We have been busy planning for, and hosting Christmas lunches and dinners for various groups at our facility this month.
It is a pleasure to show our renovations off, and with the new heating system fully operational the main floor rooms are all pretty comfortable.
Glenna Gorski, Stepahnie Pierce, Sharon Turo and Anne LaDuke began Christmas decorating the second week of December, and the building is very festive.
We are open most days 10-3pm and welcome guests with hot coffee or tea.
We continue to work with the volunteers of Williamstown Historical on their exciting new project honoring women in history.
The book has suffered many setbacks due to members computer problems and an overwhelming amount of material to fact check and cross-check.
We hope to have Volume I out soon, which will feature the first ladies whose maiden names are A-G.
Last year the Society began offering free year memberships to graduates of the 50-year class of APW, Camden, Pulaski and Sandy Creek schools.
This year as the class of 1970 begins their planning, we are in search of names and addresses to add to our free membership rolls.
We have added a great amount of genealogical data to our files by interaction with the members of the various 1969 graduates we have worked with, and look forward to the 1970 class.
Some preparatory work on the new genealogy room has been completed.
The room project which will be partly funded by a grant from the William G. Pomeroy foundation now has a new floor and some insulation.
We are looking to finish the walls and add new electric and lighting during February this year. Currently the room is “roughed in” and in use for research.
The added space is a great asset to our organization.
We had a very interesting email from a new member who visited the area this past summer to stay and do genealogical research.
Kelvin Johnson of Galena, Illinois, and his wife were in town for a few days to research his Litts, Price, Calkins, Bull and Fox relations.
He took photos of cemetery stones, sites of homesteads and sent us a detailed report on his visit here.
The Johnsons focused on Mexico, Pulaski, Richland and Orwell in their trek, and found many clues to their family’s past.
We constantly cite visits such as this when talking to County tourism officials as evidence of the growing economic potential of “historical tourism” in our region.
As part of the great migration trail that led families to branch out from New England and move westward with the nation’s development, our region was a critical pass through point.
The proximity to Lake Ontario, the Erie Canal and the employment offered in lumbering as well as farming brought many people to settle here in the 1800s.
Half-Shire works hard to make sure to find these researchers and offer up our records and resources for the Tug Hill/Eastern lake Ontario region.
Richard Palmer, a well-known historian and author who lives in Syracuse has been corresponding with us frequently on a new project which he is engaged.
Mr. Palmer is assisting railroad historian John Taibi of Munnsville in a project on the history of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad and the communities and people connected with it.
We have had valuable interaction with Mr. Palmer on this, and look very much forward to seeing the project completed.
Mr. Taibi is well known for his detailed research, his last project on the Ontario and Western Railroad is considered the definitive resource on that line.
During the holiday weeks Half-Shire will be open on the morning of the 24th, closed the 25th and similarly open on the 31st and closed on the 1st.
We are open most days 10 a.m. -3 p.m., best to check by calling 315-298-2986 or emailing [email protected]