or $28 by mail.

Julie’s approach to the book is to list the grave information and then follow it up with a transcribed obituary or estate record where available. Through these valuable accounts of the death of each person Julie is able to really flesh out a great deal of information. The book is bound nicely, and is a valuable research tool for genealogists.

Recently we also had a glimpse of the latest book from the Town of Williamstown on early veterans of that community. The book will be released on Memorial Day, and is expected to also sell well. We are anticipating receiving a quantity of these sought after books, but until then interested persons can contact Glenna Gorski at 964-2393.

On May 22, we received our long awaited copies of the Bragdon family papers ordered from the University of Rochester Library. The selection of papers we had copied includes the founding records of Selkirk Bethel Church and many early photographs of the Bragdon family and their historic residence, Chestnut Hill that once stood near the current flea market on Rte. 3. A glimpse of the early abolitionists along the lakeshore can be detected through the subscription lists that supported this very independent congregation.

The danger of frost has kept this writer from cemetery work in Redfield’s Myrtle Cemetery, but earlier visits determined the need to replace the stones of Revolutionary War veterans interred there. The current list maintained by Half-Shire includes Joshua Wood, Seth Warren, Samuel Warren, Amos Johnson, Amos Kent, Samuel Farmer, Noahdiah Hubbard and William Lord. New markers have been ordered for Seth Warren and his son Samuel, along with Joshua Wood. At least five other men in Myrtle cemetery are being studied for possible inclusion on the Revolutionary War list. We hope to have the markers in by Veterans Day, although it would be ideal to place them earlier. Our trustee Erma Schroeder is a direct descendant of both of the Warrens.

Our former Snow Scholar and long time volunteer Erin Bacon is home for the summer from Loyola. Erin will be leaving early to study in Hungary for a month later this summer. During her free time home Erin has offered to help us with our digitalization project. Recently, over 200 photos depicting farm life in Greenboro were added to the collection from Fay Yerdon Colvin. Included in these terrific images are several of the Erie Canal back in the late 1800s, when Fays’ ancestor William Gibbs (born in 1845) once operated a canal barge. Copies of these photos will be on display at the County Fair in the Redfield booth.

Driving the roads of Sandy Creek on May 20, this writer found Legislator Margaret Kastler and town worker Richard_______hard at work planting flowers and tending to the entrances to Sandy Creek’s rural cemeteries. Many people do not know that Kastler has personally seen to this beautification for nearly a generation. Daffodils donated by Half-Shire member June Walker of Chaumont graced many of the entries in weeks past, catching the attention of passers by. Kastler is to be commended for her volunteerism.

Half-Shire recently learned that we have been awarded a grant from Entergy Corporation based on the volunteerism of several of our members who are Entergy Employees. This money will enable us to continue to work on important projects such as digitalization of our photo collection, and the eleven township cemetery survey updates. Work to restore some of our building masonry and fascia was also approved at the last meeting in May.

Half-Shire is open each Friday afternoon from 12-4 or by appointment. We can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at [email protected] President Doyle can be reached at 298-3620 or 532-5919. Our web site is now undergoing reconstruction, and the address may be changed.